Thoughts on Thursday: Tags vs. Categories

2015-Discussion-Challenge3

Tags vs. Categories

I love all of the features and little ins and outs I’ve learned over the last two years of blogging. Truly, in the last year I’ve learned the most. The first year I was just floundering.

Now that I’m moving forward with steam and working on cleaning up the blog, I’ve come to an internal blog crossroads of sorts.

I don’t know the best way to utilize my tags and categories. I see other blog posts and things are so neat and organized, a handful of super appropriate tags, and I look at my scheduled posts in the Post window and I’m like, “Uh, there are no tags.”

I started out tagging everything, so I have some odd tags like betrayal, travel, coming of age, as well as blog challenge, Sunday Post and Harry Potter. Obviously, I stopped using tags. Why, I ask myself. Why? I guess I didn’t think I was using them correctly, or to my advantage. I don’t even know when I stopped. Probably at some point during the summer, honestly.

I tried to keep my categories more tightly knit, with categories for genres, weekly memes and features, fiction and nonfiction, giveaways, cover reveals, and some generics for about, blog and challenges. I think I do OK with the categories, but…

I can’t help but wonder how this is not only not helping viewers and readers, but also not doing myself any favors either. I just don’t know what I need to do. I’m looking for some suggestions. I know I’ll have some clean up work to do on old posts, but it’s better to start sooner rather than later. Before I do, though, I need your feedback!

How important is using categories and tags? 

How do you determine what needs a category? 

How do you determine what needs a tag? 

Do you limit the number of tags on a post? 

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thursday: Tags vs. Categories

  1. I’ll just let you know what I follow though I don’t know if it is the best 🙂 I use categories to sort post into 2 – reviews and random posts. I also use it to categorize posts into authors. I think tags are important for others to find your posts from the reader – I just restrict them to around 4/5 i.e. the book name, author, genre, etc. Just try out a few things and see what works for you ! All the best 🙂

    • I think because I’ve been recently paying attention to the tags others use, I’ve thought about how I use mine. I don’t use the book name or author name as tags. It sounds smart to do that, thought, to help readers find specific posts! I hate the thought of rehauling the system….eek!

  2. I have not figured this out since moving to WordPress. I get so confused. Right now, I use categories for types of posts (i.e memes, book reviews, etc.). And I’m using tags for themes, I guess, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I’m sure there isn’t a right or wrong way and since I am self hosted and use the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, I don’t have to use categories/tags for book related things.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

  3. I am still learning about more about this myself. As A blogger user we have labels but I am not sure if that is the same a tag or not. Or more of a category. There is so much to learn and fine tune as bloggers, isn’t there?

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