Posts categorized "Tips and Tricks" Feed

How To Build Stronger Titles For Improved Retention, Better Results

After pouring your heart out into a blog post, coming up with a post title to reflect what you've written about can be a challenge.  First impressions are so important; you have milliseconds to grab someone's attention and keep it for a bit. 

When a reader shares a post to social media, browses your blog's newsletter, or searches your blog for a specific topic, the headline is what they see first. Don't skimp on coming up with an effective title.

Now, there's help! Check out Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule.

Enter your title and click the "Analyze Now" button.  You will see a pop-up asking for your name, email, and website but we promise it's free.

Cosched_headline

We'll use this article as an example. Originally, the title of this post was going to be "Grab Your Readers With A Captivating Post Title." How did it work out? Not so well.

Headline Analyzer Results

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 11.03.04 AMWe can do better than that.  This headline type is classified as "Generic" with not enough action involved to make readers want to share this headline with others. You want to trigger an emotional response and curiosity which makes the person to want to click your headline to read more. Using effective keywords can help rank your post in search results. 

At the same time, don't overshare and make your title too long as that is not effective for SEO purposes either. Remember, milliseconds!  Headlines 55 characters, or 6 words, long tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs but there is a little room for leeway. 

Consider the types of words you're including in your title. Common words take up 20-30% of a headline while Uncommon take up 10-20% and Emotional 10-15%. There should be at least one Power word in your headline. 

Following the recommendations, and some trial and error, the headline changed to "How To Build Stronger Titles For Improved Retention, Better Results".  How did this work out?

Headline_score76

Better! We now have a clear intention with a "How To" headline where the reader will gain a better understanding of what they'll read from the title alone. We don't have "uncommon" words in the title due to length but some examples of uncommon words include "more, actually, right, awesome, actually."

What have you found is most effective in creating a strong post title?

To learn more about your SEO options in your Typepad account, click here.


Create A Word Cloud For Your Blog

Create A Word Cloud For your Blog

Word Clouds take all the words from a text source (like a blog post) and create a cloud of all the words used. They're a great way to showcase a post's main themes by highlighting the words used. The more a word is used the bigger it is in the cloud. 

Wordcloud.com is a great tool to help you create the perfect word cloud image for your post or sidebar! Let us show you how easy it is to create a word cloud. 

First, you need to add your words. If you have the post published, you can use Open URL. In the pop up paste in the URL to your blog post and the words will generate from your text. To add your text, either click on File or Wizard. 

Quick Tip: When you use the Open URL option, the URL must be published and can't be password protected.

Upload text to your word cloud

Wordcloud.com offers a few different ways to edit the image before you download it. 

Size

Select the best size for where you plan to put the image. They have pre-selected sizes or you can create a custom size to fit your needs. 

Word Cloud Size

Wordlist

View your list of words and how many times they are used in a document. Delete words you don’t want to use and change the color of the words by adding a color hex value. 

Word List

Gap Size

This is the spacing between the words. The words can be close together or far apart. 

Direction Of Words

Direction Of WordsThis allows you to pick a directions for the words. They can go horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and more. 

Direction Of Words Pop up

Invert

InvertWhen you select a shape, the words can be that shape or have the words show up around that shape

Invert your word cloudShapes

Pick what shape you want the words to take. Pick from their many different shapes or upload one of your own. 

Shapes
Themes/Colors

Here you can select the colors for your words. Themes provide pre-selected color schemes to choose from. With Colors, you can customize the colors you want on your word cloud. 

Font

Customize the font for your word cloud. Pick a font that fits your blog style and brand. 

Now that you have the perfect word cloud for your blog, you can export it and save to your computer. From the File button, click on Save As Image. In the pop up you can give the image a name and select the file type. With the image saved to your computer, you can add it to your blog post or insert it on your sidebar

Here is one we created from a recent Typepad post. 

Typepad Word Cloud CroppedShow off your word cloud by sharing your blog post or blog in the comments. We would love to see how creative you can be! 


Accepting Payments On Your Blog With PayPal

Accepting Payments On Your Blog With PayPal

While there are many ways to accept payments on your blog, PayPal has been around for a long time and is a trusted service that allows customers to pay with cards, PayPal Exclusives, and local payment methods. It continues to be the leader in accepting online payments for many businesses (including Typepad!) If you are ready to sell your product through your blog, try PayPal as your payment option.

In your PayPal account Dashboard, there is a section titled "Quick Links" - click "Show More" for more options, select "Accept Payments."

Accept Payments With PayPal

You have a few options on how you can accept payment on your blog - whether it's selling an exclusive download, recurring payments to access exclusive content, or a button to accept donations.

Sell On Your Website With PayPalIn this case, we will use PayPal Checkout. With PayPal Checkout, you can get paid online and enable buyers to pay the way they want to pay. Click the blue button "Choose a way to integrate." From simple to completely custom, no matter which integration you choose, PayPal Checkout will intelligently present the most relevant payment types to your customers. Let's do the "Quick Setup" option which can be set up in minutes by copying prebuilt code and pasting it next to the products or services you want to sell on your website - click "Start Setup."

PayPal Checkout

In the Setup page you can customize the appearance of your item, then click "Copy Code" on the bottom of the page.  You can now paste the code on to your blog. 

In this example, a separate page was created to sell a photo print.  In the Compose Page, I switched to the HTML editor tab and pasted the code from PayPal - do NOT switch to the Rich Text editor.  To preview your PayPal Check, click the Preview button.  Add any additional text or images to the page and publish. 

Accepting Payments On Your Blog With PayPal
Are you currently accepting payments on your blog? Share your link in the comments so we can see what you're selling! 


Support A Cause With Your Blog - GoFundMe And Kickstarter

Support_cause1

If there is a charity or fundraiser you feel really passionate about, are you using your blog to share this with your readers?  Many websites offer an "embed" option to share information from their site to yours.  GoFundMe and Kickstarter include an Embed option to share their fundraisers to other places besides social media accounts. 

NOTE: Because you are dealing with a third-party script, it is recommended that you complete your blog draft first and then proceed to insert your script last, just as you're ready to schedule or publish your post.

Locate the "Share" button on the GoFundMe or Kickstarter page and select "Embed", this will direct you to a pop-up window where you can customize the appearance of your makeshift fundraising widget.

Embed Code From GoFundMe
Embed Code from GoFundMe
Kickstarter
Embed Code from Kickstarter

The code is generated for you, all you need to do is copy and paste it into your blog post. It's very easy to embed HTML code into your post using the HTML editor tab on the Compose Page. In your draft, switch to the HTML tab.

Html_tab

We do not recommend switching back to the Rich Text editor as this type of editor does not read javascript and you will not see the fundraising widget appear on the Compose page but it will appear if you click the Preview button. Just make sure you copy and paste the embed code entirely with all its closing tags to ensure it will display properly.

 


Quick Tip: Change The Color Of Your Navigation Links In Magazine

Navigation Bar

Our new Magazine Layout showcases your blog posts using a featured card layout. You can further customize this theme by changing the color of the navigation bar links to match your branding. Let us show you how. 

The Magazine layout is available to our Beta Team members. Join our Beta Team and have access to all the new features and provide feedback. To access the Custom CSS you need to have the Unlimited plan or higher.  

Custom CSSTo add Custom CSS, click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on the Design tab, then Custom CSS.

Copy the CSS code below and paste it onto the page. 

.nav-item a, .nav-item a:visited {
   color: #DD77D2;
}

Next, update the color: to include the hex color value you want for your navigation links. Once you are done, click on Save Changes. 

Example of colors:

Black
.nav-item a, .nav-item a:visited {
   color: #000000;
}

Blue
.nav-item a, .nav-item a:visited {
   color: #002fa7;
}

Red
.nav-item a, .nav-item a:visited {
   color: #ff4105;
}

You can customize other parts of the Magazine. We have a great post to help you customize your blog title.

What other parts of the Magazine Layout do you want to customize? Let us know in the comments and you may see a post about it!


Quick Tip: Move Date Above Blog Post Title

Quick Tip_

Today we're here to bring you a quick CSS trick in customizing your blog's design.  In order to take advantage of the Custom CSS feature, you need to have an Unlimited plan or higher.  

By default, the post date appears under the blog post title: 

Screen Shot 2020-04-19 at 10.28.08 AM

Some bloggers prefer the date to appear above the post title.  This can be achieved by inserting the following CSS code at Design > Custom CSS: 

.post { position: relative; }
.date-header.font-dateheader {
position: absolute;
top: 0;
}
.individual-post h5.date-header, .post h5.date-header {
margin: -19px 0 10px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
}

After saving your changes, the date will appear on top

Post Date On Top Of Title

You may need to adjust the measurement for the bottom spacing (in this example, it is set to -19px). 

What ways do you use Custom CSS to customize your blog's appearance? Let us know in the comments!


Customize your Blog Title in our New Magazine Layout

Customize your Blog Title in our New Magazine Layout

With the shiny new Magazine Layout, you can share a new look for your blog. The Custom CSS feature allows you to customize the design to fit your brand. (Custom CSS is available with the Unlimited plan. Click here to check your plan.)

The Magazine Layout is currently available in beta. It's easy to join the beta team to take advantage of new features. Learn more.

Now, we are going to share some CSS tips for changing the formatting of the Blog Title.

Change Blog Title Size

At Design > Custom CSS, you can add the below code to the text field:

.blog-header-logo { font-size: 40px; }

Adjust 40px to the preferred size for the title and click Save Changes.

Change Blog Title Font

.blog-header-logo { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; }

Change Blog Title Color

.blog-header-logo { color: #800000 !important; }

(The !important code in this CSS is...important.)

Make Blog Title Bold and Bolder

.blog-header-logo { font-weight: bold; }

Additional options: bolder, lighter, normal

What other tweaks do wish to try out with the new Magazine Layout? Let us know in the comments, and we'll include the CSS in another blog post.


Quick Tip: Align Your Blog Title In Design Lab

Align Your Blog Title In Design Lab

The Design Lab is our easy to customize, mobile friendly theme. When you don't add a banner to your theme, your blog name and description will be centered on the theme. 

You can change it up by adding a bit of CSS code to left or right align the title and description. 

Quick note: If you want to make changes to the CSS code, you need an Unlimited plan or higher. You can quickly upgrade if you do not have this plan. 

Add Alignment to your Title and Description

Click on the Blogs > Name of blog > Design > Custom CSS. In the box, paste in the code for the alignment you want below. Last, click on Save Changes. 

Left Align CSS Code:

#banner h1, #banner h2 { text-align: left; }

Right Align CSS Code: 

#banner h1, #banner h2 { text-align: right; }

Left Alignment Your Blog Title

Right Alinment Your Blog Title

Now that you have aligned your blog title and description share your blog in the comments. We'd love to take a look. 

 


Spring Cleaning: Cleaning Your Blog Sidebar

Spring_clng

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!

Loading Slow

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.

Typelist Links

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. 

Don't forget to check out other ways to clean up your blog from your friends at Typepad!


5 Ways To Clean Up Your Blog

5 Ways To Clean Up Your Blog

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!

CheckmarkNew Theme

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. 

Featured Cards

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.

CheckmarkCheck 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: 

  1. Navigation Bar
  2. Social Media icons or links
  3. Any links on your sidebar
  4. 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

CheckmarkDoes 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. 

If the blog doesn't show up, you will need to check your registrar settings and forward the non-www version of your domain to the www version. 

CheckmarkBanners And Logos

Canva and PicmonkeyWhen 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. 

Free Image SitesWhen 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. 

CheckmarkUpdate 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: 

  1. Contact info. How can people contact you about your blog?
  2. 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. 
  3. What is the blog about? Create a short summary of what readers can learn from your blog.
  4. 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?
  5. Are there any important milestones or interesting facts about your blog? Was it featured in any well known publications?

CheckmarkMeta 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!