03 May 2011

Creating Pages to Organise Your Blog


Here we are each in our little corner of the Blogoverse. Just like you, I'm trying to make my corner as good as I can. Like you, I am proud of many of my previous stories; posts I have laboured over and want you to read.

But you are new to my blog. Or you were busy that week. 
You missed my brilliant  must-read posts.
You might have missed the funny one about the Toddlers' Tricks to get Attention.
Or my great Fairy Party. My delicious Tiramisu.
How am I going to make sure these great posts can be found and read by you?

I create Pages. Index pages with posts listed in some kind of logical order for you to easily find. Having an easy-to-navigate blog is important if you want people to be able to discover everything you have going on.
Today I want to introduce you to the wonder of Pages. They can revolutionise your blog and help your readers get to know you better and find their way around.

As a blogger, you might specialise in baking and have a bunch of great recipes you've shared. Maybe you're a keen photographer and you share your awesome editing tips on your blog... the easiest way for people to find these gems is for you to create index pages.

Here on my blog I have the following pages where readers can find anything they might be looking for...

  • Start Here: A page for anyone new to my blog, letting them know what they will find here and where they can find it.
  • About Me: pretty self explanatory... a page introducing me, Simone
  • Our Family: introducing the main actors in this drama, my beloved family
  • Party Stuff: parties of all kinds, how to's, menus, printables, tutorials and fun ideas
  • Yummy Stuff: Favourite easy-to-make Recipes, including gluten and dairy free ones
  • Parenting Stuff: the magic of Play, fun ideas to make life easier, my take on Motherhood and all the things I'm learning along the way (usually the hard way)
  • Blog Tips: easy-to-follow how to's for making the best of your blog, including Blog Design tips, photo editing and make-your-own social media buttons
  • Depression and Me: a collection of posts from my personal journey through Depression & Anxiety
  • Book Club: Mrs Readalot (my bookaholic alter-ego) runs a bloggy bookclub with linky... all voracious readers welcome!




How to Create Pages

*NOTE* These technical tips are for Blogger, but the principles still apply to any blog platform .

Click on "Pages" in your blog editing menu. You'll find it in the list on the left of the window.

Click on *New Page*. It's a drop-down menu which gives you the option of linking to another website. Ignore that feature and simply click on *Blank Page*

Change the order of your pages right there and then by grabbing the thick blue edge of a page's "box" and dragging it to where you want.

After that it's just like creating a post - except that it's a Page. Now you need to think about what kind of Pages you'd like to create.


What Pages should you create?

ABOUT ME PAGE
An "About Me" page is essential for starters. If I'm new to your blog I will look for an About Me page right away. Your About Me page should reflect you and give your readers a sense of who you are and what's important to you, as well as where you're from and what they can expect to find on your blog.

Your About Me page is the quickest way to connect new readers with you. Have a few "Defining" posts about yourself linked there too, so people can read the kind of things that make you tick.

BEST POSTS PAGE
It's also recommended to have a Best Posts page of some kind. (My Best Posts are included in a page called "Start Here".) Showcase all the posts you are proudest of - the ones which got the biggest response, the ones you poured your heart into. Those are worth being read again.

TOPICAL INDEX PAGES
Next you need to ask yourself, what makes your blog unique? Are you a crafter? A Baker? A Party-thrower? An eco-mum?

Make an Index Page where you can display clickable lists of your recipes, tips or how-to posts. Give it some kind of logical order so people can find what they are looking for. Use subheadings or titles to help make sub-topics easy to find.

OTHER
Really the sky's the limit.
I have a "Depression and Me" page, and a "Book Club" page as well as all the rest. You can have up to ten pages. I hide my Christmas page and bring it out in November!

Figure out the flavour of your blog and promote yourself within it.


Designing Your Pages
Give your Pages a design that matches the rest of your blog, but which makes them stand out as being different from a normal "post". 
I use Photoscape to create photo layouts and titles for my pages.

Photoscape is an easy-to-use photo-editing tool which is free to download.
I use *Batch Editor* to give the photos a frame and style, then use *Combine* to lay them out in a grid. It's very simple, just drag and drop to arrange and rearrange, then save and upload as you would any other photograph.

By creating titles for the pages (.jpeg format, like a photo but text), I am able to use fonts I wouldn't otherwise be able to display on my blog. This makes my pages much more visually interesting.

What not to do with your Pages:
Whatever you do, don't use the pages to display actual tips or recipes (I have seen this done many times and it completely defeats the purpose of Pages). This is what posts are for.
Your Pages should become an index where people find your earlier articles on certain topics displayed as clickable hyperlinks. You know how to make those, right?
{In case you're a real blogging newbie, go to this post to find out how.}

Ordering Your Pages.
Decide on the most logical order for your tabs, from left to right (if you choose to display them under your header) or top to bottom (If you display them in your sidebar).

There are two ways to reach the editing window to re-order your pages.

  1. Click on Layout, then *Edit* in the Pages gadget as shown above OR 
  2. Click on the edit tool right next to your tabs, as shown below...


Then all you have to do is drag and drop your pages into the order you want. You can also select which pages you want to display, and link to the others manually.
Simple as that.

Tabs Display Style
The style of your tabs will depend on which template you are using for your blog. I use the Picture Window Template, but have customised and changed everything about it - except the Tabs style, which I rather like.
You can easily change the fonts and background colour of your tabs in in Template Designer whichever template you are using.
If you don't like the actual style of the tabs you will have to change to a different template. You can "try on" different styles without having to commit to the change, but once you make the change permanent, remember that you will lose any customising you have done to your template when you change templates.

Have fun creating your Pages! I'd love to see what you've created using my tips; email me or leave a link on my FaceBook Page, so I can come by and check out your flash new pages.

..........................................


IF BLOGGY DIY ISN'T YOUR THING:
If doing this yourself seems too overwhelming, you can always take the easy way out and let me do it for you. Visit my Custom Blog Design page and request either a special custom designed button set (NZ$25) or an extra button in one of the styles pictured here (NZ$5 per button).
I can also create Headers, grab-buttons and even do a complete blog-design overhaul...




{P.S. If you're feeling eternally grateful right now... you can say *thankyou* by Following}




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20 comments:

PaisleyJade said...

So love your blog tips - I learnt something today!!

Gail said...

eh, I'm tired.

Sima J said...

SO SO helpful! You will see I added a recipes tab to my blog now .. You're a legend :-)

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

Thanks again Simoney!

I have just finished making my own blog button using your tips from the last Blog Tips & Tricks post that you did! Brilliant!! Just wondering.... can you make your button go to a particular blog post or does it have to be to your blog in general?

Also - on your next blog tips and tricks, would you be able to share how you can make an image in a blog link to another post or blog? I only know how to do it with words, as you mentioned in this post.

emma

CHD said...

Very helpful- Thanks. I'm going to go and check out your other ones now.

Meghan at MNM's said...

For once I'm glad to see I am up with the play of most of this! Great post and tips, so easy to follow!

Remaliah said...

Thanks for the tips! I was wondering how you all made the tabs :) I joined blogland today! Also keen to read the book. I just have to see if I can get myself a copy. Hope your day is brighter! x

Elizabeth said...
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Elizabeth said...

Oh - so exciting! I discovered tabs totally by accident a few weeks ago, have you noticed them on my blog? I am going through all your tips and idea's and adding them to my new blog - will be writing a post about that and the weekend party/dedication soon! Was internet-less for two days, and even now it is intermittent :-(!

Amy said...

Thanks so much for the blog tips - I am looking forward to using them to 'spice up' my blog in the coming weeks. After hours spent fluffing around with design, it is so nice to have someone 'in the know' telling me exactly where to look and what to do to set things up properly! Only I tried to get the new editor set up on blogger and keep getting errors and can't type anything, much to my frustration! I shall have to persevere. I am sure it will be worthwhile! Thanks again, Amy

Becs said...

thanks so much for this, i am one of those 'i hate blogger' sorts, much appreciate the enlightenment!!

Selena and Anna said...

I am so glad it was finally your SITS day because I learned some great things from your blog tips!!! We are pretty novice over at our blog so this was some wonderful information. THANK YOU!!

Geri Centonze said...

Hi I was already familiar with how to add tabs, but what I want to know is how you get the tabs to look like yours with the cute rounded tops!

Belle said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I have wanted to create tabs for months. It will surely help me to organize my contents. Now I just need to find a few free hours...

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Teresa said...

Great information. I've just added a 'start here' page as a result - thanks!

Abdul Rashid Alhassan said...
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Abdul Rashid Alhassan said...
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Jaime Wasser said...

The more I read your blog the more I learn and the more I want to incorporate into mine! Your posts are extremely helpful and I can't wait to use the enlightening tools and tips you have provided and made so easy to utilize and follow!! Thanks, feel free to check out my newbie blog! Furnituremaven.blogspot.com.

Sound Off! said...

Thanks for the information. How do you get your content to go under specific pages? All of my content posts under one page. Thanks :-)

pinmykitchen said...

Oh, I'm using Wordpress and not Blogger sorry. :-/ I asked about getting your content to actually post under different pages instead of one page only. Thanks. :-)

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