Do You Know About Tags and Tag Pages?

We make no secret that there are a lot of WordPress.com bloggers. In June, we had more than 11 million users. Whoa, right?

But, to the individual blogger, you may not feel like one of 11 million users. You may feel like the only user. You sign in to your blog, publish a post, and that’s it. Done.

If you’re wondering where everybody went, it’s time to check out our tag pages — one of the best places to discover blogger friends. I’m going to show you how tags work, and how to add them to your posts, so you too can join the tag army.

How Tags Work

In essence: Tags are words that you add to a blog post that describe what the post is about. Each tag is linked to our global system of tag pages (more on that in a second). Bottom line: You want to make sure you’re adding tags to your posts, and also spending some time looking at the tag pages to see what your peers are up to.

Anytime you publish a new post, you’ll see the “Post Tags” field in the lower right-hand corner of the page:

What tags should you add? It’s up to you, there is no right/wrong here, but I recommend keeping these fairly general. Ask yourself: What is my blog about? Example: If you’re writing about, say, a trip you took to Italy, and the post has lots of photos, I’d use the following tags: “Travel, Photography, Italy.” You could also add a couple more specific tags, such as “Rome” or “Vacation.” I wouldn’t get carried away with uber-specific tags like “my road trip in Italy” or “things to do in Italy,” because as you’ll see in a moment, those aren’t useful tags.

Where Those Tags Appear on the WordPress.com Network

First, there is the main Tags page: http://en.wordpress.com/tags/. It’s organized by the most commonly used tags at any given time. You’ll sometimes see some weird fluctuations here, but for the most part, the most popular tags are music, news, photography, life, love, travel, family, art and food.

On your own blog posts, you want to make sure you’re using tags found on this main page, as these pages get a fair bit of traffic. But, don’t go nuts and use too many tags — no one likes clicking on a post in the Travel tag only to find that the post is really about a new movie (for that sort of post, use the “movies” and “entertainment” tags!)

When you click on one of these more commonly used tags, such as photography, you’re taken to this purty page: http://en.wordpress.com/tag/photography.

Finding Other Bloggers

If you’re interested in building up an audience and finding fellow blogging friends, I recommend spending some time surfing around these tag pages. You’re going to see a lot of not-so-great posts here, but you’ll also stumble across some gems. When you do, be sure to leave a comment, and maybe add that blog to your RSS feed or your blogroll.

The amazing thing is just how many tags have been used on WordPress — far more than what you’ll find on the main Tags page. Try typing in words after this URL:

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/

For example, if you live in Texas and want to see what people are writing about the Lone Star State, type:

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/texas

Or, if you’re curious what people have said about Mexican seafood recipes, type:

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/mexican-seafood-recipes (note that I added dashes between the words)

That’s because tags are endless — any word or combo of words you add as a tag creates a tag page on WordPress. But for the most part, it’s better to stick with the more general tags, because the more specific tag pages have very little content to browse, and tag pages are all about browsing.

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13 Responses to Do You Know About Tags and Tag Pages?

  1. James Dunn says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for the help

  2. Thanks for adding this post, Joy. I am familiar with tags and their usefulness, but I am having trouble finding a ‘community,’ lol. I suppose I’m not too surprised. I write for an extremely small niche (cross between intentionality and creative writing). I’ve searched many tags that I think I would find people interested in the kind of writing I do, and every so often, I get some comments (from people that I’ve written comments on their blog), but usually, I get the feeling that these people are just reciprocating in kind.

    Maybe my blog is truly ‘that’ unique and it will become a book someday, lol, maybe? But if you have any advice on finding people interested in what I’m doing, that would be great. I don’t mean to “spam” or ‘link-blast’ or whatever you might want to call it, but rather than copying and pasting the “about” (or purpose) page of my blog, I’ll just leave a link here: http://imagineintobeing.wordpress.com/purpose/

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  3. Conor says:

    Hi Joy,

    I am using WordPress to promote our business, an invention incubator helping people to develop new products and bring them to market. Got some great case studies and featuring new products that nobody has ever seen before.

    Any suggestions for us on getting onto the Freshly Pressed listings? http://theodmgroup.com/

    tks,

    Conor

    • Joy Victory says:

      Conor, to be fair to all WordPress users, we only feature posts that we find on tag pages — not from users who ask to be featured. So, be sure to use tags on your posts.

      But: The overall odds of getting featured are very slim and the traffic bump lasts only one day, so it’s best to focus on other ways of expanding your audience reach.

      • Conor says:

        Thanks a lot for the fast reply Joy. Completely understand the method and introduced the business tag to my posts. I had been trying to keep tags more niche and understand that may have been an error in some ways also.

        Look forward to reading more from you.

  4. Doraz says:

    Thanks for the information. Have a fun summer. 🙂

  5. Sajib says:

    Good post. Global tag is another feature that I don’t find in Google’s Blogger.com. It makes me stick with WordPress.com despite having my own self-hosted WordPress blogs.

    I hope your post will encourage new users blog more and use tags to find out like-minded bloggers and their posts.

  6. Thanks for the tips! We were not very familiar with tagging before reading your post. Time to get tagging!

  7. This is a great tip and explanation! Thanks for the help.

  8. jomz says:

    I have always thought that there was something wrong with my tags, or have not used tags appropriately… I’ll take note of using them for more general terms…

    Thanks for the info.

  9. Joy… My friend was telling me that when she searched the internet, just by using some of the obscure tags that I have used, she found me. So, that’s pretty good. However, as the More is More Mom, my mantra is more of everything is always better, especially making more memories. I blog about a variety of topics, five days a week, that relate to mother hood, family life, personal style, home decor, entertaining, cooking, recipes and slice of life stories.
    Would you suggest any one tag that I should always use, and then the tags that are specific to the particular post?
    To get a better understanding of my blog, please visit me:
    http://moreismoremom.com
    Thank you for your help!!

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