How to use tags and categories in your blog posts

How to use categories and tags in your blog posts

Last week I was chatting with my mother-in-law about a funny guest post that I ran on my Housewife Plus blog at the BDN Maine blog network. It had been written by a well-known mom blogger and was the kind of humor that makes you spit your coffee out while reading. The problem, I discovered, was that I couldn’t find the post because I hadn’t categorized it correctly. Oops!

This week on Maine on the Blogs we’ll go over the basics of tags and categories so that you can better organize your blog.

What is the difference between a tag and category?

A category is an organizational tool that groups together similar posts within a blog. Tags are used to breakdown the details of individual blog posts into specific identifiers that can help distinguish the post from other posts both within your blog but also help new readers to easily find you on Google.

Let’s say you post a soup recipe on your blog. You might organize that post under a category called Recipe or Food. But you would use specific tags to describe the post in detail such as bisque, lobster, comfort food, Maine food, classic Maine food, seafood, soups, your name, your blog name, and any special ingredients.

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Why should I bother?

Since categories and tags are used to organize a blog and also to potentially drive traffic to the blog — depending on SEO settings — then it is always a good idea to pay attention to the tag and category check boxes before you hit publish.

Even if your blog is brand new and you have no posts yet, it is still wise to spend a little bit of time planning out what categories you will use. As your blog grows, you can add and subtract categories to reflect the subject patterns on your writing.

How do I create a new category?

To create a new category, simply click +Add New Category in the your editor view. From there type in the category you would like and then hit save. You will see the new category appear under Home and Blog in the category box, which are automatic categories assigned to every blog in our BDN Maine blog network. When you are editing your new post you can select the appropriate category.

Once I create a category how do I use it to find posts?

To use your categories simply go to your dashboard and select Posts. From there, look across the top section of your screen and you will see the headers Bulk Action, All Dates, and All Categories. Select the All Categories and a drop-down menu will appear, select the category you want then hit Filter. A chronological list from your chosen category of blog posts will appear.

Can I put older posts in newly created categories?

Absolutely! Simply get into edit mode for individual posts and select the appropriate category and tags for the post then hit update.

Once you get the hang of assigning categories and tags then it becomes just another part of your editing process before you hit publish. Organizing your blog will help your readers to find the stories they want faster.

If you have a blog idea then please don’t be shy! We want to hear about it. You can contact us on our pitch page here. If you don’t know how to pitch then don’t worry, we have you covered with this blog post that gives you some great tips. And if you have any questions feel free to swing by our Facebook pageTwitter page, or leave us a question or comment below.


Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.