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How Can Readers Subscribe To Your Blog?

How Can Readers Subscribe To Your Blog_

When you create a new blog, you will notice a “Subscribe” link appears in your Navigation Bar as a default link. The Subscribe link is your blog’s RSS feed URL. When viewing this link, some readers may see a page displaying HTML code while others may see page displaying links to your blog posts. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your Subscribe link! It only means that your browser does not support viewing a feed directly.  Here are some ways that your readers can utilize your RSS link. 

Blog Readers

Everyone has their own preference on how they wish to follow their favorite blogs, so it’s good to provide options. You already have one by sharing the RSS feed URL directly.  Readers can use this link to add to their favorite blog reader.  A Blog Reader is an online RSS reader where you can collect all of your favorite websites into one place.  Some popular blog readers include: 

The Old Reader

Inoreader

Feedly

Newsreader

Bloglovin

You can group your links into categories to better organize your saved websites. 

Follow By Email Updates

Getting blog posts delivered directly to your inbox is another popular option to offer to your readers. Typepad has Feedblitz integrated into the application and it is really easy to set up an email list to deliver your blog posts.  If you are familiar with Mailchimp for your newsletter needs, they also offer an RSS-to-email campaign.  This way, you can track who on your list is opening your emails to read your post.


Is Your Twitter Card Enabled?

Twitter Card

With all the changes going on with Social Media, one thing remains - Twitter is still a popular platform to share your blog content.  There are so many eyes scrolling through Twitter, you want to make sure your tweet stands out. Typepad made it easier to automatically share your blog posts using Twitter Cards.   

All you need is your Twitter handle to get started.  Go to Settings > Sharing, scroll to the Twitter Card section. Enter the Site and Creator handles for your Twitter accounts, preceded by the @ symbol (e.g. @typepad). This can be the same handle for both fields if you do not have a separate account for your blog.

Twitter.card2After saving your changes, you can prepare your blog post like usual.  Be mindful of your first uploaded image in your post as this will be the image that will appear in your Twitter card.  The more visually intriguing, the better!

Twitter.card

Here's another tip - Twitter Cards allows your tweet to go beyond 280 characters. The card shows the content’s title and description, so you have room in your tweet to draw people in to check out your post.  

Now that tweets show in search engine results, Twitter Cards provide more meta information which could potentially drive additional traffic to your blog. Twitter Cards are a great way to drive traffic and engagement to your blog and make it easier for followers to share (retweet) your post.  


Blogger Beware - What You Need to Know about Using Images on Your Blog

Blogger Beware

Images are a great way to draw attention to your blog post and give it some pizzazz! Who doesn’t like to look at pretty pictures? Sometimes we may want to use an image that we may not have in our personal photo folder. It’s so easy to do a Google search and just grab one that’s appealing from the results right? Wrong!  Allow us to help you avoid any potential issues using unauthorized images. 

Did You Get Permission?

Just because an image is uploaded to the internet does not mean it is free for you to use. Giving credit to the photographer with a link back does NOT validate the use.  It also does not matter if you are not making any money from your blog.

The individual who took that image owns the copyright of it and can request the image be removed from a website if it is used without their permission. Unless you received permission from the owner, do not use it. If someone contacts Typepad with a valid DMCA report stating that their image is being used on a Typepad blog without permission, we are required to remove that image.

What If I Am Asked To Take Down an Image? 

You may receive an email from the owner of the image, or an agency representing them, asking to remove the image immediately.  Do not argue or explain why you used the image, just remove the picture from the blog post in question.  You may also need to contact Typepad Support to remove the image from the server.  You can do this by opening a Help Ticket

Where Can I Get Images That Are Free To Use?

Creativecommons

A good place to start is Creative Commons.  Since 2001, Creative Commons has issued CC licenses free of charge and is devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.  You can use their search tool and they will pull up free license images from all over the internet that you can use without repercussion. 

Unsplash

Another favorite is Unsplash where you will find a collection of beautiful, free images and it is constantly updated.  You can sign up to have new collections sent directly to your inbox. 

Fabio-mangione-236846-unsplash

Pixabay

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes.

Strawberries-3431122_1280

There are many more "royalty free" and free stock images available right at your fingertips online that are safe to use without penalty or copyright violations.  Share your favorites with us today!


Spotlight Your Categories On A Front Page

Spotlight Categories

If you don't want a traditional blog structure you can use our Front Page feature to showcase different categories in your blog. Readers can click on an image link and see all the posts in that category. 

Full Site Image

First, you will need to create a page to be used as your Front Page. Customize the page with the text you want, then add the images you created for your categories.

TipWhen designing the image you want to use, we recommend Canva. It is a great editing tool to help you create custom images. Check out our article "Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog" to learn more about using Canva. In our example, the image size was 1000 X 300 pixels wide. 

After you have inserted your images, you need the URL’s to the categories you want to showcase. Go to your blog archive, either by clicking on the link in your navigation bar or adding archives.html at the end of your URL.

Archive in Nav Bar

Click on the category you want to showcase and save the URLs somewhere. Once you have a list of your category URLs, go back to your page and make the images a clickable link.

Front Page Archives

To make an image a clickable link, click on the image, then click on the Insert/Edit Link button. Add the category URL, then click OK. Do this to all the images you added.

Once you have the front page exactly how you want it, you need to make it the front page. Click on the Settings tab, then click on Posts. Scroll down to Front Page, then select Display a “Page” as the front page. In the drop down, select the page you created. Scroll to the bottom and click on Save Changes.

  Front Page Feature

We did our example with a one column template. This will move all your modules to the bottom of your blog. Create a test blog to make these design changes. Once you have the design perfect, you can apply it to your current blog. 

Show off your new blog in our comments! Tell us how do you make your blog, not look like a blog. 


Amazing Tools To Aid In Blogging

Tools for blogging

There are many tools in a blogger's arsenal that help make blogging easy and fun. Here are some tools we use here at Typepad.

TitlePortent’s Content Idea Generator

Here you can add a subject and this site will generate example titles. Find one that works for you and start blogging. If you are stuck on what to write about, this site will provide you with a plethora of ideas.

Bloglovin', Paper.li, Pocket

Being a trusted source in a community means you need to know what is being said about your chosen subject. These sites will send blog posts about any subject directly to your inbox. Use these posts for inspiration, or reference in your own blog, when you talk about the same subject.

Bloglovin Paperli logo Pocket

Hootsuite

Getting your message out there means posting to many different social media sites. Doing it one by one can take a lot of time. Hootsuite lets you manage your social media channels in one place. You can also look at analytics!

Hootsuite-horizontal-black-registered

Pexels, Pixabay, Gratisography

Not everyone has the time to take the perfect image that fits your post. These image galleries will have the perfect image for you to use, saving time and money. They have CC0 Creative Common License images for you to use freely on your site.

Pexels Gratisography Pixabay-logo.svg

 

Canva_logoCanva and PicMonkey Imageedit_1_4631193216

Once you have the perfect image, you can edit it! Canva and Picmonkey are great editors that can take your images to the next level. Read our Everything Typepad post about both image editors.

Blogging on the go

You may be struck with inspiration while exploring this great big world of ours. Don't worry! You can still create the perfect blog post on your mobile device. You can save a post for later or publish on the spot. Go to Typepad.com on your mobile device and log in. Explore our  Mobile Compose experience and let the journey begin! 

What tools do you use to help you blog? Share in the comments below! 


Excellent TED Talks for Inspiration and Motivation

Ted

If you are like me, you can get lost in a good TED Talk binge. From Cognitive Science to Farming, TED has everything you need. Recently during a trip down the rabbit hole, I found some that I thought would inspire my fellow Typepad bloggers. These are videos to help you get the motivation, time, and understanding you need to keep blogging. 

Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple -- though hard -- way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

How to get better at the things you care about

Working hard but not improving? You're not alone. Eduardo Briceño reveals a simple way to think about getting better at the things you do, whether that's work, parenting or creative hobbies. And he shares some useful techniques so you can keep learning and always feel like you're moving forward

How to gain control of your free time

There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she's discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can "build the lives we want in the time we've got."

Go ahead, make up new words

In this fun, short talk from TEDYouth, lexicographer Erin McKean encourages — nay, cheerleads — her audience to create new words when the existing ones won’t quite do. She lists out 6 ways to make new words in English, from compounding to “verbing,” in order to make language better at expressing what we mean, and to create more ways for us to understand one another.

How to start a movement

With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It's because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.

Share the Ted Talks that inspire you in the comments below! 

 


Renewing Your Typepad Domain

Renewing Your Typepad Domain

When you purchase your domain through Typepad the time will come when you need to renew your domain. You can easily renew your domain at domains.typepad.com. Let us show you!

Go to domains.typepad.com and log in. If you are unsure of your login information (may be different from your Typepad login information), please reach out to us in support. We would be happy to help you get access to the account.

Once you log in, click on Welcome (your name), then My Account. Along the top, select Manage Orders, then List/Search Orders. Here you will see a list of all your domains. Click on the domain you want to renew.

On the top right, click on the green Renew button. In the pop up, select how many years you want to renew the domain. You can renew up to 9 years. It is also recommended you select Include Privacy. Now click on Renew Domain Name. 

Privacy Pop Up

Now you will see your invoice. To make things real simple, you can use the payment information in your Typepad account. Under Pay Online, select Typepad Information then Continue.

You will be taken to your Typepad account to approve the renewal transaction. Next, click on Complete Registration to finish the approval.

Approve Domain Purchase

Complete Registration ET

Once Typepad processes your transaction, the renewal is complete. You have your domain for a while longer!

If you don't have a custom domain for your blog, what are you waiting for? Purchase a Typepad domain today!  


Design Lab: View Collections

Design Lab_ Collections

Choosing the correct colors and fonts can seem like an overwhelming task. What colors go together??? You want your blog to be easy to read, what fonts compliment each other? Today we are going to explore our Typepad Collections.

Our Collections are select pre-made color schemes and font combinations to apply to your blog. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then Style. On the bottom right, click on View Collections.

Scroll through the different color choices and find the one that works best for you. If you like a color scheme, click on it and it will automatically show in the preview window.

Click on Fonts to view our font combination. Once you find the right font combination, click on it and fonts will appear in the preview window.

 Once done, click on Return to Builder.

Once you are back at the builder page, you can tweak any of the colors or fonts you select. Click on the tabs (Fonts, Banner, Navigation, Posts, Sidebar, Footer, Background) along the right to make custom changes to the colors or fonts.

Once your blog is exactly how you envisioned, click on Save Changes to apply it to your blog.

 We hope you enjoyed our Design Lab series. Now you are ready to design an amazing mobile responsive theme to really help you blog stand out. We would love to see your blog! Post a link to your blog created with our new Design Lab. We will review the comment (make sure it is not spam) and share it with the rest of our readers!


Design Lab: Blog Footer and Background

Design Lab Blog Footer and Background

Have you refreshed your blog using our new Design Labs? We would love to see the progress. Post a link to your blog and let us know your favorite feature in our new Design Lab. We will review the comment (make sure it is not spam) and share it with the rest of our readers!

Our new Design Lab has more features for us to share! Today we are going to go over how to customize the footer and the background of your blog. To get started click on the Design tab, then click on Style.


FooterBlog Footer

The Blog Footer is at the bottom of your blog, it helps your readers by adding information or navigational links at the bottom of your site.  You can customize the font, text color and size. You can change the background color to help it stand out. Link back to the top of your blog (which is recommended!) to save your readers time scrolling. If you decide to not link back to the top you can left, center, or right align the text.

After you have designed the footer you can add content to your blog footer. This can be used for displaying links to pages on your own blog, a copyright note, links to other websites, or custom code, such as banners or widgets.


Background with Pattern OptionsBackground

Under the Background tab you can change the color and add a pattern to your background. You can select from one of our background patterns or upload your own. When you upload your own image it will tile it. You want to make sure the image connects nicely from end to end. For the post and side bar, you can select to have a rounded corners or pointed corners.

Love working in our new Design Lab? Check out our previous posts to help you design the best blog theme for your brand.

Design Lab: Adding Custom Fonts

Design Lab: Adding A Banner

Design Lab: Navigation Bar

Design Lab: Posts and Sidebar


Design Lab: Posts and Sidebar

Design Lab_ Posts and Sidebar

How do you like our new Design Lab? Enjoying all the customization options it has to offer? We have more to come!

We are continuing our series on our new Design Lab. Previously we wrote about how to customize your fonts, how to add a banner, and modifying your navigation bar. Now we are going to go over all the options you have for the body of the post and your sidebar. There are a ton of ways to mix and match settings to fit your brand.

PostsPosts

Click on the Blogs tab, then click on the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then click on Style. On the right, click on Posts. Here you can customize the posts for your blog. You can change the design to match your business branding. There are many combinations you can use by changing the color, font and size of your Post Title, Dates, Text, and Footer. You can also change the background color and the link color.

There are four different alignment types for you to choose from: left, right, center or justified. You can customize the line spacing to be tight, normal, or loose.

The last cool feature is to add a border to your blog. You can add a border to one side or all the sides. Click on Border to view all the options. First, click on Change to customize the border (color, width, line type) then click on the X to close the window. After you design the line type you can choose where to place it (left, right, top, bottom).

Sidebar

The Sidebar works very similar to the Posts. When you click on Sidebar on the right of the Style page you can customize the fonts, size and color of the Header, Links, and Text. You can change the background, text alignment, and add a border. It has two extra settings for you to choose from: Fill Column Height and Collapse Margins.

If you select Yes for Fill Column Height it will expand the background color you choose from the sidebar past the last module to the bottom of the blog. If you select no, the background will end after the last module (default setting).

Collapse Margins controls the space between the Posts and the Sidebar. If you select Yes, it will remove the margin between them. By default it will have the space between the Posts and Sidebar.

Sidebar Option

As you make changes to the Posts and the Sidebar you can see the changes reflected in the preview window.

How have you customized your blog using the Design Lab? Link to your blog in the comments and let us know how you like using the new Design Lab so far. We will approve it and post your comment.