This article was written by Richard Robbins
Contrary to WordPress blogs, blogs hosted on Blogger.com are not set up to automatically use categories to organize blog entries. However, the Labels Gadget provided as a default component of Blogger blogs can be used to categorize your posts. Here’s how it works.
First, an explanation of Blogger gadgets is in order. A Blogger gadget is a module that is added to a blog to perform some function. Some of the most common gadgets include:
· Blog Archive – This gadget lists archived blog postings and allows bloggers to configure the format for listing their old posts.
· Followers – This gadget allows visitors to a blog to opt-in and “join” the blog site through Google’s Friend Connect.
· About Me – This gadget displays an “About Me” section of the blog.
The Labels gadget allows a blogger to give labels to blog entries. These labels essentially create categories for groups of blog entries that are given identical labels. For instance, if I was blogging about baseball, I might have some posts about the Chicago Cubs and other posts dealing with the New York Yankees. If I label each of the posts about the Cubs with the label “Cubs” and each of the posts about the Yankees with the label “Yankees”, categories will be created for each of those labels. Beside the name for each category is a listing of how many posts are contained in that category. More than one label can be applied to each post, so you could have your Cubs posts show up in both the “Atlanta Braves” category and another one you create for “National League”.
To begin using the Labels gadget for categorizing your blog posts, you need to make sure that you have the Labels gadget added to your blog. To do this, choose the Layout tab for your blog. If you don’t see the Labels gadget listed, you’ll need to add it by clicking “Add a Gadget”. You can customize the Labels gadget by giving it a different title (I chose “Categories “ for mine), choosing how the categories are sorted, and determining whether to show the number of posts corresponding to each category. The Labels gadget can be moved to a different position on the page by dragging it up or down with respect to the other gadgets you have active on your blog. If you want to move your new category link to another part of the page, you would need to choose a different layout template or customize your current one.
Once you have added the Labels gadget from your control panel, you’ll need to go through your posts and label them according to the category structure you’ve decided on. There are a couple things you should consider when creating your labels. If you change the spelling of a label even slightly (singular versues plural) from one post to another, the two posts will be placed in two separate categories. When you are labeling a post, Blogger has a handy predictive text tool that allows you to see other labels you’ve used that start with the same letters as what you’ve already typed. This feature helps you remember what names you’ve used for categories already. There is no quick way to rename your categories, so you may want to plan ahead before you add labels to tens or hundreds of posts so you won’t have to spend the same amount of time renaming the categories should you change your mind.