Posts categorized "Typepad University" Feed

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


Get Creative! Add a Presentation to Your Blog

Presenting

Visually add to your message by inserting a presentation in to your blog post. There are many great programs out there to help you design a visually appealing presentation. Today we are going to focus on how to add a presentation from Google Slides, Prezi, and Emaze into your blog post.

Google Slides

Google Slides is a free presentation program that is included in your Gmail Account. Click on Google Apps (a 3 by 3 square of smaller squares on the right) and select Slides. Create your presentation. Once your presentation is complete, click on File, then Publish To The Web.  Click on the Embed tab, then select Small under Slide Size. Click on Publish to get the embed code.

Google Slides Pop UpCopy the code and log in to your Typepad account. From the Compose page, click on the HTML Tab. Search through the HTML to find where you want to paste the embed code. Paste in the embed code, then click on Rich Text to see it in your post. Last, publish your post.

Google Slides codeExample of a presentation created in Google Slides:

Prezi

Prezi is a presentation program you can use to create an interactive presentations. Once you have created your presentation, you need to generate a presentation URL. Click on the Share icon and create the presentation URL. Copy that URL and save it somewhere (Notepad or Text Edit). Use the code below and replace your_view_link with your presentation URL

<iframe width="550" height="400" src="your_view_link/embed" webkitallowfullscreen="1" mozallowfullscreen="1" allowfullscreen="1"></iframe>

Copy your edited code and add it to your post. From the Compose page, click on the HTML Tab. Search through the HTML to find where you want to paste the embed code. Paste in the embed code, then click on Rich Text to see it in your post. Last, publish your post.


Prezi Code

Example of a presentation created in Prezi:

Emaze

Emaze is a web based platform that helps you create engaging presentations. After you created your presentation, click on the Share button and copy the Embed code.

Emaze Share

From the Compose page, click on the HTML Tab. Search through the HTML to find where you want to paste the embed code. Paste in the embed code, then change the height and width size. The height should be 340px and the width is 600px. Click on Rich Text to see it in your post. Last, publish your post.

Emaze Code

Example of a presentation created in Emaze:

Powered by emaze

 

Presentations are a great way to visually sum up your blogs main ideas. Share them on social media along with a link to your post to help draw attention to your blog!

Use the comments to share with us posts you have used a presentation in. What other suggestions would you add?


Bitly! The Analytical Tool You Didn't Know You Had

Bitly

Bitly is a free service that can shorten the length of your post URL when sharing around social media or online. You can easily add Bitly with your Typepad account to use when you post on social media.

Bitly Sign inAdd Bitly

To add Bitly to your Typepad account, click on the Settings tab, then click on Add-ons. Scroll down and click on Bitly. You will be asked to start an account or sign into an account you have. 

Once the account is created, you will be asked to authorize Typepad to use, your account. Click on Allow. Now you will be taken back to your Typepad account. Start blogging to create the new Bitly links.

Authorize TypepadView Analytics

Once added, all future posts will have a unique Bitly link that you can share with everyone. To view the link, click on the Blogs tab, then click on the name of the blog. Under Recent Social Media Traffic, click on the Bitly link. Here you will see a list of all your posts and the number of clicks for each post. 

Bilty Overview

Bitly links in Typepad

Bitly offers real time analytics for your unique URL. Click on the URL under Bitly Info to be taken to the analytics page which offers real time data about your unique URL.

You will see an overview of all the Bitlys you have created. You will also see the Total number of clicks, your top referrer, and your top location. When you scroll down you will see the unique URL and a bunch of real time data.

Bitly Analytics GraphNext you will see the total clicks for the post. You can see it spread out over the last few days. This data is updated in real time. 

Bitly Total ClicksNext are the Referrer stats and Location stats. Referrers can be Facebook, Twitter, Email, Direct, and many more. Referrers are where your readers are seeing and clicking your link. You can also see where around the world your readers are.

Referrers and locations

 

This is a great tool to use along with Google Analytics to find out more about your readers and determine any strategic decisions which you can make to increase visitors. Integrate Bitly today to get started.

 


Is Your Twitter Card Enabled?

Twitter Card

With all the changes going on with Social Media, one thing remains - Twitter is still a popular platform to share your blog content.  There are so many eyes scrolling through Twitter, you want to make sure your tweet stands out. Typepad made it easier to automatically share your blog posts using Twitter Cards.   

All you need is your Twitter handle to get started.  Go to Settings > Sharing, scroll to the Twitter Card section. Enter the Site and Creator handles for your Twitter accounts, preceded by the @ symbol (e.g. @typepad). This can be the same handle for both fields if you do not have a separate account for your blog.

Twitter.card2After saving your changes, you can prepare your blog post like usual.  Be mindful of your first uploaded image in your post as this will be the image that will appear in your Twitter card.  The more visually intriguing, the better!

Twitter.card

Here's another tip - Twitter Cards allows your tweet to go beyond 280 characters. The card shows the content’s title and description, so you have room in your tweet to draw people in to check out your post.  

Now that tweets show in search engine results, Twitter Cards provide more meta information which could potentially drive additional traffic to your blog. Twitter Cards are a great way to drive traffic and engagement to your blog and make it easier for followers to share (retweet) your post.  


Blogger Beware - What You Need to Know about Using Images on Your Blog

Blogger Beware

Images are a great way to draw attention to your blog post and give it some pizzazz! Who doesn’t like to look at pretty pictures? Sometimes we may want to use an image that we may not have in our personal photo folder. It’s so easy to do a Google search and just grab one that’s appealing from the results right? Wrong!  Allow us to help you avoid any potential issues using unauthorized images. 

Did You Get Permission?

Just because an image is uploaded to the internet does not mean it is free for you to use. Giving credit to the photographer with a link back does NOT validate the use.  It also does not matter if you are not making any money from your blog.

The individual who took that image owns the copyright of it and can request the image be removed from a website if it is used without their permission. Unless you received permission from the owner, do not use it. If someone contacts Typepad with a valid DMCA report stating that their image is being used on a Typepad blog without permission, we are required to remove that image.

What If I Am Asked To Take Down an Image? 

You may receive an email from the owner of the image, or an agency representing them, asking to remove the image immediately.  Do not argue or explain why you used the image, just remove the picture from the blog post in question.  You may also need to contact Typepad Support to remove the image from the server.  You can do this by opening a Help Ticket

Where Can I Get Images That Are Free To Use?

Creativecommons

A good place to start is Creative Commons.  Since 2001, Creative Commons has issued CC licenses free of charge and is devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.  You can use their search tool and they will pull up free license images from all over the internet that you can use without repercussion. 

Unsplash

Another favorite is Unsplash where you will find a collection of beautiful, free images and it is constantly updated.  You can sign up to have new collections sent directly to your inbox. 

Fabio-mangione-236846-unsplash

Pixabay

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes.

Strawberries-3431122_1280

There are many more "royalty free" and free stock images available right at your fingertips online that are safe to use without penalty or copyright violations.  Share your favorites with us today!


Spotlight Your Categories On A Front Page

Spotlight Categories

If you don't want a traditional blog structure you can use our Front Page feature to showcase different categories in your blog. Readers can click on an image link and see all the posts in that category. 

Full Site Image

First, you will need to create a page to be used as your Front Page. Customize the page with the text you want, then add the images you created for your categories.

TipWhen designing the image you want to use, we recommend Canva. It is a great editing tool to help you create custom images. Check out our article "Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog" to learn more about using Canva. In our example, the image size was 1000 X 300 pixels wide. 

After you have inserted your images, you need the URL’s to the categories you want to showcase. Go to your blog archive, either by clicking on the link in your navigation bar or adding archives.html at the end of your URL.

Archive in Nav Bar

Click on the category you want to showcase and save the URLs somewhere. Once you have a list of your category URLs, go back to your page and make the images a clickable link.

Front Page Archives

To make an image a clickable link, click on the image, then click on the Insert/Edit Link button. Add the category URL, then click OK. Do this to all the images you added.

Once you have the front page exactly how you want it, you need to make it the front page. Click on the Settings tab, then click on Posts. Scroll down to Front Page, then select Display a “Page” as the front page. In the drop down, select the page you created. Scroll to the bottom and click on Save Changes.

  Front Page Feature

We did our example with a one column template. This will move all your modules to the bottom of your blog. Create a test blog to make these design changes. Once you have the design perfect, you can apply it to your current blog. 

Show off your new blog in our comments! Tell us how do you make your blog, not look like a blog. 


Amazing Tools To Aid In Blogging

Tools for blogging

There are many tools in a blogger's arsenal that help make blogging easy and fun. Here are some tools we use here at Typepad.

TitlePortent’s Content Idea Generator

Here you can add a subject and this site will generate example titles. Find one that works for you and start blogging. If you are stuck on what to write about, this site will provide you with a plethora of ideas.

Bloglovin', Paper.li, Pocket

Being a trusted source in a community means you need to know what is being said about your chosen subject. These sites will send blog posts about any subject directly to your inbox. Use these posts for inspiration, or reference in your own blog, when you talk about the same subject.

Bloglovin Paperli logo Pocket

Hootsuite

Getting your message out there means posting to many different social media sites. Doing it one by one can take a lot of time. Hootsuite lets you manage your social media channels in one place. You can also look at analytics!

Hootsuite-horizontal-black-registered

Pexels, Pixabay, Gratisography

Not everyone has the time to take the perfect image that fits your post. These image galleries will have the perfect image for you to use, saving time and money. They have CC0 Creative Common License images for you to use freely on your site.

Pexels Gratisography Pixabay-logo.svg

 

Canva_logoCanva and PicMonkey Imageedit_1_4631193216

Once you have the perfect image, you can edit it! Canva and Picmonkey are great editors that can take your images to the next level. Read our Everything Typepad post about both image editors.

Blogging on the go

You may be struck with inspiration while exploring this great big world of ours. Don't worry! You can still create the perfect blog post on your mobile device. You can save a post for later or publish on the spot. Go to Typepad.com on your mobile device and log in. Explore our  Mobile Compose experience and let the journey begin! 

What tools do you use to help you blog? Share in the comments below! 


New Feature: Embed Instagram Posts

Instagram and Typepad

Today we are excited to share with everyone our new Instagram feature. You can now embed posts from your Instagram or someone you follow. This is great when discussing latest news or showing your readers "behind the scenes" of your blog! Working from your desktop or your mobile device, you can add your Instagram posts for your readers!

Add an Instagram post to your blog

From the Compose page, click on the Instagram button. In the pop up, paste in the embed code from Instagram. Click on Ok. Super easy!

Embed Instagram

Get Your Instagram Embed Code Typepad Tip Instagram

Not sure how to get the embed code from Instagram? We can show you! From your browser (either on your desktop or mobile device) go to your Instagram account.

From your browser, you can go to any Instagram account (including yours) if you know the username. Go to the URL http://instagram.com/username (replace the username with the Instagram username.)

Click on the image you want to embed to view the three dots. Click on the three dots and then click on the Embed button. Click on Copy Embed Code. 

Embed code from Instagram

Copy the code Instagram provides, then go back to Typepad and paste it in. 

This is a perfect way to introduce your readers to your Instagram and we hope you love it just as much as we do! Feel free to leave us a comment so we know how you like using this new feature. If you have any suggestions for ways we can improve it, make sure to leave comments on that too! If you need more information about embedding your Instagram post, check out the Knowledge Base. As always, the support team is here to help you out. You can open a help ticket with any questions to get one-on-one support.


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.


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.