The last time I went to my local library, I was a little overwhelmed with the size of the building. Books were organized across 2 floors. The adult’s section was upstairs and the children’s section was in the back. Other than that, I had no idea where to look for the answers I wanted.
I found the section I wanted, finally. Apparently children’s education books were by the children’s section. 🤷🏻♀️ I browsed the shelves for a book that looked like it would have what I wanted inside.
I do judge my books by the cover.
A few good books were there that might fit what I needed. I opened the book to the table of contents to see if the topic I wanted to learn more about would be covered.
I found a book that would help me understand my child’s diagnosis. I checked out 1 book to read more thoroughly 2 hours after I arrived.
Now, your reader would have to be highly motivated like I was to spend hours searching for answers. Everyone wants the laziest option. You want to take away any thought process to learning through your website.
Google is the multi-story library. Your website is the desired section. The blog category is the book. Those chapters in the table of contents are your blog posts.
What does your book say about your business? Here is what you need to know about your blog categories and a few ideas to get you started.
Pay attention to your blog categories.
The blog categories are used by readers and Google to understand what you’re all about.
Your navigation menu helps readers find what they’re looking for. It tells them what you have to offer on your website and if that helps them. Blog categories organize topics together for the reader’s ease of use.
By having the different topics organized in categories, your readers understand what you’re an expert in. A health coach may be an expert in Food and Exercise or in Keto Diet and Marathon Training. Blog categories help readers quickly identify if you’re the right expert for them.
Blog categories also provide defined sales funnels to different offers. Each offer is easier to promote using different marketing strategies supporting the sales funnels.
Limit your blog categories.
Any business blog should have 3-8 blog categories. There are different limitations, such as your website theme, that may change this number. A general rule of thumb is a category per area of expertise or offer you want to be known for.
Common mistakes to avoid.
There are plenty of mistakes to be made but these are the most common mistakes made by nearly all new bloggers. If you recognize yourself in any of these, they’re easy to correct.
Too Few Posts
It’s easy to create a blog category for a new blog post without having plans to use that category again. When just starting out on blog posts, be sure to schedule content across the different blog posts proportionally.
Too Many Posts
Too many blog posts in proportion to other blog categories may indicate the blog category is too broad. If this is the case, the category needs to be broken down into a smaller category. For example, instead of Money, a business coach may want a blog category for Bookkeeping, Investments, and Taxes.
Another common issue with blog categories is the lack of clarity. No one knows what to expect with Witty Wednesday or Special. But a category on Jokes or Ask Me Anything is clear. Don’t make the reader think too hard. A confused reader doesn’t buy.
Finally, blog post series do not get their own category. Use a blog tag if you must, but blog post series should fit inside a pre-existing blog category or launch a new blog category idea.
Plan your blog category ideas.
To avoid the above mistakes, you need a plan. A little bit of preparation sets up success down the road. With these foundations laid, you’ll have an easier time blogging.
Take into account what your audience needs. You may know what they need is a lifestyle overhaul of diet and exercise, but they think they need to lose weight, right. Give them what they want then deliver what they need with it.
Second, your business message needs to support what you want to share. This is the client’s pain points, your personal branding, and what you want to be known for. A business coach may thrive with Money, Mindset, and Marketing blog categories.
Finally, the goal of the blog needs to direct all blog posts. You spend so much time, effort, and money (or the loss of potential money) creating blog posts. Why?
Blogs can grow your email list, direct readers to your social media, encourage potential clients to book a discovery call. Otherwise, how do you know that your blogging plan is working?
The level of specificity needs to be consistent throughout all of the blog categories. A money coach shouldn’t write about Tax, Budget, Debt, and Frugality. Those categories vary in the level of detail. Honestly, budgeting posts could fall under Debt and Frugality too. Talk about confusing!
A better example to model is a money coach writing about Entrepreneurship, Retirement, and Debt.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t inspiring you with great blog category ideas, yet. There are a few directions you could take this.
All the examples so far have been around topics. It’s a tried and true method that works for many businesses.
Another method of naming blog categories have been by the emotion that the blog post brings up. The health coach wants their readers to feel strong (exercises), energetic (diet), and pretty (gym clothes).
Another great blog category theme idea is based on a storyline. The business coach may pull transformation stories from their real or fictitious clients’ journeys to teach others by example.
The blog categories would keep each storyline organized much like the next chapter in that book. What would those books be called? Perhaps it’s Mandy Mompreneur, Noelle Newbie, and Michelle Millionaire.
I’d read that!
With a large amount of existing blog posts, subcategories may assist with further organizing topics. I’ve only seen this executed on lifestyle blogs, but that doesn’t mean other blogs can’t benefit from this organization method.
The homestead blog in mind has Home, Family, and Farm in the navigation. Within those categories are the subcategories Decoration and Minimalism under Home; Homeschool and Communication under Family; and Livestock and Garden under Farm.
The point of all of these is to not get witty with the category names. You don’t see the websites I’m describing and yet, you know exactly what to expect within these category examples.
Would your readers understand what Uncategorized or Special means? No. Don’t use it.
If you already know the keywords that your readers look for when looking up the topic of your blog category, use those exact keywords. It’ll be another place to clearly identify what your website is all about.
The website will then structurally look something similar to this visual below. Your home page connected to the 2 pillar blog posts represent the 2 categories in this example.
Each pillar blog post has multiple supporting sub-topic blog posts that fit within the category to build up the amount of content available.
Use strategy in your content calendar.
If you’re just starting out with creating blog posts, then I recommend writing for 1 category for 3 months at a pace of 1-4 blog posts a month. Whatever publishing schedule you can maintain consistently.
Don’t add new categories until you’re ready to switch to writing for that category for the next 3 months. Rotate through the categories until you have a proportional baseline for your blog posts among the different categories.
The 3-8 blog categories serve as a navigational tool that demonstrates your area(s) of expertise to promote your offer(s). Take time to consider what your client needs, what your message is, and the overall goal for your blog.
From there, blog category ideas come from different naming systems but find the one that best sits with you and add the categories as you’re focusing on writing content for that category.