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April 2011

Posts from March 2011

Nieman Journalism Lab & Dan Zarrella: When to Share

After collecting more than two years of data, Zarrella shared his findings Tuesday in a webinar called “The Science of Timing.” That science is less about when and more about when not — what he calls “contra-competitive timing.” The trick is to reach people when the noise of the crowd has died down.


Considering this morning's Keep it Simple post about generating more Audience, this reblog seemed pretty timely. Click through to this post from Niemen Lab to read some great insights on how to make the most of Twitter, Facebook and via email. You you can look through the Science of Timing presentation, embedded below, to get a feel for the data. Dan Zarrella of HubSpot digs into the data and shares some really great information about the optimal time to tweet to get more followers on Twitter vs. more click-throughs to your blog.

Check out TweetWhen and let us know the best time to Tweet in the Comments!

Keep It Simple: Taking the Mystery Out of Getting More Traffic For Your Blog

Sometimes the prospect of getting more people to visit your blog can seem daunting. Don't fear! Over the months here on Everything TypePad, we've shared many quick and easy tips to build your readership.

First, you'll want to make sure you're getting the news out about your new blog posts to everyone you know. TypePad makes it easy to share posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Setting up a sitemap helps ensure Google and other search engines find your new posts right away. We also recommend optimizing post titles and permalink URLs for search engines.

Now that you've got new visitors coming to your blog, make it easy for them to be notified whenever you add new posts so that they'll remember to return. Add the FeedBurner email subscription widget to the sidebar so that visitors can sign up to receive email alerts. You'll also want to add the Follow Me module to the sidebar so that readers who have TypePad accounts can follow you and see your new posts right on their TypePad dashboard!

Once you have an active community of readers following your blog, empower them to share your blog posts with their own friends. This extends your blog's reach far beyond your own social network. Add the Tweet this button to the post footer so they can share your posts on Twitter or the Facebook Like button. We also recommend adding the Reblog button to the post footer for those of your readers who have their own TypePad blogs. You can also encourage engagement with your posts by adding the Favorite button to the post footer. Don't forget to nurture your community's growth - follow others and welcome your own followers.

Finally, keep in mind that the real secret to getting and keeping readers is to provide compelling content that people are excited to read. Post regularly and take advantage of different ways to post even when you're on the go.

Follow all of these tips and you may be surprised just how quickly your blog community is growing.

Weekend Project: Styling Sidebar Headers

If you've used TypePad's Theme Builder to create a custom design for your blog, your sidebar content might look something like this:


If you're a subscriber at the Pro Unlimited plan and above, you can use Custom CSS to style the sidebar headers to make them look even better. This does require some basic knowledge of CSS. Two great resources for CSS beginners can be found here and here.

Here are some examples to get you started on your way to styling your sidebar headers like a design pro.

The Theme Builder adds a bit of spacing between the letters in the headers so they're easy to read. To remove the default spacing, use:

.module-header { letter-spacing: 0; }

Or you can simply adjust it down, for example:

.module-header { letter-spacing: .1em; }

The Theme Builder also allows you to make the text all uppercase but if you'd like it to be all lowercase, use:

.module-header { text-transform: lowercase; }

If you want to capitalize just the first letter of each word, use:

.module-header { text-transform: capitalize; }

Adding a background color behind the text is easy, too. We've included padding around the text to give it some room to breathe.


.module-header { background-color: #EFEFEF; padding: 4px; }

The Theme Builder has an option for adding borders but what if you want a border on two or three sides, instead of just one or all four? You can use:

.module-header {
border-right: 1px solid #CCC;
border-bottom: 1px solid #CCC;

Border attributes include border-top, right, bottom, and left and you can adjust the pixel size, color and line type (solid, dashed, or dotted).

If you want to really make the headers fancy, you can use a background image behind the text. This can be an image that repeats behind the entire header area or an image that's aligned just to the top, bottom, left or right. It's these types of little touches that really make a design extra special.

Here's an example using an image just to the left of the sidebar header text:


.module-header {
background: transparent ur( left center no-repeat;
padding-left: 20px;
letter-spacing: 0;

The padding on the left ensures that the text doesn't overlap the image. And of course, you can combine any of the above style attributes into one .module-header statement.

If you have an idea for how you'd like your blog's design to look but you don't have the time to implement it yourself, let us do it! Contact us via our Custom Design Center and we'll be happy to assist you in setting up a fantastic new design for your blog.

Using Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome browsers with TypePad

The TypePad application supports use in a number of popular browsers for both PC and Mac computers, including the latest version of Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer 9 requires you to turn on the browser's compatibly mode for best results when using the Rich Text editor to compose posts and pages. In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu and select Compatibility View if you encounter any problems within TypePad.

Microsoft has more information on the compatibility mode here.

If you prefer to use Google Chrome for your browser, you may notice you can not view your blog's feed, instead you see the code for the feed. While feed URLs (atom.xml, rss.xml, index.rdf) are not meant to be viewed directly in a browser, most modern browsers will present you a nice HTML page with subscribe options for the feed.

Chrome, however, does not display an easy to read page when you view the feed URL directly; instead you see the code for the feed. Hopefully, Chrome will update with a feature to allow you to view the feed and the feed code in the future. In the meantime, you may want to connect your blog to FeedBurner. A blog connected to FeedBurner will show your feed to the viewer with multiple options to subscribe to the feed directly regardless of which browser you are using.

Information on connecting to FeedBurner is available in the TypePad Knowledge Base.

Keep it Simple: Block List

In Micro and Pro plan accounts there is a feature called the Block List, a tool for helping you to define which words and phrases are not allowed to be used in Comments left on your blog. The Block List can additionally be used with IP and email addresses to help block specific visitors from leaving spam comments.

Tip: Try a partial email address, URL, or IP, if you want to broaden the spectrum of blocked items (e.g. use partials like “youspammeryou” instead of [email protected]).

To access the Block List, log into your blog and then go to Comments > Block List.

To get started with the Block List, we recommend adding words and phrases you're not comfortable allowing in comments left on your blog. For example, you could add derogatory and curse words or phrases. Please make sure that there aren't any trailing spaces--"badword" and not "badword ".

Tip: Add one word or phrase at a time. The field for a word(s) or IP are not comma-delimited, so if you enter “badword, prescription, substance” into the field together, the whole string will be looked for and any comment that is submitted with only “prescription” will be allowed.

To learn more about the Block List, please review our Knowledge Base article on blocking comments.

Blog Search Customization

It has been nearly a year since we released the blog search module. Many of you have added the search module to your blog making it easy to find posts by searching.

We've received several great questions about how to customize the search module, including how to change the header. With Custom CSS - a feature available with the Pro Unlimited and higher plans - you can customize the search module.

At Design > Custom CSS, you can enter the CSS provided with the tips below or CSS from the Knowledge Base article.

Hide the Search module header

Since the submit button says "Search", you may feel the Search header is unnecessary. The CSS code to hide the header is:

.module-search .module-header { display: none !important; }

Align the Search button next to the text field

To save space in the sidebar, you may want to include the search field and button on the same line using the CSS:

.module-search input[type="search"] {
width: 175px !important;
float: left !important;
display: inline !important;

.module-search input[type="submit"] {
display: inline !important;

You may need to adjust the width depending on your column width.

Change the Search module header

You can add text before or after the Search text in the header. If you want to add your blog's name to the search header, you can use CSS similar to:

.module-search .module-header:after { content: " The Blog" !important; }

New search header

Where you can change " The Blog" portion of the CSS to be the name of your blog or other text to display in the header. The space between the first quotation mark and your text is required if you want a space to appear between it and the existing "Search" text in the module header.

The Knowledge Base article on the search module has more tips. Are there other customizations you would like to make to the search module? Let us know in the comments.

Embedding YouTube Video Bar

YouTube has recently introduced a new tool which allows you to embed a bar displaying videos from a specified YouTube channel on your blog. It's easy to add the vertical video bar to your sidebar using the Embed Your Own HTML module.

video bar

First, go to to configure the module.

In this example, we're going to create a video bar for a specific YouTube channel. You can also create a custom channel based on search terms.

In the YouTube channel field, enter the channel name as it appears in the URL for the channel page.

We are creating a video bar for the Metric channel, and the channel name is metricmusic.

To fit the video bar in your blog's sidebar, select the Vertical orientation. The default width of the video bar is narrow enough to fit all sidebar widths for TypePad blogs.

YouTube Video Bar Configuration

Once you have finished configuring your video bar, you will see an example of how the video bar will look on the right. Click Show Code to reveal the HTML for your video bar. Use your mouse to highlight and copy the code.

In TypePad, go to Design > Content. Select the Embed Your Own HTML module and click the Add This Module button. Paste the code for the video bar in the pop-up box and click OK. After rearranging your modules, click Save Changes to update your blog.

If you are not using one of the basic designs with the Design > Content option, please see the Knowledge Base article for information on how to add the video bar to other blog designs.

Clicking the video thumbnail on your blog will open a pop-up where you can view the video without leaving your blog.

Additional information is available in the Installing YouTube Video Bar article.

Knowledge Base and Other Updates

With all of the recent changes, and several more on their way in the coming months, we don't want anything to slip by you. Listed below are our most recent updates to the Knowledge Base.

Newer Articles:

Updated Articles:

If you're interested in knowing when there have been updates made to the Knowledge Base, you can keep an eye on the "Recent Updates" page in the Knowledge Base.

We also wanted to make you aware of our having retired the TypePad People List widget. If you still have a link in your sidebar that says "Add me to your TypePad People List", then you'll want to consider removing it from your blog. Anyone who clicks on the link will receive an error message. We recommend replacing it with the "Follow Me" module, instead, which allows your fellow TypePad bloggers to follow you.