Categories ideas for your health blog
Originally published January 2018; updated with more awesomeness June 2019.
You have expertise and a blog. There are dozens of specific topics you can publish blog posts about every week or two. But, how do you organize all these posts into categories? Do you even need to? If so, how do you choose the best categories ideas?
Blog categories are like books; blog posts are like chapters
Think of a blog category like a book. The book is on one broad topic and it has a bunch of chapters included in it. Each chapter is a blog post about the topic of the book.
Plus, as an author, you can publish more than one book. So as a blogger, you can have more than one category.
Three reasons to have blog categories
Blog categories serve three main purposes:
- To help your readers find information on your site;
- To display your areas of expertise; and,
- To promote your offerings.
Let’s keep these in mind when deciding on categories ideas for your health blog.
1. Help your readers find information on your site
Let’s think about how you navigate a website that’s new to you.
You’re reading a blog post on a topic–say, it’s “blogging.” That’s the topic you’re interested in right now. At this exact moment, you don’t really care to read all about health science or other topics, just blogging.
Well, if all of the blogging posts are in a category, separate from all the posts on health science, that makes it pretty easy to continue finding and reading posts on blogging.
So, when you go to someone’s blog page you should be able to see the categories and choose the one you’re interested in. As a reader, you want to quickly figure out how to find a bunch of free valuable information (i.e., blog posts) on your burning topic right now.
If you make navigating your website hard, readers will back out of it. Do you think readers are going to valiantly search for and wade through a whole mish-mash of information on random topics?
Of course not!
Plus, if it’s hard to find information on your site then your “bounce rate” goes up and the average amount of time someone stays on your site goes down. Both of these are bad metrics from a search engine optimization perspective.
So, wouldn’t it be so convenient for you if I grouped similar blog topics together into a category? Say, the blog posts on blogging?
This is especially true once you have several blog posts or if you focus on more than topic. Once you have a few different areas you blog about or sell more products/programs/services on more than one topic, you should consider creating blog categories.
This is why blog categories are important. They help readers to find what they’re looking for.This is why blog categories are important. They help readers to find what they're looking for. #BlogCategories #BloggingTips Click To Tweet
2. Display your areas of expertise
Many of us are experts in a few, often related, areas. And it’s these areas of expertise that people will be coming to your blog for.
For example, let’s say blood sugar balancing is your area of expertise. In that one category, you can include blog posts on recipes, sugar cravings, sugar substitutes, etc.
But, you’re also an expert in weight loss or pregnancy nutrition. It’s really easy to see at-a-glance someone’s expertise just by looking at their blog categories.
2. Promote your offerings
What products, programs, and services do you offer? Do you have something for each area of expertise? Do you have blog content that aligns with each of those exact things?
If not, you should!Do your blog posts and categories align with your offerings? They should! #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
PRO TIP: You should also have one opt-in lead magnet for each blog category! This opt-in is the bridge between your free valuable content on your blog and the first step a potential new client needs to take to “try you out” and consider working with you.
How many categories should you have?
A lot of new research on user experience (UX) is leading people to simplify their site navigation. This means, the fewer the categories, the better!
As you’ll see from the examples below, having a few key categories can help your readers easily find the information they’re looking for. They also help readers better understand your areas of expertise.
Here, my copywriting friend Orly has these categories: Beauty, Business, Recipes, Self-Care, Skin Care, and Smoothies.
CampusWell has these categories: Fitness, Food, Mind, Academics, Body, Relationships, Career, Tech, and Sexual Culture.
I would recommend anywhere from 2-3 categories (even if one is related to your niche/expertise/offerings and the other is for your thoughts), up to no more than eight.
Don’t forget–it’s your website. You can update and modify these whenever you want to.
After much thought, I decided on just four categories that relate to my areas of expertise, and my current products, programs, and services.
I specialize in three main areas:
- Writing/creating health blog posts and other content (outlining, drafting, customizing done-for-you options, etc.);
- Strategizing/planning content calendars and getting blog posts found in search engines and social media; and,
- Finding/translating health research (there is enough BS on the internet–use these recommended resources for credible info).
These are my three main categories.
And all of my offerings fall into one of those categories. And, each of those three categories has their own opt-in lead magnet to download.
- Health strategy -> Download ultimate health blog checklist -> Sell Health Blog Optimization Plans and Content Calendar Coaching
- Health research -> Download 50+ credible health resources -> Sell courses on How to do health research online and How to spot fake health news.
See the pattern?
Plus, I’ve also included a fourth “catch-all” category called Leesa’s thoughts where I put my annual holiday gift guides and a few random posts that are more spur-of-the-moment, unplanned, and/or “ranty.”
NOTE: Some of my blog posts apply to more than one category–especially because I have two blogging categories, one for creation and one for strategy/promotion of that content. That’s OK because I choose one as the “primary” category for that post, and keep the other(s) as “secondary” categories. This means that some posts may come up twice for a reader, and that’s OK!
Using categories in your blog strategy and editorial calendar
Now that you have an idea of how to categorize your blog posts, you can use them strategically when planning your editorial calendar.
Don’t have an editorial calendar yet? Download mine (no email address required).
Categories can help you plan out your posts. Here are a few ways my clients use them:
- Alternate between categories weekly. So, week 1 = category 1; week 2 = category 2, etc. This helps to keep each category fresh with new content and allows readers to see different types of posts on a regular schedule. This also helps to make sure you have about the same amount of content in each category (if that’s important to you).
- Alternate between categories monthly. So, month 1 = category 1; month 2 = category 2, etc. This is great to align your blog with your launch calendar. So, if you’re launching your 30-day blood sugar balancing program during the last week of March, plan to create posts in that category for that entire month.
Create blog categories to make your valuable information easy to find so that it displays your areas of expertise and promotes your offerings. Don’t forget you only need two to start with.
As a strategic content marketing and business building move, have one opt-in for each category so you can build your email list with targeted ideal clients.
Signing off and toasting: To awesome blog categories ideas.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you and your readers love your current categories? Do you have any categories ideas to add?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.