Posts categorized "Weekend Projects" 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?


How To Create Secure Security Questions

Banner Create save and secure security questions

Security Questions are another layer of security to keep your account safe. We've all had those moments when the browser does not remember our password. Don't panic! Answering your security questions correctly will help us get you access to your account or block those up to no good. 

Typepad allows you to add two security questions. Click on the Account tab and scroll down to Security Questions. Select one of our pre-made questions or click on "Create a Custom Security Question" to create your own. Add your answer then click on Save Changes. 

When creating your own security question you want to make sure you use a question and answer that is secure and will help you gain access to your account quickly if you need to use it. We have created a great guide to help you create a secure question and answer. 

Create save and secure security questions
Set up your security questions today! Go straight to your Account page (you will have to log in first).


How To Change Your Facebook Profile To A Facebook Page

  Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page

Everyone is on Facebook — family, friends, business, and non-profits. When you started your blog, you may have created a Facebook Profile. A profile is like your personal profile but for your business. This is a big NO-NO for Facebook, and they want you to convert your profile to a Facebook Business Page. They have made it really easy for you to do! We created this great infogragh that goes over the many perks of creating a Facebook Page, what to expect, and how to change! 

Quick Tip: The fastest way to tell if you have a profile or a page is to look how people follow your page. If you have "likes", you have a Facebook Page. If you have "friends", you have a Facebook Profile.  

Facebook Profile

To help, we have included the steps to convert to a Facebook Page below with the clickable link to help you get started!

How To Change To A Facebook Page

Go to Create a Facebook Page Based on Your Profile.

Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions.

Your new Page will automatically publish once the conversion process is finished. To change this setting, click to select Off next to Publish Page when done at the top.

If you haven't created any kind of Facebook Page for your blog, what are you waiting for. Get started today!


How Can Readers Subscribe To Your Blog?

How Can Readers Subscribe To Your Blog_

When you create a new blog, you will notice a “Subscribe” link appears in your Navigation Bar as a default link. The Subscribe link is your blog’s RSS feed URL. When viewing this link, some readers may see a page displaying HTML code while others may see page displaying links to your blog posts. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your Subscribe link! It only means that your browser does not support viewing a feed directly.  Here are some ways that your readers can utilize your RSS link. 

Blog Readers

Everyone has their own preference on how they wish to follow their favorite blogs, so it’s good to provide options. You already have one by sharing the RSS feed URL directly.  Readers can use this link to add to their favorite blog reader.  A Blog Reader is an online RSS reader where you can collect all of your favorite websites into one place.  Some popular blog readers include: 

The Old Reader

Inoreader

Feedly

Newsreader

Bloglovin

You can group your links into categories to better organize your saved websites. 

Follow By Email Updates

Getting blog posts delivered directly to your inbox is another popular option to offer to your readers. Typepad has Feedblitz integrated into the application and it is really easy to set up an email list to deliver your blog posts.  If you are familiar with Mailchimp for your newsletter needs, they also offer an RSS-to-email campaign.  This way, you can track who on your list is opening your emails to read your post.


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.  


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. 


Renewing Your Typepad Domain

Renewing Your Typepad Domain

When you purchase your domain through Typepad the time will come when you need to renew your domain. You can easily renew your domain at domains.typepad.com. Let us show you!

Go to domains.typepad.com and log in. If you are unsure of your login information (may be different from your Typepad login information), please reach out to us in support. We would be happy to help you get access to the account.

Once you log in, click on Welcome (your name), then My Account. Along the top, select Manage Orders, then List/Search Orders. Here you will see a list of all your domains. Click on the domain you want to renew.

On the top right, click on the green Renew button. In the pop up, select how many years you want to renew the domain. You can renew up to 9 years. It is also recommended you select Include Privacy. Now click on Renew Domain Name. 

Privacy Pop Up

Now you will see your invoice. To make things real simple, you can use the payment information in your Typepad account. Under Pay Online, select Typepad Information then Continue.

You will be taken to your Typepad account to approve the renewal transaction. Next, click on Complete Registration to finish the approval.

Approve Domain Purchase

Complete Registration ET

Once Typepad processes your transaction, the renewal is complete. You have your domain for a while longer!

If you don't have a custom domain for your blog, what are you waiting for? Purchase a Typepad domain today!  


5 Things To Do For Your Blog in 2018

5 Things To Do For Your Blog in 2018

It is a new year and everyone is thinking about what to improve. You can improve many things, but we recommend you focus on your blog. We complied a list of five things you can do to take your blogging to the next level!

Go Mobile

In 2018 more and more people will be on their phones (they are pretty amazing after all). You want to make sure your blog is easy to read on a mobile device. Typepad is here to make it easy to switch over to a mobile theme. You can use our new Design Lab to customize one of our mobile templates. We recommend you create a test blog and design a new mobile theme. Once your design is complete, you can apply it to your main blog.

Custom Domain

A domain should be simple and easy for your readers to remember. You want a domain that tells your reader exactly what your blog is about. Typepad lets you purchase a unique domain and map it to your blog. To purchase a domain, click on the Accounts tab, then Domain Mapping. Under Domain Mapping, type in your domain and click on Check Availability. If your domain is available you can purchase it and apply it to your blog.

Blog Goals

Goals can  give you focus for the year. Create three goals for your blog; one short term goal, one intermediate goal, and one long term goal. Creating the goals may be the easy part. The next, and maybe the hardest part, is breaking the goal down into steps that you can keep track of. The steps should have measurable results and a time frame. Our best advice for you is to write down your goals and your steps. Use a program like Wunderlist to keep track of your progress.

Learn New Things

When you are comfortable with your blog that is when complacency kicks in. It is important to learn new things to help grow and get out of our comfort zone. Learn something new about your blogging subject or learn something new about blogging (like adding an image gallery to your blog posts or create a YouTube channel and start posting videos through Typepad). Use what you have learned and share it with your readers. Show them you are an expert and they can trust your blog.

Read A Book

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King

When you read you increase your vocabulary and cognitive skills. Reading books will greatly influence your writing. You can read a book about writing, blogging, or whatever you want. The point is to read. Reading helps you get inspiration for your own writing. After you read something you gain knowledge you can use in your own writing. Two great books that come highly recommend to help with writing are Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

What is on your 2018 checklist for your blog? Share in the comments to inspire others! 


Design Lab: Adding Custom Fonts

Design Lab_ Adding Custom Fonts

Our Design lab is now available to everyone who is using a responsive theme. There are a plethora of options to customize your blog to fit your brand. In the coming weeks we will continue this series to help familiarize our bloggers with all the customization tools our Design Lab offers. Make sure to check back with us through our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The font you pick is very important. Fonts affect the readability and the perceived level of professionalism of your blog. When you are in our Design Lab, you can customize the fonts to fit your branding. Using the preview window you can also see how they look with other font choices. You don’t have to make everything the same font. 

To use the Design Lab you need to have one of our mobile responsive themes. Check out Mobile Themes Rolling Out Of Beta to learn more about switching to our mobile themes! 

Selecting and Applying A Font

Click on the Design tab, then click on Style. On the top right in gray you will see Fonts, click on it to expand your options.

You can choose between many different fonts. We have them organized based on Style.

Handwriting: These fonts are made to look like you wrote them yourself. They have fluid strokes that gives a personal touch. Use this sparingly, as it can be hard to read.  

Display: These are large fonts that are great for headings. They are eccentric and have a variable design to help the text stand out.

Serif: These fonts have a line at the end of every stroke. This is great for bulk text that needs to be read clearly. 

San Serif: These fonts do not have a line at the end of every stroke. It is great for bulk text for easy reading. 

You can select any one of these fonts and apply it to your blog. After you have selected the font you want to use you will see it is the Active Font. Select the tab for the area you want to customize. In this case we want to change the Title Text. Click on Banner, then next to Title, click on Apply Font. You will see the font change in the preview window and under Title.

Selecting a Font
Selecting a font.
Applying Fonts
Applying a font

Importing Fonts

Import A FontWe have a wide selection of fonts for you to choose from. If you need more options you can import from Google Fonts. Find the font you want in Google Fonts and then upload into the Design Lab. Then you can apply it to any section.

From the Style page, on the top right in gray you will see Fonts, click on it to expand your options. Click on Import. You will see where you can import fonts. Click on Google Fonts to view the selection in Google Fonts. Here you will have many different fonts to choose from. Once you have found the perfect font (in this case Roboto), you want to highlight the name of the font and copy it. Go back to your Style page and paste in the name of the font (the font name has to match exactly), then click on Import. To make it an active font you need to click on the name of the font. Then you can apply the font where you want.

Fonts are a great way to brand your business. We have made choosing the right font quick and easy. Have fun and see you soon with more about our Design Labs.