Adding Categories to Your Blog

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I spent some time over the past week cleaning up my blog behind-the-scenes and adding categories into the sidebar. Bethany has a great post about the importance of having categories on your blog and she words it much better than I can so head over there if you're curious. I haven't had categories up to this point because it has taken awhile to find a focus for this blog. I'm not a graphic designer, shop owner or avid crafter/DIY-er. There wasn't a common theme or topic that I consistently blogged about. This year, though, I've been making a more conscious effort to record our lives here. Categories, if nothing else, help me organize those posts so I can easily look back through them. It was a difficult, but good exercise to try to boil my posts down into eight categories. I'm sure they will shift and change over time, but for now this is what I've come up with:

Once I came up with the categories, I started the process of editing my post labels (or "tags" if your blog is on Wordpress) so they would fit into those eight categories. My labels were all over the place. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what they were for and would put a million labels on each post. There was no purpose in doing this and it was a seriously fun process to go back and edit them all. (Can you hear the sarcasm over here??) I am by no means a blogging expert, but here are a few things I've learned about labels and categories.

+ Labels help your readers find related posts on your blog. By categorizing similar posts under the same label, your readers can find other things you've written on a similar topic. When I was cleaning up the labels on  my old blog posts, I found random tags like: target, friday, and happy. These did absolutely nothing for the post. When you clicked on the label, there would be no other posts in that category. After all, it wasn't like I wrote blog posts about Target on a daily basis. Coming up with broader labels to categorize my posts was a big part of the clean-up process. Now if I find something awesome at Target that I want to blog about, I can categorize it under Inspiration with other posts of things that have inspired me.

+ Categories let your readers know what your blog is about. I think the main reason why I was so hesitant about adding categories to my blog is because I didn't know what my blog was about. Figuring that out was definitely the first step to coming up with a list of categories. Now, if someone lands on my blog looking for a DIY fanny pack tutorial, they'll know they're not gonna find that here. Although you can never be sure....

+ Categories will help keep you on track. Once you've come up with categories, you'll be more mindful of fitting your topics into those niches. It's okay to stray from the norm every now and then. You never know when you'll find an awesome DIY fanny pack tutorial to share. But, for the most part, it's good to keep within the parameters of your categories. If you start noticing, that a lot of your posts are falling outside of those categories, then it may  be time to re-evaluate.

Final tip: Organize your posts now and thank yourself later. I haven't quite topped 400 posts on this little blog, but that was way too many posts to have to change labels on! The larger your blog grows, the more time it will take to change all your post labels. So get hoppin' now and you'll thank yourself later on.

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  1. Your blog is looking so good! Love it. You are making me want to go back through my old categories and do some spring cleaning. xo Moe

    1. Aw thanks, sweet lady! If nothing else, it was fun to read some old posts that I had forgotten about.


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