Being a blogger means thinking not only about what you’re writing, but how to present your writing. This is most obvious in your blog’s menu, or navigation bar—without it, visitors to your site would be stuck at a dead end. A well thought-out menu helps to highlight your work and gives your audience an easy way to learn more about you and your projects.
As a Happiness Engineer, one of the most common questions I am asked is, “How can I add posts to pages on my blog?” While it’s true that organizing your posts into certain topics is an excellent way to display the diversity of your writing, it’s actually not possible to add posts to pages. Because posts and pages are two different types of content, they cannot be combined.
Instead, this effect can be achieved with categories. Similar to tags, categories allow bloggers to group certain types of posts together. For example, if you post both recipes and your photography to your blog, you can separate these two topics by using categories. You can then add these category pages to your custom menu so visitors can simply click on a category page to see a full list of all of your posts within a particular category.
If you’re just starting to blog, brainstorming some categories that you might want to use is a great way to step back and plot out the longer-term goals of your writing. If you’ve already been blogging for a while, now may be a good time to revisit the categories you’ve been using and really define your blogging strategy.
In addition to categories, you can also add some other filters to your blog posts to insert as custom links in your menu. For example, if you have a multi-author blog, you can add a link to each of your authors’ pages by adding /author/[username] to the end of your blog URL. Similarly, you can add links to external sites, such as a portfolio and/or your social networking profiles, by using custom links as well.
Your site’s menu is an entryway for visitors to your blog. It contains useful information and is there to highlight your content. Spend some time plotting how you want to lay out your navigation bar. Above all, remember that less can be more. By picking and choosing the links that are most useful to your site’s visitors, you can proactively drive engagement between you and your readers, on and off the blog.