How to prepare for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support small local businesses. Now is the time to start preparing for this event. At Typepad, we want to help you prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday!

Stay up-to-date by following Small Business Saturday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your Small Business Saturday tips in the comments! We would love to hear who is participating. 

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How To Share Other Blog Feeds In Your Sidebar

In addition to your own content, you can share posts from other blogs by adding their RSS feed to your sidebar.  You can share content from some of your favorite websites in just a couple of steps; there are free, third-party services to help set this up for your blog. Today, we will work with FeedWind (feed.mikle.com). 

Say Everything Typepad is your favorite blog, and you would like to share our feed in your sidebar, you can set this up by pulling our RSS feed URL:

http://everything.typepad.com/blog/rss.xml

Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 12.47.30 PMEnter the RSS feed so you can preview how it will appear on the right.  You can configure the size of your feed widget based on the width of your sidebar column, along with colors and style.   When you are ready, copy the HTML provided under the preview.

Next, in your Typepad account, you can add your custom sidebar content by going to Design > Content, and select "Embed Your Own HTML" from the Modules box.  Paste your code in the pop-up window:

Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 12.53.03 PM

Click "OK" in the pop-up and save your changes.  The feed will appear and update automatically in your sidebar on your published blog. 

You can also save your feed code in a Typelist. Using a Typelist will let you add and manage the same feed to more than one blog in your account without needing to edit multiple individual modules.

Do you share other blog feeds in your blog? Share your blog link so we can see how it looks!

 


Share shortened post permalinks with Bitly

A feature that's been around for a while, but goes unnoticed by many, is the integration of Bitly. Post permalinks can often be too long to fit into a forced character limit by social media platforms, which is where Bitly's service comes in handy. In today's post, we're going to rediscover key points for what Bitly can do for your blog.

Bitly - Own Your Links

Shorten Permalinks

You can use Bitly to shorten longer permalinks to posts, which makes it easier to share across multiple social media platforms. This means that valuable character limit real estate remains available for use when sharing and marketing your published content.

Example of original permalink:
http://everything.typepad.com/blog/2016/08/how-to-get-support-help.html

Example of shortened permalink:
http://bit.ly/2cLfAzZ

Track, Analyze, Measure

Using Bitly, you have the opportunity to analyze and measure the performance of your links. You can dig deeper by making sure both your Bitly and Typepad accounts are connected to Twitter and Facebook for additional statistics. The more you know about how your links perform, the more you can tweak your social media marketing habits to increase the reach of your blog content to potential new readers.

Learn how to setup Bitly for use with your blog!


Understanding the importance of Business Blogging

Cup-mug-desk-officeWhen someone starts a business they think about how to set up the website, how to set up their online shop, their social media presence and so forth. It almost becomes an afterthought to set up a blog. There can be many benefits to creating a business blog. Corey Wainwright of Hubspot goes over a few of the benefits to help you get motivated to start a business blog or just to recommend it to other business owners that do not blog.


1) It helps drive traffic to your website.
Blogging helps add new material to your website which increases your indexed pages. This shows search engines your website it active and can help you show up more in searches.


2) It helps convert that traffic into leads.
When you are blogging you want to include a strong call to action. These can be for a free download, free entry into a sweepstakes, or a free trial. A strong call to action will let you gather information from a potential customer in exchange for whatever you are willing to give for that information. This can be valuable information for your sales team.


3) It helps establish authority.
When you write about something it shows you are an expert in your field. If potential customers see you have content that have answered all their questions, it helps build trust in you and your brand.


4) It drives long-term results.
Blog posts are great because you can put in effort today and still benefit from the effects tomorrow. As long as the information is relevant to your customers they will be searching for it. That blog can help generate leads while you are vacationing in Hawaii!


To read the full article check out Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing.

Get started with a business blog today! New users to Typepad can start a free trial today! For those that already have an account, start your business blog today!

In the comments tell us what benefits you get from blogging!


Don't overlook the post footer

At the end of every post on your blog is the post footer, a section that provides information about the post for the benefit of your readers. By default, this displays the name of the post's author, the time the post was published, and any categories that the post was assigned to.

If you would like to customize what appears in the post footer, go to the Design > Content page for your blog and locate the Post Footer module. Click the pencil icon on it to open a pop-up window where you can make edits.

Post footer configuration

The timestamp by itself may not provide all the information that you readers would like to have about when the post was published. In this case, you can add the date as well. Place a check next to this option in the Post Footer Configuration window.

Another option that may be useful, especially if you have multiple authors on your blog, is to display the author's profile photo. Seeing an image of the author may help readers connect on a more personal level with the post - images often make a big impact on people.

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a tool for publicizing your blog, so we recommend adding sharing buttons for the most popular social media services, or those which are most relevant to your blog. You can find a number of options listed under the post information section in the Post Footer configuration pop-up. Facebook and Twitter are good choices if you're not sure which options to add. You can display the sharing tools as links but we recommend displaying them as buttons, and this is the default. The exact style of the buttons may vary depending on what design theme you have chosen for your blog.

When you have configured the options that you want for the post footer, click the OK button, then save your changes on the Design > Content page. Click the "View Blog" link that appears near the top of the page to check out how the new post footer looks live.

Blog post footer

In addition to the options that you can configure at Design > Content, the post footer will always include the permalink and a link to view and post comments, if this is enabled for your blog.

What options do you like to see in the post footer when you visit a blog? Let us know in the comments!


Calling For Your Feature Requests!

It's almost a new season and what better way to kick it off by letting us know what you'd love to see added to Typepad!

Is there something that would make composing posts easier?  Maybe a design element that you'd love to see implemented that would take your blog to the next level?  Or maybe there's something to help you sell products on your blog?  The possibilities are endless.

We're rolling out new features (like our new multiple usernames and password protection for individual posts and Pages) and new improvements (Checked out the improved mobile Compose yet?) all the time, but Typepad was made to make blogging easier for you, so if there's something that you've been longing for, let us know.

You can leave your comments here or open a help ticket within your account and one of our Support Team members will work with you to see what we can do for you.  At Typepad, we're always here to help!


Sharing Posts to Social Media

When a reader enjoys one of your posts, they want to share it! Make it easy for them to do so by adding Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest sharing buttons to the footer of your posts and pages.

Go to Design > Content for your blog and click the pencil icon next to the Post Footer module. Check the boxes next to the social accounts you wish to add. Click OK and Save Changes. That's it! You do the same for Pages by editing the Page Footer module.

Post Footer Module

Check out the footer at the end of this post to see how the buttons will look!


Introducing an Improved Mobile Compose Experience!

Your life takes place on the go, usually with your smart phone in your hand.  Odds are there's going to be a thing or two you want to blog about. With the new improved mobile compose that we've released, this will be even easier for you to do.

Subscribers wanting to blog via their smartphones will now be able to log into their account and browse to the Compose screen and see the following Rich Text screen:

Smartphone Compose Screen

In the smartphone experience, you will have access to the majority of the compose editor features. This screen is available to all mobile devices and is not limited to operating systems (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows).

Here's a brief rundown on what's available:

  • Title field
  • Categories
    Click the icon to expand your existing category list, select one or more categories, then return to the editor
  • Rich Text editor features
    Format text, insert links, photos, and videos
  • Excerpt field
  • Meta Keywords field
  • Publish Status
  • Comment Status
  • Source code
    Edit your post's HTML by clicking the <> button

Here are a few screenshots of what you can expect to see in the mobile experience:

IMG_4637
Selecting multiple categories.

 

IMG_4639
There are several different sources you can use to add images to your post.

Note: not all devices preserve the correct orientation of photos, so you will need to use your device's built-in image editor, or a third-party app, to re-save the orientation (e.g. in iOS Camera Roll, open the image, tap Edit, rotate the image until it's back in the correct orientation, then tap Done).

For tablet users, depending on resolution, you will either see the above compose screen or the full Rich Text editor. For example, an iPad Mini may see the above screen, while a full sized iPad would see the same full Rich Text editor that desktop users see.

All subscribers should now have the new Compose experience and be able to get their blog out on the go.  If you have any questions or need any help, simply let our Support Team know and we'll be happy to assist you!


Don't delay, back up your blog!

When was the last time you saved a backup of your blog post? Oh, you didn't know you could do that? Well today is the day to learn about saving a back up of your blog content.   While Typepad backs up your content on our servers, you may want to have your own copy.   To back up your blog, go to Settings > Import/Export > Export, and click the "Export" button.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

When you click the "Export" button, a status bar will appear showing how long your export is taking; the more content your blog, the longer this will take.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

Once completed, click the "Download" link which will display a Text version of your blog posts and comments only.  You must use your browser to save the text file if it does not download automatically when clicked. Images, videos, documents and other uploaded content are not included in your Export file. If you wish to have a back up of these, you can open a Help Ticket and a member of the team can generate an Export file for you. 

Having a backup of your blog posts is handy if you wish to publish your posts in book form, and there are many third parties that publish blogs to books.  You can also use your blog backup in case you want to create a new blog but want to transfer your content over. 

How often do you back up your blog content? Let us know in the comments!


Cooking Design Magic with the CSS Cookbook

Typepad has a large number of looks and designs out there for you to choose from, but maybe there's a little something you want to change, like increasing your banner size or changing the color of your post items.

Never fear - the CSS Cookbook is here!

The CSS Cookbook has tons of CSS tips and tricks on how to make changes to your blog from the simple (changing the blog background color) to the more advanced (adding a date header ribbon).  CSS customization is available at the Pro Unlimited and above levels, so make sure your account is at one of those levels before starting.

Date ribbon
Your fancy new date header ribbon!

Your Typepad blog should always reflect your own style and the CSS tips in the CSS Cookbook are just one way of making sure that you can accomplish this.

Looking to do something that isn't covered there or maybe need some assistance getting started? The Typepad Support team has you covered! Just contact us and we'll help you out!