Categories ideas for your health blog
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? Do you even need to? What is the value of having blog categories?
Let’s imagine you found an awesome blog post on a website you’ve never been on before.
In the past, I’ve started a whole new category based on one post … and there never got to be another one to join it. 🙁
But, I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to categorize blogs. 🙂
Blog categories are like books; blog posts are like chapters
Think of categories like different books by the same author. Each chapter is a blog post and each category groups all of those chapters into one book.
It’s OK if a book is huge! As long as it has a central theme running through it; as long as it’s focused on one category.
But, guess what–I also have books for sale on health research. And that book (category) is also full of great chapters (blog posts).
Three reasons to have blog categories
Blog categories serve three main purposes:
- To help your readers navigate your site;
- To display your areas of expertise; and,
- To promote your offerings.
So, let’s keep these in mind when deciding on categories ideas for your health blog.
1. Help your readers find information
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. That’s the topic you’re interested in now. At this exact moment, you don’t really care about health science, just blogging.
Let’s use my website as an example. You land here, on this exact blog post, because you want to improve your blog. Well, I have a bunch of other blog posts on blogging (e.g., blog topic ideas, how to write a post, how to find great keywords to optimize for, etc.). These may also interest you now because you happen to be reading a blog post on blog categories.
Do you want to wade through blog posts on random topics?
So, wouldn’t it be so convenient for you if I grouped similar blog topics together into a category?
Blogging is not the only thing I ever talk about.
I also talk about finding and understanding health research (e.g., credible websites for research, how to spot fake health news, and why correlation does not equal causation, etc.).
Are you interested in those?
But, right now, you want to learn about blogging.
So, instead of my blog being a black hole of dozens of blog posts about blogging and health research, why wouldn’t I simply group the blogging posts together and the health research posts together?
This is especially true once you have several blog posts or if you focus on more than one broad topic. Once you have a few different areas you blog about or sell more than one product/program/service, 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 is these areas of expertise that people will be coming to your blog for.
For example, low sugar recipes may be your area of expertise. But, you can break that down a bit for readers who may want to know more than just recipes. Perhaps they’re interested in sugar cravings, sugar substitutes, or blood sugar balancing. If these are in your realm of expertise, then you can consider making them each a category. Be careful not to include too much detail, you don’t want to start a category if you’re not going to have a bunch of posts on that topic.
And before you do that, let’s consider #3.
2. Promote your offerings
What products, programs, and services do you offer? 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
For example, if you sell a low-sugar recipe book, 30-day low sugar challenge, and one-on-one blood sugar balancing coaching – you should have blog content around each of those things. You can have posts about the benefits of, educational info about, and recipes included for each offering.
In this case, you should consider categorizing your blog posts based on what you offer.
If you’re planning to offer something new soon – then include it as a new category.
But, ultimately, what you blog about should align with your expertise and offerings.
How blog categories work
Each category filters the posts that apply to it. See here:
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.
I would recommend anywhere from 2-3 at a minimum, up to 8 maximum. What you want are “high level” categories, where you will eventually have dozens of blog posts. You don’t want to have categories with just one or two posts and others with dozens–try to keep them fairly even. Don’t let your biggest category have more than twice as many blog posts as your smallest. So, if you end up with a huge category, simply split it into two!
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;
- Strategizing/planning content calendars; and,
- Finding/translating health research.
And all of my offerings fall into one of those categories.
So, most of the posts I’ve created in the past 6+ months (and ALL of my posts moving forward) relate to at least one of these.
These are my three main categories.
Plus, I’ve also included a 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.”
So, I now have four categories for my blog:
- Health Content Creation
- Content Strategy & Planning
- Health Research & Credibility
- Leesa’s Thoughts
NOTE: Some of my blog posts apply to more than one category. 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 (with more than one category) will show up when a reader filters by either of those categories. Yes, it may come up twice for that reader, and that’s OK!
Massive tip for categorizing your health blog posts
Make sure that each blog post has a call-to-action (CTA)!
It doesn’t have to be unique to that post, but you can make it unique to that category. This way, someone who is interested in health content creation will get the opt-in for 60+ different health and wellness ideas. And someone who is interested in research & credibility will get the opt-in for my list of credible health resources.
Here are a couple of my email opt-in incentives for my health content creation category and my health research & credibility category:
Bonus points for including a promotion of that offer underneath (and inside) that opt-in incentive!
What about the posts in the category for the new offer you don’t have yet?
If you don’t have an opt-in incentive yet, have readers opt-into a wait list to be the first to be notified when it becomes available! Maybe even offer an early bird special price or bonus.
Using categories in your blog strategy and editorial calendar
Now that you have an idea 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. This helps to keep each category fresh, 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).
- Plan monthly themes based on promoting just one of your offers at a time. So, if you want to promote your 30-day program during the last week of March, plan to create posts in that category for that month.
For your blog to grow your business, you need to think about which categories are best. Pay special attention to aligning categories with both your current offerings, and what your readers are looking for.
Don’t forget to make them as simple as possible, and have a related call to action (e.g. opt-in) for each category of posts.
Signing off and toasting: To creating awesome blog categories.
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.