I’ve talked before about the importance of having a niche in blogging, but another important thing to have on your blog that goes along with your niche is categories! If you take a look at my sidebar, I have a little list of subjects that I regularly talk about. While I don’t ALWAYS post in those subjects, they are the general categories of my blog and it has been so important not only to my readers, but also to me! Let me explain why exactly categories are so great.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it is so helpful to have your categories displayed in your sidebar to show what you’re all about. When I find a post with design tips on Pinterest, I’ll go visit the blog to check out the post. More often than not, I look into the blog a little more to see if I want to follow along. If I’m on this post featuring design tips but I see the categories in the sidebar include fashion, beauty, and makeup, I won’t really be interested in following along. And it’s fine that they gave design tips! But I know that design isn’t their usual topic so the blog itself isn’t for me.
On the other hand, if the blog had featured categories like design, creativity, and branding then of course I’d be following along! Make it clear to your readers what you’re all about without forcing new readers to read your entire about page.
Keeping you on the right path.
Sometimes you might have post ideas that don’t exactly fit your niche. Maybe you’re all fashion and you want to post a recipe that you tried and loved. These categories can help you stick to your niche and write posts that are relevant to your blog and audience. If it doesn’t fit any of your categories, should you really be posting it? And sometimes the answer is yes! It’s okay to branch out and write posts that aren’t your usual topics. It gives some variety! But if you notice a trend and you’re regularly posting outside of your topics, it might be time to start doing some rethinking.
So a few tips for you for creating categories and sticking to them.
1. Choose 5-10 subjects that suit your niche.
Any more than ten and you’re going to overwhelm your readers or show them that you really might not have a niche at all. And more than ten and your sidebar is going to get too busy.
2. Take some time to figure it out!
It’s okay to change around a bit before you establish what feels right. Maybe what started out as an “interior design” category has morphed into “organizing your home.” That’s fine! Just go with it.
3. Feature them in your sidebar.
Show off those categories in a nice clear list. Make it clear! Don’t use the cloud that features tons of different tags and makes it hard to read. That makes it harder for your readers to figure you out quickly.
4. Limit yourself to how many non-categorical posts you write.
Set a standard for yourself on how many posts you’ll have that don’t fit your niche. Maybe one off topic post every two weeks? Every month? Figure out what feels right to you and stick to it so you meet the expectations you have set for your blog!
Take some time to figure out what feels right for you and get to those categories so you can create that brand experience you’ve promised to yourself and to your readers!
Have you figured out your categories? What rules have you set for yourself?