I’ve been trying to figure out how to reorganize my WordPress Categories and Tags to create a consistent index and to maximize readership.
I’m not sure if I’ve been successful, but I’d like to share my decisions (so far).
Categories, of course, are broad subjects, while tags are intended for specific details. A category might be Recipe—the corresponding tags Curry, Indian Food, Vegan, Kid Friendly.
I found plenty of advice for Search Engine Best Practices (rules and lists and guides and so forth) but little regarding what exactly to label posts. I’m not slighting those tips and techniques. The approach of most digital diys is to teach general rules so the reader can apply them to specific cases. I was just hoping a writer had already done the dirty and made an usable list. And maybe someone has, but maybe their blog is less-than optimized, because I didn’t see ’em.
A few tag tips I took seriously—Don’t use a compilation of synonymous labels, because WordPress might tag the post as spam. Don’t use more than ten for a post (I’m shooting for 3-5). And reuse tags to create an internal index. Nobody wants to click on Board Game Reviews and discover this was the only post on the subject.
So, for transparency and for your benefit if you’re a writer slash blogger, here is what I’ve done with Desmond, Write. These are categories and tags intended specifically for a blog by someone who (a) writes prose and poetry and (b) delves into personal narrative.
In bold are my categories. In italics are the tags.
Posts regarding my teaching, writing, blogging, and general living.
Marriage, Teaching, Writing, Process, Publishing, Blogging, Living, Family, Fail
(I’ve noticed an affinity for active verbs as tags.)
Posts regarding my public events.
Q&A, Interview, Spoken Word, Film, Lecture, Reading
Posts regarding my published prose and poetry.
Book, Magazine, Anthology, Contest, Digital, Print
For indexing purposes I’ve included the names of some publication focuses. Sequart for comic book academia, Rune Bear for anything dealing with my digital magazine, and Writ in Water for the student mag I founded at HBU.
I’m proud of works that I can hold in my hands, so I’ve tagged whether the piece is Digital or Print. This is more ego than essential. Of course, I also have tags for mediums such as Prose, Poem, Short Story, Flash, Comic, Art, Photograph, and Music.
Posts which reveal cultural artifacts. Accompanied by the appropriate verb, genre and medium of the work.
An example of what this might look like would be my paragraph-long critique, “Neil Gaiman, Cakes, and Writhing,” which hypes the author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013). The category is, of course, Review. The tags are Blogging, Writing, Author, Horror, Novel.
Posts that mock and sock.
Tags will be the appropriate genre and medium of the satire. See “Kinotek” or “Trailers for future installments of the God is Not Dead franchise” for examples.
My erudition and other pretentious words.
Academia, Literature, History, Humanities, Philosophy, Politics
(I can’t tell the difference between these disciplines so I throw them all in there.)
Stories from weird and wonderful genres.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Weird Fiction
Along with specific details like Android, Alien, Dragon, Time Travel, Western, Romance.
And whether the piece is Prose or Poetry.
Stories with a sense of realism (or at least no supernatural pretensions).
Although I tend to write speculative stories, I still needed a category for the reality-rooted, those exercises in modern madness.
Again, I will include relevant characteristics like Romance or Religion, and whether the piece is Prose or Poetry.
Sometimes I create something that’s difficult to place in other categories. Anything leftover becomes Strange, such as this picture of Mark Twain with a Third Eye.
Feel free to steal liberally from my organization—to inject or reject. As you can see, there’s room for improvement, and the restrictions on my tag use are probably unnecessary.
For example, others might tag a February 14th post with Valentine’s Day, Love, Sex, Kiss, Date, and Broken Heart. I might tag the piece as merely Romance.
This very article is categorized as Life and tagged Blogging and Writing.
So, there’s room for improvement. And when I improve that room, I’ll let you know.