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Quickly Create Your Store With Ecwid

Quickly Create Your Store With Ecwid

We've integrated Ecwid! A popular e-commerce platform, Ecwid offers multiple plans for all sizes of businesses. You can get started with any plan (even free!) to launch your shop and, what's more, we've made it super simple to integrate it into your Typepad blog. Join our Beta team to get early access to Ecwid.

Now, let's go through the process together.

To get started, you'll need to create an Ecwid account, which you can begin by browsing to Blog > Settings > Ecwid. Click on Create your own store at Ecwid to be redirected and start the process.

Ecwid Store

The Ecwid login page will show in a new browser tab. Select Create new Ecwid account to start your new account. First, you'll be asked to enter your name, email address, and password. Your email address will be used as your username.  Now, there are 4 steps to finish setting up your Ecwid account. 

Step 1: Give your store a name, select your country, and currency. 

Step 1 store name

Step 2: Enter your business' physical address. If you don't have a company address yet, please enter an address from where you'll be shipping your orders. 

Step 3: Tell Ecwid about yourself. They want to know about your experience selling products, what type of product you're selling, and if you're selling for someone else. 

Step 3 Tell us about yourself

Step 4: Tell Ecwid about your website. They want to know if you have a website and with which service. Currently, Typepad is not listed. You can select Other, then enter Typepad into the box. 

Congratulations! You've created your Ecwid account. Now you'll need to add your products into Ecwid. 

In Ecwid, you will see a To-Do list. Part of the To-Do list is adding your product to your account. Click on Add your products or services and follow their instructions. Once you are done adding your products you're ready to add your store to your blog.

Ecwid Todo list

Click on the Dashboard link of your Ecwid account. At the bottom of the page you'll find your Store ID. Copy this number to be used in Typepad. 

In your Typepad account, go back to the Ecwid section (Blog > Settings > Ecwid). Under Already an Ecwid user? paste in your Store Id and click on Save Changes. 

Next, click on Create Store Page in my Blog. Typepad will create a page for you titled Store. You can add text to tell people more about what you're selling.

NOTE: You won't see the products you added on the Compose Page or Preview, only when you publish the page. 

Share your store on your blog by adding it to your navigation bar or sidebar with a fun image. 

Now that you've created and integrated your store, share the link with us in the comments! We'd love to see (and maybe purchase) what you're selling!


Verify Your Blog With Pinterest

Verify Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular social media platform. If you're familiar with Pinterest, you've likely spent an afternoon or more (we won't judge) dreaming about and pinning future projects. If you're on Pinterest, take a moment and make sure your blog is verified.

Not on Pinterest, what are you waiting for? Create your Pinterest Business account today. Once your account is set up, easily share it with your readers by adding a board or your profile to your blog sidebar. Make it easy for readers to share your posts on their Pinterest boards by adding a Save button to your images. When you verify your blog with Pinterest you get access to more analytics to inform your strategy on Pinterest. A verified blog also shows a small globe icon that appears next to your URL on your Pinterest profile. Readers can be assured they're viewing pins from a reliable source. 

There're two ways to verify your blog with Pinterest: add HTML tags; or upload an HTML file. Today we'll walk you through how to verify your blog each way. 

Log into your Pinterest Business account, click on the down arrow on the top right. Then click on Settings. 

Pinterest Step 1 Settings

Now click on the Claim tab. Under Claim your website, enter your  blog domain. Don't enter the www, only your domain like in their example.

Step 2 ClaimIn the pop-up you're given the option to Add HTML tags or upload an HTML file. Below you'll see the steps for both options.

Pinterest Step 3 Select OptionsAdd HTML Tags

Select Add HTML and some code will show up in a box. Copy the code and add it to your Head module in Typepad. You need the unlimited plan or higher to have access to the Head module.

In a new tab, log into your Typepad account. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Select the Design tab, then Head on the left. Paste in your code from Pinterest and click on Save Changes. 

Now go back to Pinterest and click on the red Next button. The next pop-up will confirm you have added the code to your head module. Click on Submit. 

Pinterest Step 4 Submit message

Now Pinterest will review your blog and email you once it's approved. This can take up to 24 hours. 

Upload HTML File

Select Upload HTML file and then click on Download. 

Pinterest Step 5 Download

Save the file to your computer. Don't change the name or anything about the file. We recommend you save it to your desktop so you can easily find it. 

Open a new tab and log into your Typepad account. In Typepad go to Library > File manager. What you do next will depend on your domain. If you are using your example.typepad.com URL you will upload the file to your Home folder. The Home folder is the default folder when you go to the File Manager. On the top right, click on Choose file and select the Pinterest file from your computer. Then click on upload. 

If you have a domain mapped to your blog, you want to add the Pinterest file to the blog folder. From File Manager, click on the specific blog folder, then upload the Pinterest file to that folder. 

Pro Tip: Not sure what blog folder to look for? Click on Blogs > Name of blog > Settings. Next to Blog Folder you will see the name of the folder. This is the folder name you're looking for under File Manager. 

In Pinterest, click on the Next button and then Submit to claim your blog with Pinterest. Pinterest will review your blog and email you once it's approved. This can take up to 24 hours

Once your blog is claimed you will see a green check-mark next to the domain in Pinterest

Pinterest Step 6 ClaimedNow you're verified with Pinterest! We'd love to see how you're using Pinterest, so drop your Pinterest board links in the comments below.


How To Make Simple Changes So Category Links Stand Out

How To Make Simple Changes So Category Links Stand Out

The Category Module automatically alphabetizes the category names on your blog. By adding a bit of code to the category name you can customize the order seen on your blog. In this post, we'll talk about other ways you can customize your category list. Let's get started! 

Find Your Categories

All your categories are listed in one place. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Select Settings, then Categories to view all your categories. Next to the category name, click on Edit to make any changes. 

Category List

Change Category Order

To update the order add <!--1--> before the name of the category. Save your changes and then go to the next category and add the same thing but change the number to 2.  This will sort your categories to be in a specific order. 

Category Names: 

<!--1-->BBQ Books
<!--2-->BBQ Tools
<!--3-->Favorite BBQ Recipes
<!--4-->BBQ Failures

Change the order of categories

Customize The Links

You can make your links stand out further by customizing the font, color, and style. Using our Design Lab themes, you quickly update the sidebar links on the Style tab. If you are using one of our other design themes, you can use the Custom CSS tab customize. We can show you how. 

Design Lab

From your Design tab, click on the Styles tab. On the right, click on the Sidebar. Here you can customize the color and font of the links to match your branding. 

Quick Tip: If you don't see the Custom CSS tab you will need to upgrade to an Unlimited Plan or higher. 

You can bold or italicize your category links with some CSS code. From the Design tab, click on Custom CSS. Paste in the CSS code below and click on Save Changes. 

Bold: 

.module-categories .module-content a { font-weight: bold; }

Italic

.module-categories .module-content a { font-style: italic; }

Bold and Italic

.module-categories .module-content a { font-weight: bold;font-style: italic; }

Other Themes

Using our other pre-made themes, Magazine theme, or Theme Builder, you can add Custom CSS to change the color and style. From the Design tab, click on Custom CSS. You can add the CSS below to customize.

.module-categories .module-content a { color: #003366; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; }

color: #003366; - Update the hex value to the hex value of the color you want. You can also delete it if you like the current color on your blog.

font-weight: bold; - This will bold the text. You can delete it if you don't want the text to be bold. There are other font weights you can try. Other options are bold, bolder, lighter, and number. Play with the different weights and see what you like the best. 

font-style: italic; - This will italicize your text. You can delete it if you don't want the text to be italic. Another option is oblique. Oblique is a form of type that slants slightly to the right.

Once you are done making the changes, click on Save Changes and view your blog! After you've customized your categories link, share your blog in our comments. We would love to see what you have done!


Quick Tip: How To Add A Quick And Easy Message To Your Comment Form

How To Add A Quick And Easy Message To Your Comment Form

Do you want to let your readers know about your comment policy before they comment? By adding a small bit of CSS code to your Design Lab or Magazine Layout - Featured Cards theme you can add a message over the comment form. If you have comment moderation enabled, for instance, you can let your readers know their comments won't appear right away. Or you may just want to ask for all commenters to submit their name and not a pseudonym.

Custom CSS is a feature available with the Pro Unlimited and higher plans. If you're on a lower plan, you'll need to upgrade

Typepad offers three types of commenting options: the default comments, Typepad Connect , and Disqus comments. The CSS code is slightly different depending on the commenting system you're using.

Not sure which commenting system you have on your blog? There's an easy way to check. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Select the Settings tab, then Comments. Along the top, it'll either say "Typepad Connect is currently enabled for the blog", "Typepad's default commenting system is currently enabled for the blog", or "Disqus Comments Enabled". Once you know the commenting system your blog is using, you can use the correct code below.

Please note, if you're using another 3rd-party commenting system, the below code will not apply.

Here's what our example will look like: 

Comment exampleFor the default commenting system, you can use the CSS code below:

#comments-open-login:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

For Typepad Connect comments, you can use the CSS code below:

#comments-signin:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

For Disqus comments, you can use the CSS code below:

#disqus_thread:before {
content: "Comments for this blog are held for moderation before they are published to the blog.";
display: block;
margin: 10px auto;
text-align: center;
padding: 5px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
background-color: #f9f9f9;
}

Within the CSS, you can edit the following attributes:

  • The content attribute is where you'll include the text you want to display above the comment form.
  • The margin can be increased or decreased to increase the space around the note.
  • The text-align attribute can be set to center, left, or right.
  • The padding around the text can be increased or decreased. Since our example includes a shaded box, the padding determines distance between the text and the outside of the box.
  • The border settings can be changed too. If you don't want a border, remove this attribute entirely.
  • The color code for the background-color can be adjusted. If you don't want to have a background color, you can remove this attribute.

You can also include other attribute snips — for example: font-weight: 600; — will make the text of your message bold. You can find other formatting attributes in the article on styling the post title with CSS.

After you customize the CSS specific to your comment type, go to Design > Custom CSS, enter the CSS code in the text field, then click Save Changes to update your site.

Do you already use CSS to insert a message to your readers above the comments? If so, share your tips to make it stand out or let us know in the comments how well it's working for you!


Learn How To Create An Informative 404 Error Page

Learn How To Create An Informative 404 Error Page

What do your readers see when they stumble upon a broken link? You can now create a custom 404 error page that will share the fun side of your brand and help readers find the information they need.  Let's get started!

Creating a 404 Error Page

First, you need to create your 404 error page. Click on the Blogs tab, then the name of the blog. Click on Posts tab, then Pages. Click on New Page to create your 404 error page. 

PRO TIP: We recommend you keep the title simple, like "404 Error" or "Sorry, wrong page". You can also edit the post URL to reflect the type of page it is. Click on Edit next to Permalink and update the URL. Keep it short by changing it to "404-error" or "404-error-page",

After you have the perfect 404 page published, click on the Settings tab, then Custom 404. Select the page title from the drop-down menu and click on Save Changes.  

BBQ Queen 404 Error page

If you no longer want a page to show as the error page, you can remove it. From the Custom 404 tab, select Remove Custom 404, then click on Save Changes.  

Now that you know how to create a 404 error page, let's go over what should go in your error message. We have complied a list of best practices to help you get started. 

Best Practices

 

Branding

When writing an error message or creating an image for your 404 page, keep in mind your brand's look and feel. Write in the same tone you write your blog posts and keep the images similar to ones you have on your blog. 

 

Clear Message

You want to make sure readers can clearly see they arrived at an error page but are on the correct website. Create a short message letting your readers know the URL they went to is not correct. Too much information can be distracting.

 

Entertaining Message

Your 404 page is a great place to use a little humor to engage readers. Add a funny or unique image to show the funnier side of your brand and rally your readers to keep searching your website. There is a thin line when using humor; make sure to not pack in to many jokes.  

 

Call To Action

Now that your reader is on the page, let them know what you want them to do. They can search your site for specific content or contact you with information on where they see the broken URL.

 

Search Your Site

When readers come to an error page, a search bar will encourage readers to stay on your site and find the information they need. You can add a Google Programmable Search Engine on your error page that will search just your website for posts and pages. It's easy to add the code from Google by using the Source Code button (looks like < >) on the Compose page. Keep in mind that you won't see the search box on the Compose page, you will need to preview or publish the page to see the search box. 

 

Contact Information

It's a good idea to know where readers are seeing this broken link. Have an easy way for readers to contact you and provide information on where they came from. Ask the reader to include all the information you believe you will need to investigate and correct the broken link. If you are being linked back to from another blogger, reach out to them with the correct link.

Now, you have everything you need to create a 404 page that will help keep your reader and direct them to the correct information. After you create your 404 page, share it with us. We would love to see what you create.


Add A Drop Down Menu To Your Navigation Bar

Add A Drop Down Menu To Your Navigation Bar

Everyone loves new features and we have a great one for all our bloggers. You can now a add drop down menu to your navigation bar in all Design Lab themes. Easily group together topics or ideas for your readers to browse through. 

This new feature is currently only available to our Beta Team. Learn how to join our Beta Team to be the first to test out new features. 

Let’s get started! 

From the Design tab, click on Content. Here you'll see all the modules for your blog. Click on the pencil to edit the Navigation Module. 

In the pop up, select Use Drop Down. Now you will see folders at the end of every link. Click on the folder to open the menu. 

Navigation Bar Pop Up

Add the title you want readers to see and the URL readers will go to. Once you are done, close the file by clicking on the open file. Now you'll see the file has turned dark to indicate there are sublinks under it.

Sauces Drop Down

Click on OK, then Save Changes. Now go see your blog! There will be an arrow next to the main link to indicate a drop down. When readers click on it, they'll see your sublinks. 

Drop Down On Blog

We hope you love this new feature and would love to see it in action on your blog! Put a link to your blog in the comments and share!


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! 


Get Started With Amazon Associates

Get Started With Amazon Associate

Now that you have been blogging for a while, you may be wondering "what's the next step?" You work hard to create amazing content, joining Amazon's Associate program is a great way to monetize that content. You can easily start an account and generate code to add to your blog.

Amazon's Associates program is a referral program. When a reader clicks on an Amazon link from your blog, you get a percentage of what they purchase in the next 24 hours. Let’s go over creating your Amazon Associates account. 

Join Amazon Associates Program

From the Amazon Associates homepage you can click on Join Now for Free to either log into your existing Amazon account or create a new account. 

Join Amazon Associate

Set-up Your Amazon Associates Account

Amazon will ask for your personal information. Add your name, mailing address and phone number. If you already have an account, you will see your information there. 

Step 1 Account Information
Add Your Blog URL

Amazon needs to know where you are on the web. Add the URL to your blog along with any social media sites (they only accept Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch.tv). If you have a mapped domain, add your mapped domain and your Typepad URL. Once you click on next, you will need to confirm your blog is not directed to anyone 13 years or younger. This is to be compliant with Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA").

Step 2 Your website

Set-up Profile

Here you can tell Amazon about your blog. What is your blog about? How do you drive traffic to your blog? How many unique views do you receive each month? Most of these questions are answered with multiple choice answers or picking from a drop down menu. You will need to accept their terms of service and then click Finished. 

Payment and Tax information

Tell Amazon how you would like to be paid. You can get a direct deposit after you have earned $10, an Amazon gift card after you earned $10, or have a check mailed to you after you earned $100. If you are unsure how you want to get paid or need to gather information you can skip this part. 

Next, you can add your tax information. You can set it up as an individual or as a business. If you select individual, you will need to add your full name and SSN/ITIN number. If you select business, you will need to select a Federal Tax Classification and add your EIN. 

Congratulations! You've created your Amazon Associates account. At first you are under their Application Review Process. You have 180 days to generate at least 3 sales to continue with your account. Amazon offers several ways to generate sales. Something we will go over in our next post!

 


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!


Add Meta Keywords and a Description to Your Post

Add Meta Keywords and Description to Your Post

When you need to know something, what's the first thing you do? You Google it! But how does Google know what sites to bring up? Along with a complex algorithm, they use your Metadata. Let's talk about Metadata and how you can add it to your blog.

What Is Metadata 

Metadata is data about your site. Each page and post on your blog has data that tells Search Engines what's on your page. When someone searches, Google uses this data (and much more) to bring up the most reliable pages to answer the search query. You can add Meta Keywords and Meta Description to your post to help Google bring up the right information for the person searching.

Meta Keywords

Google had devalued keywords recently. Some bad apples would stuff their site with valuable keywords to help their site rank higher in search results. It is unclear what weight keywords have in Google’s algorithm but it is still good to have them. We recommend long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are more like sentences about your blog post. They include things like “How to create a get well card” or “How to cook a steak”. Long tail keywords are helpful because more and more people are using Google Voice Search to find information instead of typing it in. (Hey Google!)

Meta Description

This is the description that shows under your post title and URL in Google. It shows a brief description of what the page is about. If the keywords searched for are in the post, Google will highlight it here. This can be generic for you whole blog and detailed for each blog post and page. 

Add Metadata To Your Blog

There are two different places in Typepad you can add Metadata. The first is an overview of the blog itself and the second is for each post or page.

Add To Your Whole Blog 

Keywords and Description for your blogSearch Engines want to know what your blog is about. This Metadata shares with them the keywords and description for your blog on a whole. You can update this as your blog evolves.

From the Settings tab, click on the SEO tab on the left. Here you can add Meta Keywords and Meta Description for your whole blog.

Add To Your Individual Blog Posts and Pages

Pagepost keywords and descriptionWhen you create a post or a page, you can add more customized Metadata that drills down what the particular post or page is about. Make sure to use keywords and phrases that show up in the post.
From the Compose page, scroll down to Keywords. Here you will enter your Keywords for the post. The Excerpt is where you will put a brief description about the post. Make sure to use as many of the keywords you can but sound natural as well.

A Quick Word About Google

You may spend some time crafting the perfect description for your blog, blog post, or page. You use the correct keywords and your readers can easily understand the description. Then you do a quick Google search and that doesn’t come up. Well, Google will do what it wants to sometimes.

First, if you recently published the page, Google may not have crawled it yet. They will use the first paragraph on the post or your blog description. You will need to wait for Google to crawl your page and update their information. If you are updating older posts or pages, you can ask Google to recrawl your page through Google Search Console.

Second, Google wants to showcase the search terms used. If your meta description does't have it, they will use text in the post that does have it. This is to show the searcher your post has the keywords they are looking for.

A great way to view what Google shares is to just search your site. To search just your site add site: before your domain.

Example: site:everything.typepad.com

Tip: You don’t need to add https or www.

Not sure which posts are popular or not? Add Google Analytics to your blog and let them do the tracking. 

Here you'll see the description that shows when your post comes up without keywords. If your blog is older, you may have a few pages to review. We recommend starting with your least popular posts. If you add Keywords and a Description does it impove the page views?