Posts categorized "Typepad University" Feed

Spotlight Your Categories On A Front Page

Spotlight Categories

If you don't want a traditional blog structure you can use our Front Page feature to showcase different categories in your blog. Readers can click on an image link and see all the posts in that category. 

Full Site Image

First, you will need to create a page to be used as your Front Page. Customize the page with the text you want, then add the images you created for your categories.

TipWhen designing the image you want to use, we recommend Canva. It is a great editing tool to help you create custom images. Check out our article "Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog" to learn more about using Canva. In our example, the image size was 1000 X 300 pixels wide. 

After you have inserted your images, you need the URL’s to the categories you want to showcase. Go to your blog archive, either by clicking on the link in your navigation bar or adding archives.html at the end of your URL.

Archive in Nav Bar

Click on the category you want to showcase and save the URLs somewhere. Once you have a list of your category URLs, go back to your page and make the images a clickable link.

Front Page Archives

To make an image a clickable link, click on the image, then click on the Insert/Edit Link button. Add the category URL, then click OK. Do this to all the images you added.

Once you have the front page exactly how you want it, you need to make it the front page. Click on the Settings tab, then click on Posts. Scroll down to Front Page, then select Display a “Page” as the front page. In the drop down, select the page you created. Scroll to the bottom and click on Save Changes.

  Front Page Feature

We did our example with a one column template. This will move all your modules to the bottom of your blog. Create a test blog to make these design changes. Once you have the design perfect, you can apply it to your current blog. 

Show off your new blog in our comments! Tell us how do you make your blog, not look like a blog. 


Amazing Tools To Aid In Blogging

Tools for blogging

There are many tools in a blogger's arsenal that help make blogging easy and fun. Here are some tools we use here at Typepad.

TitlePortent’s Content Idea Generator

Here you can add a subject and this site will generate example titles. Find one that works for you and start blogging. If you are stuck on what to write about, this site will provide you with a plethora of ideas.

Bloglovin', Paper.li, Pocket

Being a trusted source in a community means you need to know what is being said about your chosen subject. These sites will send blog posts about any subject directly to your inbox. Use these posts for inspiration, or reference in your own blog, when you talk about the same subject.

Bloglovin Paperli logo Pocket

Hootsuite

Getting your message out there means posting to many different social media sites. Doing it one by one can take a lot of time. Hootsuite lets you manage your social media channels in one place. You can also look at analytics!

Hootsuite-horizontal-black-registered

Pexels, Pixabay, Gratisography

Not everyone has the time to take the perfect image that fits your post. These image galleries will have the perfect image for you to use, saving time and money. They have CC0 Creative Common License images for you to use freely on your site.

Pexels Gratisography Pixabay-logo.svg

 

Canva_logoCanva and PicMonkey Imageedit_1_4631193216

Once you have the perfect image, you can edit it! Canva and Picmonkey are great editors that can take your images to the next level. Read our Everything Typepad post about both image editors.

Blogging on the go

You may be struck with inspiration while exploring this great big world of ours. Don't worry! You can still create the perfect blog post on your mobile device. You can save a post for later or publish on the spot. Go to Typepad.com on your mobile device and log in. Explore our  Mobile Compose experience and let the journey begin! 

What tools do you use to help you blog? Share in the comments below! 


New Feature: Embed Instagram Posts

Instagram and Typepad

Today we are excited to share with everyone our new Instagram feature. You can now embed posts from your Instagram or someone you follow. This is great when discussing latest news or showing your readers "behind the scenes" of your blog! Working from your desktop or your mobile device, you can add your Instagram posts for your readers!

Add an Instagram post to your blog

From the Compose page, click on the Instagram button. In the pop up, paste in the embed code from Instagram. Click on Ok. Super easy!

Embed Instagram

Get Your Instagram Embed Code Typepad Tip Instagram

Not sure how to get the embed code from Instagram? We can show you! From your browser (either on your desktop or mobile device) go to your Instagram account.

From your browser, you can go to any Instagram account (including yours) if you know the username. Go to the URL http://instagram.com/username (replace the username with the Instagram username.)

Click on the image you want to embed to view the three dots. Click on the three dots and then click on the Embed button. Click on Copy Embed Code. 

Embed code from Instagram

Copy the code Instagram provides, then go back to Typepad and paste it in. 

This is a perfect way to introduce your readers to your Instagram and we hope you love it just as much as we do! Feel free to leave us a comment so we know how you like using this new feature. If you have any suggestions for ways we can improve it, make sure to leave comments on that too! If you need more information about embedding your Instagram post, check out the Knowledge Base. As always, the support team is here to help you out. You can open a help ticket with any questions to get one-on-one support.


Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog

Using Canva and Picmonkey to create stunning visual content for your blog

On average, visual content performs 4.4 times better than text based content (Source Chute and Digiday).

Let that fact sink in. If your blog is nothing but text, you may be missing out on readers. Creating visual content can be daunting. At Typepad, we use two great programs, Canva and PicMonkey, to create and edit visual content for our blog. Each site has a free version you can start using today.

Canva long

Canva is a great product to help you create beautiful designs. They have a free version for you to go in and start exploring their countless features. You can customize one of their many templates or start from scratch. They have great tutorials to help get you started using Canva.

The pre-made templates that Typepad uses the most are the Blog Titles and Social Media templates. Preset dimensions make it easy to create visual content that will fit nicely in your blog or social media posts. Canva is also useful in creating infographics. Infographics are a great way to provide information in a visual form. The Typepad team loves to use them, as you can see with our Google Design article, because they are easy for readers to digest a large amount of information visually.

Some examples of visual content created through Canva:

Hunt banner

Email domain

 

 

PM logo

PicMonkey is a creative tool to help you edit images. You have a chance to show your creativity and style. They have a free version for you to start using right away. You can upload an image, add filters, and add text or overlays to an image. PicMonkey is great for editing a profile picture for your About page on your blog or social media sites. One feature we like is the collage feature. This allows you to have multiple images in one to fit into Facebook, Pinterest and blog posts. Their tutorials are easy to follow and can help you take an image and add pizzazz. Don’t monkey around, upload a picture and start today.

An example of images created through PicMonkey:

Brianna quote Laura quote


Now that you have all the tools you need to start adding great images to your blog posts! If there are other free or inexpensive image editing tools you use, let us know in the comments.


What Mobile Designs Exist For Me to Use?

If you've been following our recent posts about mobile designs, you're now familiar with how to switch to a mobile design and you've learned some design principles to apply to your new mobile design.

We're now going to give you an overview of each mobile design option we have to help you figure out which one will work best for you and your blog.

First we have Snap:

Snap
Red Snap

Snap is a simple design, with twelve different accents colors for you to choose from.  If you like having a minimalist blog, this one is a good choice for you.

Next up is Sol:

Sol
Birdseye Blue

Sol is also of a minimalist nature, but adds more color to your blog, making it stand out.  It has ten different colors from you to choose from, so you can find the perfect color for your blog.

Next up is our Design Lab.  Here's a few examples of the variety you'll see:

Nimbles
Some Design Lab Options

In total, there are eighteen pre-made designs for you to choose from.  They include options with banners and without banners, in darker and lighter colors, and everything in between.

Like one of the pre-made designs but want a different banner or want to make other design changes?  Then choose the design you want to edit, apply it to your blog, and go to Design > Style.  There you can make all the changes you wish, without even needing to use CSS.  Simply select an option like Navigation or Sidebar and edit to your heart's content.

Also under the Style tab, you can find a selection of pre-made Color and Font collections.  This gives you the option to choose even more pre-made design options and apply them easily to your blog.

Colors_collection
Colors Collection

Finally, you can also use our Theme Builder's Responsive option:

Theme_responsive
Theme Builder Responsive Design

This allows you to use the familiar Theme Builder, but also make your design responsive.  If you're scared to dive into the Design Lab, but still want a responsive design, you can use this as a beginner step.

As you can see, there's a great many options for responsive designs with Typepad! You can find more information in our Knowledge Base or open a help ticket if you have any more questions or need more assistance.


How Do I Switch to a Mobile Design?

A request that we get frequently in our Help Tickets is "Can I switch my design to something mobile-friendly?"  The answer is: YES! And it is easier than you think! With your Typepad account, all of your blog designs are saved. You can apply your saved design to a current, new, or multiple blogs.  

To switch your blog to a mobile-friendly, or Responsive design, we recommend first creating a test blog. When it comes time to pick a design for your test blog under the "Design" tab, we have a huge selection of pre-made designs under the category "Design Lab (Responsive).  We have a selection of pre-made designs under the category "Design Lab (Responsive)":

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.15.01 PM

These pre-made designs can be a starting point for editing and customizing a new design for your blog using the Design Lab at Design > Style.  The Design Lab was created so you do not need to use CSS to make customizations to your design. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 4.48.42 PM

In addition to these themes, you can also set up a mobile design using the themes Snap, Sol, and the "Responsive" option of Theme Builder.

OK! You selected your design, layout, and applied it to your test blog.  There are plenty of ways to customize these themes the Design Lab and CSS if you have an Unlimited Plan or higher.  If you have joined the Beta team, you can take advantage of the "Style" option for Nimble Design Lab, which allows you to customize your design without the use of any code. 

Once you have your Responsive design just perfect for the world to see, it is time to apply it to your main blog.  Last Summer we shared tips on how to manage your saved blog designs, which you can apply here.  Switch over to the blog you want to make mobile-friendly and click the Design tab.  Scroll down to "Your Designs" and look for the Thumbnail for your new responsive design: 

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 3.50.14 PM

Click "Actions", in the drop-down menu, choose "Apply."  Once you click this, the page will refresh with the message "The selected design has been applied to your blog. View your blog" on top.  Congratulations! You just made your blog mobile-friendly! 

A quick note, if you want to make all of your blogs in your account Responsive, you can follow the steps listed.  We do recommend creating a duplicate design for each blog (click "Actions > Duplicate") in case you want to make a design change for one blog but not have it apply towards the other blogs.


Forward your email to Outlook

Forward your Typepad Email to Outlook (2)

Continuing in our email domain series, we are going to learn how to forward your emails to your Outlook account. After you have purchased your domain and set up your email address, you can forward it to Outlook. For Outlook, you will need the IMAP and the SMTP. We recommend you save this information somewhere safe. You will also need the email address (username) and password for your webmail account.

Reminder: If you misplaced this information you can find it in your domain account. Go to domains.typepad.com and log in. Click on My Account, then under Manage Free Service type in your domain and select Email Services from the drop down. Click on Manage Users/ Accounts, then you click on the email address. Here you will see the mail settings information.
If you forgot your webmail password you can reset it here too. To log into your webmail go to: http://webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomian.com with the domain you purchased). 

The following instructions are for Outlook 2016. The instructions for each version are similar. If you would like specific instructions for the version you have, check out this great post Outlook Email Setup from Microsoft.  After you select the version, click on Other Email Account (or I don’t know).

Let’s get started

Open Outlook 2016. Click on the File tab, then click on Add Account. Click on Advanced Setup, then Manually setup or additional server types. Select POP or IMAP then click on Next. You will be taken to a window to add all your account information.

In the Add Account window, you will enter all the information you saved. Under User Information, include your name and the email address you want to add. Under Server Information, change the Account Type to IMAP and put in the IMAP and SMTP information. Under Login Information enter the email address and password for your webmail account.

OL 3

Click on More Settings. Under the Outgoing Server tab, then select the box for My outgoing server requires authentication. Click on the Advanced tab, change Use the following type of encrypted connection to SSL. This will change the Incoming server (IMAP) port number to 993, that is what you want. Change the Outgoing server (SMTP) port number from 25  to 465, then click on OK. This will take you back to the Add Account Window. 

OL 5

Click on Next to test the connections. Once the tests are successful, click on Close. Last, click on Finish to complete the set up.

If you have a gmail account you want to forward your emails to, check out our post Forward Your Typepad Email To Gmail. If you have an email client you would like instructions for, let us know in the Comments. We would be happy to provide more how-to's. 


Typepad 101: Two More Easy Options for Visitor Tracking and Stats

Earlier this month, we shared an in-depth look at Google's Analytics service for visitor tracking and site stats. If you checked that out and that service doesn't quite hit the mark, we have a couple more suggestions for tracking.

First is Typepad's built-in Stats. This feature comes already set up with your blog - you don't have to do anything to activate it or use it. Simply click on the Stats link from your Dashboard or on the Overview tab if you're already working with the blog.

Typepad Stats

At the top, you'll notice a handy summary with the pageviews for the day, lifetime pageviews and info about social media traffic. Under that is a graph that shows daily traffic for the last 30 days. You can use the little Edit button to choose the number of days to show. And then under that is a list referrers to the blog. That will show the page the referrer linked to and the referring URL if that's available.

If you're looking for more details about your visitors, check out Clicky. This service has both free and paid subscription options, offers a ton of metrics, and has a slick and easy to use interface.They even offer an affiliate program that you can easily opt into.

Clicky provides the code to add to your blog to start tracking right after you register. Just copy the code and paste it into an Embed your own HTML module in your sidebar.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 5.01.17 PM

Clicky has tons of info about using and maximizing their service in their Knowledge Base.

Do you have a favorite stats tracker? Let us know in the comments for this post!


Typepad 101: Your Blog And Google Analytics

You put a lot of work into your blog and you're getting comments but not all readers leave comments.  Who else is reading your blog?  One way to find out is by checking your Pageviews under the "Overview" tab which shows you where your visitors are coming from.  This is included with every Typepad blog.

If you want to gather more information on your blog visitors, you have the option to connect your blog to Google Analytics for free.  There are a lot of features and doodads to learn about your blog through Google Analytics.  Today we will go through the more popular features that will show you the information you really want to know.

WHEN? (How about right now?)

A pretty cool feature is their "Real-Time" option which shows you a live picture of who is looking at your blog right at that very moment.  Want to really see how it works? Open up your "Real-Time" page in your Google Analytics account, tweet out your latest blog post, and see the number shoot up!

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.36.06 AM

WHERE?

Besides Real-Time, the "Audience" section gives you a detailed demographic of your readers including geographic location.

GEO

HOW?

Let the Acquisitions section be your best friend.  Here is where you can see if your visitors are clicking from Google, Facebook, Pinterest, or another blog linking back to you.  You can view this through Acquisition > Overview > All Traffic > "Referrals" or "Source/Medium."  

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.29.03 PM

See if your tag and keywords in your title and post are working in search engines with "Search Engine Optimization."  You may even discover some new keywords and phrases visitors are using to discover your blog that you may not have thought of.  Here is a shot from my personal blog:

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 1.31.53 PM
Who knew quoting a Pharrell Williams song would get so much attention?

WHAT?

You can get statistics on specific blog posts by viewing "Behavior" where it shows statistics for specific permalinks. This can be individual blog posts or a certain Page.  You can also track what page on your blog visitors are arriving to first (Landing Pages) and leaving your blog from (Exit Pages).

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 1.37.14 PM

Google Analytics has more tools to help give you a clearer picture of who is visiting your blog. Having a better understanding of who is visiting your blog and what they are most interested in will help you produce better blog posts in the future.


Typepad 101: Introduce Yourself to Your Readers

We've shared with you in past articles and series how important it can be to forge a connection with your blog's readers. It's not always your content that immediately draws someone in; sometimes it's as simple as an introductory message and image. Encourage readers to give your blog more than a cursory glance by sharing information about yourself. A good introduction provides an engaging, friendly, or interesting sample of who you are, and what you and your blog are about.

In the screenshot below, you'll see a profile image and an introduction at the very top of the sidebar on the right. While the content on the left is designed to engage the visitor's eyes, they're pulled to the image and introduction on the right. You can use this to your advantage to provide the visitor a brief "here's who I am and what I'm about; I use this blog as a platform for..." summation. Consider trying different content by changing it up on occasion, and see if you notice any changes in engagement.

Sidebar Profile Image

The features you'll use are the Profile Photo and Introduction modules. To find them, go to Design > Content. For the Profile Photo module, select About You > Profile Photo (don't forget to first upload a photo to your profile). For the Introduction module, select About You > Introduction.

You'll find that the Profile Photo module provides two sets of options:

  1. Select a size for your photo (e.g. 150, 200, 250, 300 pixels)
  2. Select a style for the photo (e.g. square, circle, rounded corners, rounded with border)

Play with the options until you find the combination that you feel looks best with your blog and style. In the example above, the combination is 250px and circle.

The Introduction module is an open text field that allows you to enter any text you feel is pertinent; in this case, a summary about you and/or your blog. It allows HTML, so you can create paragraphs, add inline CSS, and more. (If you need a brush-up on HTML, why not review our Back to Basics series on HTML!) If you prefer not to use HTML, you can use multiple Introduction modules and arrange them in the order you want them to read via the Content screen.

Adjust the position that the modules have in your sidebar, and you only have to take the next step of saving your changes. That's it! Two simple-to-use features that provide you the opportunity to transition your visitors into readers.