March 9, 2015

How to create pages and link them to labels in Blogger


It might be no surprise that I really like Blogger as my blogging platform since both this business blog and my personal blog run on it. But for a Blogger newbie some of the gadgets that Blogger offers can be really confusing. One thing that keeps showing up in my contact with clients is the difference between pages and labels. What are they and how do you use them? And a question that is asked even more: how can I make a page that links directly to all the posts with a particular label? Well, time to shed some light on this!


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAGES AND LABELS

There is definitely a difference between these two. Regular pages in Blogger are made in a similar way as your posts. You create a blank page, fill it with content (that can be text, images and links to other sites and pages) and attach it to the menu bar. A while back I wrote a tutorial on how to do this over here, so if you're not familiar with how to create a simple blank page in Blogger I suggest you check out that tutorial first before continuing this one.

Labels are something completely different. Other words for them could be 'keywords' or 'categories', although to keep things simple I will use the name that Blogger gives them (labels). When you write a post in Blogger you have the option to give it one or multiple labels. In the screenshot below you will see that the option to add labels to your post is on the right sight of the screen when you're in the blog post writing screen.


Say you write a post on a beautiful trip you just made, you can label it 'travel', 'sight-seeing', 'trips' etc. The most efficient way to use labels is to think of them as categories and then decide into which categories you want to divide your blog posts. Having about 30 to 40 of these labels or categories throughout your blog is more than enough, otherwise you readers will go completely bonkers. Imagine you have to choose from a list of over 200 categories on a website, not so pleasant right? So keep the number of different labels low. Less than 30 will probably even be better.

Keep labels simple and to the point. If you're a fashion blogger for example you might use a label like 'dress' instead of 'pink dress', 'polkadot dress' or 'sophisticated dress'. What the coding in Blogger does is connect all the posts with the same label. So this way all posts with the label 'dress' will be connected.

Giving your posts labels is just the first step. The next one is to make it easy for your readers to find all the posts with the same label in just one mouse click. And one way to do this it to turn a label into a page.


HOW TO TURN A LABEL INTO A PAGE

When you want to link a page in your menu bar to a certain label you should not create an empty page like you normally do. Instead you attach a link to the menu bar that directs your readers to all the posts with that particular label. This is how you do it:

1 - Get the link that belongs to the label

Whenever you give a post a label, this labels shows up in the post footer after you've published the post. But have you ever clicked on a label in the footer of the post? If you did, you might have noticed that you get directed to a page that shows all the posts with that same label. So if you want to create page in the menu bar for a certain label, this is the first step to take. You click on the label in the post footer for which you want to create the page. Blogger directs you to the page where you can see all the posts with that label and all you have to do is copy the link that appears in the internet search bar on top of the screen. Now you've got the link.



2 - Attach the link to the menu bar

* Go to your Blogger dashboard and select 'Layout'
* In the layout screen press the 'edit' button of the menu bar/pages area.


* Now you're in your menu bar. Look for the text that says '+ Add external link'.


* When you click on that you can paste the link there and give it a page title (obviously you can use the label name as a page title for this). Blogger will add this new page at the end of the menu bar. If you want it on another position, just drag the block of the link to another position and save it.



That's it! Whenever your readers click on that particular page in the menu bar they will see a page that shows all the post with that particular label.

The option to create a menu bar page for a particular label is great when you want to highlight some very important labels or when you only use a couple of different labels throughout your blog. In case you use about 30 to 40 different labels you might want to use another option to guide your readers to these label pages. And for that, Blogger has a very nice gadget! Next Wednesday's post will be all about that, so don't miss it!

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