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Posts from October 2013

Announcing: Changes to the way you edit images in Typepad with Aviary

As a blogger, you know that adding images to your posts can bring an essential element of interest to your blog, and Typepad makes it easy to add and edit images on the fly. Just insert an image, double click to edit your image with the Aviary image editor, and you're on your way.

This week, Aviary introduced the newest version of their image editor, which brings along with it a few changes to the way you edit your photos. The changes are pretty simple, but if you frequently edit images (add captions, change size, apply special effects) in the Rich Text editor, you'll want to take note and adjust your workflow a bit.


There are two options when editing images; Standard and Aviary. Both options appear in the pop up window after you double click your inserted image in the Rich Text editor, with the Aviary Options on top, and Standard Options on bottom. Here's a breakdown of what you can do with each option:

Standard Options

Image Size
Link to full-size image

After making any changes to the Standard Options, click the Save button at the top right of the pop-up box to apply the changes to the image. Please note you will not see an Apply button, and you will not see the changes to the Standard Options in the Edit Image pop-up. Your changes will appear once you are back in the Rich Text window.

Aviary Options

With Aviary, you can perform advanced editing functions that will change the appearance of your images, including adding frames and stickers, adjusting brightness, contrast, and colors, and removing red eye, and lots more!

Using the arrows in the top menu, you can review the customization options. Click on the tool you wish to use to make changes. You'll see the changes reflected in the preview image. If you don't like the changes, click Cancel. If you do like the changes, click Apply (you can always use the small left arrow under your image to revert the change). You can make multiple changes in one editing session and click Apply before moving from one tool to another. Make sure to click the Save button in the upper right of the window, and you're done!

The Standard Options, including captions, are available for any images regardless of size. However, the special effects can only be added to images of a certain size depending on your Typepad plan. For specific image sizes, see the requirements here.

You can read all about the Aviary Options and what they can do for your images in our Knowledge Base.

That's it! Pretty simple, right? Have questions, comments, or a favorite way to edit images in Typepad? Start a conversation about it, or tell us in the comments!

Typepad 101: Use surveys to poll your blog readers

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. The tip is suitable for bloggers at all levels - no special tricks or upgrades needed.

From time to time on your blog, you may want to take the temperature of your readership or get input from your blog's community. Surveys and polls are a quick way to see what people think. You can ask your readers what movie you should see this weekend, get ideas of what they want to see more of on your blog, or anything you want to know!

There are many great third-party tools available that guide you through the process of making a survey. SurveyMonkey, Polldaddy, and Google Drive Forms all offer free survey generators and tools to track the responses you receive. (We have detailed information on using Google Drive Forms in the Knowledge Base.)

Simply go to the site you wish to use and create a new survey or form. You'll be guided through the process of adding questions (multiple choice, essay, rating, etc.) and be able to preview the result as it will appear on your blog.

After configuring the survey form, you'll be provided with the code to embed the survey within your blog. Look for the embed on website option to get the code which will work best on your Typepad blog. You can add the survey to your blog post or sidebar module.

To add the survey to a post, you'll need to use HTML > Convert Line Breaks or Markdown mode when composing your post. If you prefer to work in Rich Text, it is best to complete the rest of your post before adding the survey code as you won't be able to switch back to Rich Text. Click on the HTML tab in the editor, open the HTML tab drop-down menu, and select Convert Line Breaks (recommended) or Markdown. Paste the code for the survey in the post where you want the survey to appear. You can use the Preview button to see how the survey will appear on your blog, instead of switching to Rich Text. Click Publish when you are ready for your survey to go live! The same steps can be used for adding a survey to a Page.

If you don't see your survey when previewing your post, don't fret! The survey will display on your published blog.

To add the survey to the sidebar of your blog, you can use the Embed Your Own HTML module. You'll want to make sure to select a narrow width for your survey when configuring it to fit the sidebar. Go to Design > Content in Typepad, select the Embed Your Own HTML module, and click Add This Module. Paste the code for the survey in the pop-up window and click OK. After rearranging the module in the sidebar, click Save Changes to update your blog.

Check out the survey we created using Polldaddy below and let us know what you think!

Featured Blog: Emily Jane

NAME: Emily Jane
BLOG: Emily Jane
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: In an online world that's positively bursting with fashion blogs from playful to pretentious, Emily Jane presents a fresh point of view that's hard to deny (and you won't want to!). This teen's love of fashion and crafting are translated into a look that is as well put-together as any of her outfits.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Your Best Foot Forward: Rocking The Music Post

image from

Welcome to our special series on how to write a great blog post! Every other Thursday, we'll debut a new article that will teach you how to write posts for your blog that will engage and inspire your readers, encourage conversation in comments, and keep them coming back for more. Put your best foot forward and watch your audience grow! Late to the party? Check out the other posts in our series here.

If you're looking for new music recommendations, look no further than the Internet, where everyone has an opinion, a critical ear, and the will to write about it. In terms of topics, music blogs are still a fairly niche genre, much like the music covered in some of them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get in on the game, though; many people include music posts as part of their regular repertoire nowadays, from fashion bloggers to lifestyle bloggers, food bloggers to mommy bloggers. Music is, after all, the universal language.

If you go to a lot of concerts or just have great taste in (or a love of) music, you might want to consider adding a music post or two to your weekly rotation; after all, bringing new music to the masses or finding out that you share a few favorite bands in common with your readers can be both rewarding and illuminating - you might just find yourself on the receiving end of some great recommendations.

There are a few things to consider when writing a music post (and making it great):

The Topic: Unless you fancy yourself a music critic, stick to writing about things you like versus things you dislike. Telling someone why they should listen to your favorite band's new album is going to be a lot more fun (and easier) than pointing out the flaws in a record you regret buying. Leave the panning to Pitchfork.

The Details: Sure, you could stick to the technical facts when describing a show you saw or an album you liked, but the best music writing tells your readers a story that places them in medias res, allowing them to experience it right along with you. Talk about how the music made you feel. Recount the crush of bodies at the barrier, the stage banter, the thrill of hearing your most favorite song at the encore. Talk about the best song on the album, about the lyrics, about what song was playing the moment you met your girlfriend/boyfriend/best friend/dog. Write about how the music changed your life. Music is passion; don't hold back.

The Photos: Including at least one clear, high resolution photo in your post is a must, and more if you're writing about a live show, if possible. If you only had your cell phone with you at the show, do a Flickr search for a photo of the band performing live (and make sure that it has the appropriate Creative Commons license), and place that at the beginning of your post, including any sentimental cell phone photos further down, if you must. Writing about a specific track or album? Make your post header an image of the album cover.


The Media: Embedding mp3 files from Soundcloud or Spotify gives your readers an even deeper way to relate to what you've written, and it can help increase your post's visibility and discoverability by allowing it to be included in directories like The Hype Machine and, blog aggregators that allow people to search and browse for music. Embedding videos from YouTube or Vimeo also provides your readers with a richer experience and allows them to hear and see why you love the music.

The Extras: It seems simple enough, but it's smart to include information on where your readers can find the album or track you're writing about, or a band's next stops on their tour schedule. Links to the band's official website, the iTunes store, their webstore or their Bandcamp page gives your readers the next step to take in the new music experience you've brought to them - and it helps support the band, which means more new music for you in the future. Win-win!

The Examples:

- A live show review
- An album review
- An acoustic session with videos

Featured Blog: Refuse to Regain

NAME: Barbara Berkeley
BLOG: Refuse to Regain
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Whether you're losing weight, maintaining a weight loss, contemplating a change in diet, or struggling with the frustrations of regain, you'll find something that makes you think at Refuse to Regain. Obesity specialist Barbara Berkeley created her blog to support her book, Refuse to Regain: 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You've Earned, and both thoughtfully, thoroughly sum up what she's learned in over 20 years of practice as an obesity specialist.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Facebook

Typepad 101: Hosting A Giveaway

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. This tip is suitable for bloggers at all levels using Basic Templates - no special tricks or upgrades needed!

A great way to draw attention to your blog and gain new followers is by hosting a giveaway.  The prize can be anything from an Amazon Gift card to an iPad.  It is also great extra promotion if you have paid sponsors and advertisers.  As bloggers, we may be contacted occassionally by companies looking for extra promotion. Retailers are starting to acknowledge the reach bloggers have on potential customers. 

Of course don't just give away any ol' prize. If you're a foodie blog, a KitchenAid food processor will cater to your readers more than Black & Decker Hammer Drill (though  may still come in handy some time....I digress.) The same as reviewing a product, you want your giveaway to mesh well with your blog - entice your readers, make them want it, make them tweet about it, make them share it on their Facebook.

Rafflecopter is a great tool that helps make hosting a giveaway easy.  Once you plug in what the entry requirements are, it will give you a code to paste on your site similiar to this: 

Screen Shot 2013-09-07 at 12.22.39 PMSome things to keep in mind when hosting a giveaway: 

-Give clear instructions on how to enter (ie: leave a comment, tweet giveaway and share the URL in separate comment, pin giveaway and share URL, etc.)

-Is the contest open globally or just residents in the US & Canada?  If the prize is being shipped, this could be a factor in who can enter.

-Include how long the giveaway will last and when will be the last day to enter - no ifs, ands or buts about it.

- Promote! Share it on your Social Media platforms and use this as a way to gain more followers. A lot of giveaway hosts would include additional entries from readers if they follow them on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

- In addition to your blog post announcing the giveaway, you may want to add a link to your Sidebar right where the reader's eye can see it and are reminded to enter. 

- Make sure you're legit.  There are still rules and regulations involved when hosting a giveaway by Federal and in some cases, the State.  Here is a good article that breaks it down for you.

As word gets out on your giveaway, new people will discover your blog and will want to come back!

Featured Blog: Welcome to Optimism

NAME: Wieden + Kennedy London
BLOG: Welcome to Optimism
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Wieden + Kennedy London is part of one of the largest independent, creatively-led global agency networks. The London office was founded in 1998 with a goal to inspire clients by doing the best work of their lives, an aspiration they've stayed true to ever since. W+K creatively handles everything from advertising to building mobile apps to designing the London Regent Street Christmas lights. Welcome to Optimism is their blog, covering everything from design to pop culture to office life at Wieden + Kennedy London.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Twitter

Typepad 101: Using Hashtags to Crowdsource Instagram Content for Your Blog

Welcome to Typepad 101! Whether you want to add some new features to your blog's design, or simply make your blog more functional, Typepad 101 has you covered. This tip is suitable for bloggers at all levels using Basic Templates - no special tricks or upgrades needed!

Like almost everyone else with a smart phone and an exhibitionist streak, we love Instagram and are always looking for ways to incorporate our photos into our blogs. In the past, we've talked about how to add your own Instagram photos to your blog's Sidebar, and we've even talked about cross-posting from Instagram to your Typepad blog automatically. Today, we're going to talk about pulling photos with a specific #hashtag into your blog's Sidebar using a third-party service like Intagme's Instagram Widget.

Using hashtags to pull photos in to your blog can be fun and handy. For instance, if you run a food blog, displaying photos with the #food tag will pull in any photo tagged #food. The snaps could consist of photos you took yourself, or photos that someone else took; as long as they have the specified hashtag, they should fit the bill. That said, it's smart to do a quick reality check when picking a hashtag to call to your blog's Sidebar - you might want to avoid displaying photos with questionable content!

To get started, just head over to (or SnapWidget), and fill out the form there, (making sure to leave the Username field blank if you want photos from all users and adding a username if you only want your photos with the specific tag), and filling in the hashtag field with the tag of your choice. The rest of the fields depend on your specific layout and how you want the photos to display:


Next, you can click the Preview button to see how your photos will look on your blog, or just click the "Get Code" button to retrieve your code:


Highlight and copy the code provided, then head on over to your Typepad account.

Next, choose your blog and click to Design > Content, and choose an Embed Your Own HTML module from the middle menu, then click the button on the right to add it (we have more information about adding custom sidebar content here). Give your module a good title, then paste your code into the pop-up box, and click OK.


Drag your module and drop it wherever you'd like to see your photos appear on your Sidebar, and save your changes. Your new widget will be displayed on your Sidebar like you see on the left here at The Ruckus, a music blog that uses the hashtag #xotheruckus to pull in music related photos that the writers and blog readers have snapped:


Super easy, right? It's a great way to pull in content from around the web (and around the world)!

Do you have a favorite way to use Instagram? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Blog: Gooseflesh

NAME: Helle Jorgensen
BLOG: Gooseflesh
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Helle Jorgensen is an artist and teacher in Tweed Valley, Northern NSW. Gooseflesh is where she records her creative process and inspiration derived from exploring natural materials that grow on her property, using weaving and crochet techniques, the things she collects, and the things she makes.


FOLLOW: Typepad | Pinterest