Help Us Celebrate National Pet Day

PetsHelp us celebrate National Pet Day. All day long we will be posting pictures of our bloggers' pets on social media. We want to flood our social media pages with cute, furry, and unique pet pictures.

We also want to feature all the pet blogs that are hosted on Typepad. Provide your information and you may see your blog highlighted on our social media pages.

As a special thank you, anyone that submits their information will also be added to a drawing to win a free Typepad T-shirt. 

Button your pet

Button your theme

 


Virtual Visibility in a Tangled Web

Virtual viability in a tangled web
GVIn starting my blog, ASK Harriete, in 2008 with Typepad, my goal was simple:
to increase outreach and visibility, offering professional advice in support of the arts and crafts community. That was eight years ago, and since then the Internet has evolved immensely. There are many more websites, apps, tweets, and social networks all competing for viewers. With ever more sophisticated marketing, targeted content, slick attractions, entertaining diversions, and a spectrum of distractions appealing to potential viewers, it is getting harder to be heard amid the many alternative threads of an increasingly tangled web.

But how can you find visibility in such a rapidly changing and ever more tangled web? How can potential readers find my blog or yours?

SEO experts profess both obvious and secret tricks. They claim expertise in statistics and analytics, Black Hat to White Hat, and A / B tests. Google pushes for more traffic with numbers to boost your ranking, but the only thing that Google will tell you is that quality content is key while revealing very little about the algorithms that they use to rank your content.

Developing a blog is more like creating art. The parallels of creativity are clear. Like great art, great blogs provide unique perspectives, building upon familiar themes, but with new, original, and enlightening perspectives. Readers seek authenticity that emerges from consistently presenting a voice that resonates with their own experiences.

In a more literal sense, images are crucial to virtual visibility. But like the written content, the images must be your own authentic constructs. Images taken from generic photo sites are just that… generic images sourced from tags and keywords. They are another person’s vision of their reality, not yours. They are not speaking to your own truth. I never use other people’s images (except as a specific reference with attribution, of course). I make all my own images.

More constructively, images borrowed from another site is copyright infringement. “Borrowing” images is theft. In the Internet world, with so much competition for time and space, everything on your blog must reflect authenticity and honesty, truth and trust.

As a quick solution to images, when I want to illustrate some novel aspect of my content, I create an image of words arranged in colorful or striking fonts. I use my words to reinforce either the title or a provocative sentence. This creative approach works at many levels to elevate your content amidst a tangled web of average. Make your own images!

UnnamedOn a very practical level, images are a major vehicle on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Images readily push your content into the primary social networks and literally bring visual visibility for your blog, even on the tangled web. But to be more effective in these visual platforms, you must have great images that reflect your signature voice. I still use an ancient version of Photoshop, so it is quite likely that even a basic level of image editing software will work for you.

Text based images can be created from any raw material, ranging from old typewriter keys to Scrabble tiles. Elevate your signature style and use it to create images. Be imaginative and think about how you can create your own unique images in your visual voice.

Linking your blog to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest is an essential element to maximize your virtual visibility. While a blog offers a platform for posting content and images, I find that posting snippets of my content and images on multiple social platforms generates significant traffic. This leverages the tangled web to your advantage.

Virtical imageCreating images in both vertical and horizontal formats can enhance your reach into different social networking platforms. An extended vertical format works well on Pinterest with a link to my blog. Horizontal images work better for Facebook, where it seems more likely that the conversation and debate picks up steam.

Short excerpts from your blog can connect into social networks. A stand alone blog just doesn’t travel very far on the tangled web. Take a provocative or informative sentence from your blog and share it on your page with an image, title, and link–then your post will travel without you. On Facebook and Pinterest, people will often share your content on their page or Pinterest board. But this is more likely to happen once the content is already posted on a social media platform. Also share posts to other group pages that you know are interested in your content. This has been the most effective way for me to generate visibility for my blog content.

So find your singular voice and type away, finding and revealing your own truth. Create images that support your content, and share in the tangled web. Finding your virtual visibility is a messy process with lots of adventure on the way.

Learn more about Harriete Estel Berman and her blog Ask Harriete by checking out her sites. She creates great blog posts like Search Engines Have No Vision! So Help SEO "SEE" Your Images and Images on your website, Are they lost or found?

 

ASKH


Improve Your Blog SEO With Your Images

Images are a great way to enhance your blog content, but did you know that your images can improve your blog’s SEO too?

Search engines provide image results and just like your meta description, it also scans what information is saved for your image files. Besides using a relevant image that is related to your content, things such as file name, size, and description are just as important.

Usually, when saving an image taken from a camera or uploaded from your smartphone, it will generate a filename of random characters and numbers. If you have a gorgeous photo you took of the Eiffel Town, file name “IMG_325.jpg” does not tell Google that this is an image of the Eiffel Tower. Renaming your file something relevant such as “eiffel_tower.jpg” will increase its chances of being pulled for a search result.

If you’re not aware of your image size settings on your camera, your images may be saved as a very large file. Image size will impact your blog loading time, so if search engines find these images taking too long to load, it will also not show up in search results at a decent rank. Reducing the file size will improve your image visibility in search results. ImageOptim (https://imageoptim.com/) is a great tool you can use to adjust the size of your image files for your blog.

How to use SEO with your blog images

Don't forget your image description! This is what search engines use to categorize your images.  Upload your image in to your post, then double-click the image to make additional edits. In the image edit pop-up window, you can change the description for the image. By default, the file name will appear as the description.  Here you can change this into something more descriptive.  

The description does not appear on the published blog post but it is saved within the HTML for the image:

How to use SEO with your blog images

By paying more attention to the images you add to your blog, it will be easier for search engines to index your images and share your content with others.


Do your readers consider you an authority?

Stack of books

Increasing your readership has less to do with keywords than you might think. Catching viewers is one thing, but retaining and converting them into regular readers should be a priority. Let's discuss an important factor in doing just that: authority.

Are you writing about what you know? Do your posts provide a clear sense of topic mastery? How about clarity? Do you think they trust you, or have you been repeatedly corrected via engagement from readers? Are you expecting readers to base authority purely on your word, or are you citing and linking to credible third party sources that complement your content?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when considering the relationship between you and your readers. If you find that your blog is lacking in some respect, make the effort to adjust and improve in those areas. What you'll see may not only be an increase in the trust of your readers, but a boost in how well search engine algorithms view your content.

Want to learn more about authority and how it affects ranking? Make sure you check out Search Engine Journal's article on The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust.


Random Acts of Kindness Winners!

RAK Banner

Congratulations to everyone that entered our Random Acts of Kindness drawing through social media and our mailing list. We are ready to announce our winners!

Grand Prize Winner: 1 year free

Hearts EncouragedHearts Encouraged: A Spiritual Wellness Ministry
www.heartsencouraged.com

Two First Place Winners: 6 months off

SocietyWetmore-Hardcrabble Genealogical and Historical Society
www.wetmorehistoricalsociety.com
Quilts

 

 

Quilts for Orphans
quiltsfororphans.typepad.com

 

 Two Second Place Winners: 3 months off

CTE

Association for Career and Technical Education
ctepolicywatch.acteonline.org/

Hope

A Future and a Hope
www.purechristianity.blogs.com

Be sure to follow our Twitter, Facebook, and emails to stay up to date with all things Typepad, including great contest and drawings!


Using FeedBlitz to turn readers into subscribers

In today's busy world, with so many different sources of information out there, it's hard to remember to keep checking back at a particular website to see if new content has been posted. You can make it easier for readers of your blog to keep up with your latest posts by offering subscription options.

Typepad offers blog feeds as a built-in feature, which is great for your more web-savvy readers. However, you may want to consider providing more subscription options to your readers by connecting your blog to our partner service, FeedBlitz. Please note that FeedBlitz is a paid service that is in addition to your monthly Typepad subscription fee.

FeedBlitz's basic service allows you to create an enhanced feed that is easier for people to read and know how to subscribe than the built-in Typepad feed may be. Hop on over to our Knowledge Base to learn how to set up a FeedBlitz account. Once you have set up your feed with FeedBlitz, you can connect it to Typepad so people accessing your Typepad feed automatically see the enhanced version. On the Settings > Feeds page for your blog in Typepad, click the "Connect to FeedBlitz" button. This will open a little pop-up window where you can enter the URL of your new FeedBlitz feed. Click OK in the pop-up when you're done and then save changes.

Connect to FeedBlitz

FeedBlitz's enhanced feed feature is great, but may still be confusing for some of your readers, especially those who may be less web-savvy. In this case, we recommend checking out FeedBlitz's email subscription feature. This allows you to create an email sign-up form to place in the sidebar of your blog. After readers sign up through this, they will start receiving an email each time your blog is updated - a great way to remind them to come back and read your latest!

Are you using FeedBlitz subscription services for your blog? Are there other services you would recommend to keep readers coming back? Let us know in the comments!


Tips to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Of course, you want to increase the reach of your blog. We have some tips for you! Even if you have an established blog and audience, it is a good idea to check every once in a while that you are doing everything you can to optimize incoming traffic.

Share share share!

You may already share your posts to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media services, but you also want to make it easy for readers to share your posts and expand your audience. Buttons to share your posts can be quickly added to the footer of each post at Design > Content > Post Footer. Learn more.

Share Buttons

Search Engine Optimization

Google has excellent reference tools for webmasters to comply with their rules for SEO. Keep in mind that Google changes their requirements regularly, and it is a good idea to take a moment to check Google's Webmaster Help Guide to make sure you are in compliance. Learn more.

Meta Data and Title Keywords

When a new post is crawled by Google and other search engines, the meta data and post title are key to make sure your post is categorized correctly in search results. The Compose page has a Keywords field where you can add keywords and short phrases separated by commas that best describe your post. Additionally, the Excerpt field can be utilized to add a short description of the post. (If you don't include an Excerpt, the first paragraph will be used as the meta description.)

Meta Keywords and Description

Also, the Post Title and Permalink should also include keywords that describe your post to make it clear to a potential visitor what the post is about. Learn more.

Do you have other tips for increasing traffic? Let us know in the comments!


Two New Features: Drag and Drop Multiple Images and Uploading Files to Help Tickets

Today we're happy to announce that we've added two new features to Typepad that ought to make life a little easier for you.

The first is the ability to drag and drop multiple images when uploading them on the Compose page.  This allows you to put them in the order you prefer.  Please note that this is for Beta Team members only.

To use this feature, simply click the Insert Image button on the Compose page and select multiple images.  You'll then see something like this:

Dragndrop

Now just drag and drop the images into the order you prefer.  Simple!

If you aren't already a member of the Beta Team, you may want to join soon. We've got some more changes in the works for images and you won't want to miss out!

Have a screenshot of a behaviour you want to show us? A file you're having difficulties uploading? The second feature allows you to easily add files to your help tickets.  Just click the "Browse..." button at the bottom of the ticket page, find the file, and select it.  Now, when you submit your ticket, the file will be included for the Typepad Support Team to review.

Uploadhelp

We hope that these new features make Typepad even more useful for you! As always, let us know if there's a feature you'd like to see in Typepad.  We're always working to make Typepad the best it can be for you and your suggestions are key in this.


Be Discovered: 3 Sites to Help You Be the Next Big Blogger

Increase blog traffic

When your traffic starts to plateau it can be tough to figure out where you can go to get discovered. You probably have your tried and true sites you are active on, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There is more of the internet out there for you to explore. Check out these content sharing and forum sites. Share your knowledge and get traffic to your blog.

Stumbleupon

StumbleUpon is a fun site that shows you different websites that have to do with your interest. A reader will set up an account and select what interests them. Then they click on Stumble and it will show them a site that is similar to their interest. You can easily set up an account and start adding content. When you add your blog post, you can tag what the post is about and add more tags to help it get found.

Stumbleuponbutton

 

Reddit

Reddit (also known as the front page of the internet) is a community of members that submit content for the benefit of the community. Community members will then vote up and comments on each other's posts. There are different interest groups called subreddits. Find a subreddit that you can contribute to. Submit your blog post and comment on others. This is also a great way to find content for your blog and get your content out there. Look at the posts, see if you can write a blog post that would provide insight.

Redditbutton

 

Imgur_logo

Imgur is an image sharing community. You can upload images on Imgur and share them with the community. When you add an image, give it a title and image description. In the image description you can add a link back to your blog post. Use a URL shortener, like Bitly, to keep your description neat. Your image will be up voted or down voted by the community. Turn your blog post into an infographic and promote it on Imgur. Whatever you post on Imgur you want to make sure to provide fun and interesting content, not just an advertisement. 

Imgur button

Tell us the unusual places you go to promote your blog content! 


Gaining Confidence in Typepad by Trial and Error

Gaining Confidence in Typepad by Trial and Error

Seven years ago, ready to shift from utilizing a free blogging platform to freedom over my design, I realized the blogs, whose interface most closely matched the blog I hoped to build, used Typepad. Once my blog's content transferred, I set the intention not only to redesign my blog, but learn how to do so as independently as possible. I didn't have previous knowledge in web design or a lot of money or time to invest. Thankfully, I quickly realized thanks to Typepad's user-friendly interface and online Knowledge Base, as long as I was willing to experiment and play, I could create the blog I envisioned.

The colors, formatting, the sidebars, and banner of my blog have changed over the years, but what hasn’t is my confidence in being able to easily learn and apply Typepad’s features with little to no challenge. I say this because Typepad is easy to use and I am willing to play. "Play" meaning test out features, search their Knowledge Base, and sometimes hit preview over and over again.

If someone tracked a single change on my blog, they might see a color, font, or a sidebar image change multiple times. I appreciate how easily this happens. I go to Theme Builder, play with size and color. I experiment with how images, links, borders, and columns look. In the Content section, I can seamlessly add a new tab on my navigation bar, quickly move sidebar images, and again, thanks to Typepad's Knowledge Base, create buttons using HTML.

There are many reasons why I enjoy blogging; one, I didn’t expect I'd like utilizing web design. Financially, I need to be able to facilitate all aspects of my blog, and I need reliable help when I know what I want to do but don’t have the expertise to figure it out. Typepad allows me to play and learn, make mistakes, and quickly fix them. I thank Typepad’s thoughtful and user-friendly platform for this. Never once have I made a design decision and worried I couldn’t change it back or would need excessive amounts of time to correct the mistake.

Typepad helps me share my story without the stress of needing prior web design expertise to do so. The skill set I've received developing my blog with Typepad has given me the confidence to format professional ezines, newsletters, and web pages. While I can now navigate other, less user-friendly platforms, my preference remains here, where I know I have the tools to keep building.

Kelly Sage is a certified facilitator with Women Writing for (a) Change and the Young Women Writing for (a) Change Coordinator. She facilitates adult, young women, and homeschool writing circles. In her former life she was a middle and high school English teacher. She writes about homeschooling and living with young children on her blog, www.sagetribe02.com.