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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:

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:

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:

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

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

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 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: (replace 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


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



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?


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.

Typepad 101: Uploading Images to Your Sidebar

As a blogger, you love to share your passions with your readers.  One of the best - and easiest ways - to do that is to upload images to your blog.

You probably know how to add an image to a post (click that little icon with a picture of a mountain), but you might not know how to add an image to your sidebar.  It's a great way to have an image that's always there that you'd like your readers to see.  It can be of you, your family, your pet, a book you wrote - anything.

It's easy to do, so let's get to it! First, go to Design > Content and look for the Widgets category.  Find the "Add a Sidebar Image" option and click the "Add this module" button. Click the Upload Image button to open the Insert Image window. Click Browse or Choose File, locate the image on your computer, and click Open. Finally, click Insert Image.

image from

Once you've done this, you'll have several options that you can use to enhance your photo.  You can give it a caption to be displayed along with the image.  You can even link the image to a new URL or open the original image in a pop-up window.  It's so simple and a great way to make a big impact on your blog.

image from

As always, our Knowledge Base has additional information on this and many other topics.

As a special bonus tip, don't forget that you can set up your Instagram photos to automatically display in your sidebar too!

Have any questions or need help with something?  A member of our support team is ready to help you!

Typepad 101: Using a Different URL for Each Blog

Here at Typepad, we want our subscribers to get as much out of their accounts as possible. One great feature we offer is allowing for multiple blogs within the same account. Subscribers at our Plus level are able to create three blogs and subscribers at the Unlimited level and above are able to create as many blogs as they'd like.

When you create a new blog, it will use the subdomain you've chosen for your account, like Have you ever wanted to create an additional blog on your account but wondered how you'd use a separate URL for that content?

The answer is domain mapping. This allows you to purchase a unique domain for your blog, like, and configure that in Typepad so it becomes the new URL for the blog. The original Typepad URL will still work. You won't lose any incoming traffic to those URLs but the domain address will become the new default. Over time, search engines will index the mapped URL and phase out the Typepad URL. You'll retain any search engine ranking you started with prior to mapping.

Each blog on your account can have its own domain mapped to it, even if you already have one of those domains mapped to the entire account. This will allow you to have totally separate blogs with different URLs without having to open multiple accounts.

Domain Mapping with TypepadIn the past, purchasing a domain was very expensive but most registrars now offer affordable pricing and easy-to-use interfaces. We've recently added integrated domain mapping with a registration partner that offers very competitive pricing.

You can get started in Account > Domain Mapping and full details and steps are here. Registering your domain through Typepad allows you to do everything in one place, including receive support for any questions you have.

If you already own a domain through another registrar and want to use it for a Typepad blog, you can do that, too. The only requirement is that the registrar will need to allow for CNAME records. We have a full overview in our Knowledge Base.

If your registrar doesn't allow for CNAME records, you may be able to transfer the domain to our registrar. Just open a help ticket and we can guide you through the process.

Do you have questions about domain mapping? Check out the FAQ or open a help ticket in your account and we'll be happy to help!

Typepad 101: Blogging in a non-English language

A question we often receive from potential customers is, "Can I blog in a language other than English on Typepad?" The answer is, yes, you can. In this post, we will walk you through creating a blog in a non-English language. We'll also showcase a couple of Typepad blogs in different languages.

The first thing to do is to go through all the areas in Typepad where you can customize the text that appears on your blog. Start on the Settings > Basics page for your blog and enter the blog title and blog description in your desired language. Next, head over to Design > Content. You'll want to be sure that you update both the navigation bar and blog footer modules so that the links use your preferred language. On the Settings > Categories page, you can delete or rename the default categories and add new categories. This allows you to set up all your blog categories in your desired language.

There are a few other places you might not have thought to update the language. Both posts and comments can be paginated (spread across multiple pages) and you can customize the links that allow readers to navigate across the different pages. To customize the comment pagination links, go to Settings > Comments and look for the Navigation Links section. For the post pagination links, go to Settings > Posts and again look for Navigation Links.

While you're on the Settings > Posts page, you can make the next important change: configure the Post Display Language.

Post Display Language

The results of changing the Post Display Language depend on what language you choose. For all of the languages on the list, the dates that appear in the date-based archives and the side calendar will be updated. For Japanese and the larger European languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Finnish, the post footer and much of the automatically generated sidebar content will be updated. The automatically generated sidebar content includes the About Page Link, Post Feed, Archive lists, Recent Posts, and Recent Comments.

If your language uses a different date or time format than is common in the U.S., you can also configure the Post Date Format and Post Time format on the Settings > Posts page to use this format.

Now it's time to set up your blog's content. You can create TypeLists and photo albums in your own language. Many sidebar content modules are also highly customizable, including the Copyright module, Embed Your Own HTML (you can type text in this module, not just HTML code), and the Introduction module, among others. If you want to add a signature or a welcome message in your own language, you can do that as well.

If you're good at making graphics, you can also create a custom banner that displays your blog title and description in your preferred language. Sidebar header images are a great way to add impact to your blog's design - and you can also use them if your language isn't fully supported as a Post Display Language.

Once your blog design and settings are configured as much as possible in your desired language, it's time to get posting. You can type any language that you want for your blog posts - if your computer's keyboard supports it, you can use it.

Looking for inspiration? Check out HarpBlog. Besides their main blog in English, they have French and Spanish language blogs.

Le Harpblog

The Japanese-language blog, 小鳥ピヨピヨ, has a cute design with lots of graphics, and is also a good example of language customization using Typepad's default settings for a fully-supported language.


There's a final option that you may want to use if you're experienced in coding in HTML. Advanced Templates allow you total control over every aspect of your blog's design. This may be a good choice for you if you're comfortable with HTML and if the language you want to use is not fully supported.

Are you blogging in a language other than English? Share a link to your blog in the comments so that everybody can check it out!