Ladies and gentlemen, we have come full circle. In January of last year, I started a Blogging Tips series, which went on for the following 12 months. Together, we have explored many different topics. From research, as well as from your comments, I have learned a lot that I have since incorporated into my blogging. It makes me feel like “the real deal” a little more. This post will be the last in this series. At least for now.
If you would like to revisit some of the posts from this series, or if you simply missed them at the time of their posting, I have something just for you. Below is a list of each post with a short description, making it easy for you to navigate. You can find the answer to your blogging questions in a matter of a click or two.
JANUARY – rules; an introduction.
FEBRUARY – tells you how to get the most comments.
MARCH – provides tips on how to promote your content.
APRIL – gives excellent advice to newbies and reminds us of the basics.
MAY – reveals what TO DO to gain a following and what NOT TO DO if you do not want to lose the audience you already have.
JUNE – showcases the most popular niches if you are trying to pick one for yourself, or if you are looking to re-brand.
JULY – presents some surprising trends related to WP usage. See if you can relate.
AUGUST – divulges how much time we spend on WP so you can adjust the length of your posts accordingly.
SEPTEMBER – reports the frequency with which most people post.
OCTOBER – provides crucial information on how to compose your titles. !!!Bonus!!! – title generators and analyzers included!
NOVEMBER – highlights the importance of images in your post.
DECEMBER – discusses the importance of the magic trio to get your post clicked on.
JANUARY – explains the reality of tags.
you find some things
that will help
make YOUR blogging world
a better place!
THANK YOU all for reading and contributing to the series. I consider that to have been a fantastic collaborative effort! I could not have done it without you. Now go, be proud, and implement those tips and tricks.
How do you use tags?
- (How many tags do you use on average in your post?
- How do you come up with your tags?
- Which tags do you think get the most exposure?
- As a reader, what tags do you search for most often?)
Answers to Q1:
- There are bloggers who do not use tags at all.
- Many people use between five and 10 tags per post.
- A couple of people use up to 15 tags.
- The highest number of tags (reported to me) used per post is 30.
Answers to Q2:
- It is not easy to come up with meaningful tags.
- People search for what is trendy.
- Some use their name/blog name as tags (which I found very helpful) and/or their location.
- Describe what your post is about in a single word or phrase.
- Tag the way you felt when you wrote your post.
- Use what you thought about when writing the post as a tag.
- Origin place and/or media source of a news story.
Answers to Q3:
- Depression; Mental Health; Suicide; Panic Attacks, Anxiety
- Gratitude, Inspiration, Motivation, Strength, Positivity, Hope, Productivity, Life
- Blogosphere, Blogging, Blogging Tips, WordPress
- Am Writing, Writing, Writing tips, Metaphor, Creative Writing, Flash Fiction, Prose, Poetry, Poem, Micropoetry
- Challenge Hashtags (ex.: blogmas, awards)
- Book(s), Novel, Movie
- News, Opinion
Answers to Q4:
- I found out that I am not the only person who does not search for new blogs by tags.
- Some of you search for tags that you yourselves use to scope out the competition.
- The most popular tags you search for include “life,” “motivation,” “inspiration,” “anxiety.”
Tags are like keywords. WordPress indexes every post tagged with a certain word so that you can easily read all posts tagged with the word “life” (for example). You are forced to use categories when writing a post, but you do not need to use any tags at all. Why use it? So that people find your post when searching for a specific word or phrase. Exposure is good, right?
How are categories different from tags? The former are meant to be broader, while the latter more specific. For example, if you write about different sports, your categories could include “Basketball,” “Football,” etc. “Green Bay Backers,” “Chicago Bulls,” “Michael Jordan” might be your tags.
Tags are featured at the beginning or at the end of each post. However, you can up your game by adding a “Tag Cloud” widget to your post. That allows you to showcase your tags in a more pronounced way. Moreover, the cloud will increase/decrease the font size of tags that you use more/less often. It might be interesting for you to see (and show others) which tags you use more often than others. (Yes, I know you can check the number of posts in each category and with each tag in your settings.) It might just allow new visitors to your blog to get to know what your content is about quicker.
What I found interesting is that tags might not be the best for your SEO game. Apparently, by attaching tags to your posts, you duplicate content. Google indexes your post on your site (link to post), but also under every tag (tags have links, too!). If your blog supports plugins (my basic account does not), then you might want to get the Yoast SEO one and use it to tell Google not to index your tags.
My most popular tags are:
- Goldie (which I did not start until just recently)
- NROP category
- NROP tag
- prisoners (crime, punishment, jail) (That was surprising to me!)
- CW category
- creative writing tag
- CW tag
My extensive research revealed that using categories as your tags is not good for your SEO. It confuses the search engine. What if I want others to find my writing based on my categories? I guess I will have to adjust somehow…
If you would like to convert your tags to categories (or vice versa), you can do so via your WP Admin dashboard. Step by step directions are found here.
Did you know that some themes allow you to group your posts by the tags associated with them? It might make things easier for the reader if they are looking for something in a specific genre.
WordPress says that the optimal number of tags is five to 15. Please note that the number includes any categories as well. “If you’re having trouble choosing tags, try thinking about what tags you would search for if you wanted to find a similar post.” If you use more than 15 tags and categories altogether, WordPress will not feature your post on their topic list. That renders your tags useless. WordPress considers it to be spammy. They do not want people to be creating tags that do not directly relate to what you write about. If you use 16 tags + categories or more, people who will be looking for your tags will not be able to find you. Your posts will only be visible to those that follow your blog or search for your page directly. That is a wasted opportunity right there.
If you use misleading tags continuously, your posts might become hidden as well.
You know how some people repost the same content by simply changing the post’s date? WP sees it as you trying to bump your post to the top of the tag list. If you do it enough times, your content might become hidden from the tag search.
If you have been wondering if capitalizing your tags makes a difference or not, I am here to tell you that Blogging and blogging will render the same results.
The broader your tag, the more people will search for it. However, that also decreases your chances of being found. Think about all the people who tag their posts with “book” and how many people search for that. Plenty of people want to read about books, but since so many people write about them, you might just get lost among all the fish in the sea. Narrowing it down a little to the genre like “biography” might also narrow down your potential audience, but it might increase your chances of being spotted by those that search for that term. Using the name of the person the book is about decreases your audience even more but increases your chances of getting seen by those with a specific search.
To finish this, I would like to provide you with a few websites that can help you with your tag game. They look promising to me and they do not require an account or payment information. I know I will be trying them out next time I write a post. Let me know if you use any of those, or if you have another tool that might help.
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