One thing that can make or break your navigation on your blog is your categories. When you are starting your blog you should draw out a road map for your categories. If you organize your categories on paper first then they will not get out of hand. If you have been blogging for a while and didn’t start your blog with a category map you can still organize your categories.
How Many Categories Should I Have?
You should try and have between 5 to 10 top categories for your blog. More than this and they become too overwhelming for your reader. You want to use your categories to help your readers navigate your site. If you give them too many choices they will get overwhelmed.
Limiting your categories will also help make sure you are keeping within your niche. If you don’t have a category that fits your post you may be writing off topic. Though you know my feelings about niche blogging. If you are a niche-less blogger, limiting your categories will help make sure your readers can navigate to what they are most interested in reading about.
You can have subcategories as well. I don’t expect that if you are writing a food blog to not break down your categories so your readers can navigate by meal of the day, ingredients, or season. But make sure you create a tiered road map for your readers.
Craft Blog: Paper Crafts, Crocheting & Knitting, Sewing, Home Crafts, Kid Crafts
Food Blog: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sides, Desserts, Snacks, Beverages, Holiday (create subcategories)
Parenting Blog: Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Grade School, Middle School, High School
Beauty Blog: Fashion, Accessories, Makeup, Hair, Trends
Tag vs Category vs Subcategory
Are you a little confused about how to use tags versus categories versus subcategories?
A category is a main theme that you share throughout your blog. You may post a article in a category about once a week or more. (Food Blog Example: Healthy Recipes)
A subcategory is related to it’s parent category but is a bit more specific. You may write an article in a sub category about once a month. (Food Blog Example: Healthy Recipes>Snack Recipes)
A tag is a word that if someone was searching for something very specific. You may write about it once in a while, very rarely. (Food Blog Examples: nuts, dips, salty snack)
Make your Categories Make Sense
Years ago it used to be popular on blogs to make your categories cute and fun names like Made with Love. But “Made with Love” could be anything and it will not help your new readers to know what they are going to read under this category. Make sure that if someone is new to your blog they would be able to instantly recognize what they could read under each category.
Great Examples of Category Use
Mashable is a great example of how to map out your categories and how to use subcategories.
Free Printable Category Organizer
Now it is time for you to sit back and brainstorm your blogs categories and sub categories. If you are just starting your blog now is the time to really plan out your blog.
If you have a pre-existing blog it will be a little harder and take a little work to move some things around, but I promise the end result will be worth it!
What to do next? Stay tuned for a How To
Now that you have a category road map and your blog is already set up you may not be sure how to fix all of your categories. Stay tuned as I will be sharing a follow up post soon sharing how to update and fix your categories on WordPress. Make sure and subscribe so you don’t miss this post!
I am so excited to announce that I will be teaming up with Crystal from Tidbits of Experience to share more about blogging with #BloggingTidbits! We will be doing weekly posts, have an exclusive facebook group, and a twitter party every Thursday night at 7pm PST.