Recommending Typepad for Business Blogs

Typepad has great features for business blogging and no shortage of success stories

Here’s a paradox:

  • yesterday I posted on Thinking Home Business about how to set up a WordPress.org blog
  • I use WordPress as the platform for most of my blogs
  • but I freely recommend Typepad as a serious option for business blogs.

WordPress is not the only option

I’m willing to risk occasioning some confusion, because while the WordPress technology is amazing, I don’t want to even think about how long it took me to get comfortable with installing and managing WordPress sites. In fact, I’m still having challenges and still learning. So I worry that non-technical people in small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) will too quickly lose patience with WordPress and may give up altogether on the idea of using blogging for their business.

Typepad for a fast start

typepadThat’s where Typepad comes into its own. Because a total newbie with a credit card and without any prior technical knowledge can be up and running with a Typepad blog literally in minutes. There is also a 30 free trial period which means that there is no direct financial cost if for any reason a decision is made that the platform does not suit. If you don’t want to proceed you just email Typepad before the month is up and your card is not charged.

As I say in my e-book, 7 Step Business Blog,

The Typepad blogging platform is a product of SixApart, a company owned by very knowledgeable technical people who have been blogging for a long time. Typepad is designed to be very user-friendly and is easy to get started on. There are many excellent business blogs running on Typepad and if you choose to start with it you will be able to get quickly into posting content, rather than having to fiddle with the setup or configuration.

Successful bloggers and their Typepad blogs

I often tell people that, however much they may have heard about WordPress as the ne plus ultra of blogging platforms, there are some very successful bloggers using Typepad who would have a quite different view.

One of the best known bloggers on Typepad would have to be the marketing wizard and author, Seth Godin. The archives on Seth’s Blog go back to 2002 and for as long as I can recall the blog has been on Typepad.

Another dynamic blogger, marketing expert Valeria Maltoni, has her Conversation Agent blog on Typepad.

J.D. Iles, held up by a number of commentators as a model small business blogger, has his Signs Never Sleep blog on Typepad.

Artist + geek John T. Unger‘s virtuoso performance in building his awesome site John T. Unger Studio on Typepad is particularly worth studying by anyone who doubts what might be achievable with Typepad.  I had the pleasure of being on a panel with John at last year’s BlogWorld Expo.

And for a dynamic, uplifting and generally smile-inducing example of how Typepad can serve a community hub site, check out the Spirited Woman site.

Different platforms will suit different needs.

Typepad doesn’t have to prove itself. It’s  an excellent platform and service and should be better known.

And for those who may find after a while that Typepad lacks some features they would like, there is the more powerful, enterprise level member of the same stable, the legendary Movable Type.

If you would like to share some more examples of outstanding blogs on Typepad, please do so (do I need to say “no spam please”?). SixApart people are more than welcome to share.

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from Coachville.com and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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  1. Hi Des,

    I could agree with you that Typepad has a lot of great features, except for one fatal flaw. It’s next to impossible to get your site out of Typepad, as SixApart has deliberately crippled export.

    Anil Dash gets really angry with people who call him on this, so expect him to turn up with some fabrications about all the different export options. The laughable part of his excuses is none of them work. The contemptible part of his excuses is that it’s a five minute fix to the main export button template to permalinks.

    Curiously one of your Typepad examples, Valeria Maltoni wanted to switch to WordPress. In the end, Valerie wanted to bring in a project manager and a designer and an additional SEO expert and turn what is something we do every day – Typepad to WordPress conversion – into a three ring circus. You know the kind of circus I mean: an advertising agency type project where everyone gets paid except the team doing the actual work.

    Finally, we declined to convert her as the hassle to payment ratio was just too high. A pity, as I like Valeria’s weblog and we would have done a crackerjack job for her as for all the other sites we’ve converted. WordPress would be a lot better for her site’s future development.

    So Valeria Maltoni would like to be on WordPress, but Anil Dash and SixApart are effectively holding her hostage via her permalinks.

    So yes, use Typepad if you want to be permanently trapped in an adequate but inferior platform, beholden to a company that is holding your data for ransom.

    Until Typepad fixes export to include permalinks, no one should even consider using Typepad.

  2. Thank you kindly for the link, Des.

    Ginevra from Six Apart has been a constant help. However, TypePad would not be my recommendation for someone who’s looking to grow the blog beyond a hobby or a part time endeavor.

    Mr Alec Kinnear has a fascinating recollection of our interaction. What I find most interesting is that he seems to be alright with telling potential clients off and posting disparaging and inaccurate remarks about them online. I would indeed have hired Foliovision, had it not been for the experience of corresponding with Mr Kinnear and for his inability to listen. I don’t have a team, just one person helping me with several projects 😉

    Perhaps this other incident was on Mr Kinnear’s mind? http://foliovision.com/2009/09/11/stuart-bruce-wolfstar-consultancy-pr/
    .-= Valeria Maltoni´s last blog ..Reactions to the 100 PR People Worth Following List =-.

  3. Hi Valeria,

    I don’t seem to have much luck with PR types, I’ll grant you that. They are either running out on their bills or trying to reorganise our carefully thought out workflow for us.

    Strange as I would actually like to be doing some more PR for our clients and would have been quite happy to trade in kind for some PR help.

    I don’t see my remarks about you above as disparaging, more perplexed. Stuart Bruce on the other hand is another case altogether. In eight years running Foliovision and its antecedents, he’s the only one to earn the black stripe.

    In fact, I almost didn’t post that article at all, but hey Winona Ryder got picked up for shoplifting too and that was printed in the paper. Eat and run is not on.

    I believe Stuart Bruce’s antics coloured my perceptions of dealing with the PR world at just the time you and I were corresponding.

    But you’re right, that’s not fair. If you held me to account for every bad experience you’ve had with web designers and developers, you’d probably push extra designers and supervisors into the project to try to get some kind of accountability out of the web design team. Which wouldn’t be fair either, as we really take care of our clients and are very, very serious about our SEO.

    Hey wait, isn’t that what happened?

    What will it take to untie the Gordian knot of mistrust between the PR industry and SEO field? Or between the PR industry and the web development profession?

    Cordial regards, Alec Kinnear

  4. My, the bold on Georgia is strong.

    Valeria, I wanted to mention that if you’d like to have an icon show up for you at Des’s weblog, you just need to register for a Gravatar at WordPress/Automattic: http://en.gravatar.com/

    You can attach several email addresses to a single gravatar and they do show up retroactively, so it’s a great way to add a face to your comments.

  5. I’ll let the response of Alec’s ostensible customer here speak for itself, but a few points worth noting:

    * TypePad’s always allowed you to export all your data. If customers need help, they only need ask the support team for any assistance and it’s gladly given at no additional cost.
    * I’ve spoken to literally tens of thousands of Six Apart customers and community members of the last seven years, and read nearly every single blog post and tweet mentioning the company and its products or services, and in all that time Alec is the first person who has ever accused me of lying. Certainly I’ve had my share of disagreements, and I wouldn’t suggest every person who’s ever talked to me has left happy, but there is a pattern to judge by.
    * Alec is, as with his conversation in this thread, deliberately misrepresenting the (nearly three hour-long) conversation I had with him. He asked for Six Apart to provide customer data in a format of his specification, to make it easier for his team to work with the data. I explained that this is what APIs (programming interfaces) on the platforms are for, and he seemed fundamentally unfamiliar with the concept of APIs and indignant that I would suggest this ignorance indicated a fundamental incompetence on the part of his company.

    In the literally thousands of hours I’ve spent talking to Six Apart customers, partners, staff, community members and customers, Alec (foliovision) stands alone as the only person who has ever deliberately misrepresented my words to others and publicly slandered me. It’s unfortunate that this tactic, along with his literally hundred of tweets about me has failed to help his business, but as he’s charging hundreds of dollars for a service that TypePad users get for free, it’s no wonder that he’s gotten desperate.

    I apologize for the length here, Des, and I appreciate you working to create valuable resources for business bloggers.

  6. Valeria, thanks for the shout-out. 😀

    Alec, I understand your frustration and you’ve certainly made your point well-known. You’re right in that permalinks being not an automagic part of export from TypePad is annoying, but we’re fixing it. Not to sound too community-managerial here, but please, let’s keep the tone and content here polite, respectful, and most of all valuable to everyone, as we’re visitors to this blog.

    As Des says, there’s different platforms for everyone.
    .-= ginevra – TypePad Community Manager´s last blog ..burial | fostercare =-.

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