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Blogging: Picking Good Categories

My blog’s categories stink. So, I’m figuring out a new structure. Then, of course, I’ll have to rearrange all my articles. Argh.

If you want to avoid that pain, or at least minimize it, here’s a process for developing a good, flexible category set:

  1. Write down the purpose of your blog. Even if you’ve done it before. Write down why you’re writing it, and for whom. Stumped? Start a statement like this: “My blog will help people who need to…”. The end of that statement could be ‘laugh more’ or ‘write a good business plan’.
  2. Write down the four things that keep folks from accomplishing that last bit of your statement.
  3. Make ’em into categories.

So for example, here’s my blog:

My blog will help people who need to better use the internet as a marketing medium.

What stops them from doing that?

  1. They don’t understand what internet marketing is. Category: Internet Marketing
  2. They aren’t familiar with current trends. Category: Trends
  3. Analytics is a mystery. Category: Web Analytics
  4. Blogging has gone from a concept to a tool to a part of the landscape. But it’s intimidating and hard to get started. Plus, folks don’t understand whether they should write a blog. Category: Blogging

That doesn’t mean I’ll get rid of stuff like e-mail marketing. It just means I’ll relocate those articles by clustering them around tags or some such. Or, I may just keep those categories and add on.

Either way, if you follow these steps you can prune your category list and develop a structure that’s in line with your blog’s purpose.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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