Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

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.


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.

OL 3

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. 


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!