If you’re using Blogger / Blogspot for your blog, there’s one little annoying feature – or lack of – the creators left out Categories.
Categories are important especially if you’re writing regular posts. Once you have quite a few posts on your Blogger blog, your visitors can get lost paging through lots of blog posts unless they can click on Categories to help them find blog posts on the specific topic they’re looking for.
Of course, you can include a Search box on your Blogger blog, which means visitors can search by any keyword and hopefully find what they’re looking for. But Categories provide something instantly clickable and also act as a mini-contents box – an indicator for visitors as to the content, topics, and scope of your blog.
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There are a few methods to add Categories to Blogger – often involving advanced technical skills, including adding to/editing your HTML code, using Digg and links, etc – you can search online for these if you want to and you feel technically competent.
But a simple method, which can be done by anyone, without needing to edit HTML, is by using your Blogger ‘Labels’ in a certain way (described below).
Step 1: Before you write another blog post, you need to think of approximately 5-10 major/parent Categories, which would indicate to visitors which main topics your blog covers. You will use these when setting up/editing your ‘Labels’ for each post.
Step 2: When you’re writing a post, there’s a little box to the bottom right of your blog editing box, called ‘Labels’. These act like tags/keywords for each post. Make sure you do include approximately 5 relevant Labels for each post. But also remember to include at least 1 of the main/parent Category Labels, as described above.
Step 3: You can set up your blog layout to include Labels on the sidebar. You do this by clicking on ‘Customise’, ‘Layout’, ‘Page Elements’, ‘Add a Gadget’. Choose to add ‘Labels’. When it comes to editing your ‘Labels’ to appear on your blog sidebar, choose ‘Selected Labels’ and then ‘Edit’. When you edit them, only tick those which are important main parent Categories/Labels to show (approximately 5-10), and untick all the less important child Categories/Labels.
Step 4: To indicate to blog visitors that these Labels are ‘Categories’, change the title of the Labels box in the sidebar to something like “Categories” or “View Posts By Subject”. This means that visitors will see approximately 5 – 10 Labels showing in the sidebar of the blog, which appears to them to be Categories, and which work just like Categories when they click on them.
Step 5: Every time you write another blog post, simply remember to include one of your main Labels/Parent Categories as one of the blog post’s Labels. This will ensure that this post shows up when visitors click on that appropriate Label/Category in the sidebar.
There you have it. Blogger Categories without going to all the trouble of editing your HTML code!
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