Steps to reducing categories and streamlining your content.

reducing categories
The reason I started this blog in the first place was that I wanted somewhere to place my thoughts pretty much. Something to keep me focussed on improving what I wanted to improve, remember what I wanted to remember. Blogging, is somewhat addictive and it can become a numbers game when you take your stats into account.

I completely reorganised my categories not long ago, and after writing my Goals for the New Year post and trying to figure out how I could focus myself on these resolutions I realised I was almost blogging with improving my stats in mind. I didn’t want to find myself doing this, after all blogging is and will remain my hobby, something I do for myself and me alone – and if others happen to enjoy reading it then it’ll be a bonus rather than the primary reason for my blog.

My new year resolution was to focus on blog content, but looking at the drop down category menu I’d created and organised I realised half these categories were subjects I’d almost have to force myself to post about.. For example – crafts for kids. Yes I am a parent to two boys, one is video game daft and is about as artistic as a booger flicked on the car dashboard that looks somwhat like the letter ‘P’ if you squint, the others artistic stints include wall drawing with biro pens at 4am. You see? It’s just not going to happen, not without intense bribery at least.. and that’s no way to live.

I’m of the belief that blogs work more fluently when they have a specific plan in mind. My plan is to post simply about the things I enjoy doing, and the things I want to improve on. So firstly – I’m working on reducing categories in my blog.

STEPS TO REDUCING CATEGORIES AND FOCUSING CONTENT

1. Content – take a look at your current category list and your content. Which ones fill fairly easily (Could you benefit from subcategories?) Which ones remain almost empty? (Do you really need this category, or can you blend it with another category overall, can it be subbed down into a tag rather than a category?)

2. Inspiration –  Scour areas of inspiration. This can be your own favourite posts, pinterest, youtube, your favourite blogs, favourite facebook feeds anywhere really. If you enjoy watching or reading about it, you’d probably enjoy writing about it too. Even look up writing prompts  – keep your favourites in a list.

3. Narrow content down – take your list of possible content, content that you really want to write about (even if you don’t enjoy it) & favourite topics and smush them down into minimal categories and subcategories. Tags are something you can use to organise categories further too if you wish.

4. Reorganise. This is a killer – Rename and reorganise your categories. Redo any menu options you may have to reflect the new categories. Remember to check for broken Links too, as often your permalink will have your category in it. Time consuming, yet satisfying when your blog is more tidy and more inviting to yourself and your blog readers.

And finally..
5. Re-evaluate. Do this every 3 months or so.. Have a quick swatch at your Categories – see which ones are filling up very well, which ones remain almost barren. The ones that are full – can you divide into subcategories? For example – looking through 600 posts about Art related subjects to find the 10 posts about Digital art will be time consuming for a reader – so sub categorising the Art category may be useful. Whereas breaking down a “Cleaning” category with 1 post on washing carpets would be useless.

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