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Posts from January 2014

New For Beta Users: Easily Displaying Excerpts on Your Blog

A feature that we've often had requested is a way to easily display excerpts of your post on your main and archive (date-based and category) pages.  While you can set up an excerpt on a post-by-post basis with the Extended Entry option, we've created a new way to do this automatically.  Our beta team will be the first to get to see this!

If you're a member of our beta team, to find this new feature, go to Settings > Posts and scroll to the "Auto-Generated Excerpts" option at the bottom.  First, set the number of characters you'd like to use for your excerpt.  After doing this, check the "Display excerpts instead of full posts on index and archive pages" box.  You'll then get another option that - if there is a thumbnail within the post - will allow you to show a 200 pixel thumbnail of the first image in the post floated to the left of the content.  If you'd like to do this, simply check this box as well and save your changes.

Now, on your main and category pages, you'll see your posts displayed as an exceprt with a link that your readers can click to read more.


You can find out more on this in our Knowledge Base.

These features will be rolled out to all Typepad subscribers over the next few weeks. If you want to get in on it now, simply go to the Account tab and sign up for the Beta team!

Back To Basics: Getting to Know HTML


Welcome to our special series on getting to know HTML! Every other week, we'll debut a new article full of valuable tips and tricks that will start you on the path to being an HTML pro. We'll cover everything from the very basics, to tricks with images and headers, to advanced HTML. Miss anything? Check out the other posts in our series here.

As a blogger, you're probably acquainted with the concept of HTML, even if you don't use it on a daily basis. To put it as simply as possible, HTML is code written into a kind of text document used by browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer to present text and graphics, arranging them into a format befitting a blog or website.

Understanding HTML can be really helpful if you'd like to have a bit more control over your content or compose your posts and pages in a plain text environment (our Edit HTML option in the Compose Editor), allowing you to manually add paragraphs, create links, and all sorts of other things. It's like learning a language that will help you feel more comfortable and fit right into the blogging world!

Getting Started

Since we're looking at HTML in terms of blogging, and Typepad has neatly arranged all the behind the scenes basics for you, we won't be going over the "bones" of what makes up a web page today. You can learn more about that sort of thing here, though - helpful stuff if you decide to get into using Typepad's Advanced Templates later on. Today we'll focus on things you can do within Typepad's Edit HTML tab in the Compose area, like creating paragraphs and adding links.

To practice your HTML, you can either use Typepad's Compose Editor (we recommend switching to Draft mode so you don't accidentally post any unwanted content to your blog) or use a text editor, like Notepad (typically included in your PC's operating system) or TextEdit (typically included in your Mac's Operating System).

HTML is made up of tags and content. The tags surround the content and give it meaning. When you look at Typepad's Compose Editor in Rich Text mode, you see your text and images the way you can expect to see them on your blog, which is called WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get:


You're not seeing the HTML that makes up your content, because the magic happens behind the scenes with Rich Text. Switch over to the Edit HTML tab, though, and it's a bit like taking a peek behind the wizard's curtain:


There you can see the code for a link (outlined in red), and the code for the image (we'll get to that in another post!), along with the opening and closing paragraph tags (<p> and </p>). While working in Typepad's Rich Text tab is super easy, and appropriate for most situations, there are times when using the Edit HTML tab is the way forward, so knowing how to create paragraphs and add links will put you on your way to being an HTML pro.

Continue reading "Back To Basics: Getting to Know HTML" »

Featured Blog: Cabbagetown ReLEAF

NAME: David Grant
BLOG: Cabbagetown ReLEAF
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: A free city tree planting program, Cabbagetown ReLEAF's mission is to promote a larger, healthier Urban Forest as part of a green infrastructure through community planting, tree care, tree protection, education, and advocacy. The project is volunteer driven, training about 25 volunteers each year as Tree Stewards who get involved and speak with people in their community about local Urban Forest issues and help community members access new trees.


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A New Tool in the Fight Against Spammers

We hate spammers.  You hate spammers.  And we here at Typepad spend a lot of time fighting the good fight against them.  Our next step in this battle is giving you a new tool that should significantly cut down on the amount of comment spam you see.

This tool can be found by going to Settings > Comments and looking for the "Require readers to have Javascript enabled to comment" option.  By default, it will have been set to Yes.

With this enabled, readers will be required to have JavaScript turned on in their web browser.  The vast majority of people will have this enabled by default and this should impact very few of your readers.  Non-JavaScript sources, on the other hand, are mostly spammers, so this change means that most of the comments you'll receive from here on in will be from actual humans.

If you'd prefer to turn this option off, you can select the No option, but we do highly discourage this.

Please note that this settings does not apply to Typepad Connect comments since it requires JavaScript to be used.

We've made huge strides in dealing with spammers over the last year and we'll continue to keep improving and offering more tools to help.  We might hate spammers, but we love you.

Featured Blog: Surrender, Dorothy

NAME: Rita Arens
BLOG: Surrender, Dorothy
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: A celebrated Typepad blogger for almost ten years, Rita Arens is the deputy editor for and a freelance writer. She has written for periodicals including Scholastic Parent & Child, Babble, The Kansas City Star, Greater Kansas City Business, KC Weddings, and Art and Ingram's. Her fiction and poetry have been published in Circle Magazine online, The Rockhurst Review, Camas, Offerings, and Number One. Surrender, Dorothy started as a Mom Blog, and grew as her daughter did. Today, she writes so she and her daughter will know who she is and who she was long after she has, herself, forgotten.


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Typepad 101: Make Facebook Really Pop(Up) On Your Blog

Just about everyone now uses Facebook.  They use it to keep up with friends, relatives, and - importantly for you - the blogs they read and the products they love.

If you have a Facebook Page, you can add a pop-up box to your blog so that your readers can Like your Facebook Page, allowing them to get updates on Facebook about anthing you post to your Page.  This can include blog posts, promotions, and more.

Your New Pop-Up!

This is what we're going to teach you to add to your blog using the steps below.

First, you need to go to Design > Content and create a new "Embed your own HTML" widget. 

Then, you can click (left click to view, right click and save as to save to your hard drive) this link to view and copy the necessary code, or copy it from the box below - just make sure to copy all of it or your overlay will not work.

Remember, make sure to copy the entire thing! Click in the box and key Cmd+A on a Mac or Ctrl+A on a Windows computer.

Next, paste the code into the pop up area of the Embed your own HTML module as we mentioned just above.

Towards the bottom of the code, you'll want to look for this block of code:

<iframe src="//;width=300&amp;
stream=false&amp;header=false&amp;height=258" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:300px; height:258px;" allowtransparency="true"></iframe>

and replace typepad with the trailing name (the bit from the very end) from the URL of your own Facebook Page.

As an example, if your Facebook Page was Sony's - - you would replace typepad with sony in the code.

You can also look for the code to change the pop-up's wording to something more you. To do that, look for this line:

Get our updates on Facebook! Just click the Like button below

and simply change the text there to whatever you'd like.

Once you're happy with the message and you've got your own Facebook URL in place, click OK and drag the module into place on your Sidebar - the best place for it is at the very top. Scroll down to save your changes, and click View Blog to see your very own Facebook Like Box overlay!

Now when a reader visits your blog, they'll see a pop-up with the option to like your Facebook Page. So as to not annoy your readers, this will only appear on their first visit to your blog.

Important! If you're already using jQuery script elsewhere on your sidebar, remove this line from the code (shown in red in the file linked above):

< script src='' >

After your readers sign up to get these updates, they're more likely to share them on Facebook for even more people to see, garnering more readers for your blog.

Remember before when we mentioned sharing your Typepad posts to your Facebook Page?  If you're not already doing this, you can learn how to automatically cross post from Typepad to Facebook here.

We hope you found this a useful tool to increase readership of your blog!

Featured Blog: Fine and Feathered

NAME: Josie
BLOG: Fine and Feathered
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Fine and Feathered is a fantastic lifestyle blog penned by Josie, a girl in her early twenties living in southern New Jersey with her husband, two dogs and some chickens. Fine and Feathered is where she shares her personal style, projects and crafts, food she's made and eaten, some snippets from her life, and a little creative inspiration.


FOLLOW: Twitter | Typepad

Typepad 101: Three Simple Ways to Make Money with your Blog

Not everyone can turn blogging into a full time gig but there are ways that you can make a little dough from your blog, with just a bit of effort. We're going to discuss three very easy ways to monetize your content. If you have your own tried and true tips, leave them in the comments!

First up: Amazon Associates
If you ever share links to books or other content from Amazon, you can sign up for Amazon Associates and start making money from purchases made through your links. The links don't have to be just books or music - you can link to anything on Amazon.

Books TypeList
Books TypeList on a blog

First, sign up with Amazon here. Then go to Account > Other Accounts in Typepad and add your Associate ID. Lastly, create a book or music TypeList and start adding in products. Make sure to display that list on your blog. That's really it! If you'd like to learn more, we have a full overview of using Amazon with Typepad in our Knowledge Base.

Or try Google AdSense
Google's AdSense program is hugely popular in part because it's so user-friendly. You can learn more about signing up here. It will take about a week for Google to review your site and send you confirmation of acceptance into the program. It's a good idea to go through their AdSense Academy tutorial while you wait.

Once you have your ad code, you can place it on your blog by going to Blogs > Design > Content and choosing the Embed your own HTML module. Then just paste in the code, place the ad where you want it in your sidebar, and save. Voila!

Code from AdSense
Placing ad code on your blog

We have even more information about including ads on your blog in the Knowledge Base.

Finally, you could ask for donations
If you have a strong community around your blog - folks who read and comment on every post and really rally around what you're doing - then you might be in for a lovely surprise. Loyal readers sometimes want to support what you're doing by way of small donations.

This can be tricky - readers will sometimes want a general idea of what their money is going toward so transparency is key. If you plan to use the donations to supplement your Typepad subscription, it's a good idea to mention that. Or if you write about a particular type of product, you could mention using the donations to fund that. No matter what, it's important to be gracious.

An easy way to take donations is with PayPal's donate button. They'll provide you with code that you can add in your sidebar with the Embed your own HTML module mentioned above or you can add the code in a post or page and then link your readers to that.

We hope you found these tips helpful! If you have ideas for easy ways to make a little cash from blogging, please share!

New For Beta Users: Easily Upload Sidebar Images Plus More!

Starting today, there are some new things for Beta users to play with.  Interested in finding out what they are?  We're excited to tell you about them!

First up is something that's been a popular request from our subscribers: An easier way to upload photos to your sidebar.  Instead of the previous method of manually uploading the image to your account and then creating the necessary HTML code, you can now use our automated method.


By simply using the new widget you see above at Design > Content, you can skip right to putting your image in the sidebar.  There's even options to have a larger image open in a pop-up or to link the image to a URL.

You can read all about this in the Knowledge Base.

We think this is a big win for our subscribers and we can't wait for the Beta team to take it for a spin!

The next item available to our Beta users is author photo configuration options.  When you add the Profile Picture at Design > Content, you'll now get a prompt to select the size of the image and if you'd like it to be centered or not.


Author photos are a fantastic way to get your readers to become more familiar with you, so we think this this will be a nice little addition to Typepad.  You can read more on this here.

These features will be rolled out to all Typepad subscribers over the next few weeks. If you want to get in on it now, simply go to the Account tab and sign up for the Beta team!

Featured Blog: Opera Chic

BLOG: Opera Chic
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Based in Milan, Italy and founded in 2006, Opera Chic is a fantastically witty and clued-up blog about - obviously - opera. It also features plenty of non-opera fare, however, including fashion, lifestyle, and pop culture trends. Opera Chic herself has also written for BBC Music Magazine, Limelight Magazine, and The Royal Opera House. She currently covers Milan Fashion Week backstage beauty for Women's Wear Daily, where she was formerly the Milan bureau's beauty correspondent.


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