One of the most interesting and endearing features of blogging for me, is how you can build a body of work, and as well as see it in the straightforward chronological order that a blog structure provides, make more direct links between posts on similar topics.
Like a spider weaving webs between the old beams in a barn roof, I really like being able to write about something that follows on from another post weeks or months or even years previously, and link the new post back to the old one(s).
This gives the old posts a new lease of life, provides more depth and content for the reader, plus creates these new trails and rabbit holes within the words and posts which already exist.
But as your blog passes a certain tipping point in total posts – perhaps around 50-100 – it becomes increasingly difficult to remember when you published that old post on a certain topic, or what the title was.
This is where tags become very useful. Especially as I recently passed 700 published posts on 35hunter.
I’ve talked before about how I tag my photographs on Flickr, (this is an example of the linking to previous posts I’m talking about) and the principles are much the same for tagging on this blog.
Firstly, I think about the topic I’m writing about.
The majority of posts are about photography of course, but rather than just tag “photography”, I try to be more specific, so use tags like “film photography” “35mm film photography”, “35mm film camera”, “35mm film” and so on.
Then, if I’m writing about a specific camera or lens, I’ll use name tags.
For example, “Panasonic Lumix FZ38”, “Panasonic Lumix”, “Lumix”, “Lumix FZ38”, “FZ38” etc.
This not only covers more options that others might be searching for, but helps me too.
If I’m searching for a post I wrote about a Lumix I forgot the model name of (FZ38 or FX10 aren’t the most memorable, especially when there are many predecessors and successors with near identical model names) I can just search for “Lumix”, scroll through a few posts and find what I’m after.
And when I say search, I literally mean use Google (or more recently the more private DuckDuckGo).
In the earlier days of the blog I’d highlight the text I wanted as the link, then use the internal link feature in WordPress, and search for the post I wanted to link to that way.
But it just wasn’t that good, and only seemed to search titles, not tags or content.
So I tried just going to Google and typing “35hunter” a space, then the keyword, like “Lumix”.
Which works brilliantly well, and comes up with the most useful tags near the top of the results, then I delve in from there.
You can be even more specific than this with a search by typing the domain of the blog/site then the keywords, and it will return content only from that blog site. eg “site:35hunter.blog pentax” will search for pentax references only on 35hunter.blog.
So, in summary, I tag each post by thinking about what words I might search for if I was looking for the post in the future (as I inevitably will be at some point).
Finally, some people use categories rather than tags, some use both. I used to use both but found them so interchangeable I decided to delete all categories and just use tags, which feels simpler and more direct.
How about you? How do you navigate your own blog to find older posts? How do you prefer to browse through other people’s blogs?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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