Featured Blog: Clearly and Simply

Clearly and Simply Featured blog

Clearly and Simply is written by Robert Mundigl from Munich Germany. The name is taken from a quote by the Austrian/British Philosopher Sir Karl Popper:

Anyone who cannot speak clearly and simply should say nothing and continue to work until he can do so.

He has been writing about data analysis and data visualization with Microsoft Excel and Tableau Software since 2009. He addresses advanced topics in Excel and Tableau and provides information for experienced, maybe even expert users of these applications. Clearly and Simply focuses on intelligent data analysis and showcases tools and techniques to help turn your data into useful information. Alexa.com rates Clearly and Simply in the category Computers>Spreadsheets among the top 20 websites worldwide (rank 20, Source).

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Give your blog a new look for the holidays

New look for the holidays

Many of us love to decorate for the holidays. From pumpkins and spooky ghosts in October to tinsel and Christmas lights in December, decorations are a great way to get in the holiday spirit. You may decorate your home or your workspace, so why not decorate your blog too?

If you're artistically-inclined, or have a willing friend who is, you could create a holiday-themed custom banner image for your blog. If you're already using the Chroma, Clean, Metropolitan, or Mosaic themes, you can upload your new banner at Design > Banner. Easy as pie! The Theme Builder (available for our Pro Plus subscribers and above) also offers an easy banner upload option, as do the Nimble Design Lab (Responsive) themes.

Nimble Design Lab banner page

Even if you're using a predefined theme with its own built-in banner image, if you're on the Pro Unlimited plan or above and are comfortable with doing a little coding, you can add your new banner using Custom CSS.

When the holidays are over, you can put your old banner image back, or maybe create another new custom banner for the New Year...

Don't forget to check out our tips for creating a custom banner and determining the best size for your banner. Here on Everything Typepad, we've also got reviews of some popular image editing tools to help you in creating a wonderful blog banner.

Do you use custom banner images on your blog? Which ones have your readers liked best? Tell all in the comments!


Interview with Kevin from Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude interview (1)

Attitude of Gratitude is a blog about gratitude written by Kevin Carroll. Inspired by a gratitude themed retreat, he decided to express his gratitude through blogging. There are many wonders around us and Kevin writes about his gratitude for all. Recently he turned some of his posts into a book titled A Moment’s Pause For Gratitude. Amongst the excitement of his first book, Kevin was kind enough to answer a few questions about his blog and book. For that, we are thankful.

1) Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?

I devoted forty years of my life to teaching, mostly at the high school level. I retired in June 2015. While I was born and raised in San Francisco, I’ve lived in the Santa Clara Valley since 1972. My wife, Kathy, and I have three young adult sons and two grandchildren.

In November 2006, I attended a weekend retreat at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, California. The theme of the retreat was “gratitude.” I wanted to find some way to maintain the focus on gratitude I was experiencing at the conclusion of that weekend retreat. I decided to start a blog.

My first blog post was December 23, 2006. Now, almost eleven years later, I have more than 1,500 posts on the blog I named “Attitude of Gratitude.” The purpose of my blog is to express my gratitude for the people, experiences, opportunities, and abilities I have been blessed with throughout my lifetime. I also hope to inspire others to focus on gratitude in their own lives.

2) What is your process for writing a blog post?

In the blog’s first full year (2007), I wrote every day. Since that time, to avoid blogging becoming a chore rather than something I enjoy doing, I write when I have something to say. Topics for my blog can come from anywhere — memories, experiences, quotes, songs, or things I observe as I go about my day.

My process? I sit down and write. That’s pretty much it. I was an English major, with an emphasis in writing, at Santa Clara University, so I am passionate about good writing. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important to me. Writing is a gift, and I try to do it to the best of my ability.

4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?

I have been very impressed with the tech support Typepad provides. I’ve had very few problems in the eleven years I’ve been blogging, but whenever I did encounter a problem, people from tech support were there to guide me through it.

6) What is the most important thing you have learned from blogging?

I think it’s important for bloggers to realize that if you put it “out there” in the blogosphere, anyone can read it. Be smart about what you publish.

Actual Cover7) What made you decide to create a book? Any advice for bloggers that want to make a book from their blog?

For several years, I’ve received feedback from readers of my blog recommending that I consider publishing some of my work. I always thought it would be a good idea, but I was busy with my teaching job, so I didn’t have the time to do so. When I retired, I committed myself to doing nothing for the first year. I needed a break from life. My goal for the second year of my retirement was to publish a book of some of my blog posts.

The book, A Moment’s Pause for Gratitude, contains fifty posts. I preface each one with a quote, and I added a few reflection questions for the reader after each post.

For those who might be considering making a book from their blog, I’d recommend that they read “How to Blog a Book” by Nina Amir and “Demons of the Blank Page” by Roland Merullo.

9) What is one goal for your blog in the next 6 months?

The next six months will be a challenge for me. I will be marketing my book, which will take some time. I also want to begin my next book, with a target publication date of October 2018. Despite these commitments, I will continue blogging on the topic of gratitude, though the frequency of my posts may be less than in the past.

Bio

Kevin CarrollKevin Carroll was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, Santa Clara University (B.A. in English/Writing), and the University of San Francisco (M.A. in Education). After a forty-year career in education, Kevin retired in June 2015 to pursue a second career in writing.

Kevin, and his wife Kathy, currently live in San José, California. They have three sons and two adorable grandchildren, Liam and Emily.

When he is not writing or playing with his grandkids, Kevin enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. He has been inspired by the writings of Paulo Coelho, Coach John Wooden, Roland Merullo, Hal Urban, Janice Kaplan, Harold Ivan Smith, Jack London, Father Jim Martin, S.J., Frank McCourt, and many more accomplished authors.

Recent Post

Conscious Aging


Rolling Out of Beta: A Brand New Image Gallery

Image Gallery Beta Roll Out

Back in August, we released a brand spanking new version of the Image Gallery.

We've been fine-tuning it based on member feedback and our own testing and we're excited to announce that we're rolling it out of Beta! As of right now, 25% of our members will see this new feature in their account, even if they're not Beta.

To give you a quick recap, this feature lets you create beautiful image galleries to highlight the images in your blog. You can see an example here:

Gallery_example

There are multiple options allowing you to find just the right one for your blog's photos.  We have more information on this in our Knowledge Base.

We'll be continuing to roll it out to our members, so you should see it in your own options soon.  If you'd rather not wait, you can join our Beta Team now.

We hope you love this feature as much as we do!  Please let us know any feedback you may have either in the comments section here or by opening a help ticket.


Scheduling Posts for the Holidays

Scheduling Posts for the Holidays

Life is bustling during the holidays, and you may not have the time to write posts for your blogs this time of year. To make sure your blog does not go dormant, you can write posts in advance and schedule the posts to publish in the future.

Typepad's Publish On function is easy to use, and you can schedule many posts to publish automatically weeks in advance. From the Edit Post page, select Publish On... from the Status menu.

Publish On

Then, a pop-up window will open where you can set the date and time and click OK.

Calendar

Finally, click Schedule to save your post. You can go back and edit the post anytime before it is set to publish.

Another quick tip: If you take a vacation from posting during the holidays entirely, you can use the Welcome Message feature to let readers know when you will return to blogging. Go to Settings > Basics to add your message. Click here to learn more!

What ways are you preparing your blog for the holidays? Let us know in the comments or tweet @typepad.


Featured Blog: Positively Present

PP

Positively Present is a place for people around the world to find insights and inspiration for living with positivity, awareness, and self-love. Dani DiPirro is an author, blogger, and designer living in a suburb of Washington, DC. In 2009, she launched PositivelyPresent.com as a way to share her personal experiences and insights on positivity, awareness, and self-love — things that didn’t always come easy to her! Positively Present features weekly articles by Dani DiPirro, and the beloved "Positively Present Picks" weekly round-up. The site is designed to bring uplifting empowerment and information to anyone who visits!

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An Early Guide To The Shopping Holidays

An Early Guide To Shopping Holidays

It is so easy to put it off. The change to Fall, the crisp air, your need for a pumpkin spice latte. Go get one, we will wait…. They are good, right? Well, there is something you need to start thinking about if you make money off your blog.  Holiday Promotions. You guessed it. The shopping holidays are just around the corner and you should start preparing now. Your readers will want to know if you are planning any holiday promotions. Tease them early so they add you to their gift buying plan. We have gathered information from our sources into one place to help you get started. 

We know you would rather be enjoying an evening walk with loved ones, but if you do this planning now, you can walk with them more during the holiday season. 

Dates

The main shopping holidays to start planning for: 

Halloween Tuesday, Oct 31st
Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov 23rd
Black Friday, Nov 24th
Small Business Saturday, Nov 25th
Cyber Monday, Nov 27th
Giving Tuesday, Nov 28th
Hanukkah Begins Tuesday, Dec 12th
Hanukkah Ends Wednesday, Dec 20th
Christmas Eve Sunday, Dec 24th
Christmas Day Monday, Dec 25th
New Year's Day Sunday, Jan 1st

These are the main holidays that US customers expect to find promotions for. Use that to your advantage. These holidays encourage people to purchase gifts for their loved ones. 

You should have a plan for an overall promotion and each shopping holiday should have its own version of the promotion. If you are blogging for business, we recommend you take the time to think out a Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday strategy. These are the main shopping days readers plan for. Letting readers know you will be providing deals during these holidays will help them plan their shopping strategy.

Organizations to help you prepare

This is a one stop post to help you get started on your strategy. We did the research for you and prepared a list of places to start. Their websites are full of information that can help guide your holiday strategy. 

Small Business Saturday  Giving Tuesday

Create Material for your Small Business Saturday Promotions

Get your Community together for Small Business Saturday

Giving Tuesday Blog

Giving Tuesday's Tool Kit

Typepad Constant Contact

Call To Action Button

Pre-Schedule Posts

Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Prepare for Cyber Monday

Prepare for Giving Tuesday

Constant Contacts Holiday Blog

Constant Contact Content Calendar

Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get found through social media. We have gathered a list of all the hashtags we could find for each of the shopping holidays and put them in an easy to read infographic for you to use! Use them along with your branded hashtags to help  promote your blog and deals. 

Holiday Season Hashtags
You will feel relieved after all the planning is done and you can sit back and relax during this holiday season. Now go get another pumpkin spiced latte as your reward, then let us know how you plan for these shopping holidays. What promotion strategies have worked for you in the past? What has not worked? What is your go to source to help get ideas for the coming shopping holidays? Share with your fellow Typepad Bloggers!

 


Featured Blog: NewC Blog Favorites

NewC Blog

NewC Blog Favorites is written by artist Don Robbins. He showcases his original artwork for all to see with musings of his day to day life. When he is not designing products he loves to cook. You can purchase shirts and canvases of his art. The sale of his artwork is to help fund a purchase of a car, check it out here.  You can also purchase T-shirts from his Amazon store with his artwork.  

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New to Beta: Easily Add and Upload YouTube Videos to Posts and Pages

In today's day and age, we're all taking videos or finding videos online that we want to show people.  Typepad has now made it easier than ever to add videos from YouTube to your posts and Pages with our new YouTube Video feature.

The feature lets you both upload your videos directly to your own YouTube channel and add them to the post and also search YouTube to add other videos to your posts. This is currently only for our Beta Team members, so if you don't see the option, be sure to join.

First we'll cover uploading your own videos.

To start, click the Upload Video to YouTube button to switch to upload mode.  You should see it here:

Uploadvideo
You're on your way to uploading your video!

If you are not already signed in to a YouTube account, you will be prompted to sign in to Google. You will also be asked to choose which YouTube account to use if you have multiple YouTube accounts associated with your Google account.

After doing that, simply click the Browse or Choose File button to locate the video file on your device and open the file. YouTube supports the following video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, WebM

Now just click the Upload Video button. It may take some time for the video to finish uploading. Once done, the progress bar will reach 100% and the video thumbnail will appear when the video upload is complete. You can now add a Title and Description which will display at YouTube.

Click Insert and Close to embed the video in your post or page after the upload is complete. Easy as pie!

Now we're going to show you how to search for videos and add them directly that way. Here's the section where you do this:

Searchvideo
Finding a video for your post.

To search for your own YouTube videos, click My Videos, select the video you wish to embed, enter a title, and click Insert and Close.

To search for any public YouTube video to embed, enter the search terms, select the video to embed, edit the title (optional), and click Insert and Close.

For our non-Beta users, we'll be releasing it soon, but we urge you to give the Beta Team a try in the meantime.

What do you think of this new feature?  Is there anything else you'd wish we had included or done differently?

Have any questions, want to give us some feedback, or need more help? As always, the Typepad Support team is here for you!


Featured Blog: What The Junk?!

Featured Blog What the Junk!?

Ann is a Blogilates Popster that is into fitness, Adventure Time, Bullet Journals, snail mail, pen pals, and much more. She is also a Starbucks and a coffee addict! What the Junk?! is her personal blog that explores all her interests. She blogs about her fitness journey and has lost 60lbs with POPilates. She is known around the web as Anndroid Girl because of her love of Android phones and her first name fits! Learn more about Anndroid Girl and her blog What the Junk?!; you may get a pen pal out of it. 

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