When most bloggers start blogging, categories are kind of an afterthought. Nobody explained how or why to set up categories strategically and so many food blogs end up with a disjointed list of both broad and narrow subjects.
It’s never too late to get your categories in order though, so if you’ve already been blogging for a while, don’t panic, I’ll help you get to work fixing it!
How the categories should be structured
We’ll start by getting the technical side out of the way before deciding which actual categories you should have and how you should set them up for your readers.
This is what it usually looks like when the categories aren’t planned ahead of time:
Not only does it make it harder for readers to navigate, it also makes it harder when the time comes and you’re ready to add a fun “recipes” page where your readers can check boxes and narrow down to exactly the recipes they’re looking for.
We could take those same categories and organize them (technically speaking, a parent category and a subcategory). They’d look something like this:
So Breakfast, Dinner, and Dessert are the parent categories, and Eggs, Smoothies, etc are now sub categories. Recipes can definitely cross over and go into multiple categories and subcategories.
Much easier to look at, right? Okay, so let’s plan yours.
Planning your own categories.
First, think about your readers.
If they were looking for ideas for something to cook, what might they want to narrow it down by?
Take a look at Foolproof Living and Pinch of Yum for some examples of what others are doing if you need some ideas. You can see the headings on the side like “Healthy” and “Breakfast.” Those are the categories, and then the options that you can select under each of them are the subcategories.
Now think about what kind of recipes you create most.
While some categories and subcategories might seem logical to have, if you almost never post any breakfast recipes, then it wouldn’t make sense to have a category of Breakfast with various subcategories.
Your readers might see a Breakfast → Smoothies category and get excited, but then wind up disappointed when there’s only one recipe and it’s 3 years old. You don’t ever want your visitors to feel disappointed or let them expect something other than what you’re offering.
If almost all of your recipes are dinner recipes, then you might not use Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner categories at all. Maybe you could use categories like:
If you still had a few breakfast or specialty recipes that didn’t fit into other categories, you might do something like:
Your action step
Go through your categories and pick our your parent categories and subcategories.
Next week, I’ll show you how to actually create the categories in WordPress, and how to re-categorize your recipes if you need to.
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