Muschamp Rd

Redoing my blog taxonomy again

April 21st, 2024
New Google Analytics

It has been many years and having followed many pieces of expert advice, I never did manage to blog my way to a better career. I had to do things the old fashioned way. However I recently went to Scotland and a lot of folks at work were interested in my trip so I eventually shared a blog post. A lot of people at work were apparently unaware I use social media. Who doesn’t use social media in 2024?

I don’t keep up on the latest and greatest search engine optimization techniques or personal branding recommendations. I have deleted or edited a lot of content over the years, maybe even half of everything I’ve ever written on Muskblog, maybe more than half of everything I’ve ever written. I’ve still kept online things I probably should not have, but my website is so unpopular and so niche very few people have likely noticed, but every now and then something I’ve written about in the past becomes relevant.

In order to help the search engines, aka Google, you are supposed to jump through a lot of hoops. I’m tired of jumping through hoops. I pay money every month to keep this website online and it brings in zero revenue. I am not looking for work. I hope to avoid looking for work, maybe forever, we’ll see. But I do believe Quality is important so I still spend time behind the scenes keeping this website somewhat up-to-date. Around the time of my trip to Scotland I finally did another major WordPress upgrade, I also upgraded Google Analytics, and having seen an increase in usage of my default category and basically no further interest to blog about some topics, I think it is time to redo my taxonomy once more.

Current Blog Taxonomy

OldNew?Previously Proposed
Asia (110)
Canada (38)
Entrepreneurship (21)
Finance (31)
Gaming (75)
Information Technology (200)
Marketing (58)
Sporting Life (19)
The Arts (72)
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (73)
Living Abroad
Strictly Business
Information Technology
Hobbies & Personal Interests
A default category?
DIY & Hobbies
Personal Improvement

Optimizing your blog taxonomy

The optimal number of blog categories is thought to be about a half dozen. I used to have many more, I got it down to ten which I thought was a great accomplishment. WordPress also has tags to further categorize your content. I perhaps used too many tags in the past, many people still do. I started enforcing a limit of five tags per post, then at some point I enforced an even stricter limit of three tags per post. All of this was in the name of improving Quality, but also Focus & Repetition.

The numbers in the brackets is how many posts are currently in that category. The ideal is your total number of blog posts is split approximately evenly between categories. However, as you can see after many years of using this taxonomy I have two hundred posts about Information Technology, while only nineteen about what I called the Sporting Life. I used to play a lot of sports. I used to follow a lot of sports. I used to train a lot. Now I struggle to make it to the gym four times per week. Maybe that category was aspirational, but it hasn’t worked out great.

The list on the far right is what I came up with many years ago, perhaps in 2019 when I first contemplated redoing my blog taxonomy. Then I got a new job and a major undertaking like that was no longer necessary or something I had time for. I had also probably learned which niches had actually been profitable or successful for independent bloggers that I thought I could perhaps use. Obviously technology is a crowded space. Perhaps I should do more DIY projects, but what I seem to write about the most in the last few years are hobbies and travel. I spun miniature painting off into a separate blog which is what I’ve mainly focussed on in the last four years, but I still have all this content and I should leverage some of it if I can.

Advice, Rambles and Reviews

I made the list so long ago, I’m not sure I remember exactly what I was thinking. Advice columnists have been around a long time. People do sometimes write me asking for advice, sometimes it is a private conversation, sometimes it is in the comments, other times I turn my advice into a new blog post. I also was unemployed far too much, so I sought out a lot of expert advice and tried to apply it, just like I’ve tried to improve the Quality of this blog.

Rambles would become my new default category. Basically you have an unfocussed post, or you write some one-off piece and you don’t know where to stick it. Scarily some of my impulsive blogging has been my most popular posts of all time. I’m not interested in #Instafame. I have Twitter, I have Instagram, if I write something here now it is probably going to be longer and more well thought out. It will go through several revisions before being published.

Reviews are another thing bloggers and social media influencers do. They get sent product, they review it, they often get to keep the product. Over the years I must have written some reviews, but I paid my own way. I doubt I’ll take my blog down that avenue extensively, but it is obviously another popular and successful topic to have on your blog.

Personal Improvement

For a while a lot of the focus of this blog was on personal improvement as well as self reflection. I started this blog during my MBA studies and according to Google advice from that period of time is still popular. As mentioned above I’ve also been unemployed, more often than is optimal or healthy. So while unemployed I did a lot of stuff to try and improve myself and my resume. Some of it was successful and some of it obviously was not.

Revising my blog taxonomy

I do not know if I did the math and honestly I do not want to do the math. Obviously the last time I redid my blog taxonomy in a major way was not optimal, but I have cleaned up a lot of posts and stray tags over the years. Perhaps in 2024 and onward a revised taxonomy will serve me well. I came up with the list in the middle column above while writing my sixth post about my trip to Scotland. I thought all my posts on studying during my MBA and during the CFA® Program could perhaps go into “Strictly Business” now they would go under Advice, Personal Improvement, Reviews or even Rambles.

I fear Rambles may prove to be my most popular category despite my best intentions. A lot of my posts have been deleted over the years as I worked to get rid of content I no longer valued. I developed a test when tagging posts:

  1. Will I use this tag again?
  2. Do I want to be found for this keyword?

The Path Forward

This is obviously a multi-weekend endeavour. Although I have cleaned up many posts and tags, the proper way to do this is to review all seven hundred posts. Some former categories will become tags. However, I also have text at the top of every category page which was carefully written. I’m going to have to rewrite all that text and reselect content to feature or highlight. As a result, I will slept on this many times. I am still busy at work, but as this is maintenance and the posts should remain accessible I’ll do it in my spare time until I am finished.

Every time I’ve previously thought about it, such as in 2019 I rejected the idea as being too much work. But now I have hundreds of less posts and I have spent time cleaning up posts and tags, so I may end up with a better more focussed blog going forward and I would hopefully not have to rely so much on my default category which would likely be Rambles.

Another thing I’ve wanted to do for years and which will require me getting a new piece of software is link checking. This blog has been online almost twenty years, a lot of websites have disappeared in that time and a lot of content has been abandoned or deleted by more people than just me.

However the next step is to publish this post, then I will create and describe new categories, then starting with the smallest old category I will recategorize posts. Finally when every post has been recategorized I may move on to link checking or fixing the CSS. I probably need to update my WPTouch. Converting all my old posts to use Blocks may also be worthwhile, but it often requires extensive editing. Lots of old embeds such as YouTube videos no longer work after twenty years. If you have thoughts or advice on selecting and maintaining a WordPress blog taxonomy you can leave a comment below.

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