Now that we're coming out of winter and thinking about tossing out the things we no longer need, it is also a good time to take a closer look at your blog's sidebar content. Do all of your links still work? Are there any broken images? Did you notice your blog is taking longer to load? These are things to think about when reviewing your sidebar content.
Not Loading Securely
Images that have been uploaded to your sidebar before the SSL certificate was applied to your blog domain might still display the http:// version of the image URL. This can lead to your blog loading as non-secure. You can go in and simply update the URL to https:// and your blog will load as secure again, easy-peasy!
Review all the modules in the sidebar to make sure you know what they are and how they help your blog. Outdated widget codes will slow down your blog's loading time. For example, if you still have a Sitemeter counter in your sidebar, this service is no longer available. You can use Google Analytics to monitor blog visitor data instead.
If you have Typelists in your sidebar, check your Typelist lists to see if they are all still working. You can edit your Typelists by going to Library > Typelists.
The spring cleaning season is here. You may be focused on cleaning your home or personal goals, but don't forget to give your blog some attention. It may be overwhelming to think about cleaning up your blog. Never fear! We have a great checklist to get you started!
Can your blog be read on a phone? If you're not sure, take a moment to check. We can wait...
Was it hard to view your text? If you find it hard, your readers will too. We recommend you update your theme to one of our responsive options. You can select one of our customizable Design Lab themes or our new Featured Cards theme. Our Design Lab themes, the Design Lab builder, and Featured Cards are all great options.
Our Design Lab themes allow you to customize your blog by choosing your own colors, fonts, and more for each section. Below we have some themes for you to choose. Find one that fits your style, then customize it to make it your own.
We have recently added Featured Cards to our themes. This theme is mobile friendly and has a very modern look. Your blog posts will show as a Magazine-inspired layout.
Quick tip: Create a test blog to select and customize your new theme. Once it's perfect, you can apply it to your original blog.
Check Your Links
When was the last time you clicked through your blog? Are all your links still going to relevant information? Take the time and click on all the links of your blog and make sure they are going to their intended destination. Here is a list of places to check:
Social Media icons or links
Any links on your sidebar
Links in footer
Keep a list of what needs to be changed. The first place to start updating links is on your Design tab. Under Content, you will see all of the modules that you can edit. Click on the pencil to update the module with new links. If your link is in a Typelist, click on My Library then Typelist.
If you recently mapped your domain, make sure to take a moment and check all to make sure they are using your new domain.
Does Your Custom Domain Work Without WWW
More and more people are dropping the www when they type your domain into an address bar. You want to make sure if a reader doesn't use www, it will still forward to your blog. To check if your forward works, we recommend you use a browser that you don't normally use or use a different computer. Type in your domain without the www and click enter.
Does your blog show up? If it does, great! Your forward is working great and no need for further steps.
When was the last time you looked at your logo or banner? Does it need to be updated or do you need a new one? Now is a great time to review your logo and banner and make sure it fits your blogs' brand.
If you want to design a new one, we recommend checking out Canva or PicMonkey. Both are paid services, but they offer free trials for you to utilize. You can see examples to help inspire you. Customize the templates provided or make your own.
When looking for images to use in your logo or banner, you do not want to grab any old image off of Google. You want to use an image that is free for you to use. There are many free image sites out there that offer Creative Common License images for you to use on your blog. You can search by keywords and use the one that works best for you. Some that Typepad uses are Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay. There are many more royalty-free and free stock images sites available. Take a look and see what you can find.
If designs are not your thing, you can hire someone to create a logo for you. Typepad's design team can create a custom banner for your blog. We can take an existing logo or design you have and update it. Outside of Typepad, two of the most popular are Upwork and Fiverr. Many design professionals are on these sites and can work with you to create a banner for your blog or a new logo to help stand out. They make it easy to find someone, collaborate with them, then pay them for their services.
Update Your About Page
Your readers are curious about the person behind the blog. Your focus may have changed since starting your blog. Update your About page to include any new information to share with your readers who you are and what the blog is about.
Some information to consider for your About Page:
Contact info. How can people contact you about your blog?
Include links to all your social media sites. The Other Accounts feature will allow you to link to social media sites on your blog and your About Me page.
What is the blog about? Create a short summary of what readers can learn from your blog.
How/why did you get started blogging? Are you an expert in the field or do you want to share your experiences? Are there others helping you with the blog? Who are they?
Are there any important milestones or interesting facts about your blog? Was it featured in any well known publications?
Meta Keywords And Description
Your meta keywords and meta description are used by search engines to classify and describe your blog content. As you start blogging your message can evolve. Make sure the content you're blogging about is represented in the meta data.
The meta keywords help search engines know what your blog is about. You want to add keywords and phrases that describe what information is found in your blog. You want to use long-tail phrases as that is what people tend to use to search.
For example: What to cook vegan for dinner, How to cook vegan meals, How to find vegan restaurants, Find vegan recipes, Vegan, Cooking, Vegan Food, Cook Vegan
The meta description is what shows under the search engine results. It is a brief description of your blog. The primary goal of your meta description is to showcase the value of your blog and to encourage searchers to click. It can be any length, but Google tends to truncate after 160 characters. It should be written in your blogging tone and voice. Include your meta keywords in a natural conversational way.
If you are thinking to yourself "when will I have time to do all this?" We are here to help! Our Design Team offers a Tune-Up service to review your blog, identify areas that could use improvement, and then make all the changes for you.
After you have cleaned your blog, post a link in the comments. We would love to see your new and improved blog!
Congratulations! You just set up Domain Mapping and your new blog is loading with your new custom name! While your permalinks, category links, and archive links may be working with the new domain - some links still need to be manually updated to reflect the new blog URL.
Mapped to blog or entire site?
How you set up Domain Mapping at Account > Domain Mapping will determine how your new blog URLs will appear.
If you mapped your domain name to the entire site, your blog URL will also include the folder name of your blog (ie: www.example.com/blog_name/). If you mapped your domain name to a specific blog, the folder name is not included.
The links in your Navigation Bar will still have your original Typepad domain (example.typepad.com) links saved. You can update these links by going to Design > Content > Navigation Bar, and click the pencil icon to edit your Nav Bar links.
Also located at Design > Content, the Blog Footer module includes a link to your blog by default.
If you previously set up any Typelists for your blog that includes links to the original blog URL, go to Library > Typelist, and update any links saved with the old links.
A lot happens in a year! At Typepad, we have been updating with new features and providing tutorials about how to improve your blog. All this information can be easy to miss if you are busy with your blog. Here's a recap with the top 10 blog posts from 2019 (Thank you Google Analytics).
Everyone knows that Google is the top search engine globally. Why not incorporate their search to cater to your blog specifically? You can add a Custom Search from Google to your sidebar in a couple of easy steps through your Google account. Read More...
IFTTT is a great platform that allows different apps, web services, and devices to communicate with each other. These are called Applets and you can set as many applets as you like. Here we will show you how you can automatically publish a blog post from a tweet. Read More...
The look of your blog is really important - it is the very first impression a visitor gets when checking out your blog for the first time. Today's Typepad 101 is about what's available to create a design for your blog. Read More...
Does your blog include an "About Me" page? Each Typepad account comes with one About Me Page which automatically pulls information from the account owner's Profile settings. Make sure your About me page leaves your reader feeling like they know more about you and your story. Read More...
Everyone has heard the saying "Work smarter, not harder." At Typepad, we are here to give you tips and tricks to make sure your blog is a success! Today we are going over how to create a Master Template for sharing recipes. Read More...
Do your readers want to print out your posts for use later (like a recipe)? Make it easy for them by adding a print option from Print Friendly. They optimize your blog post for Print and PDF formats, readers can save money and the environment by printing only what they need. Print Friendly removes ads and other non-essential content to allow only the blog posts to be printed. Read More...
Did you know that Typepad is home for many writers and authors? If you have written a book, your blog is a great way to promote it! Today we want to share with you how a few Typepad bloggers promote their books on their blog. Read More...
One of the first things you may have noticed when you created your account was the URL created for your blog looks something like example.typepad.com. Many bloggers are ok with their blog link looking this way, but if you want to customize your blog name and make it easier to remember for your readers, you can do that by buying your own domain name through Typepad. Read More..
After creating your blog, you will start thinking about where your readers are going to find you, that is your domain. Make a domain that is memorable for your readers. While we make it easy to purchase your domain, it may not be easy to think of a unique domain for your blog. We are here to help! Here are 6 tips to help you create the best domain for your blog. Read More...
As we say good-bye to 2019 we think about all the amazing Everything Typepad posts that we shared with our bloggers to help them create the best blogs ever. We've got some exciting new features planned for Typepad in 2020. Make sure you are following Everything Typepad on Facebook, Twitter, and our RSS Feed. You will want to be the first to know about all our exciting new features in 2020.
Do you currently use a Design Lab theme as your blog design? Tap into your creativity by submitting your blog design to be featured on Typepad! You may have noticed an orange "For Designers" button when you click the "Design" tab for your blog.
This button is only visible if you currently have a Design Lab theme applied to your blog. While you may not consider yourself to be a "Designer", if you put together your own blog design, then you are! Go ahead and click that button, here's what you'll see:
A preview of your current design along with the design settings enabled. Scroll down to section 2 where you can submit your theme. Give your design a fun name, include your name and blog URL. Then select a default layout (e.g., Two Column Right) and check off the box confirming that you are the owner of any images you may be using in the design. If you are unsure about what kind of images to use on your design, refer to this article about what you need to know about using images on your blog.
If you want to play around and create more than one design, we recommend creating a test blog in order to test out design changes. This way, you can edit your design without it effecting your primary blog and submit your design through your test blog.
Theme submissions are curated and if approved, your design will be included in our selection of pre-made designs that bloggers can use for their own blog. Don't delay, submit your design today!
After creating your blog, you will start thinking about where your readers are going to find you, that is your domain. Make a domain that is memorable for your readers. While we make it easy to purchase your domain, it may not be easy to think of a unique domain for your blog. We are here to help! Here are 6 tips to help you create the best domain for your blog.
1) Represents your blog Your domain should tell your readers what you are blogging about. It is like the title of an amazing book. Readers should get a sense of the story or journey you are going to take them on.
2) Make it easy to spell Only Mary Poppins and Google knows how to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Use common spellings of words in your domain. Don't be tempted to use unique or complicated words to help your blog stand out. Your readers may not remember the special spelling and get frustrated when trying to find your blog. If you really want a unique name, check out the Pro Tip in #3.
3) Select the correct top level domain Top level domain is what comes after the dot (.com, .org, etc.). Most readers will automatically use the .com when typing in your address. If you can get the .com version of your domain you should. You can also look into other top level domains to help your domain stand out. For example, if you're blogging about beer you can purchase a .beer domain.
Pro Tip: You can have more than one domain point to your blog. If you purchase a fun top level domain, like .beer, you can also purchase .com and have it forward to your blog. The same is true for different domains. If you have a name that may be spelled wrong, you can register the wrong spelling and forward it to your blog.
4) Avoid a long string of words You want to make sure it is clear what your blog is about. Keep your domain short and memorable. Don’t add too many words or it may be awkward to say out loud or too long to type. Think of an overview of what you are blogging about.
Example: You are blogging about how cute your toddler is. Would you want your domain to be TheToddlerYearsofBrianMcGruffin.com or ParentingMoments.com
The second one is more memorable and can be used throughout your child’s life. They will only be a toddler for a few years.
5) Say your domain out loud While it may look great on paper, keep in mind you may have to tell people your domain in person. You want to make sure it sounds good out loud. Does it roll off the tongue? Make sure the words are easy to pronounce and are understandable to all.
Pro Tip: Use your thesaurus! If your domain sounds awkward and you need to think of a new word, the thesaurus is here to help. You can find new words with similar meanings to make your domain stand out.
6) What about social media? Once you find the perfect domain your job is not done yet. You need to go to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make sure to start an account with that domain name. Even if you don’t plan on using those platforms you want to register them so they are under your control.
What other tips would you add to our list? Share in the comments your secrets to the perfect domain.
Do your readers want to print out your posts for use later (like a recipe)? Make it easy for them by adding a print option from Print Friendly. They optimize your blog post for Print and PDF formats, readers can save money and the environment by printing only what they need. Print Friendly removes ads and other non-essential content to allow only the blog posts to be printed.
Go to Printfriendly.com and scroll down and click on "Get Your Website Button". Select the HTML option under Type of Website.
Select the type of button you would like on your page.
Select from a list of features.
Once your button is designed the way you want, copy the code provided and add it to your Signature Module. To find the Signature Module, click on the Design tab, then Content. Next, click on the pencil at the top of the module and paste in the Print Friendly code. Select Ok, then Save Changes.
Now you will see the print icons you choose at the end of each post. When readers choose to print your post, they are taken to a preview where they can remove any content they do not need. They can print, save as a PDF, or email the version they created.
We'd like to hear from you about how you use Print Friendly, and how you feel it's benefited your readers. Leave a comment below to share your experience with us!
Now that your blog is up and running and you are publishing content, let's make sure your blog is looking the way you would like it to look. The look of your blog is really important - it is the very first impression a visitor gets when checking out your blog for the first time. Today's Typepad 101 is about what's available to create a design for your blog.
When you create a blog, it defaults to the "Journal Black" theme. You can stay with this theme if you'd like as it's offered in five different colors. Or you can switch to another pre-designed theme.
Choose Your Theme
To see what themes are available to apply to your blog, go to the "Design" tab. This page is broken up into three sections:
Current Design: This section shows your current design with options on how to customize your current design (Banner, Style (for Design Lab themes), Layout, Content).
Banner: upload your new banner
Style: customize the overall appearance of your blog (fonts, colors, borders)
Layout: select 1, 2, or 3 column layout
Content: Add and edit what is shown in your sidebars, post & blog footers, etc.
Create a New Design: This includes a green button "Choose a Theme." This will take you to a new page with a gallery of thumbnails showing pre-made designs you can apply to your blog.
You can view your options by Feature, New, Customizable, and All.
Your Designs: Every time you add a new design to your blog, it saves in your Typepad account so you can always go back and reuse it instead of starting over.
About Customizable Options
The Customizable option includes Design Lab, Theme Builder, Styleless, or HTML aka Advanced Templates. The Styleless or Advanced Templates options are recommended only if you are comfortable working with HTML and CSS code and building your custom design from scratch. These two options are available for Unlimited plans and higher.
Design Lab and Theme Builder are easy to use with no code required to customize the look of your blog. You can select the colors, fonts, and upload your banner. You can add additional CSS code to customize your design further but not required. Design Lab is responsive and looks great on all devices, large and small, and meets Google's mobile-friendly requirements. Theme Builder also has an option to create a responsive design
If you ever get stuck or have questions about how to make something work with your blog design, you can always open a Help Ticket and a member of the team will be happy to help!
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