Typepad on Pinterest: MakeWells

March 20, 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 - MakeWells

Megan Wells is a Renaissance woman sharing her different mediums of art from her home studio along with her many inspirations, other artists, and living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgina.

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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.

Typepad on Pinterest: WordPlayhouse

March 06, 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, Wordplayhouse

Wordplayhouse is full of creative project ideas for your child to keep them engaged, curious, and exploring their imagination.  Written by NY Times Best Selling Author and "mother of a few",  Heather Cahoon hopes by sharing her own family's activities will give other parents fun ideas to get creative with their children and get the most out of life.

Wordplayhouse

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.

Introducing the Nimble Design Lab

March 03, 2015

Everyone knows that the most important thing about your blog is your content, but the way you display that content is important, too! You can make a great first impression on your readers by having a blog that looks fantastic, is accessible across many devices, and is easy for them to read.

The Typepad Team has been hard at work creating Responsive themes (Gourmet is a particular favorite), but this time we've stepped up our game.  Wouldn't you love your blog to look something like this one, gorgeous on all devices? Starting today, Beta team members will be able to do just that.

Screenshot_mel

We've rolled several amazing features into one giant piece of awesomeness that we've named the Nimble Design Lab.  You can use it to create a design like the one above and literally thousands of others.  There's a lot involved, so let's get started!

The Nimble Design Lab currently consists of three different, related features.  We'll go over each of them separately.  To find Nimble, go to the Design tab, click the green "Choose a theme..." button, and select the Beta category.  You can then apply the design to your blog.

The first feature that works as a base to provide you with the other functions is our new responsive theme, Nimble. It's a great base theme that allows you to adopt a responsive feature set for your blog.  Responsive means that your blog will look as it should across all devices, whether it's a traditional laptop or desktop computer or the fanciest new tablet or smart phone.

Now that you have the Nimble base in place, what else can you do?  The answer is a staggering amount of things.  Let's take a look at some of the options that you have.

Nimble is currently available for one- and two- column layouts (we're working on the three-column ones for a later release). After you choose your layout, you can upload your own banner, if you like. We're offering additional banner options to allow you to choose between text or a banner image, and then keeping the banner the width of the blog or stretching it the full width of the browser.

Banner at blog width Banner stretched to browser width

Now let's really get into the nitty gritty!

Click the Style tab and you'll see a vast array of options.  These include Fonts (we'll come back to this), Banner, Navigation, Posts, Sidebar, Footer, Background, and Collections (we'll come back to this as well).

Under each of the sections, you'll see a large number of options.  You have the ability to do things like change background colors or upload an image to use as an overlay over the background color.   You can round corners and collapse the margins between columns.  You can choose colors for links, backgrounds, text, and more.  You can select different alignments for your navigation bar.  This is just a sampling of the things the Nimble Design Lab can do.

Styles

Ever wanted to apply different fonts to your blog's design but found it too difficult?  With the built in Font Selector, it's easy as pie.  Just scroll through the various options (Handwriting, Display, Serif, and Sans Serif) until you find one you like.  Don't see the perfect font?  You can import your own from Google Fonts.

Fonts

What if all of these options are a little overwhelming and you're not sure where to start?  Don't worry!  We've got you covered with Collections.  Simply click it and you'll have the option to choose from dozens of color collections and a dozen different fonts already pre-assembled to look great together.  You can apply these options to your blog and then tweak them to get the perfect look.

  CollectionsAs we mentioned, there are many great things that you can do with Nimble, but we really want to highlight the Highlight Bar!  If you have the "featured image with excerpt" option enabled at Settings > Posts (Make sure to check the box for the "Display excerpts instead of full posts on index and archive pages" option so you'll see this!), the first image in your post is going to look extra fancy:

Highlight_image

You'll be able to control the color of the Highlight Bar and its placement on the image.  It's just one more way to really make your images pop.

Take a look at some designs that we whipped up using the Nimble Design Lab.  Remember, this is a Responsive Theme, so we're going to show you how each design looks on a number of devices:

Screenshot_bri

Screenshot_jen

Screenshot_marilyn
You can see the various designs and combinations of colors, fonts, and features that can be effortlessly applied to your blog to make it a thing of beauty.

Another aspect of Nimble is that it's based on an entirely different layout scheme than previous fixed layouts in the past. If you're a fan of customizing your design with Custom CSS, you'll need to reacquaint yourself with the template structure by reviewing the source code of your blog. Test blogs are great for this type of design need.

If you're one for word play, you'll want to take notice of the theme name. You can probably see why we named it as we did! We've also still got at least one major feature we'll be adding soon! (Maybe you'd like to see your own design become a part of Typepad. Wouldn't it be cool to see your design on other blogs?) Let's just say you'll want to make sure you're a Beta team member to take advantage of the features when they're released for testing.

Are you as excited as we are? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment here, a tweet @Typepad, or a message on Facebook. We'd love to hear from you!

Typepad on Pinterest: Leona Lane

February 20, 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, Leona Lane

Leona Lane is a lifestyle and craft blog by Renae and Jenn.  They set out to celebrate the little things that make life great from outdoor adventures, learning a new craft project or discovering delicious new food.

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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.

Typepad on Pinterest: Urban Comfort

February 06, 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, Urban Comfort

Suzonne writes about life in New Orleans as a professional magazine stylist, a creative, and mother.  A lifestyle blog mixing food, craft, family and more.

Urbancomfort copy

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.

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

Unnamed

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."

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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" »

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