Interview with Lisa from The Pet Lady Blog

Our Interview with

We recently interviewed the owner of PetBlogLady.com Lisa Taron. We wanted to learn more about her blog and share with our readers what makes her blog unique. The Pet Blog Lady is a great blog celebrating the pets we all love so dear. She has been with Typepad since 2007 and still loves working with Typepad. She enjoys writing about her pets, promoting what she believes in and great giveaways! She has a giveaway running right now to win a Plush Replica of your pet! Read the interview and then enter her great giveaway! 


1) Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?

I'm a very happy 50-something gal living in Canada, working my way through life as we know it. (My blog readers and social media followers are mainly from the USA) Every day I live with the full intention of finding joy in this crazy world. I have an obsession with squirrels and sloths and of course pets.

My blog PetBlogLady.com is all about celebrating the love we have for our pets, with interesting articles, product reviews & launches, guest articles and giveaways.

2) What is your process for writing a blog post?

I look for topics and items of interest that appeal to me and which I feel other pet lovers would find the same. Just recently I have realized that I need to make it more personal so I’ll be letting my quirkiness come through. The ABOUT ME page kind of gives people an idea of how odd I am. But in a good way. I also welcome Guest Writers, who share their passion for pets like me.

3) What is the funniest thing that has happened to your blog?

A few summers ago (2013) I raised 35 frogs right from the small tadpole stage. To this day, my tadpole raising posts has received the most “hits”, leading me to believe that people out there are interested in doing the same thing. I had so much fun raising my “frog babies”, which were all returned to nature once they were grown.

Check out her adventures raising frogs at BioBubble Giveaway - My Tadpoles Grew Up!

4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?

Oh my…..there are so many. I’d have to say the ease of adding items in my sidebar is my favorite feature. I think I have been a Typepad user since 2007. 10 years! That’s 70 in dog years!

5) What other programs/software do you use to help with your blog?

I use Picmonkey for photo editing, Buffer to manage my social media posts and GiveawayTools.com for my contests.

6) What is the most important thing you have learned from blogging?

That I could learn how to do it! The support at Typepad is incredible too, and if I am stuck, they are there to help. They recently created a mobile-friendly site for me, and I’m sure I tested them with my anxiety and whining. It’s my baby! But in the end, I was more than happy with the results. I am certainly a Typepad Lifer.

7) You have a few minutes, what is your go to tip about blogging?

To have fun and be yourself! For those that look to monetize their blog, it’s important to have integrity. It’s easy to “sell out” and take money from companies that you don’t truly believe in. But don’t. Be true to your principles, be firm when working with companies in regards to your rates and again, have fun. Did I mention having fun.

8) What blogs do you follow?

I follow several blogs, but my top three favorites are:
Kols Notes – a DIY Dog Blog
FidoseofReality – A canine health, humor, and wellness resource for dog lovers of the highest order
Go Pet Friendly – A Pet Friendly Travel Blog

9) What is one goal for your blog in the next 6 months?

I have just started offering a newsletter and in six months, I hope to have a good number of subscribers. The newsletter will have exclusive offers, fun DIY projects and giveaways.

I am also looking to start a side blog, all about sloths. It will bring together many resources from the web about these adorable creatures, along with Videos, everything sloth-related as far as gifts and products and my ongoing musing about my Sloth Obsession. You know… the usual. I haven’t come up with a name per use for the blog, but now that I am somewhat savvy at using Typepad, it should be easy to start another one.

About Lisa

The Pet Blog Lady, aka Lisa Taron, lives in Winnipeg, Canada. In her fifties, she has two university degrees, 4 diplomas; has changed career paths as many times as lightbulbs, is obsessed with sloths and squirrels and loves being a pet blogger. She is a kid at heart, with 53 being the new 10. In her spare time she loves illustrating, riding her bike, volunteering and reading non-fiction.

Recent Post

Win a Plus Replica for YOUR Pet!  Cuddle Clone Giveaway!

Social Media

The Pet Blog Lady is on Twitter and Facebook


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. 


Forward your email to Outlook

Forward your Typepad Email to Outlook (2)

Continuing in our email domain series, we are going to learn how to forward your emails to your Outlook account. After you have purchased your domain and set up your email address, you can forward it to Outlook. For Outlook, you will need the IMAP and the SMTP. We recommend you save this information somewhere safe. You will also need the email address (username) and password for your webmail account.

Reminder: If you misplaced this information you can find it in your domain account. Go to domains.typepad.com and log in. Click on My Account, then under Manage Free Service type in your domain and select Email Services from the drop down. Click on Manage Users/ Accounts, then you click on the email address. Here you will see the mail settings information.
If you forgot your webmail password you can reset it here too. To log into your webmail go to: http://webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomian.com with the domain you purchased). 

The following instructions are for Outlook 2016. The instructions for each version are similar. If you would like specific instructions for the version you have, check out this great post Outlook Email Setup from Microsoft.  After you select the version, click on Other Email Account (or I don’t know).

Let’s get started

Open Outlook 2016. Click on the File tab, then click on Add Account. Click on Advanced Setup, then Manually setup or additional server types. Select POP or IMAP then click on Next. You will be taken to a window to add all your account information.

In the Add Account window, you will enter all the information you saved. Under User Information, include your name and the email address you want to add. Under Server Information, change the Account Type to IMAP and put in the IMAP and SMTP information. Under Login Information enter the email address and password for your webmail account.

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Click on More Settings. Under the Outgoing Server tab, then select the box for My outgoing server requires authentication. Click on the Advanced tab, change Use the following type of encrypted connection to SSL. This will change the Incoming server (IMAP) port number to 993, that is what you want. Change the Outgoing server (SMTP) port number from 25  to 465, then click on OK. This will take you back to the Add Account Window. 

OL 5

Click on Next to test the connections. Once the tests are successful, click on Close. Last, click on Finish to complete the set up.

If you have a gmail account you want to forward your emails to, check out our post Forward Your Typepad Email To Gmail. If you have an email client you would like instructions for, let us know in the Comments. We would be happy to provide more how-to's. 


Differentiate Blogs within your Typepad Account with Custom Domains

Books-education-school-literature-51342Do you have multiple blogs in your Typepad account that cover different subjects? If so, a great way to differentiate the blogs is to map a custom domain to each one. This is easy to do and allows you to manage all your blogs from the same Typepad account.

When you create a Typepad account, you choose a typepad.com or blogs.com subdomain, and each blog in the account will use the same subdomain. For example:

http://example.typepad.com/apples/
http://example.typepad.com/oranges/
http://example.typepad.com/pears/

Now, you can register and map a custom domain to each blog which shows visitors the blogs are separate. Continuing with the above example addresses:

Map applesforalex.com to http://example.typepad.com/apples/ to change the address to:
http://www.applesforalex.com/
Map orangesforkara.com to http://example.typepad.com/oranges/ to change the address to:
http://www.orangesforkara.com/
Map pearsformaggie.com to http://example.typepad.com/pears/ to change the address to:
http://www.pearsformaggie.com/

Visitors to your site will only see the custom domain, and search engines will index the pages of your site using the custom domain.

Ready to get started? Sign in to your Typepad account and click to Account > Domain Mapping to register and map your own custom domain. Learn more.


Forward your Typepad Email to Gmail

Forward your Typepad Email to Gmail

When you purchase a domain through Typepad you get 2 free email addresses with that domain. To learn how to set up your free emails, check out the "Get an email address with your domain!" post. Once you have successfully set up your email address, you may not want another place to check emails. Here we will walk through how to forward your emails to your Gmail account. 

After you have set up your email address, you are given the POP, IMAP, and SMTP information to configure your account in other email clients. For Gmail, you will need the POP and the SMTP. We recommend you  save this information somewhere safe.  You will also need the Email address (Username), Password and webmail URL. You will need to log into your webmail account because Gmail will send a verification to that email address to complete the set up.

Tip: If you misplaced this information you can find it in your domain account. Go to domains.typepad.com and log in. Click on My Account, then under Manage Free Service type in your domain and select Email Services from the drop down. Click on Manage Users/ Accounts, then you click on the email address. Here you will see the mail settings. If you forgot your webmail password you can reset it here too. To log into your webmail go to: http://webmail.yourdomain.com

Let's get started! 

First, log into your Gmail account and Click on the Cog on the top right, then click on Settings. Click on the Accounts and Import tab across the top (in some versions it is just Account). Next to Check mail from other accounts, click on Add a mail account. In the pop-up,  add the new email address and click Next. On the next page, select Import emails from my other account (POP3) and click on Next.

Here you will add the Username, Password and POP link  you received for your webmail account. We recommend you select Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server. You will have the email in your webmail account and in your gmail account. This is helpful in case there is ever an issue with Gmail servers receiving your email. Then click on Add Account.

Gmail forward 1

You will be asked if you want to send emails from this address. Click on Yes, I want to be able to send mail as (your email address) and click on Next. Enter the name you want to be shown and make sure to check Treat as an alias, then click Next Step.  Now you are asked to configure the SMTP. Enter the SMTP link, Username, and Password to your webmail. Click on Add Account.

Gmail forward 2

An email will be sent to your webmail account to verify. Log into your webmail account by going to http://webmail.yourdomain.com and open the verification email.  Click on the link or get the verification code from that email. After you have clicked on the verification link, you will also be sent an email to your gmail account asking to verify your information.  Once both email clients have verified the accounts, you are all done.

You will start receiving your emails in Gmail and you can send from your new email address as well. If you have not bought a domain yet, what are you waiting for? Purchase your domain through Typepad today!  

You can also forward your emails to Outlook, check out the post Forward your email to Outlook.


Domain Mapping: Let's review our tips on custom domain use

Domain mapping blog post (1)

Domain Mapping is one of our most asked about features, with the predominant question being, "how do I use my own name for my blog?" We've provided tips and tricks for domain mapping over the last several years, covering everything from detailed descriptions on setting mapping up to how using your own domain can help facilitate branding.

Let's review some of those past tips here:

Have a question about domain mapping that we haven't covered in past articles or in our Knowledge Base? Open a help ticket (Help > New Ticket), or leave a comment below, and we can provide additional information!


Get an email address with your domain!

Email domain

When you purchase a domain through Typepad you also get two free email addresses that use your domain. You can use the webmail services to send and receive emails or you can forward them to a different email address. An email address from your domain has a professional look, it will give your blog and business more credibility.  

Set up your email address

First, you will need to log in to Typepad Domains by going to:

Manage Free Serviceshttp://domains.typepad.com/login.php

Once logged in, you will click on the Welcome tab, then click on My Account. Under Manage Free Services, type in your domain  and select Email Service from the drop down menu. You will be taken to a new page. Under Actions click on New User to create a new email address with your domain. You will need to fill out:

  • Name
  • Desired Email Address
  • Alternative Email Address for important communications
  • Country of User
  • Language of User


Once you have filled out the information you will click on Add User. After you have successfully created your email address you are given a personal webmail URL to check your email and a username and password. Make sure to copy this information and save it in a safe place.

Final successful registration

Next up....

Busy bloggers may not need another place to check email. You can forward your emails to Gmail, check out the post Forward your Typepad Email to Gmail. You can also forward your emails to Outlook, check out the post Forward your email to Outlook.


Let's get meta! Improving blog SEO with meta keywords and descriptions

If you've looked at the Settings > SEO page for your blog in Typepad, you may have wondered what the "Meta Keywords" and "Meta Description" fields are about. What does "meta" even mean?

Meta elements for your blog

"Meta" is short for "metadata", meaning data that gives information about other data. Meta elements on a webpage, such as the meta keywords and meta description, give information about the content of that page. Meta elements are typically not visible to human visitors but are picked up by search engines and other computer-based tools that may be visiting your blog.

The metadata that you enter at Settings > SEO should describe the blog as a whole. For instance, if you have a travel blog, listing "travel" as a meta keyword is a good idea, while a cooking blog should use keywords like "food", "cooking" and the like. Try to think of search terms that you would use to find your blog and then list these as meta keywords. The meta description should be written as complete sentences that make sense to a human reader. In some cases, the meta description for your blog may be shown when your blog appears in search results so you'll want to make sure it gives readers a good idea what your blog is about.

Besides metadata for the blog as a whole, you can also enter metadata for each specific post or page that you compose for your blog. To do this, look for the Keywords and Excerpt fields on the Compose page. If you don't see a field to input text into, click the arrow to the left of the name, and that will open up the text-input field.

Meta elements for your post

If you don't enter an excerpt in the Excerpt field, the first 50 words of your blog post will be used (you can change the number of words at Settings > Posts). Text that is a compelling opening for your post is not always a good description of the post as a whole, so it is a good idea to consider whether writing a custom excerpt will be more effective. Keep in mind that if you have turned on the option at Settings > Posts to display excerpts instead of full posts on indexes and archive pages then the custom excerpt you enter will also be used for this.

The Excerpt for the post, whether custom or auto-generated, will be used as the meta description for the post on the individual archive page, while the Keywords will be used for the meta keywords.

Meta elements are easy to overlook, or may seem boring, but they're a great way to improve how easy your blog is to find via search engines and how it appears in search results. Do you regularly enter custom metadata for your posts? Share your tips in the comments!


Help Us Celebrate National Pet Day

PetsHelp us celebrate National Pet Day. All day long we will be posting pictures of our bloggers' pets on social media. We want to flood our social media pages with cute, furry, and unique pet pictures.

We also want to feature all the pet blogs that are hosted on Typepad. Provide your information and you may see your blog highlighted on our social media pages.

As a special thank you, anyone that submits their information will also be added to a drawing to win a free Typepad T-shirt. 

Button your pet

Button your theme

 


Virtual Visibility in a Tangled Web

Virtual viability in a tangled web
GVIn starting my blog, ASK Harriete, in 2008 with Typepad, my goal was simple:
to increase outreach and visibility, offering professional advice in support of the arts and crafts community. That was eight years ago, and since then the Internet has evolved immensely. There are many more websites, apps, tweets, and social networks all competing for viewers. With ever more sophisticated marketing, targeted content, slick attractions, entertaining diversions, and a spectrum of distractions appealing to potential viewers, it is getting harder to be heard amid the many alternative threads of an increasingly tangled web.

But how can you find visibility in such a rapidly changing and ever more tangled web? How can potential readers find my blog or yours?

SEO experts profess both obvious and secret tricks. They claim expertise in statistics and analytics, Black Hat to White Hat, and A / B tests. Google pushes for more traffic with numbers to boost your ranking, but the only thing that Google will tell you is that quality content is key while revealing very little about the algorithms that they use to rank your content.

Developing a blog is more like creating art. The parallels of creativity are clear. Like great art, great blogs provide unique perspectives, building upon familiar themes, but with new, original, and enlightening perspectives. Readers seek authenticity that emerges from consistently presenting a voice that resonates with their own experiences.

In a more literal sense, images are crucial to virtual visibility. But like the written content, the images must be your own authentic constructs. Images taken from generic photo sites are just that… generic images sourced from tags and keywords. They are another person’s vision of their reality, not yours. They are not speaking to your own truth. I never use other people’s images (except as a specific reference with attribution, of course). I make all my own images.

More constructively, images borrowed from another site is copyright infringement. “Borrowing” images is theft. In the Internet world, with so much competition for time and space, everything on your blog must reflect authenticity and honesty, truth and trust.

As a quick solution to images, when I want to illustrate some novel aspect of my content, I create an image of words arranged in colorful or striking fonts. I use my words to reinforce either the title or a provocative sentence. This creative approach works at many levels to elevate your content amidst a tangled web of average. Make your own images!

UnnamedOn a very practical level, images are a major vehicle on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Images readily push your content into the primary social networks and literally bring visual visibility for your blog, even on the tangled web. But to be more effective in these visual platforms, you must have great images that reflect your signature voice. I still use an ancient version of Photoshop, so it is quite likely that even a basic level of image editing software will work for you.

Text based images can be created from any raw material, ranging from old typewriter keys to Scrabble tiles. Elevate your signature style and use it to create images. Be imaginative and think about how you can create your own unique images in your visual voice.

Linking your blog to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest is an essential element to maximize your virtual visibility. While a blog offers a platform for posting content and images, I find that posting snippets of my content and images on multiple social platforms generates significant traffic. This leverages the tangled web to your advantage.

Virtical imageCreating images in both vertical and horizontal formats can enhance your reach into different social networking platforms. An extended vertical format works well on Pinterest with a link to my blog. Horizontal images work better for Facebook, where it seems more likely that the conversation and debate picks up steam.

Short excerpts from your blog can connect into social networks. A stand alone blog just doesn’t travel very far on the tangled web. Take a provocative or informative sentence from your blog and share it on your page with an image, title, and link–then your post will travel without you. On Facebook and Pinterest, people will often share your content on their page or Pinterest board. But this is more likely to happen once the content is already posted on a social media platform. Also share posts to other group pages that you know are interested in your content. This has been the most effective way for me to generate visibility for my blog content.

So find your singular voice and type away, finding and revealing your own truth. Create images that support your content, and share in the tangled web. Finding your virtual visibility is a messy process with lots of adventure on the way.

Learn more about Harriete Estel Berman and her blog Ask Harriete by checking out her sites. She creates great blog posts like Search Engines Have No Vision! So Help SEO "SEE" Your Images and Images on your website, Are they lost or found?

 

ASKH