Understanding the importance of Business Blogging

Cup-mug-desk-officeWhen someone starts a business they think about how to set up the website, how to set up their online shop, their social media presence and so forth. It almost becomes an afterthought to set up a blog. There can be many benefits to creating a business blog. Corey Wainwright of Hubspot goes over a few of the benefits to help you get motivated to start a business blog or just to recommend it to other business owners that do not blog.

1) It helps drive traffic to your website.
Blogging helps add new material to your website which increases your indexed pages. This shows search engines your website it active and can help you show up more in searches.

2) It helps convert that traffic into leads.
When you are blogging you want to include a strong call to action. These can be for a free download, free entry into a sweepstakes, or a free trial. A strong call to action will let you gather information from a potential customer in exchange for whatever you are willing to give for that information. This can be valuable information for your sales team.

3) It helps establish authority.
When you write about something it shows you are an expert in your field. If potential customers see you have content that have answered all their questions, it helps build trust in you and your brand.

4) It drives long-term results.
Blog posts are great because you can put in effort today and still benefit from the effects tomorrow. As long as the information is relevant to your customers they will be searching for it. That blog can help generate leads while you are vacationing in Hawaii!

To read the full article check out Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing.

Get started with a business blog today! New users to Typepad can start a free trial today! For those that already have an account, start your business blog today!

In the comments tell us what benefits you get from blogging!

Don't overlook the post footer

At the end of every post on your blog is the post footer, a section that provides information about the post for the benefit of your readers. By default, this displays the name of the post's author, the time the post was published, and any categories that the post was assigned to.

If you would like to customize what appears in the post footer, go to the Design > Content page for your blog and locate the Post Footer module. Click the pencil icon on it to open a pop-up window where you can make edits.

Post footer configuration

The timestamp by itself may not provide all the information that you readers would like to have about when the post was published. In this case, you can add the date as well. Place a check next to this option in the Post Footer Configuration window.

Another option that may be useful, especially if you have multiple authors on your blog, is to display the author's profile photo. Seeing an image of the author may help readers connect on a more personal level with the post - images often make a big impact on people.

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a tool for publicizing your blog, so we recommend adding sharing buttons for the most popular social media services, or those which are most relevant to your blog. You can find a number of options listed under the post information section in the Post Footer configuration pop-up. Facebook and Twitter are good choices if you're not sure which options to add. You can display the sharing tools as links but we recommend displaying them as buttons, and this is the default. The exact style of the buttons may vary depending on what design theme you have chosen for your blog.

When you have configured the options that you want for the post footer, click the OK button, then save your changes on the Design > Content page. Click the "View Blog" link that appears near the top of the page to check out how the new post footer looks live.

Blog post footer

In addition to the options that you can configure at Design > Content, the post footer will always include the permalink and a link to view and post comments, if this is enabled for your blog.

What options do you like to see in the post footer when you visit a blog? Let us know in the comments!

Calling For Your Feature Requests!

It's almost a new season and what better way to kick it off by letting us know what you'd love to see added to Typepad!

Is there something that would make composing posts easier?  Maybe a design element that you'd love to see implemented that would take your blog to the next level?  Or maybe there's something to help you sell products on your blog?  The possibilities are endless.

We're rolling out new features (like our new multiple usernames and password protection for individual posts and Pages) and new improvements (Checked out the improved mobile Compose yet?) all the time, but Typepad was made to make blogging easier for you, so if there's something that you've been longing for, let us know.

You can leave your comments here or open a help ticket within your account and one of our Support Team members will work with you to see what we can do for you.  At Typepad, we're always here to help!

Sharing Posts to Social Media

When a reader enjoys one of your posts, they want to share it! Make it easy for them to do so by adding Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest sharing buttons to the footer of your posts and pages.

Go to Design > Content for your blog and click the pencil icon next to the Post Footer module. Check the boxes next to the social accounts you wish to add. Click OK and Save Changes. That's it! You do the same for Pages by editing the Page Footer module.

Post Footer Module

Check out the footer at the end of this post to see how the buttons will look!

Introducing an Improved Mobile Compose Experience!

Your life takes place on the go, usually with your smart phone in your hand.  Odds are there's going to be a thing or two you want to blog about. With the new improved mobile compose that we've released, this will be even easier for you to do.

Subscribers wanting to blog via their smartphones will now be able to log into their account and browse to the Compose screen and see the following Rich Text screen:

Smartphone Compose Screen

In the smartphone experience, you will have access to the majority of the compose editor features. This screen is available to all mobile devices and is not limited to operating systems (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows).

Here's a brief rundown on what's available:

  • Title field
  • Categories
    Click the icon to expand your existing category list, select one or more categories, then return to the editor
  • Rich Text editor features
    Format text, insert links, photos, and videos
  • Excerpt field
  • Meta Keywords field
  • Publish Status
  • Comment Status
  • Source code
    Edit your post's HTML by clicking the <> button

Here are a few screenshots of what you can expect to see in the mobile experience:

Selecting multiple categories.


There are several different sources you can use to add images to your post.

Note: not all devices preserve the correct orientation of photos, so you will need to use your device's built-in image editor, or a third-party app, to re-save the orientation (e.g. in iOS Camera Roll, open the image, tap Edit, rotate the image until it's back in the correct orientation, then tap Done).

For tablet users, depending on resolution, you will either see the above compose screen or the full Rich Text editor. For example, an iPad Mini may see the above screen, while a full sized iPad would see the same full Rich Text editor that desktop users see.

All subscribers should now have the new Compose experience and be able to get their blog out on the go.  If you have any questions or need any help, simply let our Support Team know and we'll be happy to assist you!

Don't delay, back up your blog!

When was the last time you saved a backup of your blog post? Oh, you didn't know you could do that? Well today is the day to learn about saving a back up of your blog content.   While Typepad backs up your content on our servers, you may want to have your own copy.   To back up your blog, go to Settings > Import/Export > Export, and click the "Export" button.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

When you click the "Export" button, a status bar will appear showing how long your export is taking; the more content your blog, the longer this will take.

Don't delay, backup your blog!

Once completed, click the "Download" link which will display a Text version of your blog posts and comments only.  You must use your browser to save the text file if it does not download automatically when clicked. Images, videos, documents and other uploaded content are not included in your Export file. If you wish to have a back up of these, you can open a Help Ticket and a member of the team can generate an Export file for you. 

Having a backup of your blog posts is handy if you wish to publish your posts in book form, and there are many third parties that publish blogs to books.  You can also use your blog backup in case you want to create a new blog but want to transfer your content over. 

How often do you back up your blog content? Let us know in the comments!

Cooking Design Magic with the CSS Cookbook

Typepad has a large number of looks and designs out there for you to choose from, but maybe there's a little something you want to change, like increasing your banner size or changing the color of your post items.

Never fear - the CSS Cookbook is here!

The CSS Cookbook has tons of CSS tips and tricks on how to make changes to your blog from the simple (changing the blog background color) to the more advanced (adding a date header ribbon).  CSS customization is available at the Pro Unlimited and above levels, so make sure your account is at one of those levels before starting.

Date ribbon
Your fancy new date header ribbon!

Your Typepad blog should always reflect your own style and the CSS tips in the CSS Cookbook are just one way of making sure that you can accomplish this.

Looking to do something that isn't covered there or maybe need some assistance getting started? The Typepad Support team has you covered! Just contact us and we'll help you out!

Add the Category Carousel Module to the Sidebar

A dynamic way to draw attention to posts is by placing the Category Carousel in the sidebar. The carousel will rotate through images from posts of the selected category.

At Design > Content, select the Widgets category, choose the Category Carousel, and click Add This Module.

Category Carousel

Name the module and choose a category. There are 10 other customization options available. You can even display an excerpt of each post below the image. Once the module is configured, click OK, drag the module to the preferred sidebar location, and click Save Changes.

On your blog, the module will scroll through the posts assigned to the selected category and visitors can click on the image to open the individual post page.

Carousel Example

After you add one Category Carousel, you can add a carousel for another category highlighting some or all of the categories in the sidebar. Learn more.

Are you using the Category Carousel to highlight posts dynamically in the sidebar of your site? Share your site's address in the comments!

Sharing Your Category Links

After blogging for some time, you may find that you write about certain topics frequently, from recipes to health advice, TV show reviews, family photos and more.    As your blog continues to grow, make it easier to show readers what you write about by sharing Category links.
Categories can help you organize your posts by topic. Each category will generate its own index page.  You can add new categories to your blog by going to Settings > Categories, and adding a new category with the appropriate name. When you first add a new category, it will not appear on your published blog although you can see it in your settings. Once you have added posts to the category, it will appear on the published blog. Category links will appear such as: 
You can always edit and remove categories from your blog.  However, changing the name of a Category will not change the category URL.  For example, you can change the name of your "Books" category to "Literature" but the URL will still say "books."

Assigning posts to a Category

 Before you publish your post, refer to the “Categories” box in the right of the Compose page above “Share This Post.”  If you have a long list of categories,  click the drop-down box on the right of the Category box  header to expand the field to see a fuller list of your categories (you can have up to 300 categories saved).  Check off the box or boxes for the categories you want to assign your blog post to.  
Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 3.07.26 PM
If you want to assign more than one post to a newly added category, you can quickly do this by going to the “Posts” tab of your blog and check off which posts are getting a new category.  Then scroll to the bottom and click “More Actions” and the "Go" button, then select “Add Categories” from the menu and check the boxes from your list of categories in the pop-up.
Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 3.08.21 PM

Linking To Categories

There are a couple of ways to share category links on your blog.  You can automatically share your published categories in your sidebar by going to Design > Content > Modules and selecting "Category Archives."   The archives can display as a list or as a single paragraph of links, or “cloud.”  There is also the "Category Carousel" which displays a slideshow of images from posts in that category.
Links to your categories also appear in the footer of your blog post if you have Categories turned on by going to Design > Content > Post Footer.  The name of the categories assigned to that post (which you selected in the Compose page) will appear at the footer linking to it’s own Category page. 
Say you have a lot of categories saved in your blog but you don’t want to display a giant list of links in your sidebar.  You can link to certain categories in your Navigation Bar at Design > Content > Navigation Bar, or create a Typelist at Library > Typelists > Add a Typelist > Links, then share this Typelist in your sidebar instead of the Categories module.   This gives you more control over what category links are displayed and linked in your blog.
Do you use categories a lot on your blog? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

Nimble Design Lab - Feature Requests

Nimble Design Lab Example

The Design Lab for our Nimble responsive theme has been out to our Beta users for a while now, and we're hoping to get that out to all users later this year. As we work our way toward that goal, we invite our users to request specific features or style options they would like to see made available in the Design Lab.

Are you looking for additional font options? Are there style changes you wish to make that aren't doable without adding your own CSS customizations? Tell us all about it, either in the comments below or via a help ticket within your account. We'd love to be able to integrate your requests so that we can make the Design Lab well-rounded; and you can use it to its fullest potential for your blog.