Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

CSS Tips: Hide Post Footer Elements

We talk about CSS (cascading style sheets) a lot on Everything Typepad because there are so many ways you can change your blog's design with a snippet of CSS code. We love it when Typepad bloggers reach out to us with design queries and enjoy finding the code for you!

In this quick tip, we are answering a question about how to make small changes to the look of the Post Footer in responsive designs.

If you are using the Design Lab to create a custom, responsive design, you will notice the Permalink and Comments links in the Post Footer have an icon. Maybe you prefer to not include the icon, only text, which can be done with a little CSS.

Here is a look at the Post Footer with all elements:

Post Footer Default

First, let's hide the icons with some CSS:

.permalink::before { content: none !important; }

.entry-comments::before { content: none !important; }

The result:

Post-Footer-2

If you like the look without the icons, go to Design > Custom CSS, enter one or both lines of code above in the text field, and click Save Changes.

Since you can click the Post Title to go to the individual post page, you may think the Permalink in the Post Footer is unnecessary. With a little more CSS, you can hide the Permalink entirely!

.permalink { display: none !important; }

Most other changes to the Post Footer style can be made at Design > Styles. To change what is displayed in the footer, you can do so at Design > Content for your blog.

Are you looking to make any other design tweaks with CSS? Let us know in the comments, and we can write up another tutorial with the code.


Making Money With Your Blog: Creating a Paywall

Making Money With Your Blog- Creating a Paywall

Today, we'll teach you how to use Typepad's multiple usernames feature. Using this feature, you can create a paywall on your blog. Readers would not be able to read select posts unless they have paid. Once paid, you can create a unique username and password, just for them..

If you sell content of some sort on your blog - anything from life coaching lessons to a recipe for a specific food dish or even a card made with stamping supplies - with individual password protection, you can make the content available to your readers, but only after they pay you to access it.

To set this up, you can create a main post or Typepad Page that has information on your subscription and rates.  On that page, you can link directly to PayPal so people can pay you or you can add an e-mail link so that people can contact you before paying you.

Once they pay you for the content, you would go to Settings > Basics and create a new username and password for each paid reader.  After doing this,  you would simply go to the post(s) with the paid content and check the box for their username.

Userboxes
Setting individual access for a post.

The reader would then be able to see the content the next time they visited your blog.  This means you only have to keep up content on one blog, granting access to the content only to those that you want to be able to view it. It's a snap to set up a paywall this way.  You can learn more about this feature in our Knowledge Base.

Have you set up a paywall yet for your blog?  What kind of content are you selling behind yours?


Update Your Security Question

Update Your Security Question

What would you do if you could not get access to your blog???? Do you know your username and password or just rely on the auto-fill  function? While you still have access to your account, it is important to create or update your security questions and answers. This saves you the trouble of verifying a bunch of information to get into your account.

To add or update your security questions, click on the Account tab, then Under Account Information look for Security Questions.  From the drop down you can pick one of our questions or use the custom question option to create your own. You will need to set up two security questions. After you have selected the questions and provide us with the answers, click on Save Changes.

Security questionsThe security questions will be used by Typepad support to verify ownership in case you need help getting access to the account or need private information about your account. 

If you ever need help getting access to your account let us know! You can contact us through our support form or email us at support@typepad.com.


Get customers the information they need with Typepad Pages

Get customers the information they need with Typepad Pages

Whether you're a well-known corporation looking to share company news with customers, or an ordinary person who would like to make a little money selling your arts, crafts, or services online (or anywhere in between!) your blog should be a key part of your business strategy.

This month we've looked at how to promote your products in your blog's sidebar, write sponsored and affiliate posts, and motivate your readers with a call to action button. Today we turn our attention to sharing information with Typepad Pages.

Most blogs display their content in a series of posts with the most recent at the top. This is great for keeping readers coming back again and again for new content. But what if you have some information you'd like everybody to see and don't want it to get lost among the new updates? This is where Pages come in.

A Page is a content page similar to those on a non-blog website, with information that doesn't change frequently. You can set up a special "about page" with information about your company and its history; provide a street or mailing address or a phone number for customers to contact you; or share testimonials from clients who love what you do. Pages can also be a great way to consolidate all information about your services in one place, or to display a portfolio of your best work.

The information you provide on Pages may be what convinces a customer that your business is stable and reliable, or that demonstrates you can provide exactly what they need. If you're looking to close a sale from your blog, you'll want to make sure you're using Pages.

To create a Page, log in to Typepad and click your blog's name on the Dashboard or in the "Blogs" drop-down menu along the top. On the Overview page for your blog, you'll see a yellow "Compose" button near the top with an arrow to the right. Click the arrow and a little menu will drop down where you can choose "New Post" or "New Page". You'll want to select the "New Page" option.

New Page

Need to set up something else for your blog first? You can access the yellow Compose button, and the "New Page" option from any of the configuration pages for your blog inside of Typepad.

Clicking the "New Page" link will take you to a new Compose screen where you can create your Page. Give your Page a descriptive title, type up the content you want to share, and add any desired formatting or images. When you're done, publish your Page. You can click the "View Page" link that appears after the Page is published to check out how it looks on your blog.

Now you need to make sure visitors to your blog can find the new Page! Go to the Design > Content area in Typepad, choose the "Links to Your Blog's Content" category then the "Pages" module and then click "Add Module".

Et-pagesmodule

Once you've added the Pages module, your blog's sidebar will display a list of all public Pages, which automatically updates each time you add a new Page. You can also link to especially important Pages using the navigation bar.

If you'd like to make a Page the first thing visitors to your blog see, rather than your blog posts, you can set up a landing page. Don't forget to provide a link to your recent blog posts in this case!

Are you using Pages for your business's blog? What types of Pages do you think are the most useful for your customers? Let us know and share your tips in the comments!


Create A Call To Action Button

Create a Call To Action

One of the best pieces of advice I got about marketing is “Tell people what you want them to do.” A Call To Action button is a great way to tell people what you want them to do. Drive readers to join your mailing list, subscribe to your blog, or purchase a product or service. Buttons make your blog interactive and can be branded to fit your business. There are 3 great free sites that we use to create buttons for Everything Typepad. 

Da Button Factory

Da Button Factory may sound funny (maybe spammy), but it is fun to create buttons here. Put in your call to action, change the font and the color, then download the image to your computer. If you want a fancy button, you can add text, style, border and shadow. Very simple to use! Below are some examples of buttons you can create through Da Button Factory.

Click to check out Da Button Factory

Button Optimizer

As with the other button maker, you can change the text, color, add padding and much more. What makes this stand out is you can add an icon to your button. Search through the many icons they offer to find one to help your call to action stand out. They have many to choose from! Here are some examples of buttons created by the Button Optimizer.

Check out the Button Optimizer

Check out the Button Optimizer
ImageFu.com

ImageFu is another free button and badge making site. You can make a button, but what is cool is you can make a badge to go with your site as well. If you are great at something or were voted #1, let the world know. Add your badge of honor to your website. You can use the badges as buttons as well. Below are examples of badges we would give out if we voted for best blogger in the world. 

Check out ImageFu.com
Once you have your button saved to your computer, you can upload the image to your post. Once you have the image where you want, click on the image to highlight, then click on the Insert/Edit Link button (looks like a chain). Put in the URL and click OK.

These Call To Action buttons can be used in posts or added to a sidebar to direct readers to your shop. The easier it is for readers, the more success you will see!

There are many sites out there that can help you create buttons for your blog. Share in the comments any that you use! 


Making Money With Your Blog: Sponsored & Affiliate Blog Posts

Makemoney

Are you ready to take your blog to the next level and make some money off of it? Typepad allows you to place advertisements on your blog, but what if you want to limit the number of ads that appear on your blog? There are other ways to make money blogging besides displaying ads.  You can write a blog post with curated affiliate links or a product review from a sponsored business.

Affiliate Links - Write What you Love

Is there a product you love and you want everyone to know about it? Blog about it!  Link back to the company, and see if they have an affiliate program.  When you join a business' affiliate program, you can insert text links into blog posts linking back to their business.  Some programs share commission with you if sales are made through clicking your links.  Amazon has a great affiliate program if you are not sure where to get started. Remember to keep your blog engaging and informative with its content and not heavy with spam.  Write from your own experience and make your posts personable. The more engaging you are in your blog, the more visitors will come back - the more views, more ca-ching!  Even if some time has past and someone happens upon your blog post, the affiliate links will still work.

Sponsored Posts - The Work Will Pay Off

Once your blog starts to get noticed, don’t be surprised if more businesses reach out to you and offer you free products and services in exchange for a review. This is all well and good if you’re just looking for freebies, but if you want to make money, do not be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for compensation for your review and offer to publish a "sponsored" blog post where you are promoting the business as well as the product.

Making money as a blogger does not happen over night. It takes work and patience to bring readers to your blog and keep them coming back. This includes leaving comments on other blogs, sharing your blog on social media, and building that engagement with readers.  If you are writing a review about a business, make sure you share that review with them.  They may want to share the link with their followers.  


Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog

Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog

On average, visual content performs 4.4 times better than text based content (Source Chute and Digiday).

Let that fact sink in. If your blog is nothing but text, you may be missing out on readers. Creating visual content can be daunting. At Typepad, we use two great programs, Canva and PicMonkey, to create and edit visual content for our blog. Each site has a free version you can start using today.

Canva long

Canva is a great product to help you create beautiful designs. They have a free version for you to go in and start exploring their countless features. You can customize one of their many templates or start from scratch. They have great tutorials to help get you started using Canva.

The pre-made templates that Typepad uses the most are the Blog Titles and Social Media templates. Preset dimensions make it easy to create visual content that will fit nicely in your blog or social media posts. Canva is also useful in creating infographics. Infographics are a great way to provide information in a visual form. The Typepad team loves to use them, as you can see with our Google Design article, because they are easy for readers to digest a large amount of information visually.

Some examples of visual content created through Canva:

Hunt banner

Email domain

 

 

PM logo

PicMonkey is a creative tool to help you edit images. You have a chance to show your creativity and style. They have a free version for you to start using right away. You can upload an image, add filters, and add text or overlays to an image. PicMonkey is great for editing a profile picture for your About page on your blog or social media sites. One feature we like is the collage feature. This allows you to have multiple images in one to fit into Facebook, Pinterest and blog posts. Their tutorials are easy to follow and can help you take an image and add pizzazz. Don’t monkey around, upload a picture and start today.

An example of images created through PicMonkey:

Brianna quote Laura quote


Now that you have all the tools you need to start adding great images to your blog posts! If there are other free or inexpensive image editing tools you use, let us know in the comments.


Images turned sideways? A quick image tip.

Composing posts with a smartphone or tablet is a common occurrence these days. What do you do, then, when your image orientation isn't saved and those uploaded images are turned on their side? Our integration of the Aviary image editor is a quick solution to fix the orientation of your image.

After you've inserted your image, and you notice that the image is showing in the incorrect orientation, simply double-click the image. The Aviary image editor will pop up in a window, presenting additional image editing options. One of the first options shown is the Orientation tool, which is what you will use to rotate the image left, right, or flip it top to bottom.

Change orientation of sideways image
Orientation tool will help rotate your image to the correct orientation.

After you click the Orientation tool icon, the pop up will change and present you the options to correct the orientation of your image. In our example, we clicked the left rotate option to get our image into the correct orientation.

Image is rotated

Simply click the Apply/Save button to save your change and return to the compose editor. All in all, the process takes less than a minute to complete and get you back to composing your post.

Do you have a favorite Aviary feature that helps you with your compose experience? Any image tips you think would be helpful to a new blogger? Feel free to share in the comments below!


What Mobile Designs Exist For Me to Use?

If you've been following our recent posts about mobile designs, you're now familiar with how to switch to a mobile design and you've learned some design principles to apply to your new mobile design.

We're now going to give you an overview of each mobile design option we have to help you figure out which one will work best for you and your blog.

First we have Snap:

Snap
Red Snap

Snap is a simple design, with twelve different accents colors for you to choose from.  If you like having a minimalist blog, this one is a good choice for you.

Next up is Sol:

Sol
Birdseye Blue

Sol is also of a minimalist nature, but adds more color to your blog, making it stand out.  It has ten different colors from you to choose from, so you can find the perfect color for your blog.

Next up is our Design Lab.  Here's a few examples of the variety you'll see:

Nimbles
Some Design Lab Options

In total, there are eighteen pre-made designs for you to choose from.  They include options with banners and without banners, in darker and lighter colors, and everything in between.

Like one of the pre-made designs but want a different banner or want to make other design changes?  Then choose the design you want to edit, apply it to your blog, and go to Design > Style.  There you can make all the changes you wish, without even needing to use CSS.  Simply select an option like Navigation or Sidebar and edit to your heart's content.

Also under the Style tab, you can find a selection of pre-made Color and Font collections.  This gives you the option to choose even more pre-made design options and apply them easily to your blog.

Colors_collection
Colors Collection

Finally, you can also use our Theme Builder's Responsive option:

Theme_responsive
Theme Builder Responsive Design

This allows you to use the familiar Theme Builder, but also make your design responsive.  If you're scared to dive into the Design Lab, but still want a responsive design, you can use this as a beginner step.

As you can see, there's a great many options for responsive designs with Typepad! You can find more information in our Knowledge Base or open a help ticket if you have any more questions or need more assistance.


How Do I Switch to a Mobile Design?

A request that we get frequently in our Help Tickets is "Can I switch my design to something mobile-friendly?"  The answer is: YES! And it is easier than you think! With your Typepad account, all of your blog designs are saved. You can apply your saved design to a current, new, or multiple blogs.  

To switch your blog to a mobile-friendly, or Responsive design, we recommend first creating a test blog. When it comes time to pick a design for your test blog under the "Design" tab, we have a huge selection of pre-made designs under the category "Design Lab (Responsive).  We have a selection of pre-made designs under the category "Design Lab (Responsive)":

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.15.01 PM

These pre-made designs can be a starting point for editing and customizing a new design for your blog using the Design Lab at Design > Style.  The Design Lab was created so you do not need to use CSS to make customizations to your design. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 4.48.42 PM

In addition to these themes, you can also set up a mobile design using the themes Snap, Sol, and the "Responsive" option of Theme Builder.

OK! You selected your design, layout, and applied it to your test blog.  There are plenty of ways to customize these themes the Design Lab and CSS if you have an Unlimited Plan or higher.  If you have joined the Beta team, you can take advantage of the "Style" option for Nimble Design Lab, which allows you to customize your design without the use of any code. 

Once you have your Responsive design just perfect for the world to see, it is time to apply it to your main blog.  Last Summer we shared tips on how to manage your saved blog designs, which you can apply here.  Switch over to the blog you want to make mobile-friendly and click the Design tab.  Scroll down to "Your Designs" and look for the Thumbnail for your new responsive design: 

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.50.14 PM

Click "Actions", in the drop-down menu, choose "Apply."  Once you click this, the page will refresh with the message "The selected design has been applied to your blog. View your blog" on top.  Congratulations! You just made your blog mobile-friendly! 

A quick note, if you want to make all of your blogs in your account Responsive, you can follow the steps listed.  We do recommend creating a duplicate design for each blog (click "Actions > Duplicate") in case you want to make a design change for one blog but not have it apply towards the other blogs.