Tags are Your Friends!

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I don’t have time to update this page today, but I don’t want to steer you wrong. So, all the information here is superseded by this post until I have more info. I just looked at 7 months’ worth of data. It told me this is not working, and the only reason we’ve been as successful as we have since I wrote this is because of things we’ve done on other networks to get people to read our blogs. We haven’t even begun to get noticed on WordPress yet.

My apologies. – 6/29/14

If you want to have any chance whatsoever of attracting a WordPress audience, you must learn to use tags effectively. You can find the WP help file on tags here.

The things you need to know: 8-14Β  7-10 tags are best. The WordPress ranking system penalizes posts with more than 14 combined tags and categories. You can always just use tags when you publish, then come back the next day and edit to add categories for archival purposes.

This is the WordPress tag cloud. You should look at it once a week. Use the biggest tags – those are the topics a lot of people are talking about.

Make sure your tags make sense, though. Tags that have nothing to do with your post are sure to turn people off.

My tag strategy is something like this:

All and Thoughts are always good.

Any time I mention an actual tag name, or the topic relates to strongly my post, however tangentially, I am ok using it.

Edit – After a month of blogging, i have modified my tag strategy a bit. I always try and include two or three that are very specific, and those tags are invariably not things that are in the big tag cloud. Some of our most-viewed posts so far have gotten their views from “Doctor Who” and “Hunger Games” tags.

Edit 01/12/2014 – I am playing around with the idea, now, of creating my own tags, and using some very low-traffic tags as a way of keeping track of people I like to talk to. As the number of blogs I follow has grown, it is easy for things to get lost in my main news feed. I’m using Part Time Monster and Sourcerer tags for some of our stuff now, because it’s a simple and easy way to create an archive that I can scroll through with my reader, and I have a few other ideas, as well. I am looking into whether or not tags affect search engine rankings. I also plan to add another page to the “Helpful” section with links to things like “How to Add a non-WordPress Blog to Your Reader,” and instructions for using shortcode to embed things like Pinterest images and Google docs to your WordPress blog. I welcome helpful comments and link-sharing about useful blogging tricks on this page, even if they aren’t tag-related.

15 thoughts on “Tags are Your Friends!

    • You’re welcome, and it’s funny you should comment on this one, because I was just thinking I need to update that page. Since I wrote it, we’ve learned a new trick from looking at our stats. Really specific tags that will never show up in the WordPress cloud can also be helpful, especially if whatever you are writing about is trending. Our two best-performing tags (here and at http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com) over the last couple of months have been “Doctor Who” and “The Hunger Games,” because we wrote about that stuff at a time when everyone was looking at those tags.

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    • No way to give them all a set of default tags that I know of. You have to put them in individually. I have a text file that has basic sets of tags typed out so I can copy and paste for my photos and book posts, then add the ones that are subject-specific.

      That would be a very useful and time-saving feature, though. I spend too much time tagging posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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