Blogging Challenge #4 invites you to pay close attention to blog categories. In this challenge you will learn about categories, their purpose and plan strategic categories for your blog. This challenge asks you to create at least 4 categories as overarching topics on your blog. Please share these category names in the comment section below as examples for others.
What are Categories?
Categorizing your blog posts is the digital version of taken a copy of an article and filing it away in a filing cabinet. The beauty of categorizing is that you never run out of folders (you can create new categories on the fly), you can file a post into several categories (without having to duplicate the article) and help you organize the information on your blog (categories allow you to filter your posts). Categories are only as helpful and useful to you and your readers, as you are careful in planning and consistently using them.
What is the Difference between Categories and Tags?
Categories are used to define the general topics on your blog and tags are used to describe you blog content in much more detail. Tags are optional to use in your blog (the edJEWcon blog, for example, does not use any tags), while categories are not optional to use. Each post has to be assigned to at least one category, if you fail to assign a category to your blog, WordPress will, by default, assign your post into the “Uncategorized” category.
Why Categorize your Blog Post?
- Categories are a great way to organize your blog for yourself and for your readers.
Carefully chosen categories give you readers a great preview what topics they can expect to find on your blog. Categories are a way to structure content, link related posts and navigate content that match a specific interest.
- Categories gives the reader another option for browsing your content than just chronologically.
While your blog is fairly young, readers have an easy time to check your content out by simply scrolling down and reading your latest posts. When you have been blogging for years or you become an avid blogger by publishing regularly, it becomes harder and harder to read through potential hundreds and thousands of posts. Using categories from the start will make it easier for readers to find related content under a specific topic.
- By clicking on a category, the blog will filter and display ALL posts under that category.
Example: If you click on the Blogging Challenge Category, you will see only the blog posts in the Blogging Challenge category. WordPress cleverly gives you a unique URL for the category to make it easy to share with others or reference only posts under that topic/category.
- Taking the time to use categories correctly can boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you are interested in rising in the ranks on search engines, using the right keywords as your category will help you do that trick. Ask yourself, what search terms would people type into search engines and would find your blog post interesting and/or with answers to their questions?
Strategically Plan your Blog Categories
- What are the overarching topics you plan to cover on your blog?
- Your category names need to be self-explanatory
- Use one or two keywords as the category name, don’t use sentences
- Don’t use a category that you might never write about again in the future
- Try NOT to create too many categories
In your dashboard, you can easily add a category t as you are writing your post. Make it a routine to categorize EVERY post. Think of posting to your blog in four (4) steps:
- Write a title
- Write the content
- Assign a category
To create a new category, simply click on “+Add New Category” and type in the name of your category.
As you click on “Add New Category” button, your category will appear in the the “All Categories” list. You choose the category/categories, the post should belong under, by placing a check mark in the checkbox in front to the name. To take a post out of the category, simply uncheck the checkbox.
You are also able to add sub-categories by:
- adding a new category
- typing the name of the category
- using the drop down menu under Parent Category
- choosing the appropriate parent category to place your new category under