March 01, 2013

How to Use "Labels" to create Topic Pages

Time to get nerdy about Blogs!

When I started this blog I wanted just one platform to write about my various interests - the outdoors, food, and bicycling. I didn't want to frig around with separate blogs for these topics. So I faced the dilemma of a non-specific blog - and the issue of various topics cluttering and hiding each other. For example if my Mom :) came to read my recipes I wanted her to be able to focus in on just those posts and not wade through photos from climbing and hiking.

Over the course of a year I fiddled around with blogger, wordpress, and tumblr to find a way that I could separate out my topics into different pages. At first I tried setting up actual "Pages" but I found these to be static. I wanted each topic page to be look and act like blog.

I figured it out first with Wordpress and then just recently with Blogger. I chose Blogger in the end because of how easy it was add photos through Picasa and online albums. Wordpress has a sleek look but it's painfully clunky in the photo department and has limited space. 

So here's a step by step way to get your Blog Topics to act like Pages:

** I added notes to the screenshots. You may need to open them to read more easily.

The "Labels" you select will show up like Pages below your header. Each will take the reader to a list of all posts fitting into that category.

When you write Posts give them Labels. You can create any label you'd like to fit your topic. Think of them as categories/topics/ or tags. The Labels that you create here will be available as links below your header (you choose which).

Go to your "Layout" page and add the "Labels" Widget. You can place it along the bottom, sidebar, or top. I prefer putting it at the top so that it mimics "Pages". 

In this dialog box you can select which Labels you want to appear. You may find it cleaner to select only a few primary Labels to display (so that it's not messy with 2 dozen different labels).  For instance I chose generic labels such as "Outdoors" and "Food" to display on my main page.

But you needn't be limited to just those principle labels on your posts. When I gave something the "Outdoors" label I also further identified it with "climbing", "rockies", "winter".

Happy blogging

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