Recently a blog-friend ask my thoughts on using labels for posts in blogger. Here is her question.
“I was wondering what your thoughts are on labels for blog posts? I don’t label mine. There is a search box in the upper left corner of blogger and anyone wishing to find blog posts on my blog that pertain to a certain subject can type the subject up there and blogger will generate a list of all my posts that deal with that subject. Is there another good reason to label posts? Also, what do people mean when they talk about having their blog restricted because they have too many labels? I don’t understand why we need labels. Can you explain it to me?”
This was my response.
I think of labels like categories. They are just a broad way of lumping your post into a few groups. When I started out I think I used too many labels and wish I had just focused on a few. I hadn’t heard of blogs being restricted b/c of too many labels but when I did a quick Google search, it says that blogs have a limit of 2000 labels per blog and 20 labels per post.
Labels can help someone find other posts you have written that relate to that specific category/label. And you could use it to create a link on your menu to a specific label. For instance on my blog I used to have link in my menu called books and it was linked to the following address: http://wateredsoul.com/category/books/book-review/ which will show all my posts that relate to books/book reviews.
I think using labels is a matter of preference. I see some use it and others don’t.
Give ‘em the Goodies
Your labels help readers find other related content on your site. Consider it as a friend comes over to visit and you give them a snack. They would like to eat more of that scrumptious dessert. You wouldn’t leave them rummaging around in your cabinets looking for your recipe box. Right? You would either offer them another slice or give them a copy of the recipe. Treat your blog readers like your home guests. They are visitors to your bloggy home. Help them find more delicious reads related to the topics they would like to know more about by including labels on your posts. Then they can click that nice little link and find all the other delectable reads you have related to that subject.
For us WordPress users there is no such thing as labels. Instead posts use categories and tags. Julia over at Pixal Frau does a great job of explaining the difference between the two in her post titled, WordPress Categories vs. Tags. I liked her simple definition of categories being like your blogs table of contents and categories being the index of your blog. Lisa at Elembee also does a great job explaining the difference between the two in Blogkeeping//Clean Up Your Categories, which is something that I have been wanting meaning to do for some time now. In her post, she suggest not creating tags (which is equivalent to labels in Blogger) for things you only mention once on your blog.
When I transferred my blog from Blogger to WordPress, all my post labels in Blogger were transferred over as tags in WordPress. So I used the handy dandy tool available in WordPress called Categories and Tags Converter.
Lasso in Your Labels
We already established that labels can help you be a better host to your blog guests. Right? Just as you wouldn’t put a complete buffet of all the food in your household, it is better not to dump a list of 50 labels on your sidebar (in my humble opinion). You know those tag clouds or that long list of labels on your sidebar. Instead display 4-5 labels that you talk about the most on your blog. Click the link below to see a quick tutorial I made on how to limit your label list.
- Using labels is a matter of personal preference
- Labels helps your readers easily find other related delectable reads on your blog
- Streamline the sidebar clutter by limiting the number of labels displayed to your most popular 4-5 labels.
Do you have a blog related question? Feel free to ask it in the comments or send me an email at wanda (at) wateredsoul (dot) com. Although I’m no expert, I love digging into the back-end of blogs and sharing what I know.
Do you use labels on your blog? Why or Why not? How did you decide which labels/categories you would use?