Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

Embedding a Reddit Comment in a Blog Post

If you're a Reddit user, you know that some of the best discussions happen in the comments for posts. Reddit allows you to share that content via simple code that you can add to a blog post.

First, go to the permalink underneath a comment on Reddit. From there, look for the embed link under the comment you want to share. Clicking on that link will show you a preview and the code to use.

Reddit-embed-preview

Copy the code and go to the Compose page in Typepad. Click on the Source Code icon and paste the code there.

Source Code

You won't see the entire embed in the post while editing but you will see it on the published blog post. Below is an example of how an embed looks.


Create A Call To Action With The Welcome Message Feature

The Welcome Message feature can do so much more than just welcome new visitors to your blog.  This feature is a great way to create a call to action for your readers, whether it is to have readers sign up for an email list, to promote an online class, or to invite readers to follow your social media accounts.  If you're wondering where is a good place to set up a newsletter, we enjoy Mailchimp.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 3.59.42 PM
Example of embedded message

You can set up your announcement by going to Settings > Basics > Welcome Message.  Your message can appear only for new visits or it can appear for every visit.  In either case, the visitor can close the message after having read it.   Your message can appear as a popover message or embedded at the top of the blog content.   

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.21.44 PMThe Welcome Message field is HTML friendly so you can get creative with images and links to share eye-catching content.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.15.48 PM
Example of a popover message


Do you use the Welcome Message feature on your blog? What do you use it for? Let us know in the comments!


Design Tools: the Head Module

Each blog is made up of specific areas, loaded with content, that isn't always seen but shares vital information with search engines. One such area that you may have heard of is the Head element, often referred to as the <head></head> tags. The Head area is a container of information that includes the title of the blog, meta data like keywords and blog description, as well as scripts and linked CSS so your blog looks and performs the way you want it to.

We have you covered for the necessary Head content in your blog's design, but what if a third-party service requires you to add custom data? If you have an Unlimited or higher account plan–find out how to upgrade if you're a Plus plan member–you can find the Head Module at Design > Head of your blog's dashboard.

There are several reasons for why you may need access to add additional content to the Head portion of your blog's design:

  • site verification tags (e.g. Google, Pinterest)
  • custom meta tags
  • OG tags for Facebook (we already include the required OG tags in your templates; learn more)
  • third-party scripts for tracking or advertising
  • importing custom styles/stylesheets

Are you using the Head module for a specific purpose or service that's not listed above? We'd love to know what those are and how they're adding to your blogging experience.


Add an image to your blog's sidebar

Adding an image to your blog's sidebar is an easy way to make your blog more engaging. You may want to display an image that is related to your blog's theme, promote a cause or issue that is important to you, or just show off a great photo you took.

To add an image to the sidebar, go to the Design > Content page for your blog and find the "Add a Sidebar Image" module (it will be one of the first items in the list of modules).

Add sidebar image module

When you click the "Add module" button, a pop-up window will open where you can configure your sidebar image. To upload your image to the module, click on the "Upload image" button at the bottom of the module. This will open a new pop-up window where you can browse for the image you want to use. After you have selected the image, click "Insert image" to upload the image and be returned to the configuration window.

Insert the image

The image that you uploaded will now be displayed in the configuration window. You can then configure how you want the module to display (you could also set the configuration options first, and then upload the image).

You can add a descriptive label for the module that helps you remember what image it displays. If you have multiple sidebar image modules, giving each one a unique label is a good idea. (The label is not displayed on the blog.)

If you want, you can add a caption for the image - unlike the label, this will be displayed on the blog. You can also choose to link the image to another web page. This might be a page with more information about the image, another page on your blog, or a site that you are using the image to advertise for.

If you do not link the image to a URL, then you can either have the image link to a pop-up window where the image displays full size or have no link or pop-up at all. If you do link the image to a URL, you can have the link open in the same browser window or tab or in a new window or tab.

Configuring your sidebar image

After configuring the options that you want, click "OK". You can then drag and drop the module to the place where you would like it to appear in the sidebar. Finally, click "Save Changes" on the Design > Content page.

Are you using sidebar images on your blog? What kinds of images do you use and for what purpose? Tell us in the comments!


More Feed Options with FeedBlitz

We've talked about how to set up your RSS feed and even how to e-mail your blog posts to readers, but did you know that if you connected your blog to FeedBlitz, you could learn a wealth of information about your feed?

Some of the information you can learn from FeedBlitz includes:

  • See statistics on circulation of feed, top posts, and track subscribers.
  • Monetize your feed.
  • Optimize your feed for podcasting.
  • Easily distribute updates to your blog to subscribers via email and social media.
  • Splice your feed with other services you use, like Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.

You'll simply need to follow the instructions in the Knowledge Base on how to register with FeedBlitz and how to connect to Typepad.  Once you've done that, you can use your feed's statistics to learn more about your blog's readers!

What are you waiting for?  Head over to our Knowledge Base and get started!


Adding A New Blog To Your Account

If you have a Typepad Pro plan, adding a new blog to your account is quick and easy.  You can have up to 4 blogs with a Plus plan.  Unlimited, Premium, and Enterprise plans give you an unlimited amount of blogs you can save and publish. 

A few reasons to add an additional blog include wanting to start publishing content that may not fit in your default blog, host Password Protected content you want to share on your other blogs like downloads you are selling through your main blog, or a "Test" blog where you can try out new themes before applying them to your main blog.

There are two ways you can add a blog to your account.  From your Dashboard, the first way is by clicking "Blogs" in the top Navigation Bar, and select "Add a Blog."

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.58.12 AMThe second way (also in your Dashboard) is located under "Manage My Blogs" - click the link "Create a Blog" at the bottom of your blog names.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.59.08 AMBoth links will bring you to the "Add a Blog" page where you set up your new blog's name and folder name.  The root name of your new blog will still be your Typepad domain name (ie: example.typepad.com). If you want your new blog to have a unique name that is separate from your other Typepad blogs, we recommend setting up Domain Mapping.   

Are you currently managing more than one blog? Share your tips on keeping them current in the comments.


Put a spotlight on recent posts of interest

People may visit a blog for a variety of reasons - perhaps they know you, the blogger, or they found your blog through a search engine. They'll return to your blog if they realize you post regularly about topics of interest to them.

There are a number of ways you can highlight content of interest on your blog. Today we're going to look at the Spotlight Posts module. The Spotlight Posts module allows you to display content from some of your posts in your blog's sidebar. These can be the most recent posts overall, or posts from a specific category.

Spotlight Posts on blog

Perhaps a particular category on your blog always gets a lot of readers and you'd like to highlight that. You could also create a category for posts you think are particularly important or interesting and that you'd like to draw your readers' attention to. The Spotlight Posts module allows you to do either of these.

To add the Spotlight Posts module, go to the Design > Content page for your blog and locate the module in the list. Click on it to select it, then click the "Add module" button. This will open a pop-up window where you can select the options you would like to use for the module.

First, enter a title for the module. This will display on the blog, so you'll want to pick something that you think will catch the interest of your readers. Next, choose the number of posts you want to display. We recommend setting this to a relatively small number, such as 3 to 5 posts. This ensures that the content is recent and fresh and it doesn't take over your sidebar. You will then choose the category whose posts you wish to spotlight. If you don't choose a category, the module will display the most recent posts from any category.

Spotlight Posts configuration

You can choose to display a thumbnail image for each post. If the post has more than one image, the first image in the post will be displayed. If there is no image, then no thumbnail will display. If you post a lot of photos to your blog, we recommend displaying a thumbnail image in the Spotlight Posts module. Photos draw the reader's eye much more strongly than text does.

Spotlight thumbnail settings

You can also choose to display an excerpt of the post's text. The excerpt can serve as a teaser for the full post, intriguing visitors enough to click through and read the whole thing. For maximum impact, use the Excerpt field on the Compose page to set a custom excerpt for your post as you write it.

Custom excerpt

After you've chosen the settings you want, click OK, then drag and drop the module to the place in your sidebar that you would like to display it.

With the Spotlight Posts module added to your blog you can be sure that no matter how visitors get to your blog, they'll see a teaser for content that you've highlighted for their interest.

Are you using the Spotlight Posts module on your blog? Tell us about it in the comments!


Using MailChimp to E-mail Blog Posts

Last month we talked about setting up your blog's RSS feed so that your readers can be notified of new posts.

With your new RSS feed, you can use a third-party like MailChimp to create a campaign so that your readers will get e-mails of new posts.  This can work as as a type of newsletter, letting your readers know that you have new posts.

image from everything.typepad.com

You can set up the campaign and even add the sign-up form to your sidebar following the instructions here.  It's a quick and simple way to make sure your readers know about new content on your blog and to keep them coming back for more!

As always, if you have an questions or need anything at all, Typepad Support is always here to help.


Display Post Excerpts with a Highlighted Image on the Front Page

A quick way to give your blog a new look is to set the Front Page to display excerpts of posts with highlighted images. Excerpts allow you to present multiple posts for new readers to peruse quickly. Then, the reader can click Read more next to any post to read the rest of it.

To set up excerpts, go to Settings > Posts and check the box to Display excerpts. You'll then have the option to Show a featured image. Click Save Changes to update your blog. Learn more.

Auto-generated Excerpts

With excerpts selected, an additional benefit is that the Front Page will load quickly even if you have opted to display a larger number of posts.

Do you have a blog displaying post excerpts? Share the link to your blog in the comments.


Blog Spring Cleaning Part 2: Settings

Spring is here! If you enjoyed our check list for tidying up your sidebars, we invite you to take a look at your blog's inner-workings. From the Dashboard, click on Settings under Manage My Blogs. There's something to check in each section but it won't take much time.

  • On the Basics page, make sure your Blog Description is up-to-date, especially if it shows on the blog itself.
    • If you have a Welcome Message, check to make sure that's up-to-date as well. This will be the first thing new readers see when they visit your blog!
  • The SEO page has the main option to publicize your blog.
    • If your blog is publicized, you'll want to make sure you've also enabled the Google Sitemap option.
    • Check that your Meta Keywords and Description are relevant and specific, spelled properly,  and truly descriptive. You may want to check out some resources on best practices for tips on how to choose the right description, as well as information on how search engines actually use that content.
  • Your Sharing settings are super important if you're active on social media. Facebook and/or Twitter might be the main sources your readers look to for updates from your blog. Make sure you have those accounts connected and ready for sharing.
  • The Feeds page has everything related to the RSS feeds for your blog. We've added some newer options there for Category and Author feeds, so make sure you check those settings.
  • The Add-ons page has options you may not be aware of.
    • For an enhanced commenting experience, you can turn on Disqus commenting.
    • If you'd like more detailed information about your visitors, you can connect your blog to Google's Analytics service.
    • There are also options for using TypeKit for web fonts and using the bitly link shortening and tracking service.
  • You probably haven't taken a look at the Post settings page in quite some time. Check the settings there to make sure they suit your blog.
    • There's a newer feature at the bottom to automatically show Auto-Generated Excerpts from the posts on the main index and archive pages. This can improve your blog's load time substantially.
  • Categories are a great way to organize your blog's posts by topic. However, too many categories can be counter-productive. We recommend taking some time to go through the Categories and Blogs > Posts listing to see if any categories can be merged or eliminated.
  • For most blogs, the default Comments settings will work wonderfully. We recommend taking a look at the different options to determine which will best suit your blog's needs.

Have you been taking time to spring clean your blog? Share your tips in the comments and we might include those in an upcoming post!