AS A WRITER, I have to be conscious about making sure my thoughts are put down before I begin to write. I have to have a clear idea of what I’m going to write about before I begin. Some writers I’ve talked to think you don’t need to, just write and it will be okay.
Once I have my post written, and I write using multi-markdown because I can focus on my writing, I must decide where I should categorize it within my blog.
For some bloggers, it’s difficult to categorize, or even tag. I know this is something that I’ve struggled with over the years. I don’t know what tag or category to place this post in… If you looked at my category list over the past few years, you can see I had issues.
When I began to blog in 2009, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know the difference between a tag and a category. My thought was, Why do I need a tag, when I have a category? I had categories for categories. It was ridiculous. Once I began to understand the difference, which I won’t get into here, I began to have a better understanding.
I want to walk you through four steps I take to make sure I have placed my post in its proper home on the blog.
1. Make a mental note of your main message.
What am I writing about? It may seem like a funny question to ask. The reality is; if you don’t ask the question how do you know where you’re going in your post? Before I sit down to write I have to know what it is I’m trying to say. I want the reader to understand the message I’m delivering. This first critical step will help you craft the general idea of how to categorize your post. For this post I wanted to write about categories and how I use them in my blog.
2. Write down that one word message.
Once you know what it is you’re writing about, take that knowledge and write down one or two words that best describes your entire post. In the case of this post, Blogging Categories, is what I wrote. I love the power of single words.
When I was working on crafting a single process/vision statement for jbsisam.com, I knew I needed single words to describe the vision. It is powerful to use one word descriptions.
- It will help you visualize your idea.
- It will help you get a better understanding of where you’re headed in thought.
- It will create an idea that can blossom into something beautiful, even if it is a blog post.
3. Write your post.
Don’t think, just write. For me, once I have the general idea down on paper, I begin to craft my simple outline. For this particular post, this is what it looked like:
- Make a mental note
- What one word describes the message
- Write down your message
- Place in categories (give examples)
Every blog post should begin as an outline. This is the bone structure for your post. Even if you don’t have it fully developed yet, you at least know the bare bones of what you’re about to write. Knowing your structure can help you become a more effective and efficient blogger. Our goal as bloggers is to communicate a message. My message is helping people draw near to God.
One of the ways I do this is helping equip people with tools. This is one effective tool you can place in your blogging toolbox.
If you know what you’re focusing on in your blog, you can become a more effective blogger.
– Jason Sisam
4. Find one or two categories:
These are the only categories I now write in.
- Writing like this post.
If you know what you’re focusing on in your blog, you can become a more effective blogger. If all you do is flounder in a world of categories that act as tags that act as sub-categories, your message will be lost. This is why I have focused so much energy as of late in crafting a blog that is easy to use and easy to find what you’re looking for.
That is the goal of a category. Making things easy for those who visit your site, to find what they need.
I hope this has been helpful. I’m learning just as much as you are in the area of blogging. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. As a pastor, I have to make things easy for the guest when they walk into the church doors. As a blogger, my goal should be the same.
If you would like more information on becoming a successful blogger head over to Michael Hyatt’s website for some of the best teaching you’ll find on the topic.