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Blog Categories – Are Yours Precise or a Mess All Over?

Blog Categories – How To Create A Blog with Categories

Blog categories are like an old fashion file cabinets. If you were like me as a new blogger you just picked a theme and started to post, right? You added your blog categories and tags as you went along.

I knew I had too many categories but hadn’t really looked into it back in those early years of blogging.

Then several years ago a blogger named Adrienne posted about spring cleaning your blog. It got me motivated. Especially when I looked and found I had over 800 categories!

Imagine? I wanted to get it down to 10-20. I settled on 15 blog categories for now. (16 if you count uncategorized). 

Think of your blog categories like a file cabinet. What are you looking for? Define your niche and create categories from there. Keep it simple if you want to get your blog noticed.

Think of Blog Categories like a file cabinet. #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

How Many Blog Categories Are Too Many?

The number of categories for a blog seems to be a gray area. Back in 2008, Darren Rowse wrote about blog categories. They really don’t seem to be any clear answers on the exact number.

But it is about what makes sense. How will the reader experience be on your blog? And of course, how will Google view your blog categories.

We all know how much Google and other search engines are looking over our blogs and categories is another one of those things they are looking at.

Too many keywords and you could feel Google’s wrath.

How will the reader experience be on your blog? #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

Where to Start Cutting Your Blog Categories?

Start with your categories that have 0 or 1 posts only. Then keep deleting until you get to around 50-100. Then take more severe action and cut those that have 2-3 posts.

Pick the ones that could be replaced with the final categories. Cut it down to a number that really makes sense for your blog or website.

According to Hubspot on blog categories:

If your blog has been around for a few years, you may have some serious organization to do. Blog categories are a great way to start sorting. Consider what categories your readers enjoy best, and get rid of any with only a few posts. Trimming down categories isn’t always easy. But it’s definitely worth the effort for a site that’s simple to navigate and build a strong content strategy around.

What Do You Do After You Cut Your Categories?

The posts you stripped of categories will now become uncategorized. I had over 60 that fell into that category. So I then had to go to them and categorize them into the new 15 I had chosen.

Of course, I found some really old posts that needed updating too. I  worked on several old posts that I could without spending an hour on each. Others can take several hours to update.

Updating old posts is great for your blog’s SEO and for your readers too!

And then of course they were images. Some images were still from bloggers that I had to redo. I then went on to this to my other WordPress site blog on infectious diseases.

How Many Blog Categories Do You Need?

Luckily it only had 37 categories that I had to cut down. But today in April 2021 I will work on cutting them down even further!  The old saying = Less is More! 

If you can have 5 or fewer blog categories that would be great for your blog!

What Else Can You Do With Your Categories?

You can also add descriptions to your categories. For example, I have one named Time, it’s about saving time on blogging. So I added the description because time is way too broad of a subject for a reader to understand what it is all about.

Now maybe you had no categories assigned to your posts. Now you just have to add a few to your blog and categorize each post. That seems like it would be an easier task than having too many. Live and learn, right?

One more thing to do for the categories that you may miss.

Do NOT display the default “Uncategorized” tag that shows up on many WordPress sites. Sometimes, I see this happen here when I forget to pick a category. That is not good for the readers to see!

Now you just have to add a few to your blog and categorize each post. #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

Spelling and Capital Letters Matter on Categories and Tags

Did you know blog categories and tags are case-sensitive? That means if you create a tag with the unique identifier “best shoes” and then another one labeled “Best Shoes” (with a capital “B” and “S”), they will be considered separate and distinct.

The same goes for plurals and misspellings along the way.

To-Follow or No-Follow Attribute on Your Categories?

I was reading in several places that it is a good idea to use the no-follow attribute on categories for SEO. And then I remembered when I did searches for my posts sometimes the categories would show in snippets and it would look odd.

I’ve decided to go with the no-follow route here on Inspire To Thrive. (Easy Peasy with the Yoast plug-in.) It can also help ward off the duplicate content issue that Google is adamant on as well.

Yoast has a newer plugin to help with duplicate content now as well!

Over to You on Blog Categories

What about you – do you use the no-follow attribute for your blog categories? And if that is true of categories what about tags?

How many blog categories does your blog have today?

I’d love to know more in the comments below!

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