You’re just happily writing your latest & greatest blog post, and you decide to add yet another category to your blog for this post. After all, you’re going to be talking about this ALL the time, right? Yes! New category it is!
Don’t do it. Resist the temptation. Don’t add more categories, at least not yet!
Why? Because otherwise you’ll end up in the quagmire I discovered when I did this step myself. It turns out that over the years, I had added approximately 70+ categories to my blog. Many of those categories had only 1 or 2 posts in them. That meant, if I wanted to create a category list to make things easy for my site’s readers to find? Oh goodness. That list was going to be a LONG one!
Clean up the categories on your blog to help make the good stuff easier for your readers to find! << Click to Tweet >>
How to Clean Up Your Categories on Your Blog
The first step is probably the most important – you want to check the permalink structure on your blog. If the Category is part of the URL for your individual blog posts? You’re going to want to change the Permalink structure and make sure that you redirect those posts so you don’t lose SEO ranking on them. (I know that possibly just sounded like a bunch of gibberish. Read what Yoast has to say on how to change your WordPress Permalink Structure and permalink structure in The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For WordPress Sites.
In other words, if your blog post address is http://ChristineTremoulet.com/category/blogpostname/ … well, you’re going to have to make some changes, because you really want all of those posts to go to http://ChristineTremoulet.com/blogpostname/ before you go moving them around in categories and breaking all the links.
Once I had that part all set up thanks to some redirects, then I could go through and move posts around. In my WordPress dashboard, I went to Posts >> Categories. I looked for every category that has only 1-2 posts listed for it. Clicking on the Posts number on the far right showed me the exact posts assigned to that category.
For each post, I chose the “Quick Edit” option under the post title and selected the larger category that I wanted that post to be assigned. I had mapped out in advance my big main categories, the ones with subjects that I do talk about most often. Then as I assigned new categories to the posts, I knew which category I wanted them in.
Tedious? Yes. I still have far too many categories right now. I’m editing them down though still!
A Future Plan for Your Blog Categories
My new policy is that I keep a list of main, high level categories and all of my posts go within them. Ideally, this list should be under 20. If I discover that I’m writing about a particular topic more than 5-10 times, say for example a 30 day blog post series like this one, I’ll create a category for it then so it could be easy for future readers to find. Adding the category is optional, I could use tags instead within WordPress if I wanted to keep the category list short.
Have you cleaned up your categories yet? Let me know in the comments so I can be sure to visit your website!
Why yes, this blog HAS moved! I’m so glad you noticed. As I started working on the 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog series, I realized that it was time. Time to be ME, and move all of my work under my name. The site is still a work in progress – after all, I’m still making it Awesome! Don’t worry though – all of your old links will direct here so you can easily find it again!