WordPress tags and categories: how a journalist can organize a personal site

I’m reworking this site. There is no reason for you to have noticed that I’ve changed all the categories and started using tags for my posts. All of my archives are now online with the concept.

I was trying to organize a post last week and realized I had more than 40 categories and was barely using tags. That’s ridiculous. Their purposes are to better organize posts and allow you to group like material. None of that was happening.

Yes, for those of you new or unfamiliar to WordPress, it gives you every reason for your product to be super organized and increase the searchability of your posts. The better organized, the easier it is to disseminate and let others find your material. That’s good news for a young journalist looking to promote himself.

The only problem is that I have more than 400 posts in less than a year of this blog’s existence. That’s a lot of work.

So, I am here to tell you that you ought to set up a sensible system early. If you use WordPress or not, keep things organized from the start.

I cut down to 10 categories and my tags are ballooning. That let’s me keep broad topics like my clips and commentary neatly, not one of dozens of unwieldy categories. Then I get detailed with tags, so I can easily link to posts on, say, Facebook. Even better, while a single keyword like “Facebook” could be roundly linked to via a search (like here), broader subjects like “self-branding” can be more incisively connected, like here.

More importantly though, the focus of any journalist’s site should be his clips, so here’s my advice.

Have a broad category of clips and subcategories for any publication for which you’ve written numerous times. But, also, have a tag that includes those clips, but also any commentaries or notes about your experiences there. That way your category gives you a direct link to your work there, and the tag offers a broader collection of your thoughts and experiences there.

So for instance, my Philadelphia Inquirer subcategory, seen here, is strictly a collection of my clips in that paper. For a broader metric, my Philadelphia Inquirer tag, seen here, includes my clips and commentaries on the paper. Depending on to whom I want to show my work, I can dictate what they will first see. (I’ve also made an Inquirer tag for when I review or make comment on stories of their. seen here, unrelated to my professional experiences there).

For a journalist, the importance is to organize your product to better dispense it, and do so in a way that puts the control in your hands. If you haven’t thought about it, I’d say you should.

Anyone care about this? Who uses what? Does anyone have any advice or questions on organization? Am I putting way too much effort in to this?

Image courtesy of Tuibguy.com.