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An Early Guide To The Shopping Holidays

An Early Guide To Shopping Holidays

It is so easy to put it off. The change to Fall, the crisp air, your need for a pumpkin spice latte. Go get one, we will wait…. They are good, right? Well, there is something you need to start thinking about if you make money off your blog.  Holiday Promotions. You guessed it. The shopping holidays are just around the corner and you should start preparing now. Your readers will want to know if you are planning any holiday promotions. Tease them early so they add you to their gift buying plan. We have gathered information from our sources into one place to help you get started. 

We know you would rather be enjoying an evening walk with loved ones, but if you do this planning now, you can walk with them more during the holiday season. 

Dates

The main shopping holidays to start planning for: 

Halloween Tuesday, Oct 31st
Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov 23rd
Black Friday, Nov 24th
Small Business Saturday, Nov 25th
Cyber Monday, Nov 27th
Giving Tuesday, Nov 28th
Hanukkah Begins Tuesday, Dec 12th
Hanukkah Ends Wednesday, Dec 20th
Christmas Eve Sunday, Dec 24th
Christmas Day Monday, Dec 25th
New Year's Day Sunday, Jan 1st

These are the main holidays that US customers expect to find promotions for. Use that to your advantage. These holidays encourage people to purchase gifts for their loved ones. 

You should have a plan for an overall promotion and each shopping holiday should have its own version of the promotion. If you are blogging for business, we recommend you take the time to think out a Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday strategy. These are the main shopping days readers plan for. Letting readers know you will be providing deals during these holidays will help them plan their shopping strategy.

Organizations to help you prepare

This is a one stop post to help you get started on your strategy. We did the research for you and prepared a list of places to start. Their websites are full of information that can help guide your holiday strategy. 

Small Business Saturday  Giving Tuesday

Create Material for your Small Business Saturday Promotions

Get your Community together for Small Business Saturday

Giving Tuesday Blog

Giving Tuesday's Tool Kit

Typepad Constant Contact

Call To Action Button

Pre-Schedule Posts

Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Prepare for Cyber Monday

Prepare for Giving Tuesday

Constant Contacts Holiday Blog

Constant Contact Content Calendar

Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get found through social media. We have gathered a list of all the hashtags we could find for each of the shopping holidays and put them in an easy to read infographic for you to use! Use them along with your branded hashtags to help  promote your blog and deals. 

Holiday Season Hashtags
You will feel relieved after all the planning is done and you can sit back and relax during this holiday season. Now go get another pumpkin spiced latte as your reward, then let us know how you plan for these shopping holidays. What promotion strategies have worked for you in the past? What has not worked? What is your go to source to help get ideas for the coming shopping holidays? Share with your fellow Typepad Bloggers!

 


Open this post... Just Because

Just Because (2)

Today is the day to do something just because you want to. Something you may have been putting off or something you never thought about doing.

Because we love our bloggers and cannot wait to meet new bloggers we are offering a Just Because promotion.

Current Typepad Bloggers

Down arrowWe will add a $10 credit to the first 50 bloggers who comment below what they did 'Just Because' along with their Typepad blog URL (promote your blog and help us find your account!).  The credit will be applied to your account before the end of August 2017. This is only for current Typepad Bloggers.

New Typepad Blogger

Your ‘Just Because’ may be to start a blog today! We are going to give you a 30 day free trial with no credit/debit card required. Get started today… Just Because!

When setting up your account use the promo code JUSTBCTYPEPAD. This promo code is only available for Plus and Unlimited plans. You will be asked to enter a credit/debit card after the trial is over.

Make sure to share this great deal on your social media sites! Use the #JustBecauseTypepad to share with other Typepad bloggers or new bloggers! 


CSS Tips: the new beta Image Gallery

The new beta Image Gallery

In light of our new Image Gallery feature that's currently in Beta, here are some CSS tips to get you started on fitting it to your blog's theme and brand.

Before anything, check out our post on the new Image Gallery, covering the features it now has and how to use them. If you're not already a Beta team member, or aren't sure if you are, you can go to Account > Summary to make your changes. You'll also need to be an Unlimited or higher member to take advantage of the Custom CSS feature.

Note: these CSS changes assume that you will be using the same Image Gallery option setups each time you use the feature. The changes will always be applied. If you do not wish for that to happen, then we recommend placing the CSS inside <style> ... </style> tags in the HTML of the post or page.

Default Styles

Some of the default options are to add multiple images, set to a specific thumbnail size that will display in a grid pattern, and adding a title, description, and border. Those options are all selected and the final default result appears in the screenshot below.

default image gallery styles
The theme chosen for this example is a wide 1-column layout, so you're seeing the 2-thumbnail wide gallery aligned to the left in that space.

 

Before we get into the CSS tips, here is a breakdown of the CSS IDs and Classes used for the gallery:

#featherlight-gallery
    fieldset (fieldset.border)
          legend (legend.border)
      .featherlight-gallery
      #gallery-container
          ul.asset-thumbnails
              li.asset-thumbnail
                a

The offsetting shows which IDs and Classes are parents and children, in case you need to make further customizations than what will be done in the example below.

Width and Position

The first change we'll make is to tell the gallery we want it to take up more horizontal space and to always be positioned in the center of the post. Due to the fact that the example uses a wide 1-column theme, we can make use of the empty space the default gallery leaves to the right. To do that, we would use the following CSS:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - WIDTH & POSITION */
#featherlight-gallery, #featherlight-gallery fieldset { width: 90% !important; /* width of gallery */ margin: 0 auto; /* auto margin to center */ }

The above code sets the gallery width to be near 90% (you may need to make it wider or narrower, depending on your blog's width), so it can then have room to be positioned center to any other content you have in the post or page. Here's what that would then look like:

wider centered gallery
CSS for wider gallery and center positioning is applied.

Title and Description

While the default style works well with the new width, we're going to walk you through how to adjust the font and background color of the gallery title, then the positioning of the description.

Considering the color scheme the design we used has, the title may stand out more with a background color. It's also on the small size, so we'll want to make that a tad bigger. Having it automatically capitalized could look nice as well, so we'll go ahead and make that change too.

/* IMAGE GALLERY - TITLE */
#featherlight-gallery legend { font-size: 125%; /* increase font size */ background-color: #ea9f8f; /* change background color */ text-transform: uppercase; /* transform text to all uppercase */ }

With the color and size changes, it may seem too cramped inside the border of the title. We'll add some space to make that look better by adjusting the margin and padding.

/* IMAGE GALLERY - TITLE */
#featherlight-gallery legend { font-size: 125%; /* increase font size */ background-color: #ea9f8f; /* change background color */ text-transform: uppercase; /* transform text to all uppercase */ margin: 0 15px; /* adjust margin to have 15px space on left-right */ padding: 10px 20px; /* add padding to give text breathing room */ }

The description appears a little close to the bottom of the title, so to fix that, we can use the following:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - DESCRIPTION */
.featherlight-gallery { padding: 15px 0 10px; /* increase padding above and below description */ }

Note: some of these font style changes can be done in the editor but, again, we're assuming you want these style changes to be applied to all instances of the image gallery when it's used. If not, just make individual stylistic changes in the compose editor after inserting the gallery images.

Here is what the above changes would look like on the published blog:

Title and Description changes are applied
CSS for title and descriptions changes are applied

Opacity

The final change we'll make will be to change the opacity of the linked images so that they only show their full opacity when hovered on. This allows viewers to focus on a specific image before clicking to see it larger. Here's the CSS to do that:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - DIM IMAGE OPACITY */
#gallery-container ul li a { 
    opacity: 0.5;  /* set linked image to half opacity by default */
    }

/* IMAGE GALLERY - FULL IMAGE OPACITY */
#gallery-container ul li a:hover { 
    opacity: 1;  /* return full opacity on hover */
    }

The first set of code tells the linked image to appear at half opacity, so that it's dimmed by 50%. The second set of code tells it to return to 100% opacity when it's being hovered over. This is what that looks like in the published blog:

Image Gallery OpacityAnd that's it for today's CSS tips! If there's something we didn't cover in this particular article, and you're wondering if it's possible, feel free to leave a comment or open a help ticket at Help > New Ticket. We're always ready to help!


Update Your Security Question

Update Your Security Question

What would you do if you could not get access to your blog???? Do you know your username and password or just rely on the auto-fill  function? While you still have access to your account, it is important to create or update your security questions and answers. This saves you the trouble of verifying a bunch of information to get into your account.

To add or update your security questions, click on the Account tab, then Under Account Information look for Security Questions.  From the drop down you can pick one of our questions or use the custom question option to create your own. You will need to set up two security questions. After you have selected the questions and provide us with the answers, click on Save Changes.

Security questionsThe security questions will be used by Typepad support to verify ownership in case you need help getting access to the account or need private information about your account. 

If you ever need help getting access to your account let us know! You can contact us through our support form or email us at support@typepad.com.


New Feature: Embed Instagram Posts

Instagram and Typepad

Today we are excited to share with everyone our new Instagram feature. You can now embed posts from your Instagram or someone you follow. This is great when discussing latest news or showing your readers "behind the scenes" of your blog! Working from your desktop or your mobile device, you can add your Instagram posts for your readers!

Add an Instagram post to your blog

From the Compose page, click on the Instagram button. In the pop up, paste in the embed code from Instagram. Click on Ok. Super easy!

Embed Instagram

Get Your Instagram Embed Code Typepad Tip Instagram

Not sure how to get the embed code from Instagram? We can show you! From your browser (either on your desktop or mobile device) go to your Instagram account.

From your browser, you can go to any Instagram account (including yours) if you know the username. Go to the URL http://instagram.com/username (replace the username with the Instagram username.)

Click on the image you want to embed to view the three dots. Click on the three dots and then click on the Embed button. Click on Copy Embed Code. 

Embed code from Instagram

Copy the code Instagram provides, then go back to Typepad and paste it in. 

This is a perfect way to introduce your readers to your Instagram and we hope you love it just as much as we do! Feel free to leave us a comment so we know how you like using this new feature. If you have any suggestions for ways we can improve it, make sure to leave comments on that too! If you need more information about embedding your Instagram post, check out the Knowledge Base. As always, the support team is here to help you out. You can open a help ticket with any questions to get one-on-one support.


Join The Hunt

Hunt banner

Today is #NationalScavengerHuntDay. We put together a great hunt for you to explore some of the blogs that use Typepad. Take a moment and see if you can find all the answers. If you submit all the correct answers, your name will be entered for a chance to win a prize! Winners will be announced Wed. May 31st. Those that did not get all the answers correct, do not worry! You will be entered to win one of three Typepad T-shirts (probably the best shirt ever!) we are giving away.

Prizes

1st prize: $50 credit to their account
2nd prize: $25 credit to their account
3rd prize: $10 credit to their account.
Honorable mention: 3 Typepad T-shirt

Start the hunt!

  1. We love holding contests! In March, we announced on Everything Typepad the grand prize winner of Typepad's Random Acts of Kindness. What are 3 of the winner's categories?
  2. From our National Pet Day celebration, Smokey helps @KristiEspinasse with her blog... What is the language that Kristi and Smokey help you speak?
  3. Botanical Paper Works has a great renewable idea. We would like to know How It Works. What are the four steps?
  4. On Typepad’s Pinterest page, name one “Words To Live By”.
  5. Who said “I really appreciate the positive, helpful attitude of your staff. Thanks a million!” (Hint: Check Typepad's social media)
  6. The Pet Blog Lady has been with us since 2007, What is the title of her first post?
  7. Newpath Consulting has a great blog post about Typepad. What do they show you how to do?
  8. Laura Smith from GlocMedia recently wrote a great article about the future of SEO. Where is the company located?

Good luck! Submissions are due by Wednesday, May 24th at midnight EST. 

Submit-answers-here


4 SEO trends for 2017

4 seo trends

SEO is constantly changing, we all know that, but sometimes it is difficult to keep us up to date regarding new techniques, new strategies, new concepts. If I have learned something after many years working as a SEO consultant is that being good at what you do and at your strategies is as important as keeping your eyes open to don’t let yourself lost at the end of the queue.

So here we are, thinking aloud about what SEO has brought this year.

Analyze your CTR using Google Search Console

GSC is one of SEO basic tools that we all must have, it helps us to analyze the results we can’t measure by our own, and from now on, it will bring some light to our keyword strategy – we will know how many people have looked for the keywords we are using.

Google uses CTR (Click Through Ratio) parameter to evaluate if our page is ready to be shown on the first page of results. If it is low, we may lose our position; if it is high, we will be pushed to the top. So the trend and new rule are very clear: use Google Search Console to measure what is the positioning of your keywords and what is exactly your CTR.

However, there are some handicaps you should all be aware: GSC just keeps your history for 90 days, and Http/https as much as desktop/mobile version must be checked separately.

SEO Mobile

More than 50% of searches made on Google are done through mobile phones, which 20% of them are voice searches. So, how do we adapt our content to this voice search? The answer is easy: if people ask, we should reply.

We have to change our content strategy, our keyword research, our way of thinking. Adapting the way we share our knowledge to be caught by Google as a potential answer.

But it doesn’t depend just on us, it depends on Google too. The team is working on Latent Semantic Indexing, a way to understand what people are saying instead of focusing that much on keywords. If Google figures out what you are asking for, it will give you a more specific answer. So we have to work on this too, try to find synonyms of your keywords. The more options we give to Google, the most chances we have to be on the podium.

Penguin 4.0, now working 24/7

Folks, don’t be afraid! The new version of Penguin has arrived more powerful, more effective, more hours… But it will just penalize a portion of your website if it finds something wrong. Times when Penguin used to punish your whole site are gone, now it will just attack the specific sections in an URL that have misbehaved.

However, the bug will be awake 24/7 so please, watch out your links and try to find them in a more natural way. As we said, Google cares more about quality than quantity as we all should do.

Penguin is a filter Google uses to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results. Webspammers would use techniques that don’t benefit the user, but makes their link come up higher in the ranking. Penguin 4.0 is their latest update to that filter. For more information on how this work, check out "Penguin is now part of our core algorithm" and “Another step to reward high-quality sites”. 


The less, the better – pills of content

We all give up reading when articles are too long and full of useless words. But it is also true that we have been creating tons of content to spread our seeds around the World Wide Web, and Google has noticed!

Quantity is not always synonymous with quality and that’s what Google wants from us - we have to write good articles in fewer words, we need to be more specific. At the end, users want to keep the whole an important idea in a quick look and don’t spend too much time in reading something that can be summarized.

What do you think about these changes? Have you already started to follow these trends?

This article has been written by Laura Smith, a copywriter for an SEO agency in London.


25 Mobile Design Principles from Google

Americans spend on average 87 hours a month on their smartphones. That is a lot of time looking at a mobile device. This makes it very important to have a great mobile experience for your readers.

Google teamed up with AnswerLab with the goal to establish mobile site design best practices. They created a great PDF you can download: Principles of Mobile Site Design: Delight Users and Drive Conversions. The 25 principles can be grouped into five sections:

  • Homepage & Site Navigation
  • Site Search
  • Commerce & Conversation
  • Form Entry
  • Usability & Form Factor

 The infographic below shows the principles under the five sections. Below the infographic you will see how you can implement some of these principles on your Typepad blog.

PRINCIPLES OF MOBILE SITE DESIGN

Making your blog mobile responsive is easy within Typepad. We have many beautiful themes you can choose and customize. We recommend you create a test blog and go to the Design tab > Choose a Theme > Design Lab (Responsive) to select and customize one of our mobile themes.

You can create your own homepage by creating a page and then selecting it to be a Landing Page.
You can customize a navigation bar within your theme as well. 

Google can help make searching your site easy! They have a Custom Search Engine feature that you can add to your blog. Readers will be able to search your site with the speed and convenience of Google. Go to Custom Search Engine, then click on the Create a custom search engine button. Paste in the URL to your blog, then click on Create. Next to Add it to your site, click on Get Code. Copy the code and then log in to your Typepad Account. Click on Blog tab, then click on the name of your blog. Click on Design, then the Content tab. Search for the Embed your own HTML module, then click on Add this module. Label the module, then paste in the code. Click on OK, then Save changes.

Going mobile can be the boost you need for your blog. Reach out to us if you have any questions about the Google's design principles and how to implement them. 

Comment for help, or click on Help > New Ticket within your account. 


Random Acts of Kindness Winners!

RAK Banner

Congratulations to everyone that entered our Random Acts of Kindness drawing through social media and our mailing list. We are ready to announce our winners!

Grand Prize Winner: 1 year free

Hearts EncouragedHearts Encouraged: A Spiritual Wellness Ministry
www.heartsencouraged.com

Two First Place Winners: 6 months off

SocietyWetmore-Hardcrabble Genealogical and Historical Society
www.wetmorehistoricalsociety.com
Quilts

 

 

Quilts for Orphans
quiltsfororphans.typepad.com

 

 Two Second Place Winners: 3 months off

CTE

Association for Career and Technical Education
ctepolicywatch.acteonline.org/

Hope

A Future and a Hope
www.purechristianity.blogs.com

Be sure to follow our Twitter, Facebook, and emails to stay up to date with all things Typepad, including great contest and drawings!


Be a Guest Blogger for Typepad

Guest Blogger

You have learned a lot from blogging.  Now is your chance to share that experience with other Typepad bloggers. Typepad is looking for Guest Bloggers to speak about their blogging experience.

Content on our blog reaches thousands of bloggers seeking advice on how to use Typepad, best blogging practices and showcasing new Typepad features. We also provide the latest news and blogging trends.

If you are interested in providing your blogging insight we have a few requirements.

Tone of your blog post

All content on our blog must be useful, relevant to our bloggers, and well-written. The tone should be casual and helpful. Think of yourself as sharing knowledge with a friend who may be unfamiliar with the topic. We love posts that have personality and are interesting. Let your voice shine through.

Post Requirements

There are no topic requirements, but your post should be helpful to other bloggers. It can be about your own blogging experience, use of a Typepad feature, or a 3rd party feature that has helped your blog. If you are unsure if a topic is appropriate, ask us. Let us know why you think the topic is beneficial to Everything Typepad readers and we would be happy to speak with you about it.

The post should not be more than 1,000 words. It should be about one topic, singular in focus. We like our posts to include one main image. If you cannot provide an image, we can provide a stock image for you. The content has to be unique, and written by you.

The post should be formatted for the web. Please use short paragraphs, subheadlines, and bullet points when needed. Include real world examples if you can. We will edit for quality, spelling, grammar, structure, and flow. If major revisions are necessary, we will contact you.

Talking about yourself and your blog

At the end of the post you are welcome to include a little blurb about yourself and your blog. Please keep it short and include one link back to your blog. You are welcome to include a logo or an image of yourself in this section.

Submitting your article

After you submit your blog post idea, you will receive an email from Typepad with instructions on how to submit your full article. You will be asked to put your article in the body of an email, with images attached to the email. 

The blog post will be featured on Everything Typepad and promoted on all of Typepad’s social media sites.

Get started writing!

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