Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

2018: An Early Guide To The Shopping Holidays

2018_ An Early Guide To The Shopping Holidays

The holidays are coming. While you are getting your home ready for friends and family, think about your plans for your blog. You can give your blog a new look for the holidays and start planning your holiday promotions. Being prepared will make the holidays go by smoother. 

Dates

The main shopping holidays to start planning for: 

Halloween Tuesday, Oct 31st
Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov 22nd
Black Friday, Nov 23rd
Small Business Saturday, Nov 24th
Cyber Monday, Nov 26thth
Giving Tuesday, Nov 27th
Hanukkah Begins Tuesday, Dec 2th
Hanukkah Ends Wednesday, Dec 10th
Christmas Eve Sunday, Dec 24th
Christmas Day Monday, Dec 25th
New Year's Day Sunday, Jan 1st

These are the main holidays that US customers expect to find promotions for. Use that to your advantage. These holidays encourage people to purchase gifts for their loved ones. 

You should have a plan for an overall promotion and each shopping holiday should have its own version of the promotion. If you are blogging for business, we recommend you take the time to think out a Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday strategy. These are the main shopping days readers plan for. Letting readers know you will be providing deals during these holidays will help them plan their shopping strategy.

Organizations to help you prepare

This is a one stop post to help you get started on your strategy. We did the research for you and prepared a list of places to start. Their websites are full of information that can help guide your holiday strategy. 

Small Business Saturday  Giving Tuesday

Create Material for your Small Business Saturday Promotions

Get your Community together for Small Business Saturday

Giving Tuesday Blog

Giving Tuesday's Tool Kit

Typepad Constant Contact

Call To Action Button

Pre-Schedule Posts

Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Prepare for Cyber Monday

Prepare for Giving Tuesday

Constant Contacts Holiday Blog

Constant Contact Holiday Planning

Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get found through social media. We have gathered a list of all the hashtags we could find for each of the shopping holidays and put them in an easy to read infographic for you to use! Use them along with your branded hashtags to help  promote your blog and deals. 

2018 Holiday season


You will feel relieved after all the planning is done and you can sit back and relax during this holiday season. What promotion strategies have worked for you in the past? What has not worked? What is your go to source to help get ideas for the coming shopping holidays? Share with your fellow Typepad Bloggers in the comments below! 

 


IFTTT Applets And Your RSS Feed

IFTTTApplet

Readers do not want to travel to different URLs to get all the information they find interesting. If only there was a way for readers to read all their blogs in one place???

This is where IFTTT and your RSS Feed can be used! IFTTT (pronounced like "Gift" without the "G") is a free platform that helps different services easily speak with each other. You can find an applet that brings a lot of services together. Today we are going to focus on applets that work with your RSS Feed. With a Pocket, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or Pinterest applet, your posts will automatically appear in their feeds after you publish. (Just like our Twitter integrations!) These are available for you and your readers to use. Set up once and forget it!

How to find your RSS Feed

When you first start a blog, the Subscribe link is automatically added to your navigation bar. Click on the subscribe link to get the RSS Feed URL. You may also have the Subscribe module on your sidebar. That is another place to get the RSS Feed URL. 

If you removed these you can get the RSS Feed URL from the source code of your blog. The source code will give you the atom.xml, rss.xml, and index.rdf. For IFTTT you will want the atom.xml. To learn more about how to find your RSS Feed URL check out Typepad 101: What Is My RSS Feed URL? on Everything Typepad. 

Use an IFTTT Applet

Once you have your RSS Feed you can now add it to any IFTTT RSS applet. There are many applets you can use make sure your posts show automatically on different platforms. Here are a few we like. 

Pocket

Pocket AppletPocket is a platform that saves interesting articles for your enjoyment later. When a reader uses the Pocket applet all your posts will show up in their Pocket. Provide your readers with your RSS Feed URL and they can use this applet to have your post automatically  show up in their pocket!

 

 

Tumblr

Tumblr AppletTumblr is a microblogging and a social networking site. Using the Tumblr applet, you can make sure any new blog posts show up on your Tumblr feed. If your readers follow you on Tumblr they will see it too! Don’t have a Tumblr account, no worries. Readers that are active on Tumblr can use this applet to connect your RSS Feed to their Tumblr account. They will never miss a post!

 

 

LinkedIn

LinkledIn AppletLinkedIn is for professionals to network. If your blog is professional in nature, we recommend you use it to promote your blog. This applet allows you to share your blog posts on your LinkedIn feed. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, your readers can use it to make sure your posts show up in their feed. Great for that busy professional!

 

 

Pinterest

Pinterest AppletUse the Pinterest applet to automatically share your posts on one of your Pinterest boards. This applet also lets you add a customize image that will be shared along with your post.  You and your readers can use this applet to make sure your posts show up on any board you want.

Quick Tip: Use the File Manager to get an image URL for you to use. Easily upload the a custom image to your File Manager then copy the image URL. You can use this as the Photo URL. Use Picmonkey or Canva to create a great image that shows everyone that is looking at your board, what it is about.

Explore IFTTT today to see what all you can do!!! Share this post with your readers so they can see all the great ways to read your blog. 


Can I Make My Blog Not Look Like a Blog?

Landing Page_2
Did you know that your blog with Typepad does not have to look like a blog? If you have a business and you want to keep your blog but expand your web presence, you can build a website around your blog.  

When someone visits your blog, maybe you do not want them to go to your blog right away but to a "Welcome" page instead which can point them to different places on your website (including your blog).

Post or Page

Every blog includes Pages which can be set up separate from your blog.  Pages are not date driven like blog posts and they do not appear in your blog feed.  One of these pages can be created as a Landing Page.  The Landing Page is the first page your visitors see when they visit your site.  By default, this would be your Typepad blog but you can change this by changing the "Front Page" settings.  

Once your page is created and saved, it becomes available to set up as your front page in your settings.  You can access this by going to Settings > Posts > Front Page. The name of the page you just created is included in the drop-down menu to select. 

Front Page Display

After you save your Landing Page, a URL will appear in this section for your blog link. It will look similar to: 

http://example.typepad.com/my_blog/blog_index.html 

If you wish to add a link to your blog on your Landing Page, this would be the URL to use.  Other types of pages you can link to on your Landing Page would be an About Page, Contact Page, or a Shop to sell your item or service.

Once your Front Page is saved, your "blog" will have a new look!

Welcome To My Website

If you wish to not display the sidebar on just your Landing Page but on the rest of your blog, you can do this by adding CSS code to the HTML editor of your page.  The CSS code differs based on the theme you are using: 

Have you created a Landing Page on your blog? Share a link in the comments so we can check it out! If you want to create a Landing Page, sign in to your Typepad account today to get started. 


How To Add A Pinterest Button To All Your Images!

Pinterst pic white

Pinterest is a great place to get your blog seen! Who doesn’t love spending free time searching Pinterest for their dream DIY? Make it easy for your readers to add your amazing images and posts to their Pinterest boards by adding a Pinterest Save button.

First,  go to the Pinterest Widget Builder and click on the Save Button. From the Button Type drop down, select Image Hover. Select if you want a round image or a large image.

Example of hover button

After you are done designing your button you will be given code to add to your blog.

Pinterest Code

From your Typepad account, click on the Blog tab > name of your blog > Design > Content. Add an Embed Your Own HTML module and Paste in the code. Give the module a name and click on OK. Last, click on Save Changes. Don't worry, the Label will not show on your blog. 


Embed Your Own Code

Now your readers can share your amazing images on their Pinterest boards. Just hover your cursor over the image to see the Save button.

End Result

Log into your Typepad account today to get started.


Our Favorite Third-Party Integrations: ShareThis

ShareThis Integration

We know how important it is to share your blog content with your readers on social media.  The share buttons we offer in the blog post footer is a popular feature but there is just not enough room to include every social media platform out there.  That is why one of our favorite third-party sources to integrate into Typepad is ShareThis.

Before you create your free account at www.sharethis.com, you must have a Unlimited account or higher as the Head module is required to set this up on your blog. 

When you add your blog, you will get a red message that says: 

We were unable to verify **your blog URL**. Please ensure sharethis.js is copied to header of your site!

Click the "Get the Code" button and copy the code that appears in the pop-up window. Open a new browser window (keep ShareThis open) and in your Typepad account, go to Blogs > (select your blog name) > Design > Head, and paste the code provided and save your update: 

Sharethis_3

Then go back to ShareThis and click the "Verify" button and you will get a message saying that the installation was successful.  Now you can create your share buttons! ShareThis allows you to add more share buttons to your blog posts such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, and more. 

Sharethis

You can set up the "Sticky Share Buttons" that appears on the left side of your blog, "Inline Share Buttons" which appear at the bottom of your blog post, or customize your share buttons.  

If you only want the buttons to appear on the left, just "turn on" the Sticky Share Buttons on top, and click which channels you want to display as well select the alignment, label, size, shape, count, etc.  then you are all set! There is nothing else you need to do.  The buttons should take a few minutes to appear on your blog.  

To add buttons in your blog post footer, there is an additional step which involves using the Signature module in Typepad. In ShareThis, select the "Inline Share Buttons" option. Like the Sticky buttons, turn on Inline Share Buttons, and copy the code: 

Sharethis4

Place this code in your Signature module at Design > Signature, make sure it's checked off to enable it. You can also select which buttons to display, size, shape, and count.  As long as you have the code saved on your blog, any changes you make in ShareThis should be reflected on your blog after a few minutes. 

Here's an example of a blog that has both set up: 

Sharethis_2

With some social media platforms getting more strict with automated shares to their feeds, including share buttons to your blog posts is a good way to still share your blog content on places like Facebook and Twitter.  Do you include share buttons on your blog?  Sign in to your Typepad account and get started today!


How To Create An Effective Donation Page

Effective Donation Page

Creating a specific donation page can help tell your readers how and why to donate to your nonprofit or cause. You can add your donation page to your navigation bar, plaster all over social media, and share in print (QR Code or shorten Bilty links). Not only will a good donation page make it easy for readers to donate, it will also explain what that money is going towards, and track any progress in collecting donations.

Create a specific donation page

A specific donation page makes is easy for your readers to know what you are raising money for and how to donate. You can add all your fundraising efforts on one central page that is easy to update. With Typepad, we made it easy for you to create a page for your website.

From the Post tab, click on Pages on the left. Then click on New Page to create a new page for your blog. Customize the page with the suggestions below, then click on Publish. Now you can add this link to your navigation bar and anywhere else you want to focus on collecting donations.

Clear ways to donate

When asking for money for your nonprofit or cause, you want to make it easy for readers to donate. They should not have to look around searching for a way to give you money. Having multiple options is a great to maximize your donations. Add a PayPal button to the page, if you accept mail in donations clearly write your address. If you have GoFundMe page, add their GoFundMe campaign widget to your page. Clearly put this information in at the top of the page.

How are you using the money?

Are you using the money to shelter kittens? Feed hungry stray dogs? Buy sock for the homeless? Let your readers know. The more they know about what their money is going to, the more they may be willing to donate.

Track your progress

People like to see progress, if they see you are close they may be willing to donate more. The GoFundMe campaign widget will show your progress for readers to easily track. 

Log in to start creating your donation page now.


Spotlight Posts To Draw Readers Into Your Blog

Spotlight posts to draw readers into your blog

Getting readers to come to your blog is only half the story when it comes to building your audience - you also want to keep them there exploring all your great content. One easy way to do this is by adding a Spotlight module to highlight some of your recent posts.

For most Typepad design themes, the Spotlight module will appear in the sidebar. However, if you're using a theme from the Nimble Design Lab with a one or two-column layout, an additional option is available to you - the Spotlight module can be placed directly under your posts and will appear in that location both on the main page and on archive pages. Blog visitors don't always look closely at sidebar content, but having the Spotlight module right under your posts means they'll see it as they finish reading. If they enjoyed your post and want to read more of what you have to say, there it is right in front of them! To set this up for your one or two-column Design Lab theme, head to the Design > Content page and add a Spotlight module:

Add the Spotlight module

When you add the Spotlight module, you'll see a pop-up window where you can configure how you want the spotlighted posts to appear:

Configure the Spotlight module

If you post a lot of photos to your blog, we recommend choosing the option to display a thumbnail image for each post - pictures catch the eye a lot more than text does. After you've configured the options you want and save them, the Spotlight module will be added to the sidebar as usual. Bloggers using a one or two-column Design Lab theme will see an additional option on the Content page, however. Under the representation of the main content column, you'll see an area labeled "Drop Spotlight Posts Below". Drag and drop the module to this area and you should see it settle in under the notice:

Drag and drop the Spotlight module

Go ahead and save your changes on the Content page and the Spotlight module will now appear on your published blog right below your posts. If you realize you need to tweak how it looks, go back to the Content page and click the pencil icon on the module to open the pop-up window with the configuration options again. A well-configured Spotlight module provides an eye-catching display drawing readers further into your blog, as shown in the example below.

Spotlight module on Swoonish

You can also see the Spotlight module used in the main content column right here on Everything Typepad! Just scroll towards the bottom of the page. If you like what you see, why not log in right now and head to Design > Content to add the Spotlight module to your blog? And if you're already using the Spotlight module on your blog, let us know in the comments how you like it.


Help! My Domain Name Does Not Work Without the WWW!

No_www_2
Do you still type "www" when you visit a website? Or do you just type "example.com?" Why is that www even necessary?  The "www" part of your domain name is called the subdomain.  The subdomain is critical when setting up Domain Mapping with your Typepad blog.  In your domain registry, the CNAME Record is set for the WWW alias, and is where we recommend adding your Typepad domain name (ie: example.typepad.com) so your name points to your blog. 

Now, there are browsers that will allow a reader to enter your domain name without the "www" and your blog will load.  This is because those browsers are set up to automatically redirect example.com to www.example.com.  But not all browsers do this, such as Google Chrome.   If you want to be sure your readers can get to your blog on any browser by just typing "example.com" without the "www", you can set this up by setting up a Forward with your domain name registry. 

Set Up a Forward Through Typepad

When you purchase your name through Typepad, it is easy to set up a forward for your domain name.  All you need to do is check off the box at Account > Domain Mapping when you are setting up your new blog name:

Forward_domain

Set Up a Forward Through a Third-Party

If you purchased a name from a third-party, you will need to refer to their instructions for Forwarding.  Not all registries provide this service so check with them first.   If they do, what you are doing is forwarding example.com to www.example.com - not to your Typepad blog URL.  Here is an example from GoDaddy's Forward feature: 

Godaddy_fwd

If you use GoDaddy, we have instructions on how to set up a forward for your name in our Knowledge Base.

If you can't locate the Forward settings on their own, they may be located in the DNS Management section.  Forwards can take a few hours before it starts working, sometimes it takes longer than the mapping itself!  

If you have Domain Mapping set up for your blog, now would be a good time to check if it works without typing "www."

 


Can I Map More Than One Domain Name To My Blog?

Multiple_domain_name

You got your blog set up and readers are checking it out. You are ready to purchase a domain name so readers can use "www.myawesomeblog.com" instead of the default Typepad domain name.  You got the perfect name and you don't want anyone else to take it so you buy that name as a .com, .net, and .org. The question now is how can you get all of those domain names to direct to your blog?  This can be done through Domain Mapping one name and forwarding the other names. 

Typepad has made it easy to purchase a domain name through your account.  From your Dashboard, click Account > Domain Mapping, and enter the domain name you want to use. Then click Check Availability, and a list of available domains will appear. The name "myawesomeblog.com" is available in all three formats so you snatch them up.  

You can only set up Domain Mapping with one name to point to your blog, so you set up "www.myawesomeblog.com" to be the primary name where your all of your blog links such as permalinks will have the .com name.  One blog cannot have two different sets of permalinks created.  The the .net and .org names you purchased can be forwarded to your .com name through the Domain Forwarding Service.  If you are using a third-party to set up Domain Mapping such as GoDaddy, the steps would be similar as you are just forwarding the second and third names to your primary domain name.

Not only does buying a domain name with different suffixes help for brand identity, it can also help if you want your website to primarily be a .biz or .org. People are so used to typing .com for a website, you don't want to lose them for this oversight.

Have you purchased a domain name for your blog yet? Sign in to your Typepad account and purchase a name today!


How To Add An Amazing Background Image

How To Add An Amazing Background Image

Adding a background image is a great way to help your blog content stand out and reinforce your brand. When you use one of our Design Lab themes, you can use one of our pre-loaded background patterns or add your own background image. Today we are going over how to add your own background image. 

Find the perfect image

We recommend using one of the many free image finders available to you on the web. Some of our favorites are Pexels and Pixabay. Read our post "What You Need to Know about Using Images on Your Blog" to learn how to safely pick an image to use on your blog. 

When looking for the perfect image you want something that will look good repeating. You don't want the seam between images to sand out. You can use a simple wood image, brick image, or grass! Look for images that look good with your brand colors.

Image comparisonSave the image

Once you have the image, you will need to save it to your computer. Follow their instructions on how to save it to your computer.  A good image size to look for is around 2000px wide. 

Add a background imageAdd to your Design Lab Background

The steps below work if you are using one of our Design Lab themes. Not using the Design Lab yet? Try changing your theme, or apply it to a test blog!

With few clicks you can change your background image.

1) Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog.

2) Click on the Design tab, then on Style.

3) On the right, click on Background to display your options.

4) Under Pattern, select Upload Custom Image and upload the image you saved.

If you like how it looks in the preview window, save your changes.

Finished Example

Super easy! Now log into your account today to get started! 

Button_log-into-typepad