A lot of people wonder how they can create a Breakout Blog that will help build platform and connect them to their audience. This series on Blogging Tips looks at ways to maximize blog performance so they can reach these goals.
Thought I’d chime in with another very simple blog tip…using your Labels (in blogger) and Tags/Categories (in Word Press). These are the little content tags you can attach to posts and display in your sidebar.
Some people have theirs show up as a word cloud, where the most blogged about topics have a larger font. Others use a list format, where each blog label has a number next to it, showing how often the topic is mentioned.
Other blogs do not use tags for their posts. This is a shame, because using labels is a great way to keep visitors at your blog!
Let’s look at an example: a new visitor comes to your blog. They read your current post, maybe comment, and now want to see what other topics you like to explore. Sure, they can see the last few posts, but are these representative of the best your blog has to offer? Will a user have time to search for a keyword, hoping something they need pops up?
Now, take this same visitor, only this time they can view topic labels in your sidebar. Right away, the tags tell them exactly what you blog about. If a label catches their eye, you can bet they’re going to click on it and read a few more posts.
Labels showcase your CONTENT, acting as a GATEWAY to your blog’s older entries.
Some people assume a post archive works as a way to find those older posts. The truth is, knowing you posted 12 times in January doesn’t help me much. If I’m in a time crunch, I won’t have time to search your blog. I’ll simply move on.
So, bottom line? Use Labels. They are easy enough to add to your posts, and you should see an option to do so in your blog settings. In Blogger, you go to Design, then Blog Posts, edit and then, tick off ‘add labels‘. In WordPress, your Category & Tag widgets are on the right when you write a post, and you can add news ones whenever you like. Or add a widget that displays your most popular posts. Either way, visitors will have a road map to your best content!
The second bottom line is this: Use Labels Effectively. Try to create labels that are specific and allow you to group several posts together. Using bizarre or random labels might seem like a fun way to categorize posts, but they can make it hard to search your blog for specific content. As well, you end up with way too many tags, which bloats your sidebar and makes it harder to search. Fun tags are fine, in moderation.
Don’t be afraid to give a post several labels or tags. Maybe your post is about description, drafting and voice. Great! These are all concrete labels that will help your readers find exactly what they need, and may also give them more ideas on how your advice can help them. 🙂
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.