Blogger Widgets

11/12/12

Create an Easy Peasy Menu Bar in Blogger

How to Create an easy Menu Bar in Blogger

I've been chatting back and forth with a blogger comrade this weekend because she had some questions about how to better organize her blog for her readers.  Specifically, she wanted to be able to create a menu bar so readers could easily find posts she has written on specific topics.  There are a couple ways to do this, but the easiest way is to put your Blogger Labels to work for you.

If you have been involved with website or blog creation at all, you have probably come to realize that Google is about as difficult to crack with regard to SEO tips and tricks as a Rubik's Cube (note: if you have ever cracked a Rubik's cube, just leave now.  I am not smart enough to be in your vicinity.  You should be worried about getting dumber by the second.  So, off with you).  However, by piecing bits of information gathered from various sources, I have found that the Labels in Blogger don't do a whole lot with regard to SEO.  Having 25 labels per post thinking they act as keywords for Google search optimization, likely isn't going to help too much with search engine rankings.  It can help with the internal organization of your blog by making it easier for users to find specific types of content, but won't make you the number one listing on Google for that term.

This was a major bummer for me because I thought if I just typed in "Super Awesome Blog" in my Blogger Label box, anyone Googling super awesome blog would undoubtedly find me. Not so.  So sad.  I will never be Super Awesome (crying in my win....er, coffee).  But, they are a very useful organizational tool especially when used consistently.  So let's create a menu bar from your Labels to
maximize their effectiveness and usefulness internally.


Step One: Create a Master Labels List

Come up with a list of 5-7 words (i.e. Master Labels) that describe your posts.  For example, any post I write that is about what is on my mind, my thoughts, my personal experiences gets the label "Martini Musings".  Anything that involves my family gets the label "The Monkey House".  Recipes get labeled "Recipes" etc.  You can add additional labels to each post as well.  For instance, I will label this post "Mo' Bettah Blogging" (from my Master Label List), but I may also include "Labels, Menu Bar, How-To, and Blogger Tips" when I define my labels for this post.  Not so much because I hope it will help with Google search indexing, but because it might help you as the reader find this post based on those search terms if you do an internal site search.

Step Two: Edit Each Existing Post

Once you come up with a concise list of topics that your posts can be categorized by, go through and edit your existing labels in each post to include one or two of these "Master Labels". You can create labels for each post by adding them to the "Labels" section under the Post Settings located to the right of your post editor.  (Heh? I'm Lost. Help!...  When you're writing a post, look to your right.  See all that stuff?  One is called labels... ad your master label and any other relevant search term in there).

Step Three: Add The Label Widget (if you haven't already)

Now that all your posts are categorized by the 5-7 terms or topics that comprise your "Master Label List", you want to add a Labels Widget to your layout.  Go to Layout, and "Add a gadget" (it doesn't matter where, because we'll be moving it).



Choose the Labels gadget.


You will be given a couple options to customize the gadget.  Choose the radio button that says "Selected Labels" and then click "edit".  All the labels you have ever used will come up in a list.  Check the box next to the labels used in your Master List ONLY.  You see I only have 7 out of 93 labels checked.  ALSO Make sure you check the radio box for "List" Rather than "Cloud".  Click "Save".





 Step Five: Move The Gadget

Now you'll want to customize the location of your gadget.  Since we're creating a menu bar, you'll want to bring it to the top, right under your heading.



Save your arrangement, and view your blog.  You should see a menu bar right beneath your header with the "Master List" of labels you created.


The appearance (font, colors, etc.) Of your menu bar can be customized in the Template Section of Blogger.

BAM!  You just done did create yo'self a menu!!  Pat's on the back!  Clinking of the glasses! Whoot Whoots for all!!

Was this helpful for you?  Got any questions, suggestions or ideas for Mo' Bettah Blogging?  Leave me a comment!!  And grab my button (To the left) and let people know you found this tip at 3 Monkeys and a Martini! 


7 comments:

  1. It worked! Thank you! http://theborgblogger.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yee-Haw! I'm on my way to check out your new addition ;)

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  2. Hey, thank you mucho!
    I'm not so good at all this computery mumbo jumbo stuff so yes, this was definitely helpful :)
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am not a great teacher because I use about a bazillion more words than necessary to get my point across... so I'm glad it made some sense. :)

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  3. Here's the corrected code:
    [ul id="jsddm"]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/"]Home
    [/a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/workout"]Workout[/
    a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/Nutrition"]Nutrition
    [/a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/lifestyle"]Lifestyle[/a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/
    pregnancy"]Pregnancy[/a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/Thins no one tells
    you"]Things no one tells you[/a]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/Reviews"]Reviews[/
    a]
    [ul]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/baby stuff"]Baby
    stuff[/a][/li]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/momma
    stuff"]Momma stuff[/a][/li]
    [/ul]
    [/li]
    [li][a href="http://
    mommaalwayssaid2.blogspot.com/
    search/label/budget
    living"]Budget living[/a]
    [/li]
    [/li][/li][/li][/li][/li][/li][/ul]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the HTML! If you choose to do HTML, you'll want to use the HTML widget instead of the labels widget. I Used the Labels widget for this, since it formats fairly easily without having to add additional HTML and CSS to the template for design purposes. But I am definitely going to give a custom navigation bar a try. Thanks for your tip!!

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