“PRO” TIP: TAG AND YOU ARE IT — GUARANTEED!

girl-running

I always hated playing Tag as a kid – I was just too slow. I could never catch any of the faster kids, who just happened to be all the other kids but me. Consequently, once someone tagged me and I was “it,” it meant that I was really it and the game was basically over.

Less the teasing and the taunts…

Gawd I hated being slow as a kid.

Almost as much as I hated being tall and skinny…

I probably could have benefited from a therapy session or two back then to help me get over the emotional adolescent wounds I received from all the Tag trauma I had to suffer through.

Once I got over all the skinny geeky awkward lumbering stage at around sixteen and started to fill out a bit, I didn’t mind being tall quite as much and eventually I accepted the fact that I was always going to be slow as a truck…going uphill…on an ice-covered street. But dang, having to endure all the grief and nicknames such as “Lurch” until that stage was finally over sure wasn’t very much fun.

But you know what they say about all that kind of stuff…

“Builds character.”

Sure it does…

Anyway… Enough about poor little ol’ me…

Well, that’s not true…

There can never be enough of that.

Besides, once I realized I was pretty lucky to be tall and that it really didn’t matter how fast I could run, life became A-Okay.

And then shortly after I learned to appreciate my height, I realized how cute you short people are when you get jealous…

Which is practically all the time whenever you’re around us tall people.

Anyway… Enough about you short people…

For the longest time just hearing the word tag was enough to turn my stomach into knots and my feet into lead and make me wish the “Addams Family” had never been created.

You raaaang…

Until one day, not long after I joined the wonderful wacky world of WordPress, I realized that my fear of the word tag had finally come to pass.

For to tag within the blogosphere, I learned, was a good thing.

A very good thing…

Instead of having to chase after people, people would come chasing after me; and by me I mean my blog and the things I post to it.

Once I learned to effectively tag my posts, I found that I became it not in a bad way that always brought ridicule down upon me, but it in a good way, as in, “Hey, Kurt (and by Kurt I mean Kurt’s, I mean, my blog (speaking in the third person becomes habit-forming fast)) is hip and cool and if you ain’t there you must be square.”

Yeah, once I started effectively tagging my posts I/my blog became it in a very good way.

And the good news is, if you effectively tag your posts you, too, can become it in a very good way…or at least in a better way than before when you were not effectively tagging your posts.

And the reason is because WordPress pulls the tags from every post by every WordPress blogger (and there are millions of us!) and feeds them all into its WordPress Reader. And assuming that a fair share of the millions of us WordPress bloggers are also WordPress Reader readers, the chance that your effectively tagged post will be seen by more feeder readers than had it not been tagged effectively is pretty good.

Huh?

Anyway, some of the more popular tags I have found are “Writing,” “Poetry,” “Photography,” and “Art.” Chances are pretty good that you’ll see at least one of these in my tag list regardless the post. And then, depending on the context of the post, you can get more specific with your tags with key words and phrases such as “short stories,” “flash fiction,” “landscapes,” “nature photography,” “graphic art,” “drawings,” and on and on with whatever key words and phrases may fit your needs.

But a word of caution…

As in most aspects of life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

You can tag your post with as many key words as you like, but if you have more than fifteen, WordPress will penalize the post by not showing it in any of its Reader feeds.

Another thing to keep in mind when considering what fifteen (or less) key words/phrases you want to tag your post with…

Category words and phrases are also included in that limit of fifteen.

The way I like to manage my posts are to identify one broad category word for the post, which can be thought of as a chapter heading of sort, and then fourteen tags, which can be thought of as an index of sort.

But how you want to tag and categorize your posts is obviously up to you. I just recommend picking the best key words from the post and to study the WordPress reader to find what tags are getting the most traffic and try to include those into your posts, if applicable.

I would discourage, as would many within the blogosphere, spamming your post with tags. And by that I mean including tags in your post that do not truly represent what your post is about.

To me spam tagging a post is like false advertising. It might work to draw readers in once or twice but after it’s been realized that your post has nothing to do with the tags you’re using, your blogging street cred will vanish, as will any traffic to your site.

The all knowing Google will tell you all you need to know about how to effectively tag your posts so go explore and bone up on it if you feel so compelled.

Just remember… no more than a total of fifteen tags and categories in one post.

If you remember that, along with learning how to effectively tag your posts, you too can become an it blogger.

And by it I mean cool…

And popular…

Even if you are as slow as Lurch from Addams Family.

Or as short as Cousin It…

See what I just did there?

Cousin It…as in it

Get it?

Ah, you short people are so cute.

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