Featured Blog: Unityspeaks

Featured blog- Unityspeaks

Unity Ivongbe created Unity Speaks | Tranformation Happens Here. He loves to share wisdom on life, leadership, business, and society. His goal is to help people better themselves. His posts are full of thought provoking topics to help determine where your life is and what you can do better. Each post has bite size wisdom to help get you through the day. Start enjoying Unityspeaks today.

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Update: Embed Social Media Posts in Your Blog Post

While Typepad has made it much easier to embed an Instagram image into your blog post, sharing status updates from Facebook Twitter and Pinterest is also pretty easy. With recent changes these platforms have made, we are updating you on how to insert a status update into your blog post.

How to Get Your Embed Code to Share

Facebook

Every status you see in your Facebook feed has three dots on the upper right corner:

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Click the three dots to see an expanded menu of options, including the "Embed" option: 

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When you click Embed, you will get a pop-up of a code you can insert into your blog post: 

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 4.47.17 PM

Twitter

In Twitter, each tweet has a down-arrow on the right corner, when you click that arrow, a menu will appear and the second option is "Embed Tweet."

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Pinterest

If you want to share a pin, you will have to click on the actual pin to full view in order to get to the "Embed" option, also located by clicking the three dots over the image: 

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The "Embed" link will open up to a developer page with widget options.  Make sure the "pin" option is selected.  You can also select the size of the pin and if you want to include the description when you embed it: 

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 7.49.11 PMYou will see a preview of how the pin will appear when you share it.   In addition to the embed code, there is a javascript code they recommend you include in your blog before the </body> tag:

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 7.52.55 PMThis can easily be added to your blog by going to Design > Content > Modules > Embed Your Own HTML - place this code in the pop-up and save it at the bottom of your sidebar.  You only need to add this code once in your blog and will be applied for all future pins added to your blog. 

How to Share on Your Blog

In your blog post, you can quickly insert this code by clicking the "Source Code" button in the Rich Text editor menu bar, this allows you to insert HTML into a blog post without switching to the HTML editor: 

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A pop-up of the source code will appear and you insert your embed code here.  You may not see the embed in your Rich Text draft so click the Preview button to see if it's placed in the right spot.  


Featured Blog: Time Goes By

Time goes by logo

Time Goes By is written by Ronni Bennett, who had a captivating career in media before she took up blogging. Her idea for the blog started when she looked around a room and thought to herself “My god, I am the oldest person in this room and not by a few years, by decades.” That is when she started researching everything about getting older. After years of research she decided to start the blog, Time Goes By. Ronni is passionate about sharing what she has learned with others. She writes not only about getting older, but about blogging, culture, politics and much more! Check out her blog to learn more about getting older. We all will be there soon.

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How To Use Constant Contact To Keep Your Readers Engaged

Typepad and Constant Contact

Keeping your blog posts in front of your readers is important to help them stay informed and up to date. They may not be on your blog or social media sites to see new posts or promotions. A great way to make sure your readers never miss a blog post is to create a sign up list. A mailing list is a great way to stay connected with your readers.

There are many email marketing companies out there and one we recommend and use is Constant Contact. Constant Contact is an email marketing company that helps you create and send professional looking emails to your readers. A great feature they offer is creating a customizable sign up form for your blog. You can customize the sign up form in Constant Contact and either link or embed the form on your blog. If you look to the right, you will see our email sign up button (sign up today!).

Add An Email Sign-Up Form To Your Blog

Typepad Sign Up Form
Join our mailing list!

After you create your sign up form in Constant Contact, you are given multiple choices to display your form. You can create a button, embed your form, or link to your form.

If you choose to embed your form or button; in Constant Contact they will give you code to add to your blog. You can use the Embed Your Own HTML module to add it to your blog's side bar. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then Content. Under Categories, select Widget > Embed Your Own HTML. Click on Add This Module to get a window to add your code. Next to Label give your module a title (Like Newsletter sign up or Join Mailing List) then paste in your code in the HTML box. Click on OK and Save Changes. You will now see your sign up button or embed form on your blog!

When you create your sign up form, you can select to get the URL to your sign-up form. This is a great option if you want to use your own sign-up button (learn to create custom buttons). To add a clickable image to the sidebar of your blog, click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then content. Under Categories, select Widget > Add A Sidebar Image. Click on Add This Module to get a window to upload your own button image. Next to Target URL, you will paste the URL Constant Contact provides you. Click OK, then Save Changes. Your image is now a clickable link to your sign up form.

You can also add the link to your sign up form on your navigation bar. Click on the Blogs tab, then Design. Click on Content, then next to the Navigation module, click on the pencil. Add a title and then paste in the URL Constant Contact provides you. Click Ok, then Save Changes. Now readers can sign up on your navigation bar. 

Don’t leave your readers hanging after they sign up, Constant Contact also has a Weclome email you can customize. Welcome them to your mailing list by telling them what you will send them and why. Provide your readers with links to your social media sites and encourage them to like and follow. Speak about any promotions that are going on that they may be interested in.

Some other features you have access to if you use Constant Contact.

Autoresponder
Facebook Sign Up Form
Text to Join
Create a QR code for your sign up form

Get started today with Constant Contact with their free 30 day trial. 


Interview with Sandy from Social Embers

Logo

Social Embers is a blog about death and technology created by Sandy Weatherburn. We all leave a digital footprint as we use technology to communicate more and more. Social Embers brings to light many issues surrounding your digital property when you pass on. She uses her knowledge to provide services for you and your loved ones regarding your digital property and legacy. Digital bereavement will be more and more important as those that have grown up in the digital age start to get older and pass. Sandy was nice enough to answer some questions we have about her blog. You can ask some too in the comments!

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

My name is Sandy Weatherburn and I am the founder of Social Embers a Community Interest Company based in Dorset UK. I write a blog about death and technology! My blog started originally when I was researching the topic of digital legacy. I was interested to find out what happened to our digital lives after our physical life had ended.

The blog has developed into a leading resource into the topic, which is often not considered by many of us until someone dies. I have used the blog to discuss all aspects of the end of our lives, from live stream funerals to digital autopsy.

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

I like to find connections with things that are happening in my life and the news. I usually plan a blog post over a week, taking an interesting article or event and looking at it from my own perspective. I may use a photograph if I have taken one myself.

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

The post Death By Emoji was amusing.

4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?

I have my blog embedded in my Social Embers website. So probably the feature to embed your blog and create a url that is synchronized with the website is probably my favorite.

If you would like to embed your blog you can check out this great FAQ: How To Display Recent Blog Posts On Your Website  

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

I use a digital newspaper publishing platform Paper.li which allows me to include my own blog posts along with other relevant news stories.

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

To be aware that anyone in the world might be reading your blog. I have a lot of comments from the Nairobi Library so my blog is reaching a worldwide audience, which I did not consider when I started it.

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

The Typed platform allows you to create draft posts, so if you have an idea, then make a note of it using the draft feature. It may be just a title, but recording that idea when you are busy, may lead to a very interesting post when you have time to write it.

8) What blogs do you follow?

I follow blogs written by those who have been bereaved. I also read some who are written by those who have terminal illnesses.

I also follow a blog and a vlog which is one of my favorites, The Order Of The Good Death by Caitlin Doughty, who I was delighted to meet this year at a conference called ‘Death and the Maiden’ at Winchester University in the UK.

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

I have recently read a book called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig, which is about a man overcoming depression and anxiety. This is a quote from his book:

“Goals are the source of misery. An unattained goal causes pain, but actually achieving it brings only a brief satisfaction. In fact, if you really think about it, a life made of goals is going to be disappointing. Yes, it might propel you forward, keep you turning the pages of your own existence, but ultimately it will leave you empty. Because even if you achieve your goals, what then? You may have gained the thing you lacked but with it, what then?"

I believe Matt to be correct in this statement, so I am not setting myself any goals. I write my blog because it gives me pleasure, and helps me to research a topic that I am interested in.

Recent Post

Intellectual Digital Legacy

Social Media

Social Embers is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


Featured Blog: Lost & Found Vintage Toys

Lost & Found Vintage Toys

Bren, owner of Lost & Found Vintage Toys, is a collector of vintage toys & children's books. She has hosted a website called Gumbyland for many years. She wanted Lost & Found to reflect her love of vintage toys and books of all kinds, and share with other nostalgia minded people.

Every day, for the last 5 years, Bren has posted a toy, book, or holiday item to her blog Lost & Found Vintage Toys. There you can remember toys and books from your childhood as she showcases old and new items. We hope you will have as much fun in her toy room as she does!

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Open this post... Just Because

Just Because (2)

Today is the day to do something just because you want to. Something you may have been putting off or something you never thought about doing.

Because we love our bloggers and cannot wait to meet new bloggers we are offering a Just Because promotion.

Current Typepad Bloggers

Down arrowWe will add a $10 credit to the first 50 bloggers who comment below what they did 'Just Because' along with their Typepad blog URL (promote your blog and help us find your account!).  The credit will be applied to your account before the end of August 2017. This is only for current Typepad Bloggers.

New Typepad Blogger

Your ‘Just Because’ may be to start a blog today! We are going to give you a 30 day free trial with no credit/debit card required. Get started today… Just Because!

When setting up your account use the promo code JUSTBCTYPEPAD. This promo code is only available for Plus and Unlimited plans. You will be asked to enter a credit/debit card after the trial is over.

Make sure to share this great deal on your social media sites! Use the #JustBecauseTypepad to share with other Typepad bloggers or new bloggers! 


Featured Blog: Don't Mess With Taxes

Don't mess with taxes logo

You can count on Death and Taxes….

You can also count on Don’t Mess With Taxes to provide great tax advice and news that is fun and humorous. Key Bell runs a personal finance blog that focuses on taxes, with the goal of helping people reduce their federal and state tax bill. Everyone loves more money! Follow her blog for tax stories, legislation, updates and daily/weekly tax tips. She is a veteran of taxes and Typepad, been a member since November 2005.

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CSS Tips: the new beta Image Gallery

The new beta Image Gallery

In light of our new Image Gallery feature that's currently in Beta, here are some CSS tips to get you started on fitting it to your blog's theme and brand.

Before anything, check out our post on the new Image Gallery, covering the features it now has and how to use them. If you're not already a Beta team member, or aren't sure if you are, you can go to Account > Summary to make your changes. You'll also need to be an Unlimited or higher member to take advantage of the Custom CSS feature.

Note: these CSS changes assume that you will be using the same Image Gallery option setups each time you use the feature. The changes will always be applied. If you do not wish for that to happen, then we recommend placing the CSS inside <style> ... </style> tags in the HTML of the post or page.

Default Styles

Some of the default options are to add multiple images, set to a specific thumbnail size that will display in a grid pattern, and adding a title, description, and border. Those options are all selected and the final default result appears in the screenshot below.

default image gallery styles
The theme chosen for this example is a wide 1-column layout, so you're seeing the 2-thumbnail wide gallery aligned to the left in that space.

 

Before we get into the CSS tips, here is a breakdown of the CSS IDs and Classes used for the gallery:

#featherlight-gallery
    fieldset (fieldset.border)
          legend (legend.border)
      .featherlight-gallery
      #gallery-container
          ul.asset-thumbnails
              li.asset-thumbnail
                a

The offsetting shows which IDs and Classes are parents and children, in case you need to make further customizations than what will be done in the example below.

Width and Position

The first change we'll make is to tell the gallery we want it to take up more horizontal space and to always be positioned in the center of the post. Due to the fact that the example uses a wide 1-column theme, we can make use of the empty space the default gallery leaves to the right. To do that, we would use the following CSS:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - WIDTH & POSITION */
#featherlight-gallery, #featherlight-gallery fieldset { width: 90% !important; /* width of gallery */ margin: 0 auto; /* auto margin to center */ }

The above code sets the gallery width to be near 90% (you may need to make it wider or narrower, depending on your blog's width), so it can then have room to be positioned center to any other content you have in the post or page. Here's what that would then look like:

wider centered gallery
CSS for wider gallery and center positioning is applied.

Title and Description

While the default style works well with the new width, we're going to walk you through how to adjust the font and background color of the gallery title, then the positioning of the description.

Considering the color scheme the design we used has, the title may stand out more with a background color. It's also on the small size, so we'll want to make that a tad bigger. Having it automatically capitalized could look nice as well, so we'll go ahead and make that change too.

/* IMAGE GALLERY - TITLE */
#featherlight-gallery legend { font-size: 125%; /* increase font size */ background-color: #ea9f8f; /* change background color */ text-transform: uppercase; /* transform text to all uppercase */ }

With the color and size changes, it may seem too cramped inside the border of the title. We'll add some space to make that look better by adjusting the margin and padding.

/* IMAGE GALLERY - TITLE */
#featherlight-gallery legend { font-size: 125%; /* increase font size */ background-color: #ea9f8f; /* change background color */ text-transform: uppercase; /* transform text to all uppercase */ margin: 0 15px; /* adjust margin to have 15px space on left-right */ padding: 10px 20px; /* add padding to give text breathing room */ }

The description appears a little close to the bottom of the title, so to fix that, we can use the following:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - DESCRIPTION */
.featherlight-gallery { padding: 15px 0 10px; /* increase padding above and below description */ }

Note: some of these font style changes can be done in the editor but, again, we're assuming you want these style changes to be applied to all instances of the image gallery when it's used. If not, just make individual stylistic changes in the compose editor after inserting the gallery images.

Here is what the above changes would look like on the published blog:

Title and Description changes are applied
CSS for title and descriptions changes are applied

Opacity

The final change we'll make will be to change the opacity of the linked images so that they only show their full opacity when hovered on. This allows viewers to focus on a specific image before clicking to see it larger. Here's the CSS to do that:

/* IMAGE GALLERY - DIM IMAGE OPACITY */
#gallery-container ul li a { 
    opacity: 0.5;  /* set linked image to half opacity by default */
    }

/* IMAGE GALLERY - FULL IMAGE OPACITY */
#gallery-container ul li a:hover { 
    opacity: 1;  /* return full opacity on hover */
    }

The first set of code tells the linked image to appear at half opacity, so that it's dimmed by 50%. The second set of code tells it to return to 100% opacity when it's being hovered over. This is what that looks like in the published blog:

Image Gallery OpacityAnd that's it for today's CSS tips! If there's something we didn't cover in this particular article, and you're wondering if it's possible, feel free to leave a comment or open a help ticket at Help > New Ticket. We're always ready to help!