NAME: Laura Frankstone
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2005
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Laurelines is the blog and sketchbook of Laura Murphy Frankstone, an artist living in North Carolina. Follow her as she travels the world, sketching what she sees in the process.
Posts from January 2015
NAME: Laura Frankstone
Did you know Typepad is on Pinterest? It's true! We love pinning and repinning great content from Typepad blogs in every genre, and we're always looking for great, inspirational content. Are you on Pinterest? Drop your link in the comments, and don't forget to follow Typepad right here! If you're not on Pinterest yet, check it out - it's a great way to promote your blog and connect with others!
Want some inspiration? Check out our featured pinner, Bittersweet Soap Company.
Bittersweet Soap is a small business that focuses on quality handmade soaps and more items for your home. All inspired by days gone by "A time and period that reflected simpler days, when less was more, and items were made by hand and passionately created."
Want to promote your pinterest account on your Typepad blog? Just go to Blogs > Content and add the Pinterest Widget to your Sidebar via the center menu. While you're there, make your blog posts "pinable" by adding the Pin It button to your post footers.
Want even more? Learn how to promote your blog on Pinterest and follow Typepad at www.pinterest.com/typepad.
What a year 2014 has been! We here at Typepad are committed to making Typepad a better service each day, and we've been busy as bees releasing new features and improving the system overall. This includes offering new themes, adding entirely new features, and more, all the while implementing your own feedback and suggestions.
We've released a lot of great features this year - check out our Year In Review series to learn more! In this post, we'd like to highlight two of the smaller new features that you might have overlooked in the excitement.
First is the Signature Module. This allows you to set up content that will appear automatically at the end of every post on your blog. This could be text, an image, or script code such as for advertising.
To add the Signature module, go to the Design > Content page for your blog, locate the module called "Signature" (it will appear below the "Post Title" module), and click the pencil icon. This will open a pop-up window where you can enter the content you wish to display as your signature. Click "OK" in the pop-up window when you're done, then click "Save Changes" on the Content page itself.
Our Knowledge Base has more information on the Signature Module including tips on adding an image as a signature and on styling the signature content.
Second is the Welcome Message. This is a message that will appear at the top of the main content column of your blog, or as a popover (pop-up window), the first time someone visits the blog.
To add a Welcome Message to your blog, go to the Settings > Basics page for the blog. Here you can turn the Welcome Message feature off, or choose whether to display it as a popover or an embedded message. Enter the content you wish to appear in the Welcome Message in the text-entry field. As with the Signature module, you can enter any kind of content, whether it is text, an image, or code such as for advertising or a widget. If you have had a Welcome Message previously, and are updating with new content, put a check in the "New Announcement" box. This will cause the message to appear anew even for repeat visitors to your blog (they will only see it the first time they visit again after this).
The Knowledge Base also has information on the Welcome Message with tips for using each of the available options.
The Signature Module is a great way to add a more personal touch to your blog posts, while the Welcome Message helps you to convey information that you want every visitor to your blog to see the first time they arrive. Two small features that can make a big difference for your blog. Be sure to check them out!
Are you using the Signature Module or Welcome Message? Tell us about your experiences with these features in the comments of this post.
NAME: Cheryl and Lora
BLOG: Patina General
TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2010
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: For more than ten years, Cheryl and Lora have been transforming junk and found objects into treasures to display in their store. On their blog, they cover everything from current projects to recipes to life's little anecdotes, accompanied by fantastic photos. It's junk shop chic at its finest!
From time to time, we reblog fantastic content from the Typepad community. Today, we're featuring a great step-by-step post from our friends at NewPath Consulting. Have you ever wanted to create a Popular Posts feature for your blog? With the Post Carousel and a bit of tweaking, you can! Read on to find out how to put this fantastic feature to use on your blog, and check out the original post, right here.The Challenge
Post carousels (aka "sliders") are attractive and interactive website features that bring attention to new, popular or valuable content. TypePad recently announced an easy way to create post carousels, without one line of code. So how do you put a post carousel together and how do you decide what posts or pages get displayed in a post carousel?
Why post carousels?
When someone visits a website they usually are either looking for something specific or just browsing. Most visitors start on the home page of a website and this is where most designers place a carousel. The top 10 pages usually make up 90% or more of the traffic on a website, even websites that have thousands of pages. In order to attract visitors to the most popular content or to bring attention to the most recent or to timely posts or pages, a slider is a terrific way to call out certain content an attractive way.
Content is usually somewhat hidden behind navigation menus on the top, left, right or even bottom of website. On a mobile device such a smartphone or a tablet a carousel also encourages visits to continue after the home page. A slider or carousel is an alternative way to navigate 3-5 pieces of content. It's not only visually attractive but also takes up a good chunk of prime real estate on a website. If you want people to visit pages other than the home page, carousels encourage visits to continue.
Statistics on carousel use are sparse but available. You must include compelling content on a carousel that entices visitors to click and get attention in the first place. We suggest keeping the number of post carousel features to a maximum of five, but ideally 3 or 4, as it appears that as the number of features increases, the click-through rates on everything but the first featured post decreases dramatically.
And the subject of the post can make a big difference -- breaking news, announcements or brand new content deserves a feature. This is why it is critical to mine Google Analytics to identify which posts or pages should be featured. We go over how to do this below in the step-by-step solution.
How to make an effective post carousel?
There are lots of best practices when it comes to post carousels. Having a post carousel with 44 features is probably not a great idea -- they are meant as a way to feature just a few pieces of content. Switching out content and introducing new posts into the carousel is an effective way to manage the carousel.
I'm from Missouri. Show me an example!
The home page of www.resaspieces.org features a TypePad post carousel. It was implemented based on the most popular pages over the past year, collected from Google Analytics. When the organization announces their gala concert ticket and sponsorship sales, that page gets first billing on the post carousel.
And here's the step-by-step solution
Check out the solution below by clicking through the jump. We have screen shots describing designing a post carousel in TypePad with Google Analytics as guidance for which posts to use. The estimated time to completion is about 45-90 minutes once you have developed the content you wish to feature.
Mining Google Analytics to Populate the Post Carousel
The below is a snapshot of Resa's Pieces page analytics over most of 2014. The #1 and #4 pages are the home page and the gala concert ticket and sponsorship page, respectively. The #2 and #3 pages are available for Resa's Pieces member's only and are not publicly available on the website, so we don't feature them in the post carousel. The #5 and #6 pages describe the musician biographies and the organization's concert schedule -- obvious pages that garner lots of traffic.
Please use analytics and data to identify what visitors want to see. There may be some new content you may wish to feature as well, but as a standard what you should do is give visitors what they want -- they find the most interesting pieces of content so use a post carousel to serve them this content.
Post carousels only display posts in most systems including TypePad. We will discuss a nice little hack to have post carousels display pages as well. Read on below.
There are so many great blogs on Typepad, covering every subject you can imagine from technology to taxes, crafts to cats. We regularly scout for stellar blogs in the Typepad Showcase that fit a particular theme and are guaranteed to inspire. Today, we've rounded up some of the best of Typepad's bloggers in various genres who are simply here to offer a look back at 2014, and wish their readers a Happy New Year. Click over and visit, stay awhile, and soak up the atmosphere in these great Typepad blogs.
Don't Mess With Taxes offers up 10 tax resolutions for 2015 (plus, some January Tax Moves to make):
From Little Cotton Rabbits comes a look back at some moments from 2014 in her traditional annual mosaic. Charming and crafty!
Our friends at A Beautiful Mess are dishing up wishes for a Happy New Year, and a reminder that they're still offering up their tutorial for this delightful DIY sequined letter garland!
The fine, clever folks at Virtual Geek are ringing in the New Year with 2015 tech predictions, and a lesson or two from blogger Chad Sakac:
What's new from the attic at Attic24? Why, it's a bright and cheerful year end crochet review to warm you!
And finally, from Elise Blaha Cripe, a look ahead, a look back, and links for you to truly enJOY both.
We hope you enjoyed this roundup of fantastic Typepad blogs! Check out more great finds right here. Interested in joining the Typepad Showcase? Submit your blog today - you might just see yourself in the spotlight!