A little known fact about using Blogger is that each label (category) also emits it’s own feed.
This means that readers could easily subscribe to receive posts from a particular label. It also means that blog publishers can use these label feeds to create a featured posts list in their sidebar which updates automatically each time a new post is attributed to this label.
In this post, I’ll explain how easy it is to create a featured posts list in Blogger using your label feeds which will help draw attention to the most important posts in your blog.
Now unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t make it easy for us to discover our label feeds. So to discover the URL for label feeds in your Blogger blog, you will need to adapt the following formula:
You will need to change two sections of this URL to discover your own label feed URL: your unique blog ID number, and the name of your blog’s label.
The easiest method of discovering your blog’s unique ID number is to access the dashboard for the blog you wish to use and look at the URL in your address bar:
Right at the end of the URL, you will notice your unique blog ID number. Replace “YOUR-BLOG-ID” in the label feed URL with this unique number.
Replacing the name of your label is much simpler. Simply replace “YOUR-LABEL-NAME with the actual name of your Blogger label. This is case sensitive, so be sure to type your label name exactly how it is written.
If your label name includes more than one word (with spaces between them), you will need to replace the spaces with %20 (the HTML code which creates a space).
Once you have made these two changes to the label feed example above, you will have a URL string which looks similar to this one:
Take a look at this label feed in action by pasting your label feed URL into the address bar of your browser. This will allow you to see an atom feed of all posts attributed to the label you have used.
Now all we need to do is use the URL for your label feed within a “Feed” widget.
To do this, simply go to the Layout page for your blog of choice in your Blogger dashboard. Click to add a new “Page Element” and choose to add a “Feed” widget.
On the next page, simply paste your blog’s Label feed URL into the box and click “continue”. Blogger will parse the feed URL and return a screen similar to the one shown below:
Change the title to “Featured posts” (or whichever title you like), and choose to display posting date/author info as you prefer.
Once the feed widget appears as you would like, save the changes and enjoy your newly added “featured posts” widget in your blog!
When using your label feeds to present a list of featured posts, you may also like to add a new label “Featured” for example) to the posts you would prefer to display.
This prevents you from being restricted to featuring posts of a particular subject, and allows you to choose which posts will be displayed in your widget.
I hope this has been useful in explaining a useful example of Blogger label feed functionality. Please do feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.