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Posts from July 2013

Typepad 101: The Dos and Dont's of Custom CSS

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. The tips here are suitable for bloggers at varying levels, from basic to intermediate. Need tips on how to make something work for you? Leave a comment! Your Support team and fellow Typepad bloggers are always here to lend a hand.

The Custom CSS feature is a great way to make style changes to your blog without starting from scratch with a design. It allows you to make changes to font styles, design colors, widths, positioning, backgrounds - the options are almost limitless. We know that code like CSS can be a little intimidating but we think it's worth the effort and it can be really fun.

We introduced you to the Custom CSS feature not long ago to get you started. Here are some more basic tips we want to share for using Custom CSS. Add your own in the comments!

Do have a solid place to start
We've created the CSS Cookbook as a resource you can use to find copy and paste code to get you started with using CSS. There are also lots of tips in the Knowledge Base and right here on Everything Typepad.

Do start small
You might be tempted to go whole-hog and drop in a bunch of CSS to see what happens. That can be a fun adventure but you might waste time with unwanted changes. Instead, try adding in one bit of code at a time and using the Preview function to take a look at the results. You can also create a test blog for trying out new design ideas before using them on your live blog.

Don't use the Custom CSS page for code that isn't CSS
We sometimes see JavaScript, HTML, and other content in the Custom CSS area and that will prevent the CSS after it from working properly. Try the Embed your own HTML or Head modules for that type of code instead.

Do keep your code organized
It's helpful to group code in sections by area of the blog, such as putting all of the navigation bar code together, all of the post code together, and so on. This is also helpful for Support if you reach out to us for help with your code - it's easier to see issues if your code is organized well.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes
Sometimes you just can't get something to work the way you want and that's not a big deal. The Custom CSS page makes it easy to drop code in or take it out whenever you want without having to go through a lot of files. It's all on one page.


Featured Blog: Artifact Girl

NAME: Artifact Girl
BLOG: Artifact Girl
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2013
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Artifact Girl explores beauty, health, culture, travel, and design, amongst other things! Run by the founder of Artifact Skin Co. and focused on bringing together forgotten natural beauty traditions from different cultures, her vision is for people to discover new methods of cultural skincare from across the globe. Get ready for a skin-tastic journey!

Artifactgirl

FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter


From Say Daily: Annoying Ads Are a Dying Breed – And It's About %$#*ing Time

image from gallery.mailchimp.com

Don't accept the old order. Get rid of it.

Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistols

Since the very first banner ad debuted in 1994, online ads have been designed to be disruptive. Early banner ads were blinking, jumping, screaming distractions that were a necessary evil to subsidize great (and awful) content. It's now 20 years later and obnoxious banners continue to bumble along at the top of our screens. More elegant solutions have added slicker graphics and video footage to capture eyeballs. Meanwhile, high-impact screen takeovers, which just a few years ago were 'the future,’ are now just another irritating distraction that we all can’t wait to bat away. Let's face it: Who wants their screen to collapse into an ad when they’re halfway through a piece of content?

As content and commerce have become ever more intertwined, the Holy Grail for brands is to find a more natural place alongside editorial content – a more seamless flow between the two.

Which is why disruptive online ads are living on borrowed time. IAB has set up a taskforce dedicated to finding more natural ways in which to integrate ads into editorial content with the Native Ad Task Force (full disclosure: Say Media is a member company on the force). While IAB seeks to establish some best practices around this emerging style of custom content, more traditional ads are starting to jump out of their boxes and embed themselves more naturally alongside editorial content. At Say Media we've created a bold bold new ad experience on ReadWrite, one of the most widely read and respected technology sites. It’s the first media brand to ever feature Adaptive Ads, which are responsive brand messages that exist within the flow of content – on any device. You can experience it here (click and scroll down). It's like a full page ad appearing as you flip through a magazine.

In a nutshell, Adaptive Ads are big, beautiful and content-rich. And they're the future.

Read More at Say Daily.



New theme: It's a celebration!

Summer is the time to celebrate so many milestones in life - birthdays, graduations, new babies, weddings, the list goes on and on. In fact, we think it's a great time to celebrate just for the sake of it. Why not throw some confetti at your blog with the new Celebration theme?

Celebration-rainbow

Celebrate-silver Celebrate-gold

You can try the new theme by going to Blogs > Design > Choose a new theme. If you want to try it before you commit, we recommend setting up a test blog and applying it there.

What are you celebrating this summer? Leave a comment and let us know!


Improving the Spam Problem for Blog Authors

We know that several blog owners have been impacted by an issue where your own comments on your blog have been misidentified as spam.

Spam is our top issue and we're happy to announce today that we've made some changes to the system to help combat this.  Blog authors should no longer see their comments caught by the spam filter if you're signed into your Typepad account when commenting.

To make sure you're signed into your Typepad account, you should check what you see when commenting.  If you see the form that asks you to enter your name, e-mail address, and URL, then you're not signed in.  You need to click the Typepad link above the comment box and login before commenting:

Comment_login
Once you've clicked this link and signed in, the name, e-mail address, and URL fields will disappear and you'll see that you're logged in:

LoggedinGo ahead and make your comment and you should see it posted to your blog (unless you've enabled comment moderation) and not caught in the spam filter.

We appreciate everyone's patience while this was being worked on. We know that this was an inconvenience.  This is a just a first step in plans we have to continue to improve the spam filter so that all of our users can have an improved commenting experience.


Typepad 101: Utilizing Your Blog's Feed

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered.

All Typepad blogs include RSS and Atom feeds that contain the latest posts. Immediately when you publish a new post, the feed is updated with the post and shared to anyone who subscribes to your feed. But a feed can be used to share your posts in other ways as well.

  • Add Email Subscriptions! Make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog and receive updates via email. FeedBlitz uses your blog's feed to send out an email to anyone who subscribes. By adding their email subscription form to your blog's sidebar, visitors to your site simply enter their email address to sign up.
  • Share your posts on another website! You can use your blog's feed in conjunction with an RSS to Javascript to display your latest posts on another website. You can find details on setting this up in the Knowledge Base.
  • Use your blog's feed to share your latest posts almost anywhere with IFTTT.com! IFTTT (short for "if this, then that") makes it easy to manage your social media sites. We have tips for sharing your posts to your LinkedIn Profile and Facebook Page, and you can do so much more.
  • Set up category feeds to display posts on a specific topic! At Settings > Feeds, you can enable category feeds. Then, you can use the Feeds Module at Design > Content to display the latest posts from the category in your blog's sidebar.

How else do you use your blog's feed to share your latest posts? Let us know in the comments. Maybe there's something you want to set up with the feed and you're not sure how - post a question to the Typepad forum.


The Business of Blogging: Sponsorships

Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Late to the party? Check out our other posts about the Business of Blogging.

So far in our series, you've learned how to use your blog to market your business, and bring in extra income.  In addition to having pay-per-click ads in your sidebar, another popular option is to offer a a Sponsorship program.  Having a successful Sponsorship program on your blog will require a little extra work on your part beyond the paid advertising space that you offer.

Sponsor ads are ad spaces on your blog one can purchase in exchange for additional promotion from you.  This could include writing a feature post about their site, hosting a giveaway for them, writing a product review, or just a few plugs on your social media sites. 

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 4.24.42 PM

A service like Passionfruit Ads has made managing sponsorship programs SO easy! They set up the code for your ad shop, your ad links, and even host the images for you - no upload required! Just some codes to copy and paste and you're all set!

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 4.06.02 PM

Use the Page feature on your blog to set up your Sponsorship page. This page is where you explain your program, prices, perks, and where to actually purchase the ad.  Here are some great examples of Sponsorship pages from Mary Makes DinnerSmile and Wave and Muse My World

When you have some ads queued for publishing, the next step is adding the ads to your layout.  We recommend embedding a new module to your layout.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 4.06.41 PM

For more information, check out Passionfruitads "How-to" specifically for Typepad users.  

Sponsorship programs generally start when the blogger feels like they have a decent amount of followers and readership to offer this promotion.  To get an idea of what to charge for space, check out other blogs with similar readership/followers to gauge what others are charging.   Another option is to swap ads with other bloggers just to get the word out about your blog.

Like we mentioned earlier, sponsorships are more than just sticking a button on your sidebar.  You need to stick to your end of the bargain in promoting your sponsors as well as the upkeep your blog.  No one wants to pay to advertise on a blog that updates sporadically.  Sponsorships are a great way to discover new blogs, grow your blogging community, develop your own style as a blogger, and generate extra income.


Featured Blog: Feast of Music

NAME: Pete Matthews & Co.
BLOG: Feast of Music
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2007
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Pete Matthews is a Brooklyn based blogger who put down his roots in music during college, when he was program director for a radio station which played everything from classical to jazz to indie rock. Now he goes to shows and along with contributors Michael Cirigliano II and Nicholas Fernandez, writes about New York City's robust local music scene.

Feast_of_music

FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter


Typepad 101: Adding Password Protection

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered.

While one of the biggest parts of blogging is sharing your posts and stories with other people, having your blog and all of your thoughts out in the public eye might not be what you're looking for.  Maybe your blog is about your family and you prefer to give them anonymity. Maybe your blog is about something that you're struggling with and you'd prefer to make that private.  Whatever the case may be, Typepad has you covered (literally).

When you enable password protection, only those people that you supply the username and password to will be able to view your blog. Everyone else will get a prompt to enter the username and password and, if they don’t know it, won’t be able to view the blog.

You can choose to password protect only specific blogs and Photo Albums or you can password protect your entire account. To password protect  entire account or specific blogs or Photo Albums, go to Account > Password Protection. You can also enable password protection on individual blogs by clicking through to Settings > Password Protection.

Passwordprotection
On a side note, if you add content to your blog from other sites that are password protected, you'll receive a prompt that will require that sites username and password.  This can happen if you link pictures from other password protected blogs, for example.  If you get more than one password prompt on a blog, you should check that you haven't accidentally done this.

You can read more about password protection in our Knowledge Base.


Spotlight: Four Great Blogs by Women Writers

Each week, we scout for great posts in our Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. This week, we've rounded up four fantastic book related blogs written by women, from author blogs to book reviews to writers writing about writing that are sure to spark your own writing muse - just click through the images to check 'em out!

Let's go!

Novelicious is a bright and passionate website dedicated to Women's Fiction readers, writers and aspiring writers

Whatever your women's fiction tastes, visit Novelicious for up to date news, reviews, exclusive author interviews, writing tips and competitions!

Novelicious

Jennsylvania's Jen Lancaster is the New York Times best selling author of several fantastic books, including Bitter Is the New Black, If You Were Here, Jeneration X, and The Tao of Martha.

Novelicious

Charlotte Rains Dixon is a writer who runs the robust community at Wordstrumpet.com, welcoming writers, would-be writers, wanna-be writers, creativity junkies, spiritual seekers, artists and entrepreneurs. If you have any interest in writing, creativity, personal development, or spirituality, you'll find much of use here.

Novelicious

Girly Girl is the blog of Kristin Billerbeck, the author of more than 30 novels, including "What a Girl Wants" and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls Series. She is a fourth-generation Californian, who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides.

Novelicious

We hope you enjoyed this week's roundup of fantastic Typepad blogs! Check out more great blogs right here. Interested in joining the Typepad Showcase? Submit your blog today - you might just see yourself in the spotlight!