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Posts from September 2013

From Say Daily: Online Loyalty: The Last Stand for Publishers


We're done when I say we're done.

Walter White, Breaking Bad

It’s lunch hour on a Wednesday and you find yourself accelerating downward through a content wormhole. You’ve spent the past 30 minutes dancing on tangents - the Miley Cyrus video that led you to a top ten list of award show fails, a deep dive on Britney Spears, quickly diverging to a ‘where are they now’ journey with the original cast of the Mickey Mouse Club. This goes on for the better part of an hour - Stumbling, Redditing and (Buzz)feeding your way into a content coma, inevitably winding up where all content bingers end their meal: with cats.

No, this is not some aberration fueled by midday boredom and caffeine, this is the status quo of online content consumption ... and it is alarmingly fickle.

We live in a digital world of listicles and memes where content is bite-sized and effectively unattributed. Can you name the author of the last top ten list you read? The publication that first scooped the Epic Twerk Fail? How about the site you just landed on when you clicked my cat link? Probably not, and it presents an incredible challenge for online publications: the challenge of building loyalty.

Read more at Say Daily.

Your Best Foot Forward: Writing a Great Recipe Post


Welcome to our special series on how to write a great blog post! Every other Thursday, we'll debut a new article that will teach you how to write posts for your blog that will engage and inspire your readers, encourage conversation in comments, and keep them coming back for more.   Put your best foot forward and watch your audience grow! Late to the party? Check out the other posts in our series here.

If you ask me, one of the greatest cultural wonders of our time is the food blog. I'm not just saying this because I love a good meal (and I do). Food blogs are making the world a smaller place, one bite at a time. Thanks to these culinary diaries, you can learn how to make Buckeye State Ice Cream, Spaghetti Carbonara, or Masala Fried Chicken in the comfort of your own home.

Thanks to your favorite food blogs, a simple weeknight meal can become an opportunity to broaden horizons and ignite imaginations. Like a great meal, a recipe post is only as good as its components. Today, we'll go through the basics of writing a REALLY great recipe post. So get ready to dig in, and don't forget to leave room for dessert.

Get Inspired

Before you even think about writing a post, you have to come up with a killer recipe. If you need inspiration, try checking out some of your favorite food blogs, visiting a local farmer's market, or browsing a visual recipe site like Tastespotting or Foodgawker. Whatever you decide to create, take plenty of notes as the dish comes together. Use this opportunity to share teasers, like photos and tweets, as you experiment. This can be a great way to get your audience excited about your upcoming posts.  

Testing Your Recipe

It's not enough to simply invent a great dish, you've got to be sure that the recipe works. It helps to think of your recipe as a formula. Each of your readers will approach this formula with a completely different point of view, so it's absolutely essential that the basic elements, like measurements and instructions have been checked and re-checked.

Testing your own recipe a few times will help you make sure that the formula works, that you've written everything down correctly, and that the dish comes out consistently. It's an extra effort, to be sure, but one that your readers will really appreciate. By providing reliable recipes, you can build up trust and loyalty between you and your readership. 

Formatting Your Recipe

There are a few standard rules of thumb that come into play while formatting a recipe. Professionals use these rules for creating cookbooks. Whether or not your readers know it, they are used to following these rules too. Check out this post from The Kitchn to learn how to Write a Recipe Like a Professional. Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Ingredients should be listed in the order they are used, and should match the language and steps in your instructions.
  • Ingredient measurements should not be abbreviated. That makes them harder to read, and increases the chances for user error. 
  • Instructions should be given numerically. This simplifies the steps, making them easier to read, understand, and execute.

Another thing to keep in mind while formatting your recipe is how search engines, like Google Recipe View and Yahoo Recipe Search, index these kinds of posts. Formatting your post with that in mind can help drive extra traffic to your blog. Find out more at Google Webmaster Tools.

Keep it Simple

While it is important to provide plenty of information on techniques, ingredients, and prep work, you don't want to overwhelm your readers by making a recipe look too complicated. Try to use simple language during the recipe steps, keeping your instructions concise and specific. If you want to elaborate on a specific technique, consider linking to a special page, or an outside resource. For example, on my blog, Mary Makes Dinner, I created a page titled A Few Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash so that I could link to it every time I used that ingredient in a recipe. 

Include Visual Aids

It can be helpful to include some step-by-step pictures to go along with your recipe. In her post, The Best Roasted Vegetables Ever, The Wednesday Chef shows several different phases of the recipe. This not only makes for a visually appealing post, it provides helpful details for readers who plan to cook the recipe.

If taking process photos isn't your thing, try searching for Creative Commons content referencing the techniques you are using. Take a look at what I came up with after searching for dumpling folding on Flickr and YouTube. Just make sure to ask permission before re-posting any of the content you find on your blog. 

Tell a Story

While flavor might take up a lot of the spotlight in a recipe post, the story behind the recipe you are sharing is sometimes just as enticing. There are a lot of ways to approach a food story. You could tell a little bit of food history, talk about the food's nutritional benefits, or share some shopping tips for the recipe's main ingredient.

For something more personal and emotive, share what inspired you to cook the recipe, who you like to cook it for, or what was going on in your life when you first started cooking it. If you get stuck, try starting with one of your senses. A smell, a sound, or a flavor can help get the ball rolling. 

Bright, colorful photographs will help engage your audience, so make sure to snap a few really good photos of the finished product.  Need some help getting your food photos looking their best? Check out these 5 Tips for Food Photography from A Beautiful Mess.

Make it Printable

Few people are interested in dragging their laptops into the kitchen or introducing their smart-phones to cookie dough. Typepad blogs are already optimized for printing, but there are a few ways you can make your recipes even more printer-friendly. 

Make it Shareable

Now that you've created a great recipe post, make the most of it by sharing it with the world. In addition to sharing your recipe post on the usual social media channels (hint: Pinterest LOVES recipe posts) check out some food-focused social media sites, like Foodie or Tasty Kitchen. If you've included food photos in your post, try submitting your recipe to visual sites like Tastespotting or Foodgawker for extra attention. 

We hope you will use this tip to inspire you to create your own recipe post. Please click Read on below to see my recipe post and submit a link to your own post in the comments.

Continue reading "Your Best Foot Forward: Writing a Great Recipe Post" »

From Say Daily: Mobile Is Killing Media – and Here's What We Need to Do About It


Oh my God! I need it! I need it!

Stephen Colbert on the iPad 2

Digital publishing is headed off a cliff if we don’t get back behind the wheel. There's a five fold gap between mobile revenue and desktop revenue for the same page. In other words, for every page viewed on a mobile device, publishers currently see only 20 percent of the revenue they’d receive from a desktop visit. What makes that gap even starker is how quickly it’s happening. By the second half of next year, we predict that greater than half of all time spent with online content will happen on a mobile device. On the industry’s current course, that’s a recipe for disaster.

This of course assumes that we continue to create similar content experiences and run ads the same way we’ve monetized desktop content. Obviously we need to change for the industry to survive. We’ve made real headway, and as we head into this year’s Advertising Week we wanted to share the progress - but there is still a long way to go.

Read more at Say Daily.

Typepad 101: Embedding posts from social media sites

Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ have started offering code you can use to embed posts from those sites onto your blog. The proess is super easy!

First, find the embeddable code for the service you're using. We'll outline how to find the code for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.


Click on the little down arrow above a post and look for Embed Post.

That will open a window with the embed code at the top for you to copy and a preview of how the post will look when it's on your blog.



Click on the More link under a Tweet and click Embed Tweet.

Like Facebook, this will open a window where you can copy the code for the post and see a preview.



From your Google+ Profile or Page, select a post, and look for the arrow at the top right of the window. Click the arrow, then choose Embed Post.

Next, copy the block of code provided by Google+, and click Done.



Click on a pin to open it and look for the arrow at the top right of the window. Then click on the Embed link.


Pin codeYou will then see a Widget Builder page with code for the specific pin. This is the code you'll embed in your blog post. Under that, look for Load the JavaScript. Copy the code from there and embed it in your blog's sidebar. You only need to do this step once. Make sure to come back to the Widget Builder page after you do that to copy the code for your post.

Adding the Code in Typepad

These steps are simple but may be different from how you're used to composing. We're basically using the Compose page as a plain text editor so the code can display as expected on the blog.

  1. Open the Compose page
  2. Give your post a title and add in any content you want to have included in the post before embedding the social media post code.
  3. When you're ready to paste in your code, click on the HTML tab at the top of the editor.
  4. Click on the HTML tab again to bring up the menu.
  5. Choose Convert Line Breaks.
  6. Paste in the code where you want it to show in your post.
  7. Publish the post without switching back to Rich Text.

When you view the post on your blog, you should see the post embedded. Easy!

Featured Blog: A Passion for Handmade Books

NAME: Jenni Bick
BLOG: A Passion for Handmade Books
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Jenni Bick founded Jenni Bick Bookbinding in 1994 with the single-minded mission to make the world more beautiful, one handmade book at a time. Her blog focuses on books, of course, but also brings a fresh perspective to design, typography, paper crafts, and all things creative and inspiring.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Your Best Foot Forward: The Travel Post

Your Best Foot Forward - Everything Typepad series

Welcome to our special series on how to write a great blog post! Every other Thursday, we'll debut a new article that will teach you how to write posts for your blog that will engage and inspire your readers, encourage conversation in comments, and keep them coming back for more.   Put your best foot forward and watch your audience grow! Late to the party? Check out the other posts in our series here.

Travel blogs and blog posts are exciting for readers; it helps them escape to far-off, and not so far-off, places when they may otherwise not be able to. For the blogger, they reap the reward of the travel but also the stories and photographs they get to take home and share with their friends and family.

Perhaps you've been somewhere recently and would like to share everything you saw and learned; or maybe you want to relive past travels and you believe sharing them with others will help you to look back with fresh eyes. As a blogger, you've got the perfect platform to provide you the outlet. All that's left is to figure out what you want to say, as well as how best to say it.

Tease the Reader

You don't have to write about a trip all at once--turn it into a series!

Sharing bits of your latest adventure, rather than the entirety all at once, helps break your content into digestible amounts, keeping readers from simply scanning the post. The smaller posts also means they're a bit easier for you to write up, leaving you able to schedule the posts to publish ahead of time.

Another reason for breaking your travels up into multiple posts? Knowing there's more to learn about your experience, existing and new readers alike will be hooked and keep returning to read more.

The Big Picture

Use great photos from your trip to help illustrate the story!

There's no reason your post has to be all text, nor should it necessarily be all photographs since that doesn't say much about how you felt, or what you thought, in those moments. Find the right balance of text and photographs for you and the tale you're telling at the time.

Tip 'Em Off

Tips, like "Don't Miss This" lists or soundtrack suggestions for when traveling alone, are stand-out additions that can aid and amuse readers. They'll appreciate the information, and you'll have fun putting it all together. Additionally, if your trip had a specific focus (e.g. food-related; family; bucket list; and so on), gear your tips toward said focus; you'll be providing valuable information, or just a really great story, for your readers to ponder later.

Ready, Go

Consider the above, or come up with your own ideas, to create a travel post with some impact. Click "continue reading…" to see an example post, then make sure to leave a link to your own travel blog or post in the comments.

Continue reading "Your Best Foot Forward: The Travel Post" »

Google Authorship and You

08/05/2015 Update: Google has retired the authorship feature. See the latest news here.

Today we are excited to announce our latest partnership: Google!  Wondering what this means for you?  Let us tell you!

Previously, while it was relatively easy to claim the content you author on Google, we've made this process even easier by integrating Google+ Sign-In with Google’s Authorship program.

Starting today, if you connect to Typepad with Google, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically. All you need to do is go to Account > Google Settings and connect your profile by clicking the shiny new red Google ‘Sign-In’ button:


Don't already have a Google+ profile?  Sign up here. Once you've established a connection to your Google+ profile, you may see your name, picture and/or a link to your Google+ profile when your content appears in Search, News and other Google products. This will make your blog stand out, letting your readers easily notice when content is authored by you when they perform related searches:

You can read more about claiming your content in our Knowledge Base.  And, as always, if you have any questions, we're here for you!

From Say Daily: Memorable Social Media Brand Nightmares (They're Inevitable, So Let's Learn From Them)

Let’s be honest: one of the reasons brands keep a strong social media presence is for damage control. When something brand-related goes bad and then goes viral - it’s important to have a rapid response team in place. Usually, it’s an unhappy customer that posts a photo exposing the brand in a bad light. But sometimes, the brand is side-swiped by its own employees.

Maybe those employees were just blowing off steam during down time at their minimum-wage jobs, but when those pranks are photographed and posted to social media - that’s a PR nightmare waiting to happen.

Once upon a time, such nightmares were limited entirely to urban legend, and the brand didn’t even have to acknowledge them. These days, when there’s a photo of a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of Doritos Loco taco shells, there’s just no denying that that’s a dude licking a bunch a taco shells, and because of brand synergy, that’s a headache for Taco Bell *and* Doritos.

Read more at Say Daily.