I see a lot of people not using WordPress tags correctly, especially if that person migrated from Blogger. It’s perfectly understandable, especially because Blogger doesn’t have categories and tags; it just has “labels”.
So how do you go from using just one (“labels”) to using both categories and tags? I’m here to tell you the difference!
Categories are broad topics
You should not have a ton of categories on your blog, because categories are meant to be broad topics or sections in your blog. So let’s think about this.. what kind of topics or “sections” do most book blogs have?
- Book reviews
- Blog tips
- Book events & signings
Obviously some blogs may have more or less, but this is just to give you a general idea. These are all different topics on book blogs, and thus they are also categories. All of your book reviews go in a category called “Book Reviews” (or similar), all of your interviews go in a category called “Interviews”, etc. You can put one post in more than one category if you need to (like “Book Reviews” and “Giveaways” if you’re doing a review and giveaway in one post).
You can also have sub-categories if you need to. So you might organize your memes category like this:
- Stacking the Shelves
- Top Ten Tuesday
- Waiting on Wednesday
Or you could just have a separate category for each meme. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference and organization.
Tags are more specific details within a category
Tags are details or keywords inside a post that might span across multiple categories. That’s why it’s perfectly normal to have hundreds (or even thousands!) of tags across your whole blog.
Let’s take a book review as an example: Black City by Elizabeth Richards. We know that the broad topic is that it’s a book review, which is why it’s in the “Book Review” category. But what is the book review actually about? That’s what we want to use for tags! So I’ve included, the book title, book author, publisher, star rating, genre, and a few keywords that describe themes or topics in the book.
Tag List for Black City
- Black City
- Elizabeth Richards
- Black City Series
- 5 Stars
- Post Apocalyptic
- Science Fiction
- Young Adult
- Forbidden Love
- Giggle Book
That list includes: the book title, the book author, the series name, the publisher, my star rating, a list of genres, themes/topics in the book, and some of my own personal tags (“Giggle Book” and “Favourite”).
Those are all words that describe the book itself
the main topic of the post, in broadest terms.
the small details that describe the content of the post or book.
Did you make a mistake with your categories/tags?
There is a wonderful WordPress plugin that allows you to convert tags to categories, and vice versa! If you need to convert them back and forth because you’ve been using them incorrectly, install the Categories to Tags Converter plugin!