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Why I use Typepad for business "blogging"

I've lost count of how often it is asked (anywhere: forums, twitter, off line) which blog platform a small business can best use. Plenty of choices out there: from paid for online software, self-hosted 'free' software, free and hosted by software creator, to small and rather unknown WYSIWYG software.
Typepad, Blogger, WordPress.com (free and hosted by WP) and WordPress.org (self hosted 'free' software) are the four most well know and most used platforms. I always discard Blogger and WordPress.com because of the limits they have - when used as web presence for small businesses - which leaves Typepad and WordPress.org.

As with everything online: you have raving fans for the one and equally raving fans for the other option. This review will focus on my own personal experiences with both platforms and why I recommend Typepad for business owners who want/need an easy to use, SEO ready and quick to edit/add platform.

Why would any business use a blog?

Why would any business use a blog 

So far I've come up with 7 key reasons, see here for the long version

  1. You're in control - always (not your web designer or IT department)
  2. Better Listings On Google (BLOG)
  3. It works in real simple syndication with online directories (RSS)
  4. Notify your prospects/clients of new content instantly (email marketing)
  5. Interact with your website visitors (throught the comment box)
  6. Combine static website and "blog" on one platform (fixed page as 'front page')
  7. Become known as "The Expert" (build trust by publishing good content in abundance)

No matter what type of business you are in, service or products, using a blog (or as I prefer to call it: a dynamic and interactive webpresence) is one of the fastest ways to grow your presence online in a sustainable and none-time consuming way. It depends on the amount of time you want to spend and your knowledge of IT, CSS and HTML which of the two most used blog platforms will suit you and your business best: "paid for" Typepad or self-hosted "free" WordPress.org.

Why Typepad?

Why Typepad 

Let's face it: Typepad (from Six Apart) is a "paid for" blog platform starting from $ 49.50 annually (+ £ 32.00) I normally recommend to opt for at least the Plus account for more functionality, although IMHO the Pro account gives you even more, such as creating you own template (without having to know much about CSS or html)
The software of WordPress.org is free to download, but you have to have your own domain, hosting and FTP access to set it up, the reason why I always place "quote marks" around the word free where it concerns this platform.

With a Typepad account the hosting is included where your account name is part of the domain name, e.g. http://woodyoulike.typepad.com/furniture/ From the Plus account on you can domain map any of your blogs on your own registered domain name (without the need of having FTP access) e.g. www.woodyoulikefurniture.co.uk
Or "mapping" your blog to a subdomain of your main domain will change the http://woodyoulike.typepad.com/tips/ to faq.woodyoulike.co.uk

Another pro for opting for Typepad is the included Technical Support that comes with any account type. Besides an extensive knowledge base you can submit tickets to the support team and it is my experience these are quickly and adequately addressed and answered.
WordPress.org is a free open source which has "how to" documentation on many items and forums on various subjects where you can ask for help from other users. However I found 2057 pages (x 31 questions) that received no answer at all. Fortunately there are many WordPress.org users who write blog posts and even training manuals for you, like my friend Martin Malden. (expert on all things WordPress.org)
"Free" is good, but in cases where you're stuck it pays to pay for support.

Speed and ease of creating your (first) "blog"

Typepad: 10 minutes tops from starting your 14 day free trial (by creating your account), editing your design and style of your (first) "blog" using one of the 1000 plus templates Typepad offers you to publishing your first page or post. I'm pretty experienced in setting this up, but all my blog-studio students never take any longer to do the same.

I've asked my friend Martin what his best ever time was to do the same with a WordPress blog (from downloading the software, uploading it to the server your domain name is hosted on to editing the css for one of the two standard templates and publishing a first page or post): 20 minutes (and he's very experienced in this). He does state that including searching, finding, uploading (1-click install on most hosting providers), editing a different theme and getting ready to publish a first post/page a "first timer" should allow for up to one hour.

Speed and ease of creating more than one blog on a single account.

Speed and ease of creating more than one blog on a single account. 

Then there is the matter of creating a second (or third, fourth) blog (our business has two divisions: natural wooden flooring and natural wooden furniture - both with their own dedicated "blog" - and then there are various other subjects I write about  - each with their own blog, our family blog plus the community blog we manage for our village).

With Typepad Plus account you can instantly create 3 individual blogs, with the Pro account it is absolutely "limited less" - limited only by bandwidth (10GB) and storage (1000MB). All individual blogs on your account can have their own specific design and settings AND share custom made side-bar items (the typelists).

Again, I asked my friend Martin Malden if you can manage more than 1 blog on WordPress.org account as easy as with Typepad. 'Fraid not: either you have to create a WordPress account per intended blog or download and install WordPress MultiUser. The readme text of this product starts with:

"WordPress MU is a multi user version of WordPress.
If you're not comfortable editing PHP code, taking care of a complex webserver and database system and being pro-active about following developments of this project then run, don't walk, to http://wordpress.com/ and sign yourself and your friends up to free blogs. It's easier in the long run and you'll save yourself a lot of pain and angst."
Third party widgets (plug-ins): one click only

Both Typepad and WordPress.org have standard widgets and allow you to add third party widgets to your blog (of which most will end up in your side-bar). Most third parties have "quick" install options to add their widget to the three most common blog platforms: Blogger, Typepad and WordPress. Clicking the Blogger or Typepad Quick Install options sends you to your existing account and the widget is automagically added to your side-bar items. Quick install = log-in  - drag new widget to where you want it to show in the side bar (Design - Organise Content).

WordPress.org account holders are directed to an instruction manual because the widget (plug-in) has to be uploaded to the plug-in folder of their self-hosted domain and from there it can be activated through the WordPress account. Quick install = download - upload - activate - drag new widget (plug-in) to where you want it to show in the side-bar (Presentation - Widgets)

Automated improvements - new versions

Another advantage IMHO that a paid for blog platform like Typepad gives you is not having to download, upload and activate newer versions than you first started with. WordPress.org is on stable release 2.8.4 at the moment and have improved the Automatic Upgrade but you still have to deactivate all your plug-ins.
I know that plenty of WordPress.org users are still on the version they originally installed because to the 'hassle' and time involved having to go 'through it' all over again. (Friend of mine is still on version 2.2.2 and told me he truly cannot find the time to upgrade).

Typepad is constantly evolving its features, options and possibilities. Once everything is de-bugged through the Beta-team everyone having a Typepad account automagically benefits from the newer version without having to lift a finger.

SEO ready

SEO ready 

Both Typepad and WordPress.org platforms are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ready. To be honest the speed of how quick one of my new blogs gets indexed by Google and other search engines keeps amazing me.  My latest project had one of the posts listed on page 1 within 2 days! (On a Google.com search that brought up 5,310,000 results).

Improving search results on both platforms are easy, add relevant keywords and/or tags to your posts and pages - besides of course your overall general keywords and key phrases that are relevant to the subject of your blog. Alt Text (text behind an image or a link on your blog) can be added easily too on both platforms.

Plus all blogs come with an integrated RSS feed (Real Simple Syndication): an standardised format to easily share headlines and content online. Regard it as a "What's new on your site" automated feature. It also means your blog content is picked up by many more online services and channels than just search engines.
Side-note: 'burning' your blog feed through Feedburner gives you plenty of more options to be picked up and shared than just relying on the rss feed on its own.

Integrating a blog with a standard site in one go

Many businesses already have a website - designed and managed by a web designer - over which they hardly have any control (at least that's the complaint I hear often). Adding new content to the site takes communication between owner and designer, time from the designer and money from the business owner.
You can add a blog to any existing website and start managing your frequently to be updated content yourself. All your designer has to do is add a link on your website to the blog.

There is however a more simpler way: set up your blog as if it is your standard website (with fixed pages) and use the 'blog-index' feature as integrated blog.
Three big advantages here:

  1. total control for the business owner on content, frequency of updating and layout
  2. design and layout for both the 'standard' website and the 'blog' are exactly the same
  3. both 'standard' website and blog profit from the benefits a blog platform gives you.

A few (IMHO) fine examples:

Plumbing & Heating Service in Glasgow (note how Tony informs his potential clients about every aspect that is involved in the works without any 'hard sell') - "Need to know" is the blog-index

Better Water Solutions (again note how Peter too informs everyone about issues and even news items regarding fresh water supply to your home) - "Tips, Advice & FAQ's" is the blog-index

Community website: Lovely Charing where "What's On and News" is the blog-index informing the village and the Charing Businesses there's always something going on. Using an AWeber blog-broadcast brings every new article straight to the inbox of everyone who subscribed to the so-called blog or news-alerts.



As said in the beginning of this article: both blog platforms have raving fans.
My own opinion is that if you are looking for:

  • a simple,
  • easy to implement and manage blog platform
  • that has standard 1000+ design templates to choose from (which all can be combined with 10 different standard lay-outs)  
  • that comes with many added extras without having to upgrade to a newer version
  • and which gives you instant results

Definitely Go for Typepad

(For business owners I recommend to opt for the Pro account, or at least the Plus account.)

Update Feb 2010:

Open a Typepad Plus or Pro account before the end of FEB 2010, enter the promocode:

RESOLVE2BLOG2010 when creating you account and receive 20% discount for life (yes, that's as long as you keep your Typepad account life).

Get A Professional Looking Blog Today!



I would add: The Navigation Bar. None of the other blogging platforms give me so much flexibility in such an easy-to-use package. Waht a menu item pointing offset? No Problem. Want to have the menu item different from the page title? No Problem.

Karin H.

Hi Dave

Thanks for the addition. You are absolutely right, it is one of those improvements available instantly to any Typepad account holder. Mind you though, some standard templates do limit the number of items in the Navigation bar I've noticed.

I'm sure everyone has its favourite feature/benefit. I tried to list the overall most important benefits I think Typepad gives you over WordPress.com (and I'm sure WP fans might have other opinions ;-))

Karin H

At 14:24 21/08/2009, you wrote:

Martin Malden

Karin, hi,

Very interesting, and many thanks for the mentions!

Just a few points it's worth raising:

Self-Hosted WordPress blogs (WordPress.org) have had 1-click upgrade for a while now - it takes about 15 seconds. With WordPress.com the entire upgrade process is completely invisible, as with TypePad.

Plus themes and plugins on WordPress.org can both now be searched for and installed from the admin screens - 1-click from the time you've found the one you want. No more download - unzip - upload - activate. :)

Widgets (in both WordPress.com and .org) are drag and drop, and you have compete control over which sidebar and whereabouts in each sidebar you place them.

There's no WordPress.org 'account', as there is in WordPress.com or TypePad.

Installing the WordPress.org platform gives you a completely standalone site. This gives you total control over your content, as there are no hosting policies you need to comply with as in both Blogger and WordPress.com. (I'm afraid I don't know TypePad's position on this).

Of course your hosting provider may have policies that you need to comply with, but these are usually less restrictive, certainly less so than WordPress.com's policies.

If you have dedicated hosting or your own server you're free to publish whatever you like on a WordPress.org platform, and you have total control over your database and content.

When you want a second or third WordPress.org blog you just buy a domain, install the platform and away you go. My hosting provider gives me unlimited domain hosting - so all I have to do is buy the domain name.

In WordPress.com you can have as many blogs as you like within your account - but you're subject to their restrictions on what you can do with your blog.

But altogether very interesting, and thanks again for the mentions :)



Karin H.

Hi Martin

A raving comment, as you expect from an expert on WP.org (and com). As far as I know Typepad has no restrictions or hosting policies (besides the most normal ethical ones I guess).

The number of blogs I tend to create - for various reasons, some just to have separate "why confirm" and "thank you for confirming" for some of my AWeber campaigns - means I take full advantage of the ease this can be done in Typepad, I can use all the widgets and plug-ins already on my account without having to activate them per blog.

And although on Typepad 'server' I do have complete control over my account - as if it is stand alone.

My first none retail related blog isn't called: "keep it simple sweetheart" for nothing - Typepad, AWeber and ScreenSteps do make webmarketing simple (in my experience, but as with all things: what you've learned seems simple to you and perhaps difficult for others) ;-)

Karin H

Claire Alcock

Hi Karin

We are big fans of small business at TypePad. We are trying to help small businesses realize the potential of blogs at our TypePad small business center


Our next free webinar class, with business blogging expert Andy Wibbels, is all about your point on using your blog as your website. I would encourage anyone interested, no matter what platform they currently use, to join on Wednesday 26 August and if 11am US pacific time (7pm UK) doesn't work - we'll put up a recording of the session late next week.

Thanks for this great post!

Claire - TypePad

Jo Guerra

Hi Karin,

I am really happy to see this post as I am in the middle of creating a blog website for my new business (Your Marketing Gal - published but not ready) on Typepad and I went back and forth trying to decide whether I should learn WordPress or just go with Typepad. I decided to do what I already knew. I am planning to upgrade to the third tier account(about $15 a month) and I can even add a custom banner which I have created.

The domain mapping (I had GoDaddy) was a little complicated so I took screen shots and perhaps some day I'll make a blog entry on this - just have to add this to the big pile of to do's. I know Typepad has good information on it, but I found it easier to write directions for myself this time. And I did call GoDaddy - their service is unbelievable. They are the most helpful company even when I am not hosting with them and trying to figure out how to domain map with Typepad.

Here's a tutorial from Typepad created last year that helped me to understand creating a blog website: http://tinyurl.com/lngkra. And I have noticed how much SEO capabilities Typepad had. The tutorial is on the non-beta version but other than trying to find "Configure", everything else is pretty easy.

So thanks for your post and confirming I made the right decision.

At your service,

Jo Guerra

Karin H.

Hi Claire

I'll post a reminder of the webinair on both my business blogs. I think also that recording webinairs is always a great idea. Like myself - I shut shop every day at 5pm, which means no Internet too as a principle because 'normal' life has to happen sometime ;-) - others might not be able to attend the actual event.

Karin H

At 20:11 21/08/2009, you wrote:

Karin H.

Hi Jo

Glad to be of help.
Can I suggest you have a look at ScreenSteps Pro? if you are creating tutorials and especially when using screenshots. Another great "little" tool that can help you turn your business into an cost-effective profitable entity. This very blog post was written in it because I plan to use it also as part of one of my E-trainings: The Webmarketing ToolBox for Small Businesses". With ScreenSteps you only have to write content once to publish it as stand alone or combined in guides/manuals/tutorials and in a multitude of ways (blogs, PDF's, html, Word and more).

Like with your GoDaddy the team at Blue Mango - ScreenStep creators - are nothing but extremely helpful and service minded.

Karin H

At 22:42 21/08/2009, you wrote:

Jo Guerra

Hi Karin,

You are absolutely awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this information. Which service do you have - the $80 or the $40?

You are a pay it forward kind of person - my kind!

Karin H.

Hi Jo

Many times I'm on the receiving end of the "pay it forward" principle and I've learned never to take anything for granted. Givers gain principle makes our business grow ;-)

The service I have is a combined one: ScreenSteps Live with 3 Desktop licenses. Before that was possible I was on the $ 80.00 service, worth every single "dime"!

I'm sure you're going to love the program too - it fits in very nicely with Typepad and makes live so much easier, productive and profitable too.

Karin H

At 21:20 22/08/2009, you wrote:

Account Deleted

Yeah, I salute all your points Karen, plus, with Typepad, all your sidebar items can be visible in all pages without having to manually install them per page so its less work. And with Typepad, you can make a great blog without having to know about mySQL and FTP transfer which is needed in self hosted Wordpress blogs, so its really very user friendly. Plus, they have a "Real Genius" support team that will help you in any query related or unrelated 7 days a week. Typepad really rocks!

Karin H.

Hi Samjien

Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. Real Genius support team is absolutely the right word: they solved a problem for me even this last weekend - where I thought I was the only one working ;-)

Karin H

At 15:26 25/08/2009, you wrote:



This is timely information for me. I checked out "Wordpress for Dummies" from the library. Can you use Typepad to create membership sites? My understanding is this can be done w/Wordpress.org and some plugins.


Karin H.

Hi Valerie

If you mean: can you password protect your blog-site so only "members" have access: yes, absolutely. Before I discovered ScreenSteps Live that was what I used for my online trainings on Webmarketing, works a treat.

Karin H

At 17:59 02/09/2009, you wrote:

Karin H.

Dear fellow bloggers and webmarketers.

Please don't bother with comments on how to get 1000+ visitors per day to your blog for free or how to gain a trillion back links.

Traffic to a site, be it a static site or blog-site, is very nice to have to booster your statistics and perhaps even your spirit. The main aim, goal is connecting with (and in other cases converting of) readers/prospects, which is only possible if the content of your site is worthwhile enough for them.

So, please move along to other bloggers who might find a hefty increase in visitors or back links to "have all and be all" and don't waist any keystroke on this (or any of my other) blogs with your "increase your traffic overnight" or any other "get rich quickly" advice

Karin H

Ben Johnson

Well this discussion run very similar to the constant bickering of Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux. Who cares! It's all comes down to personal choice, and can you get the job done.

I for one, having just stumbled into Typepad mini, or whatever they're call it, and would never pay for some (blog) software. But then again, technology is my business. I have had a Blogger account since day 1 and have been running my blog for years without having to fuss over it too much. It's integrated with Twitter (don't know about Facebook - not into that party). I've pulled CSS (designs) and such from all sorts of blog sites - Wordpress, typepad, etc. so I can create whatever look and feel I'm after.

I also have pulled down and install Wordpad. It works and did the job I needed at the time. I pay very little, less the $7 a year for a web-domain. I have complete control over content and really don't think that is all that expensive.

So in the end - it all comes down to what you feel comfortable using. Most business "bloggers" are just writer looking for somewhere to "enlighten" the masses. Most of the stuff out there is trash and worthless, and very very personally biased. So unfortunately for all of us, these "blogging" experts these days are self promoted "gurus" but at the end of the day, the chatter is meaningless.

Oh, btw, Karin - check Strunk & White - your intro page needs a rewrite, or at least an editor.
"..... Knowledge about best methods to use to grow your business, best software programs to use to make our business lives' easier, best style of writing to use for ....."

Karin H.

Hi Ben

Hold on, you're in fact contradicting your principle with the last part of your comment!

I'm quite known for writing in double Dutch English, writing from the heart not from grammatical or spelling/typing perfect. That works for me - and my readers/friends.

As for which tool works for you: it is always more down to strategy and tactics than the tool on its own. Many a fortune has been spent on the newest hype - or guru for that matter - because the most essential part is missing: knowing how a new tool/hype fits your business marketing strategy.

Karin H.

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