Feedburner is being shut down. Let's discuss Follow.It for RSS feeds.

Follow_it_ET(1)

With the announcement of Feedburner being shut down by Google, bloggers have been scrambling with their RSS subscribers.  Many bloggers rely on email notifications to alert subscribers to new blog updates. There are also readers who like to read blog posts directly from their inbox.  In addition to Feedblitz, which gives you great feed enhancement services, like podcasting and statistics, we would like to share another service which allows you to set up an email subscription for your blog: Follow.It

Follow_itFollow.It offers a very easy setup. Simply enter your blog's RSS URL where it says "Add the follow feature to your site". Your blog's RSS is the blog's address followed by atom.xml or rss.xml. For example:

https://everything.typepad.com/blog/atom.xml

or

https://everything.typepad.com/blog/rss.xml

FI_add
After you click "Next", you will be taken to a new page to a design a signup form you can place on your blog. You can change the size, font, and color to match your blog's design.  At the bottom of the page an HTML code is generated with your customization. It will look similar to this:

Html_FICopy the code Follow.it provides and, in a separate browser window opened to your Typepad account, in your blog settings go to Design > Content > Modules > Embed Your Own HTML, paste this code in the pop-up and click OK. 

Content_FI

The module will automatically appear on the top of your sidebar in the Content page. You can click and drag your new module if you want it appear elsewhere in your sidebar. After you save your updates, the new sign up form will appear in your published blog's sidebar. 

 

Going back to the Follow.It page, the "Continue" button will take you to another addition you can use, which will allow you to add a Follow button to the end of your posts. The Follow button is optional but, if you want to add this feature, it's only two steps.

Follow_FIStep one, pick an image to download.

Step two, use the link in this field to link to the image you download.  You can either upload the image to your sidebar or insert it as a signature at the end of each blog post.

Follow.It provides access to your list of followers once you've claimed your feed. The feature is available via their free Basic account option, which is robust enough for a majority of bloggers. They offer additional plans if you wish to obtain more details about your subscribers, statistics, and more.

Do you offer email subscriptions for your blog? Share the link with us in the comments so we can all check it out!


FeedBurner is no longer delivering email subscriptions. What you need to consider.

FeedBurner. Bye bye bye.

On April 14, 2021, Google announced FeedBurner's email subscription feature would no longer be available starting July 2021. We know many Typepad users have relied on FeedBurner to email readers when a new post is published to their blog. Read more about the changes coming to FeedBurner on Google's site.

If you're utilizing FeedBurner, you'll want to take some time over the next few weeks to find a new email subscription service that best meets your needs.  FeedBlitz, an email subscription service we have recommended over the years, has a great article on what to consider when choosing a new email subscription provider here.

Some things to consider when looking for a new email subscription service:

  • Can you import your existing subscribers?
  • Does the service provide support?
  • Is the service focused on email subscriptions?
  • Is there a limit on the number of subscribers?
  • Do you want to monetize your feed?

Before the first of July, you'll want to make sure to back up your subscriber list. FeedBurner has information on downloading your email subscribers here. Make this your last step so you don't miss any recent signups.

We have made FeedBlitz easy to integrate with Typepad. Learn more. However, you can also check out Follow.it, which has a free version, or do an online search for other tools. Most services will work seamlessly with your Typepad blog's feed.

If you need any help with the transition away from FeedBurner, just let us know by opening a help ticket in your Typepad account at Help > New Ticket or emailing us at support@typepad.com.


Share More Links In Instagram With LinkTree

Share more links in Instagram with LinkTree

Lots of Typepad bloggers use Instagram to share images of their crafts or adventures. One downside to Instagram is you can’t add a link to your post. A common practice is to add "Link in bio" in your Instagram post. You can only have one link in your bio, if you add your blog link, readers would have to search your blog to find the post they want. That's not a great experience for your followers. 

LinkTree has a better idea! They provide you with one link to use in your bio that will take your viewers to a list of links you can easily customize. Add links to your blog, to current posts, to previous posts, to your store, and anywhere you want to share. Here's how the link looks on @everything_typepad's Instagram page. 

Everything Typepad Instagram

Create Your LinkTree Account

Go to https://linktr.ee/ and click on Sign Up. Enter in your email address, what you want your LinkTree handle to be, and your password. Next, they will ask for your name and to select 3 categories that will best describe your LinkTree. Last, you will be asked if you want the Free plan or the Pro plan. We recommend you start with the free plan. You can always update later if you feel you need more from LinkTree. With your account set up, you can customize your LinkTree page.

Linktree-reg
The next step is to add your links. From the Link tab, you can add links to your blog, your social media, and your latest posts. We recommend you limit the number of links to posts you have. You'll need to update your LinkTree page as you publish more posts. 

LinkTree Add A Link

Once your links are set, you can click on Appearance. Upload an image your viewers will recognize across all your platforms, like your logo. Next, you'll give your LinkTree a profile name and description. Keep your description short. You want viewers to focus on your links. LinkTree has some customized themes you can choose from. For complete customization, you do need to upgrade to their Pro plan. 

LinkTree Themes

Now that your LinkTree page is complete you are ready to add it to your Instagram profile. On the top right in LinkTree, you will see your page URL (https://linktr.ee/example) copy the link and go to Instagram to update your profile with your new LinkTree link. Now when viewers click on your LinkTree link, they can see a custom page with multiple links. Here's the LinkTree page for @everything_typepad. 

Everything Typepad LinkTree

LinkTree provides analytics for your links as well. In the free plan, you can see how many views and clicks above all your links. Scroll down to specific links to see how many clicks each link has received. If you need more information, you can upgrade to the Pro plan and view their advanced analytics

LinkTree Stats

What other Instagram tips or tricks do you use to stand out. Share them in the comments! 


Google Forms Is Great At Gathering Information From Your Readers

Google Forms

Collecting information from your readers doesn’t have to be hard. Google Forms is a great (and free) way to create a form your readers can fill out. There're all kinds of things you can do with your Google Form. Once you have it created you can easily add it to a post, page, or sidebar. 

To use Google Forms, you first need a Google account. If you don’t have one, it's easy to set up. Once your Google account is created, log into your Gmail account and click on the 9 dots (top right). Select Forms and your Form account will come up. 

Google Forms in account

Google offers a multitude of premade templates for you to select and customize. Look for a template that fits your needs or create one from scratch. 

Google Forms Templates


Google Forms QuestionsAdd Questions To Your Form

Google Forms allows you to add different types of questions to your form depending on the answer you want. To add a question, click on the Plus (+) sign on the right and a new question will be added to the bottom of your form. The questions types are Short Text, Paragraph, Multiple Choice, Check Box, Drop Down, or File Upload. 

You can also structure the question in different ways. You can have Linear Scale, Multiple-Choice Grid, or a Check Box Grid. These are great for ranking questions. 

Pro Tip: You can add more than questions to your form, you can add images and videos as well.

Add Sections

If you have a larger form for your readers, you can break it up into smaller sections. Each section will be on a separate page and can have as many questions as you need. 

Add a Section

Customize the Theme

Once you have your questions in order, you can customize the theme of your form. You can add colors to match your branding. Add a banner image to the form that includes your logo and a title for your form. 

Google Forms Themes

Form Best Practices

When creating your forms there're a few best practices to keep in mind.

Plan out your form. Make sure to plan out what information you want your readers to provide. Are they signing up for a newsletter or giving feedback on your blog or services? Be clear on what you want to get from the form. 

One theme at a time. Don’t try to do everything with one form. 

Only ask for information you will use. Readers may not want to fill out the form if you ask too many questions. It may feel personal and invasive to ask for a lot of personal information. 

Keep it short. Now one wants to spend all day filling out a form. You can let your readers know about how long it will take to fill out the form (ex: This form should take around 5 minutes to fill out. Enjoy!)

Test your questions. After you have created your form, give it to a friend or co-worker to fill out and ask for feedback. Sometimes a question that might seem clear to you, may be confusing to the reader. 

How To Add to Your Blog

Now that you have the perfect form you need to add it to your blog. We're going to focus on adding it to a post or a page and your sidebar. 

Get Your Embed Code

Once your form is completed in Google Forms, click on the purple Send button. You'll see different options to send your form, click on the Embed option (<>). Here you will see the embed code you need to copy. Before you copy, you can adjust the height and width of the form. If you plan on publishing on a blog post or page, you can leave the default width and height in place. If you want to add to your sidebar, change the width to be between 200 and 300 px wide (you don’t have to adjust the height). Once you have the correct width and height, copy your embed code. 

Large Embed Code

Post/Page

From the Compose page, click on the HTML tab. Paste in the code where you want it then click on Preview to view the form in your post.  If it looks great, click on Save Changes or Publish. 

Google Form code in Typepad

Sidebar

To add your form to your sidebar, click on the name of the blog, then the Design tab. Click on the Content tab, then add an Embed Your Own HTML module. In the pop-up, give your module a name and then paste in the embed code. Click on ok, then save changes. 

Using a link to your form

If you don’t want to display the form on your blog, you can always link to it in your sidebar. In Google Forms, click on the Send button then Link (looks like a chain). Here you'll see the URL to your form. You can create a custom image and use the Sidebar Image Module to insert an image and make it a clickable link.

Link in Sidebar Image Module

Results

In Google Forms, you can view your results by clicking on the name of the form on the main page then clicking on Responses. Here you will see the answers to all your questions. You can review the results as a summary, by questions, or by a person. This will let you drill down to find more specific information. 

Google Forms Results

Now that you know about Google Forms, how will you use it to learn more about your readers? What other programs do you use to learn more about your readers? Share with everyone in the comments. 


Create User-Friendly Permalink For Better SEO

Create User-Friendly Permalink For Better SEO

Did you know when you add a title to your blog post or page that Typepad uses it to make your permalink? While the title may be great for drawing attention to your post, it may not be the best for your URL. Today, we're going to walk through how to change your permalink (AKA slug) and discuss the benefits of changing it. 

Change Your Permalink

On the compose page, you'll see the permalink displayed under the title. The permalink contains your domain, the publish date, and your slug. When you choose to edit the permalink, you are editing the slug. 

Pro Tip: A slug is the part of a permalink that comes after the domain extension.

Slug ExampleWhy Change Your Permalink

As stated earlier, your title may not make the best permalink. Your permalink should be short, descriptive, and SEO-friendly. Let's review these recommendations together. 

Short 

Your slug should be around three to five keywords. Anything longer and it may become difficult for readers to remember the URL. The full permalink will also look more professional when you sharing it on social sites. 

Here is an example from Everything Typepad:

Post Title: Need New Pinterest Followers? Showcase Pinterest On Your Blog

Original URL: https://everything.typepad.com/blog/2021/03/need-new-pinterest-followers-showcase-pinterest-on-your-blog.html

Edited URLhttps://everything.typepad.com/blog/2021/03/add-pinterest-widget.html

You can see that we shorten the slug so it's easier to remember. 

Descriptive

Make sure your slug tells the reader exactly what they'll be reading about. You'll gain their trust when they see your link describes the information in your post.  

SEO Friendly

When thinking of a good slug, make sure to include SEO-friendly keywords. This helps Google and your readers know what the post is about and can approve your rankings. 

SEO SlugTips For Creating Your Slug

Use A Hyphen Between Words

When you enter the words for your slug, make sure to add a hyphen or underscore between them. If you don’t, Typepad will display an error when you attempt to save your new permalink, reminding you what is allowed in the slug. We advise using hyphens, but underscores work as well. 

Permalink Error

Edit Before You Publish

Edit the slug before you publish your post. If you have published your post and shared it with your readers, any edit will break the original post URL. This is a bad experience for your readers. 

Leave Out Function Words

When creating your slug, try to leave out function words as long as the slug still makes sense. Functions words include the, a, an, is, etc.

Don’t Use Punctuation

If you try to use punctuation in your slug, Typepad will give you an error reminding you to only use letters, numbers, hyphens, or underscores. 

Now that you know about editing your permalink, take the time with your next post to create a short, descriptive, SEO-friendly slug to improve reader's engagement and search engine ranking. You can use Google Analytics to help track your posts' views to compare older, unedited permalinks to your new, edited permalinks. 

Do you have any tips you use when customizing your permalinks? Let us know in the comments!