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One of the first things you need to do with your blog is come up with blog categories. These are the ‘filing system’ for all those great blog posts you write. Get your filing system right with my free step-by-step guide and you will have more time to write content, interact with readers, or nap on the beach. Get it wrong, and you will spend a lot of time in WordPress as you rename and move categories around trying to make them work.
Did you know that nearly 6 million blog posts are published every single day (you can check this Blog posts written today meter if you’re bored and don’t want to watch paint dry). Every one of those posts needs to be filed under a category, yet so many of us struggle with creating a good menu for our blog and we don’t give it the attention it deserves. As usual, there’s an awesome (totally free) printable at the end of this post that will help you set up your blog categories. And it’s super-easy to use, so keep an eye out for it.
But first, here’s a little story about my own struggle with blog categories…
I started off with a general lifestyle blog and had many categories that were all over the place. All. Over. The. Place.
One day I wrote about upcycle garden projects from the Botanical Gardens (which continues to be extremely popular) and the next it was my favorite detox bath recipe. I thought writing about random things would be fun, but there were far too many problems that came with this. You can read all the reasons why you really should choose a blogging niche, but the one reason I want to focus on today is blog categories.
If you have a good menu with blog categories, you should have endless blog topics to write about and can easily put them into categories for others to find. You see, your categories tell visitors what your blog is about, help your readers find what they are looking for, and show Google what information you are offering on your website.
I had to keep on creating new categories and sub-categories for blog posts that didn’t fit into any existing categories, and then I only had one post under that new category. Readers who came to read about the garden project never found more articles under that category (there still aren’t any), so they moved on. As did I when I finally decided to focus on helping women build their own blog with love as my new niche.
Blog categories can be related or unrelated, but there needs to be…
…some consistency in your categories’ theme.
Don’t make your categories completely random like I did because your blog won’t make sense and readers won’t know what to read next, and they will go somewhere else.
Take a look at my categories in the primary menu at the top of this page. At the time of writing this, I have the following blog categories: Start A Blog, Blog Elements, Social Media, and Blog-Rocking Tools:
These blog categories are closely related. They are all connected with my niche’s theme (blogging) and with each other, and they make sense with my tagline: Build your blog with love. If you visit Tiara Tribe and see my categories for the first time, you can quickly and easily tell how this blog will serve you as a blogger.
My categories are well thought-out and were created using the printable I’m giving you.
My goal is for my categories to guide you, my reader, through the path of building your blog with love, from starting a WordPress blog from scratch and writing blog posts, to social media marketing, SEO and the best blog tools to do all of this. Do you see the natural flow and logic in my filing system?
My sub-categories do get updated as I add posts and find out what’s popular with readers and what’s good for SEO. I use sub-categories to organize the topics under each main blog category. Here’s an example of sub-categories under a main blog category:
Most blogs have…
…certain standard categories or pages that readers use and look for.
There are some general categories that you can add when you create your blog layout. These are general standard blog categories that readers will probably look for on your blog, especially if they want to contact you or find what you offer online.
This is information about you or your blog. Tell readers where you’re from, what you specialize in, etc.
This page gives visitors a way to contact you or find you online.
This category shows all the services or goods you offer, which visitors can purchase directly from you or from outlets/online stores.
This gives readers access to your podcast (if you have one).
You must choose blog categories that…
…interest you and that you love.
You don’t need to be an expert on the topics, but your categories need to be something you can write about for a long time, because you probably will be doing just that. I write about what I’ve learnt in all the courses I’ve done and from my own experience, but I also do a lot of research to learn more about the topic when I write a blog post.
You can choose varied categories for your blog, but remember that they need to flow and have some golden thread that ties them all together.
How many blog categories should you have?
I recommend no more than 5 main categories on a blog.
There’s no golden rule for how many sub-categories to have under each category. Just create as many as you need that will help guide visitors through your content. Your goal is to make it easy for readers to find what they need.
Here’s a list of popular blog categories
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of the most popular blog categories to help you get going. You can choose up to 5 categories for the printable.
Remember that you don’t need to use the exact words in this list – you can tweak the category names to reflect your brand. For instance, you could have a category for finance that’s called Money Wisdom and a business category called Work Wisdom (see how I link the categories with ‘wisdom’?).
Are you ready for the list of popular blog categories? Well, here it is:
- Home Décor
- Recipes / Food
- Health and Fitness
- Lifestyle (I still have a section of Tiara Tribe dedicated to my lifestyle posts)
- Finance / Money / Frugality
- Pets / Animals
- Mental Wellness
- Medical Topics
- Natural Remedies
- Product Reviews
- Religion / Faith
- Beginners’ Guides
- Jokes / Entertainment
Blog categories and sub-categories trending on Pinterest
Here’s a list of the most popular blog category keywords trending on Pinterest. If your target audience hangs out on Pinterest, consider using these exact keywords in your blog categories, sub-categories, post titles and SEO. If you do this, it should be easier to promote your content on Pinterest, as it’s what people are already looking for.
Popular blog categories on Pinterest:
- Social Media
- Make Money
- Stocking Stuffers
- Easy DIY
- Mason Jars
- Hair Colors
- Essential Oils
- Christmas Ornament
- Handmade Gifts
- For Kids
You might be surprised to see a lot of holiday keywords seeing that it’s May. It can take up to six months for pins to gain traction and for your keywords to kick in, so start your pins at least 6 months before an event or holiday.
The steps to follow to create your blog categories
There are four simple steps to set up your awesome filing system and get great content in each category:
Click on the image below to download my free worksheet…
Complete the printable with your blog name, tagline, categories and sub-categories. You will find all the instructions you need in the printable. Then set up your menus in your dashboard.
Use this post to brainstorm blog post ideas for your blog post categories.
Use this post to help you write and lay out blog posts using the ultimate blog post template, which will make you stand out from the crowd. And now you’re well on your way to being a blogger 🙂