Today, no matter what kind of small business you have, you are also in the publishing business. As a publisher who is also a small business owner, you must consistently prepare and circulate information that attracts people to you. One of the most efficient and cost effective ways to do this is through blogging.
Every small business should have at least one blog. For those of you who think you have nothing to blog about, I offer some suggestions here.
The Importance of Focusing and Organizing Your Blog
Once you begin to accumulate content at your blog, you will find it beneficial to prune your blog's categories now and then so you can stay true to your focus.
A focused blog is a sign of a business owner on a focused mission. A focused blog gives you and your business the kind of credibility you both need to positively influence people to do business with you.
When I transferred this blog from TypePad to WordPress last week, I deleted 20 categories. The process cleared some of the clutter at my blog and helped me focus on my highest priorities.
For example, my old blog had categories for Family and Holidays. Because every Holiday entry included my family, I consolidated them into a Family category. Similarly, I consolidated Twitter and Social Media into a Social Media category.
(I'd like to pare my blog's categories down to about 15. Feel free to offer your suggestions on how to do that.)
Blog categories are like chapters in a book. They help both the writer and the reader focus on specific concepts and ideas. Like a good editor separates and organizes the chapters in a book, you must organize the categories at your blog to make it easy for your readers to find what they are looking for.
Here are some tips to help you categorize the content at your blog.
- Blogging Categories Should Be Things You Know a Lot About. Blogging is about contributing to the worldwide conversation in a way that only you can. In order to make your blog as interesting as possible, you should blog about things you know a lot about, and then choose blog categories based on those things. Make sure the key words used in your posts lend themselves to the particular category you have in mind.
- Blogging Categories Should Be Broad. If you try to create a category for every single little thing you blog about, you'll have too many categories. This will virtually ensure confusion for you and your readers.
- Blogging Categories Should Be Necessary. I recently visited the blog of a person I respect and admire. There were 41 categories. I know I can learn valuable lessons from him, but I have no idea what to click on first. It's just too much work to hunt down what I'm looking for!! I sent him an email instead. Each category at your blog should be necessary. It's fine to add a new category now and then, but do it only when a post fits absolutely nowhere else and when you know you'll be adding content to that category in the future. It rarely makes sense to have a category at your blog that contains only one or two posts.
- Blogging Categories Should Not Be “Uncategorized” or “Miscellaneous.” If you have something to share, it should be neither uncategorized nor miscellaneous. If you see your work that way, imagine how your readers may see it. If it's worth sharing, it's worth putting into context for the people who take their valuable time to come and read what you have to say.
Question: How do you determine what categories to maintain at your blog?