Blog Categories

Hey Naomi!

Do you have any tips or any thoughts at all on blog topic categories? That probably sounds so basic but for some reason I've never been able to figure out a method for doing it so every article on my blog is just categorized as “screenwriting.” Which I literally have people emailing me to complain about.

So I know I need to fix it, but I don't get how broad or granular these stupid categories should be, or what kind of a system they need to create, or what they should all add up to. And who knew a person could have so many questions about categorizing blog posts.

Anyway. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Naomi Beaty

Excellent question, Naomi!

As someone who has used ONE category on their blog for thelast many years (“Small Business Marketing”), I can say with authority, you're not alone. For me, at least, I go into ADD spin-out land when I think of categories. It can be really hard to pin down what you're writing about in that granular a way.

Many blogs have an easier time with this (fitness blogs, nutrition blogs, woodworking blogs) because their advice is more naturally categorizable. “Desks”, “Chairs” and “Decks” are easy categories.

I can give you a cheat, however, that may help – plausible deniability.

You can avoid thinking about a system, and just come up with half a dozen or a dozen general categories that are plausible to include on your blog. If I were to do this (which I probably should), I'd do something like “Email Marketing”, “Digital Products”, “Clients & Services”, “Being In Business”, “Website Advice”… vague, overarching topics that become catch-alls.

Then, when I create content, I can just shove it into one or more categories, and as long as it “kinda” belongs there, I have plausible deniability. Does How To Not Be So Goddamn Scared All The Time fit into “Being In Business”? Eh, I could make the case. Loosely. But it does help me separate Website Makeover: 12 Little Things That Make A Big Impact from being in that category.

When it comes to categories, I don't believe people ever say “Hmm, is that the right category for this post?” So I don't think you can get it wrong. All it has to do is “kinda” fit there. And since you can have more than one category, each post doesn't have to fit in a perfect box. Really, people want categories so they can get reading a whack of similar-enough articles at once. They don't really care if they're perfectly sorted.

So, my general advice?

Go back to your copy of the 1-Hour Content Plan and spend 5 minutes (AND NO MORE) on the “Categories” worksheet. Forget your blog exists, and answer the question “What kind of stuff CAN I talk about?” You'll come up with a dozen arenas.

Then, go through your blog posts and just assign one or more of those categories to each post. If a post doesn't fit, invent a new category for it that is open-ended enough to handle other weird posts like that.

Then, pour some wine and do something way more interesting.

(Extra Credit: Email your list when you're done and say “You asked for it, I did it!” and direct them to your categories. You'll score goodwill points.)

So, go forth and categorize.



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