There are two categories for “tags” in my book. You have unique tags and you have generic tags. There are reasons to use both and people should remember that tags are little banners flying in the wind that announce your presence. It is therefore in your best interest to spread the tags to maximize visibility across the board and not just in a specific genre.
Tags are as specific as a Google search. The more precise you are in the description of what you are looking for the more likely you will be to find a post that matches that exact description. A more generic tag search will yield results that are more broad and less defined. As bloggers we are normally concerned with two things, gaining readers and expanding our reach. Our reach on WordPress is shackled to how far and wide our posts are seen.
The reason I say tags are specific is to break the misconception that WordPress is somehow internally categorized. It is not. If you tag a post as photography, photo, or picture all three of those tags will place your post in separate, specific categories. This is directly related to how you word the tag and just goes to show how “broad” a genre can be in relation to the tags being used to promote that genre. Photographers might see the same word being used in many different ways simply to generate a broader tag reach. For instance if I were a photographer I would immediately use the generic tags picture, photo, photography, and blog for all my posts. From there I would spread my tag love by using less obvious “generic” tags such as photos, photographer, photograph, pictures, pics, pic and so on. Even though those appear to be the same tag we all know they are not due to the difference in spelling. This is how generic tagging can be enlarged and broadened.
People have asked me how I tag and I have my own method which people can judge for themselves if it works. Every day I post at least one post with my generic set of tags. From there I work out from those tags to broaden my reach according to the subject matter and topics I am touching on that day. Often I will group articles together that match the same genre because multiple posts run together are far more visible than the lonely boat sent once. This is also why I handhold my posts through a 24 hour period for greater exposure. I only do this on the first day I have published something and I have found that actively pushing that post each hour helps get more eyes on it. It is hard work, but the “gain” is worth it.
Everyone knows I respin some of my posts habitually. It is something I like to do to float work back to the top that I think people may have missed or might still enjoy. Respinning is a great way to reschedule a post without annoying your email subscribers since it does not send a “new post” email when you do it. There is also another benefit to the spin and that is the “related articles” presented from these old posts are generally older write ups as well. This helps bring even more of your old work to the forefront and helps to keep your blog fresh in my opinion. I will often piggyback an old post on the back of a new one so that new and old readers will see the same active feed. Some people may look down on this practice, but I normally count that towards them being lazy and mad that someone else is more proactive.
There is no better way to brand yourself than to use the unique tags associated with your blog. I use HarsH ReaLiTy, aopinionatedman, and Opinionated Man as my unique tags to show ownership of those names and because Google search now picks up my tag usage. Other people use these same tags now to gain exposure for themselves off the back of my blog. That is OK and that is part of the game! In fact one of the smartest bloggers I have met has added my blog link internally to their page so that their blog and new posts now show up actively under my site google search. This is just savvy SEO and a great way to piggyback off exposure. Well done!
Think basic people! Think generic! If you are a food blogger tag under food, dinner, lunch, breakfast, meat, fruit, cooking, baking, and things of that nature. Those are generic food tags that are always active! Do you know how to see if a tag is active? Simple! Go to that tag and look at the current posts and their time stamps. You can then, hopefully, decipher what is active and what is not! If you are using specific words and tags and see no views from it try changing it up. Why keep doing the same thing with no results?
Note: I have written several articles on tags by now. If you still have a question or still don’t “get it’ feel free and email me or ask below.