Tags are great for getting more exposure and for finding interesting new blogs to follow.
Better Tagging for Increased Traffic
Exploring tags in the Reader is a great way for you to discover great new authors to read and blogs to follow. What’s more, tagging your posts is a great way for the like-minded to find your posts in the Reader and discover your blog.
Tag your posts to attract new readers
While many bloggers write purely for the love of it, it feels great when someone reads your post, clicks on the like button, and takes the time to comment thoughtfully. Tagging your posts helps people to find them in the Reader, increasing the chance that a new visitor stops by to check out your blog.
Tagging is one part art and one part science. Shane Francescut often shoots Toronto, Ontario’s busy streets. In Black (&White) Friday: Old Friends, he’s tagged the photograph not only by location (Toronto), but by type (monochrome) and genre (street photography). Shane does a great job of tagging judiciously, selecting a few descriptive tags* that represent a different pool of potential readers. Here’s some more excellent advice on tagging your posts.
Hashtags work, too
Try tagging your posts using hashtags popular on social media, such as Twitter. For example, #nofilter is a popular hashtag photographers use when sharing photos on Twitter, which denotes a photograph that hasn’t been retouched.
And now, over to you
Tell us about your experiences in tagging posts: which have you found most effective in attracting new readers? Which tags helped you discover great new blogs? Under which tags are you finding an active community?
*Remember posts tagged with a combination of more than 15 tags and categories are removed from the Reader to ensure that tags contain relevant content. You can use any combination of tags and categories, as long as the total count doesn’t exceed the magic number 15.
I didn’t realize that the fifteen tag limit included categories! Thanks for mentioning that, I’ve probably been exceeding the limit.
Well written! Is there any secret tag to get featured in “Freshly Pressed” ? :)
Just a few comments:
WordPress can show what tags are being written about most but is there anyway that it can show which tags are being read the most.
I also find when I tag some of my work, it doesn’t come up in my reader and this is only with a couple of tags attached.
Is there anyway to separate out normal tagging from generic section organising, it feels odd I have to use up tags just to sort out posts on my own blog, if you see what I mean?
Thank you for the reminder. I’ve re-checked my blogs and added a few. I’ve been using them for a while now but had no idea when I first started what they were. I love that you can go in and update them whenever you want to.
I don’t think my tagging has been very effective so far, even though I’m using all the tips and tricks. I’ve browsed the popular tags in my Reader to find which tags I could tap into to draw more traffic. I see tags like “blog,” “people” and “top stories” which don’t seem very descriptive to me. And there’s the tag “Yolanda Adams” (1,495 recent posts). Maybe I should write more about Yolanda Adams, whoever that is.
Thank you for your post.
I am still learning about wordpress and don’t have my tagging down. I didn’t know about the ‘magic 15′, good to know. Do tags also help it show up on google?
I find blogging, Bible, humour, humor, parenting and words are fairly popular tags. I imagine people use search engines for more specific subject matter. Sue
“You can (???) any combination of tags and categories, as long as the total count doesn’t exceed the magic number 15.”
Thanks for the amazingly helpful post Krista!
I’ve taken what I’ve read from you and other WordPress tipsters, and tried my best to incorporate that info into my blog as much as possible.
Personally, I’ve found that deciding on just a few categories and tags has been greatly helpful in determining what my readers latch on to, and I see the results in my stats. I have also put some thought into my tag names early on, and limited them to just a few, but relevant words. For example – #toronto #streetphotography #nikon #monochrome, etc.
I put thought into the tags I like to search by, and used those tags in my posts… where relevant.
Thanks for the post, and thanks so much for using my work as an example… I’m supremely humbled :)
I was wondering what the differences were between the categories and the tags?
When tagging I tend to form short sentences, such as “how to develop child authonomy”. Reading this I am now thinking my tags may be too long and by no way they will be appering in the Reader. Am I right?
Magic 15, that I’ll remember. I change my tags and categories with every post depending on what I’m writing about, is that the way to go?
Thank you so much for this! I am refining my tagging. At first, I misunderstood tagging and thought it was for the search engine and also used too many tags :-( My question is, can a single tag contain more than one word, such as “going green” , “new habits”, etc. ?
Thanks Krista. I have never tried tagging to my posts. will have try it out that I have read your article.
thanks for writing on tags. i will do audit for the tags i mentioned for my posts, and will update it. I hope this will help me get more audience.
I am confused. My “reader” only shows the blogs of people I follow? Is there another “reader” that is showing all of WordPress??
Browsing through the replies to this post, it appears that many WordPress users were unaware of that 15-tag/category limit – me included.
Hmmm… if there is a limitation of more than 15 tags and categories combined, shouldn’t the WordPress software warn/notify me *proactively* automatically that my post will be removed from the Reader when exceeding that limit (rather than finding out months later by accidentally stumbling upon this blogpost)? Cheers, John
Great info, not aware of the point that tags should not exceed 15. Thank you.
I am new to WP. This is helpful, thank you :)
Thank you for stressing the fifteen rule! My blog was pretty much invisible for a year until a few weeks ago when I read that rule. I made an immediate change and within an hour had four new followers. Wow, who knew?!
I’m a fan of tags and categories on my blog … though I was under the misapprehension that the magic “15” referred to tags alone – I hadn’t understood that it included categories too. I think I’d better go and do some counting …. :)
Hi Krista! Thanks for the info. I’m new to WordPress so am looking forward to writing and connecting. The tagging sounds handy for that. Thanks xo
A good way to attract new readers is to connect your WordPress to Tumblr, and then let the tags work their magic.
Well let me see, I’ve tried humour, funny, comedy, family, writing, added Rv’ing and travel, and most recently, photography. Not to mention where I’ve travelled, and the activities. Too much??? :)
I love this post about sharing interests. WordPress is a great communication channel for different people to connect over what interests them. You’d be surprised how many people you have common interests with, no matter how bizarre!
I just started blogging and I don’t really know the rules but reading this article was very helpful ( I know not to exceed 15 tags). Thanks
I never knew categories were included in the total, either. I wondered why I had so little show in the reader! If I go back and delete tags and categories, will older posts show up in the reader now?
I’m enjoying blogging, I’m a big wordpress fan, and I’m still learning about tags and how to use wordpress better. I’m working really hard on making my blog worthwhile and well researched so I really appreciate reading others comments as well as posts like this. Thanks for posting!
Thanks very much for the reminder, very helpfull. and of course, i’ll refine some of mine :)
I’m new to WordPress and blogging! Great to know the importance of tags from this article, and from readers comments. Thank you!
Thanks for the info. :)
Excellent post! Awesome info, cheers.
Seems like nobody knew about the magic fifteen (myself included), perhaps this is something WordPress should make clearer?
Love it, very helpfull!!
Thanks a ton for this post. I need all of the tagging advice that I can get! It’s so nice that it is provided professionally and for free! Thanks again!