Categories are the way your content is going to be organized on your sight. Categories are most often seen spread out across the top of the website with clickable links. Categories are critical in several ways!
- Categories tell your reader the focus of your blog. For example, when a reader shows up to your blog the first thing they are going to see are your categories
- Categories also help your reader navigate your blog
Top Tips for Creating Categories
Tip #1 Do Keyword Research in your Niche to see what people are searching for!
You need to consider your ideal audience: What are their wants and needs? You could write about your passion all day long but if no one else is interested in your passion then no one will ever go on your blog.
A good way to figure out what your audience wants to read about is by doing some keyword research. Keyword research is essentially finding out what people are typing into search bars on places like Google or Pinterest!
Using Pinterest to do Keyword Research
This is a great way to find blog post ideas. Pinterest has an amazing feature where it basically tells you what Pinterest users search for on a regular basis!
Here’s what you do. Type in a broad category topic such as baby food into the Pinterest search bar. Use the drop-down list to get an idea for posts that fall into that category!
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Using Google for Keyword Research
After I use Pinterest as a jumping off point I usually head over to the google keyword planner. I type in my category idea and see what pops up.
This is slightly more complicated than using Pinterest as a keyword planner but it can still be done.
When you are a new blogger you want to go for “Low” competition with as many Average Monthly Searches as possible. Sometimes a small word change will increase your traffic like crazy.
In this example you can see that I first searched “how to make homemade baby food” it had high competition for 100-1k monthly searches but if I changed it to “how to prepare baby food” I could get the same number of average searches for low competition.
When actually writing your blog posts be sure to include the long tail keywords in your first paragraph as well as several times throughout your blog post without keyword stuffing.
Tip #2 Make categories clear, concise, and content specific.
Don’t make cutesy category names that are not self-explanatory. For the sake of clarity, assume that most people who come to your blog are there for the first time. They need to be able to see clearly what you write about. Your reader should be able to understand each category without having to do further investigation.
Most readers are not going to take the time to investigate if things are unclear. Also, if your names are cutesy or lack clarity it will cause confusion for your reader. Confusion in the blogging world is always a bad thing!
Tip #3 Don’t have too few/ too many
Your categories will most likely stretch out across the header of your blog. Too many categories will look squished and unprofessional.
Too few might make readers think you don’t have much to say or that your blog is underdeveloped. I suggest no fewer then 3 and no more than 8. 5 seems to be a very happy middle ground. 5 good, solid categories will allow you plenty of content freedom while also directed you to stay within your targeted niche.
When you are new to blogging I suggest writing new content and rotating through your categories every week so that your blog develops evenly. I like to write in batches. For example, on my mommy blog one week I would only write 2-3 breastfeeding posts, the next week I only write 2-3 pregnancy posts.
This allows you to focus on one area at a time and not neglect any part of your blog for too long. Initially, I suggest having 5 posts per category before you launch your blog. Requiring yourself to write 5 posts per category will also ensure that you have enough content to warrant a whole category.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule! It’s your blog, you make the choice for yourself!
Tip #4 All your categories should relate to your Niche
This sounds like a no brainer but let me spell it out for you just in case. You wouldn’t have a Lifestyle blog that focus on Fashion with the categories: Capsule Wardrobe, Shoes, Accessories, Affordable Fashion, and Gardening.
One of these things is not like the other right? Not only will this confuse your reader but it will also confuse Google. Not to get too deep into the foundations of Google SEO but essentially you want to keep Google happy. You want Google (and Pinterest for that matter) to know exactly what your website is about so that they want to send readers to your blog. Google doesn’t want to send their users to websites that will have crappy user experiences. Lacking a clear focus is a major no-no for Google SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
How to narrow down your categories if you have already been blogging for a while?
After you have been writing content for a while, I’d say about six months, you will likely notice that some categories have a LOT of blog posts and other categories might only have one or two.
This might mean that you should switch things up on your website.
For example, when auditing one of my other sites, my mommy blog I had initially made the following categories
- Pregnancy and Birth
- Life with Baby
- Working Mom
Well, Pregnancy and Birth has tons of blog posts. Enough that Pregnancy should be its own category and Birth should be its own category.
Breastfeeding was fine, it had a medium amount of content.
Life with Baby was getting full and now that I had a toddler it had tons of posts about toddler stuff. So that category could actually be changed to something more like Raising Kids or Split into two categories such as The Baby Life and the Toddler Life.
My Working Mom category had only a few posts in it so I could probably go ahead and delete that category entirely!
It might be a pain to change up your categories and prune things but it really does provide for a better user experience for your readers. I would do this around the 6-month mark!
You have your categories picked out, now how to add them to your blog on WordPress!
1. Hover over “Posts” on the left-hand side of your WordPress Menu and select “categories”.
2. Fill in the form to add a new category. Remember the tips from above keep your category names simple, clear, and concise.
Note: Parent Category will most likely be “none” unless you are adding lots of sub categories for your blog (but this likely won’t happen at the beginning of starting your blog.
Continue doing this until you have added your 3-5 categories.
3. Next, go back into the lefthand side WordPress menu and hover over “Appearance” and select “menus”
4. Next, go to add menu items an select categories to display the categories you added earlier. Check the box of the categories you want to be displayed at the top of your blog. When finished select Add to Menu.
Double check that you have Primary Menu selected under menu settings on the same.
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We have been where you are! We got married, overspent, had a baby, and felt like we were drowning in student loan debt, bills, and every day expenses. Starting our first blog changed everything! With my little mommy blog, I was bringing in over 1k a month in less than a year with pretty minimal effort and maintenance (after I got the blog off the ground that is!)
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