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How Many Categories Should I Use on My Blog?

Posted on the 01 August 2012 by Dfennell @BloggerGo

How Many Categories Is Too Many imageCategories serve as the most used and most effective means for user navigation in order to assist visitors in finding related content on your blog.  The question is, how many categories is too many?  If you have too few, organizing your content into specific groups may be too broad.  But if you have too many categories, filling each and every category with quality content will surely become overwhelming.

Hopefully by this point, you have a good idea of what some of your blogging categories are going to consist of.  If not, it is imperative to have somewhat of a category structure established before you consider spending too much time writing content for your blog.  These categories will serve as your guide for brainstorming topics and writing content. 

What type of blog are you?

Determining how many categories your blog should have will be based upon whether your blog falls into one of two categories.  For the sake of this article, there are two types of blogs occupying the world-wide web.  Your blog will fall into one of these two groups: 

1. Sites like, The Huffington Post, and other “big boy” sites that publish upwards of 20 new articles each and every day; providing the latest, time-sensitive information and news about any topic of interest going on in the world. 

2. Sites like the rest of us that publish content on a much less frequent basis; maybe once per day or less.  In most cases, smaller blogs are not focused so much on time-sensitive information but on information that will benefit a visitor today, tomorrow, and next year.

For the big boy blogs that push content out like it is going out of style, having 20-30 or more categories is acceptable.  

But for the 2nd type of blog; the blogs that post new content less frequently, having only a handful of categories is much more realistic and manageable.

How to know if your category is a good one…

Attempting to come up with a category for anything under the sun is the wrong way to go about establishing your category structure. 

Each and every category that you create should have a bare minimum of 15-20 individual blog posts.  When brainstorming a potential category, if you are not confident that you can fill that category with at least 15 posts, you do not have a sustainable category.

When a visitor takes the time to visit a category archive, they want to see more than 1 or 2 posts.  And in the blogging world, what the visitor wants is what the visitor gets or you’ll lose them forever.  Creating categories that you can confidently fill with good quality content is the only way to go.  

In most cases, a blog should launch with 5-8 individual categories.  If your blog has fewer than that, this is okay.  Fewer is better than too many!  It is much more beneficial to have a conservative number of categories now to begin filling with content immediately, than to overwhelm yourself right out the gate. 

As your blog becomes more established and your depth of material and topics begin to expand, you can slowly add more categories.  But only as long as you are confident that you can fill them with an achievable number of blog posts.

How many categories should you use?  As many as you can fill with a bare minimum of 15 blog posts without spreading your category structure too thin.  However, building quality and deep category archives over time should be your ultimate goal.

Your Turn: How many categories do you use?

What is your strategy for building an effective category structure?  Does it work for you?  Is there anything that you would change?

How Many Categories Should I Use on my Blog? is a post from: BloggerGo


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