Spotlight On: Tax Prep!

January 30, 2015

There are so many great blogs on Typepad, covering every subject you can imagine from business to bartending, parenting to printmaking. We regularly scout for great blogs in the Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. Today, we've rounded up some of the best of Typepad's tax business and law bloggers, seasoned professionals who are here to help and educate. Click over and visit - after all, 'tis the season!


Don't Mess With Taxes:
Texas journalist Kay Bell translates taxes into money-saving English, helping make your tax tasks less, well, taxing.

Don't Mess With Taxes

Economist's View:
Economics professor and CBS News finance writer Mark Thoma offers up lessons and editorial narrative on a variety of money and tax related topics.

Econimist's View

Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business:
Tom Copeland has carefully crafted a great blog on running a childcare business, focusing on everything from record keeping to taxes to money management and retirement planning.

Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business

TaxProf Blog:
Smartly edited by Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Paul L. Caron, TaxProf Blog offers up smart advice and news from around the tax world and academia.

TaxProf Blog

Our Taxing Times:
Our Taxing Times is a blog about US taxes, the tax system, and the tax preparation business from the perspective of a tax professional and business owner.

Our Taxing Times

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

Typepad On Pinterest: Clockwork Lemon

January 23, 2015

Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!

Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Clockwork Lemon!

Stephanie spends most of her waking hours in the kitchen and has a deep passion for baking.  She considers flour as part of her daily outfit.  She shares her fun kitchen experiments on her blog and tempts you with her great food photography.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 4.33.15 PM

FOLLOW: Blog | Pinterest

Want to promote your pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.

Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.

Become a better blogger with Desk!

January 22, 2015

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There are few things in life more rewarding than creativity. As dedicated bloggers, we know that your favorite primary creative outlet is writing. It's ours, too, and that's why we understand the challenges that balancing life and blogging can present.

It's with achieving that balance in mind that we introduce you to new tools and ways to make blogging easier, whenever we encounter them. After all, we all want to be the best bloggers we can be, and when you love writing, it shows.

Meet Desk, an app 13 years in the making.

Its developer, John Saddington, has been blogging publicly since 2001, and originally built Desk for himself. Luckily, he decided to share his work with the world. Here's what he has to say about blogging with Desk:

Writing is tough, and after 14 years of blogging it hasn't gotten much easier from when I first started! What I've learned over time, though, is that working with the right tools and creating accountability via community can go a long way in making my efforts more fun, enjoyable, and productive!

With that in mind, we've got a small giveaway on a tool that I've created to help writers do what is most important: Write. I call it Desk App.

In addition, I've created a 10 day free online workshop to help you get your blog back in shape, 10 Days to a Better Blog. It's simple and there's no obligation but I hope that it can encourage you to refresh your blog for 2015!

Want to try Desk App yourself? We have five copies to give away to Typepad bloggers. Just share this post on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment to let us know where you've shared. The first five Typepad bloggers to comment (make sure to include your link!) will receive this app (worth $29.99, and the winner of the prestigious Apple "Best App of 2014" award), absolutely free.

Typepad On Pinterest: Bittersweet Soap Company

January 09, 2015

Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!

Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Bittersweet Soap Company.

Bittersweet Soap is a small business that focuses on quality handmade soaps and more items for your home. All inspired by days gone by "A time and period that reflected simpler days, when less was more, and items were made by hand and passionately created."

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 5.51.26 PM

FOLLOW: Blog | Pinterest

Want to promote your pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.

Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.

Using Google Analytics To Create A Featured Post Carousel

January 05, 2015

From time to time, we reblog fantastic content from the Typepad community. Today, we're featuring a great step-by-step post from our friends at NewPath Consulting. Have you ever wanted to create a Popular Posts feature for your blog? With the Post Carousel and a bit of tweaking, you can! Read on to find out how to put this fantastic feature to use on your blog, and check out the original post, right here.
The Challenge

Post carousels (aka "sliders") are attractive and interactive website features that bring attention to new, popular or valuable content. TypePad recently announced an easy way to create post carousels, without one line of code. So how do you put a post carousel together and how do you decide what posts or pages get displayed in a post carousel?

Why post carousels?

When someone visits a website they usually are either looking for something specific or just browsing. Most visitors start on the home page of a website and this is where most designers place a carousel. The top 10 pages usually make up 90% or more of the traffic on a website, even websites that have thousands of pages. In order to attract visitors to the most popular content or to bring attention to the most recent or to timely posts or pages, a slider is a terrific way to call out certain content an attractive way.

Content is usually somewhat hidden behind navigation menus on the top, left, right or even bottom of  website. On a mobile device such a smartphone or a tablet a carousel also encourages visits to continue after the home page. A slider or carousel is an alternative way to navigate 3-5 pieces of content. It's not only visually attractive but also takes up a good chunk of prime real estate on a website. If you want people to visit pages other than the home page, carousels encourage visits to continue.

Statistics on carousel use are sparse but available. You must include compelling content on a carousel that entices visitors to click and get attention in the first place. We suggest keeping the number of post carousel features to a maximum of five, but ideally 3 or 4, as it appears that as the number of features increases, the click-through rates on everything but the first featured post decreases dramatically.

And the subject of the post can make a big difference -- breaking news, announcements or brand new content deserves a feature.  This is why it is critical to mine Google Analytics to identify which posts or pages should be featured. We go over how to do this below in the step-by-step solution.

How to make an effective post carousel?

There are lots of best practices when it comes to post carousels. Having a post carousel with 44 features is probably not a great idea -- they are meant as a way to feature just a few pieces of content. Switching out content and introducing new posts into the carousel is an effective way to manage the carousel.

I'm from Missouri. Show me an example!

The home page of www.resaspieces.org features a TypePad post carousel. It was implemented based on the most popular pages over the past year, collected from Google Analytics. When the organization announces their gala concert ticket and sponsorship sales, that page gets first billing on the post carousel.

And here's the step-by-step solution

Check out the solution below by clicking through the jump. We have screen shots describing designing a post carousel in TypePad with Google Analytics as guidance for which posts to use. The estimated time to completion is about 45-90 minutes once you have developed the content you wish to feature.

Are you interested in more ideas? Subscribe to the NewPath Consulting newsletter or get in touch via email.

Mining Google Analytics to Populate the Post Carousel

The below is a snapshot of Resa's Pieces page analytics over most of 2014. The #1 and #4 pages are the home page and the gala concert ticket and sponsorship page, respectively. The #2 and #3 pages are available for Resa's Pieces member's only and are not publicly available on the website, so we don't feature them in the post carousel. The #5 and #6 pages describe the musician biographies and the organization's concert schedule -- obvious pages that garner lots of traffic.

Please use analytics and data to identify what visitors want to see. There may be some new content you may wish to feature as well, but as a standard what you should do is give visitors what they want -- they find the most interesting pieces of content so use a post carousel to serve them this content.

Post carousels only display posts in most systems including TypePad. We will discuss a nice little hack to have post carousels display pages as well. Read on below.

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Continue reading "Using Google Analytics To Create A Featured Post Carousel" »

Spotlight: 6 Typepad Bloggers Wishing You a Happy New Year!

January 02, 2015

There are so many great blogs on Typepad, covering every subject you can imagine from technology to taxes, crafts to cats. We regularly scout for stellar blogs in the Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. Today, we've rounded up some of the best of Typepad's bloggers in various genres who are simply here to offer a look back at 2014, and wish their readers a Happy New Year. Click over and visit, stay awhile, and soak up the atmosphere in these great Typepad blogs.

Let's go!

Don't Mess With Taxes offers up 10 tax resolutions for 2015 (plus, some January Tax Moves to make):

image from dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com

From Little Cotton Rabbits comes a look back at some moments from 2014 in her traditional annual mosaic. Charming and crafty!

image from littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk

Our friends at A Beautiful Mess are dishing up wishes for a Happy New Year, and a reminder that they're still offering up their tutorial for this delightful DIY sequined letter garland!

A_beautiful_mess

The fine, clever folks at Virtual Geek are ringing in the New Year with 2015 tech predictions, and a lesson or two from blogger Chad Sakac:

image from virtualgeek.typepad.com

What's new from the attic at Attic24? Why, it's a bright and cheerful year end crochet review to warm you!

image from attic24.typepad.com

And finally, from Elise Blaha Cripe, a look ahead, a look back, and links for you to truly enJOY both.

image from eliseblaha.typepad.com

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

In the spirit of the season...

December 24, 2014

Holidayheader

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our personal thanks, and our very best wishes for the future to you, our bloggers.

And so it is that we now gather together and wish to you the warmest Season's Greetings, and a Happy New Year. We consider you an important part of our team, and extend our wishes for good health and good cheer.

It is people like you who make our jobs such a pleasure all year long. Typepad is a source of pride to us, and we find working for, and interacting with, our users each day a rewarding experience.

We appreciate your continued loyalty and look forward to bringing you even more new features and improvements in the coming year.

We tip our hats to you. Thanks again for a wonderful year,
Your Typepad Team

PS: The Typepad Community and Support team will be available every day during the holidays. As always, we're just a Tweet, Facebook message, or Help Ticket away.

Featured Shop: Go Make Me

December 23, 2014

Throughout the month of December, we'll be featuring a shop a day from the Typepad Gift Shop! Run by Typepad bloggers, these shops are a great way to check items off of your Christmas shopping list while supporting small businesses.

Gomakeme

Got the "Handmade" bug this Holiday season? At Go Make Me, you get some seasonal craft ideas for gifts and decor. In their Etsy shop, you can get printable cards and download DIY activities like their holiday e-book DIY Gifts and Edible Treats for Christmas.

Tpshop2

Featured Book: Paper Made!

December 22, 2014

Throughout the month of December, we'll be featuring a shop or charity a day from the Typepad Gift Shop! Run by Typepad bloggers, these shops are a great way to check items off of your Christmas shopping list while supporting small businesses.

Papermade

Kayte Terry from This Is Love Forever is a craft maven with three books under her belt. Each book on a different craft train (ie: applique designs, embellishing). Today's book is all about paper crafts - Paper Made! The projects are not just for fancy cardstock paper you buy at the craft store but also stuff you have around the house like candy wrappers, old magazines, shopping bags and more.

Tpshop2

Typepad on Pinterest: Shabby Cottage Studio

December 19, 2014

Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!

Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Shabby Cottage Studio

Shabby Cottage Studio features the artwork of Gail Schmidt - a mixed media and digital artist using a  mix of new and vintage materials to draw inspiration. She also teaches classes online to help other artist tap into new skills.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 5.49.07 PM

FOLLOW: Blog | Pinterest

Want to promote your pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.

Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.

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