Magento: Add static cms block to category page on left

Magento doesn’t default allow putting your pages in top menu, to put your pages in menu you have to create a category and then associate a cms block to it.
You are able to display cms contents on a category page that is fine but what about when you need to add another static block on left side of the category page?
That is a bit tricky you can do it in various ways but the easiest is to use the custom layout update that requires not coding.

Below is step by step guide to create a cms page (category page actually) and adding to top navigation and then adding the left block.

So here we go,

1. Create a new category
go to catalog > manage categories > Add Root/Sub Category 2015-07-06 14-45-20

In Display settings select display mode as “Static block only”
Select your static cms block in which you have content for that category
Select “is anchor” as “yes” if you need to add that category to menu 2015-07-06 14-46-57

2. Now we add another static block on left

Select page layout as 2 columns with left bar
and paste following xml

<reference name="left">
    <block type="cms/block" name="my_left_block" before="-">
        <action method="setBlockId"><block_id>my_left_block</block_id></action>

“my_left_block” is the id of static block you created to display on left. 2015-07-06 14-51-43

Save category and view it on front it should have a block on left and content on right

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