Tips for Tagging - A Blogger's Story

So over the last month I've been working to get my blog the way I want it to look.  I know that in order to keep your readership up you need to engage your audience.  There are several ways to do this.  The hottest idea right now is related posts.

Screenshot - Confessions of a Modern Witch

This is where your readers can see other stories that relate to the one they just read.  This is great for getting folks to see how much you blog about a particular subject.  What seems like a simple element to add to your blog; this one really gave me a fit. It made me decide to jot down a few tips on tagging that might help others deal with this better.

1. Tagging is important.
     Tags help you put your content in buckets.  While Twitter would have us believe that it is just a way to draw attention to a particular word, in blogging this is how your content is categorized.  It may be cute to have 500 tags, but it isn't really good for your blog.  Try to limit your tag use to very specific areas you intend to blog about.

2. Singular and Plural.
     Tag is not the same as Tags.  Remember that if you blog about jars it will create a separate tag when you want to talk about one jar.  Something small but just limited your (s) will more than likely cut your tag list down in size.

3. Spelling.   SPELLING
    For general purposes we know as bloggers (web writers) that spelling is important, however if you think someone is important enough to make it a tag; you should probably be extra careful in setting up your tags so that you don't come back three years later and find out that you have tagged five stories with samhian instead of samhain.

4. Hashtags
    Again I blame Twitter here for making us believe that all tags should be prefaced with the pound sign or hashtag.  While it is used in several social media applications, Blogger is not one of them.  I spent 12 hours yesterday recreating all of my hashtags since this blog started over 5 years ago to "fix" my hashtag mistake.

5. Hashtags are categories
    While this seems super simple one thing to keep in mind when creating hashtags is that these are intended for your audience to find your content.  These are like keywords but also more like a label. Think about an old school library card catalog.  Your blog is a card catalog and the tags are the index cards that a reader can use to find your posts (books).  While it might be a great idea to create tags for Christianity, Wicca and Islam it may also make sense to create a fourth tag for religion.  This will help your related posts relate more readily.

While these things will not solve all your issues, I have found through experience that creating and managing an effective tag cloud will help keep your content a bit more streamlined and allow your readers to find what you're trying to say a bit easier.

Hope it helps!

Happy Blogging

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