Do your blog categories tell a good story?

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As I was reviewing the categories I have created here on my blog, I realized that it appeared to be a rather random and incomprehensible list more resembling a series of tags, than of coherent categories of content.

As I scanned the list it dawned on me that I was creating each category as I went along with no plan at all for my first fifty days of blogging and each time a new one was made, it didn’t necessarily fit in the same scope as the other categories. From the perspective of a new reader, I couldn’t see how my category list would help in any way, and using it might even drive some away from my site. So I decided to do the work of reviewing my list of categories in full view in hopes that it might help you do the same.

This is a live audit of my categories with me giving myself constructive notes:

  • Change – Change what? What are we changing?
  • Coaching – Is this advice on coaching or advice given while coaching?
  • Collaboration – This one seems ok. I imagine it would tell me how to collaborate.
  • Confidence – If the collaboration category is in the right ballpark then I can see how confidence would fit in with collaboration. However, how often do I really think I will be talking about being confident? Most likely I would be talking about public speaking or relationships. I’ll look into this further. 
  • Entertainment – Are these things that are written for the purpose of entertainment or are they about things that are themselves entertainment?
  • Facilitation – This one seems like it would work. 
  • Flow State – This seems out of place. Perhaps “Mastering Flow”? But then how often am I going to be talking just about flow state?
  • Journal – Nice thought but I don’t think any of these posts would really be actual journal entries.
  • Leadership – Not bad. But how will this help me? Maybe clarify it a bit. 
  • Lower the Ladder and Only Lift Up – What does this mean to a new reader?
  • Post based on a Picture – Nope. Get rid of this. What? No. Nope.
  • Projects – Projects that I am working on? Getting better at projects?
  • Rabbit Trails – No idea as a new user what this would mean or what to do with it.
  • Relationships – Not bad. Maybe clarify. 
  • Sunday Improv Experiment – Intriguing. Why only Sundays? 
  • Uncategorized – This shouldn’t be appearing on the list if I don’t have posts left in the Uncategorized category. Looks like I need to find the ones that should have categories.
  • Writing – How to write better? Things I have written? Not sure what to do here.

So at this point, the categories I like are based on the things I can help you learn. If I were to start with anything on this list and work from there I would start with Leadership, Relationships, Collaboration, and Confidence.

So perhaps what I need is to think of the things I can help with overall, create the categories first and then see how my existing posts fit into those categories.

What I know about and teach

  1. Applying Improvisation
  2. Effective Leadership
  3. Healthier Relationships
  4. Creative Collaboration
  5. Navigating Conversations
  6. Facilitation and Consensus
  7. Public Speaking and Presentations
  8. Compassion and Altruism
  9. Storytelling and Writing
  10. Crafting a Culture

So there appear to be 10 things I can come up with at the moment that I would want to write about consistently on my blog. Compare this with the 17 categories I started with and we are already improving.

The categories are now aligned with one another and hopefully tell a story about what I do and how I work just by reading the list.

Now comes the tricky part. I must go in and look at how my existing posts will fit into this new structure. Hold my drink, I’m going in.

On review, I found that I needed another category called “Workflow and Tools” as well as one for “Musings and Experiments.”

Recategorizing posts and that might mean

If Musings and Experiments has 14 posts in it of the 51 posts I have written to date, does that mean that I am A.) Writing things that are unfocused and perhaps less value than my other writings? B.) Do I need more categories? or C.) It is fine as it is, I just write a lot of things that are “musings” and that is fine. I will let this one go for a while and decide over time.

The Storytelling and Writing category has 12 posts in it, which makes complete sense because I have been writing about my blogging journey. So does this mean that I should leave it as is or that I should Create a “My Blogging Journey” category?

All of the other categories have an even spread of posts amongst them. But what about the categories I created that have no posts in them yet?

Categories that exist with zero posts and what that might mean

  • Crafting a Culture (0 posts)
  • Navigating Conversations (0 posts)
  • Public Speaking and Presentations (0 posts)

Crafting a Culture is something that I care deeply about and I am surprised that I don’t have any posts on it. I will need to go back and look to see if I have miscategorized a post or two that should have gone in this category.

Navigating Conversations is a topic that I have a lot of thoughts on, but those thoughts are mostly based on books I have read and not things that I have decided or worked out for myself. I could certainly blog about them but they would be about pointing toward existing literature. I’ll leave it for now and see how future posts pan out.

Public Speaking and Presentations is a very large part of my knowledge base. The fact that it doesn’t have any posts in it seems like a fairly large gap I have identified and would be fairly easy to fix.

Findings and Summary

  • My categories did not tell a story, now they do.
  • I have three categories I can now write about that I have not hit on previously which is great for my future content generation.

What story do your blog categories tell? Are your categories helping your readers find your content more efficiently? What gaps are there in the stories you are telling and those you have yet to tell?

 Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash