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Building the Newsletter Geeks Virtual Mall
About this Tutorial
It's done by Nest Labs here. Ann Laurie of Nest Labs has created Newsletter Geeks is a telegram group. You can go to this website, nest labs.com/newsletter hyphen geeks. It's invite only, so you gotta go DM her. But here's some more information about it. It's about 300 of us newsletter writers, creators, curators, and.
I thought let's make a virtual mall for newsletters. Because actually, funny enough, when I created Doc's Virtual Mall with doc Williams go check his YouTube channel out he has, he does build with me every Wednesday night. One of these level is newsletters. And I thought what what would happen if we made the entire mall newsletters?
We can make this sort of one theme throughout and then have on each level, different types of newsletters perhaps, but we'll get into that later. We're gonna make a copy. I'm gonna tell you how to, how you can do this too. You'll see all of the steps because you can make a virtual mall as well.
You are more than happy to. You are more than welcome to make a virtual mall for your business or for your group or any type of theme you want. Go ahead. You can go to docs virtual mall.com and check this one out. And then what you need to do is go up to file and make a copy. We're gonna make a copy.
I'm gonna call it a newsletter. Newsletter Geeks Virtual Mall. You're just gonna wanna make a copy. I'm gonna actually gonna close that one and I'll show you around this one. As I, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get rid of all the bits and pieces show you what is left and how it works, but also we're gonna change up the theme.
When I built Docs virtual mall I made it in his sort of colors, his theme. We talked a lot about Elliot's Virtual Mall because it is a theoretical descendant or a spiritual descendant of Elliot's Virtual Mall. But now, newsletter Geek's virtual Mall should take on its own forms, own shape, own colors.
But why it brought up newsletter geeks here in Nest Labs is I wanted to copy the colors as much as possible from Nest Labs. Get some interesting sort of notes about it. You can see it's very minimalist. Very specific nice. Even lines icons too. We'll try to, we'll try to put as much personality from Next Labs into this as possible.
But what we have here is we have also we just have to change things around a little bit. I'm gonna, Type this. So if you are a newsletter writer, you can claim a storefront here. Let me do this. So Newsletter Gates Mall.
It's a spiritual listen of Elliot's Virtual Mall, created by Better Sheets. If you are not wa, you're watching this first. I dropped this for better Sheets members. If you are not a better Sheets member yet, go check it out. It's on AppSumo as of today. I don't know if you're gonna watch this in months or years, if it'll still be on AppSumo, but right at this moment, while I'm making this video, you can purchase better sheets.
On. Every store, every level is filled with stores and goods to buy, which will be actually wrong, will filled with newsletters to subscribe to.
Cool. There's something here, let me just delete that. Yeah, that looks a little bit. But actually we wanna make this a little bit wider. I'm gonna make it just a tiny bit wider. Let's copy and paste that over here because it's gonna say, oh, you want to put all of everything in the top left.
Are you sure? Okay. We're sure. There is a loom video already here of how to claim a store. I. Leave that I don't know. We might replace it with another shorter loom video automatically in the store. Definitely want to rename this newsletter. Geeks Virtual Mall. Before we get too far, I'm just gonna double check cuz I know I made a copy, but I just want to double check that we have Doc, we, you're not changing the wrong one.
Doc Virtual Mall. That's happened before. I have definitely edited the wrong doc. It's always good to be sure. Okay. Yeah we're on the fine. So if you go to Docs virtual mall dot. It's Docs is still there. And this is Newsletter Geeks Virtual Mall, which I don't know where you're gonna be able to find this.
If you're watching it on YouTube, I'll have the link in the description. If you're watching in Better Sheets, I'll have the link down below this video. If you are newsletter geeks member, you're probably watching this from the Telegram group itself. So welcome. Let's pick out some colors. So I already took a screenshot.
I'm gonna go grab. What do I do? I go image, color images. Color pick. I always use this just to grab a few colors right away. I'm gonna upload that screenshot.
Where is it? And I think it's just gonna be stark black, but I wonder what this like gray in the background is. If it is, it's just, oh, fa fafa. And this is probably, yeah, 0, 0, 0. So we have Fa Fafa as the X Code. We're definitely gonna use that. Let's change all of this. Background to fa Fafa. I don't know, I'm, it could be a psycho killer from tucking heads.
It could be Fafa, ffa, Fafa, F. Let's change that to, let's change this color to black and we're definitely gonna change this outline to black and this text as well to black. Give it that newsletter geeks look. What is this font? So we could go here. Let me try to figure out what this font. We can inspect it.
See if you have a font picker, it might be easier to go to your font. I'm want to see if I can find it here. This is probably boring. You probably wanna work in Google Sheets, but so I'm gonna pause the video and I'll be right back. We figured out it is noose sands that's probably not gonna be a black hand sense.
I don't think it's in here. Let's see. N o, Nope, it is not in here. More fonts. Let's just see quickly if it's in the Google fonts Library
mountain. So we do have this for bottom mono. That looks pretty close. Let's try that so we don't have nodo sands. I can also. Just, I'm gonna pause again and try to see if there's some equivalent or we can also look if this nest labs up here is a different is a different one. Still no Sands all upper. So we'll try to just, try to find a clean looking one. We will definitely change this to uppercase.
There we go. So that's all uppercase. We wanna make it a little smaller. We definitely want to, oh wait, we got Roberto Moo. Bono Moo. Let's do one more thing here. Let's see if we can bold it. Yeah, that looks nice. Newsletter geeks. Virtual mall. Enter the elevator here. This still works. We're gonna change.
We're gonna take the exact same change over here. Change this to this white text, black Start. Change this to robot. Robot.
Let's put this all in one line. Chili. I'm gonna delete this cuz it's just a little too much. I'll keep this down here. I'll probably change this to keep it all in that theme. I'm using Command U to take out the underline here. But that's still a link there. So yeah, we're just cleaning up the fonts here.
There we go. One more here. Change this to about a moment up. There we go. And leave that as an underlying so you know that a link. Cool. So this looks and feels more like the Nest Labs page newsletter geeks. We also have all of these levels, but the thing is they are all based on the same level. And how I built this is that you can enter these this information here and we'll read whatever is level one, level two.
We can actually change it up here so we can delete, let's just delete each of these. So this is something you can do as well if you're going to go and create your own virtual mall. So I would say just go in, delete everything except level one. And we're gonna then change level one's, look and feel just the text and the color.
And then we're going to copy it and make some other sort of themed levels. So we're gonna just. We're gonna delete everything except for level one and the food court. We're gonna leave the food court as well and we're just gonna change a look and feel of that. And I'll be right back. Okay? So we are back and all we have left is level one and food court.
So we've deleted all the other pages. What we're gonna do now is I'm gonna, very quickly, so I'm gonna pause the video. I'm just gonna change the. Color and the sorry, the text font and then the background color of the small. Probably change it to an a green, actually. I noticed something on here on newsletter geeks is there is another green, there's another color up here, this green.
So I just want to take that as inspiration and use that green in a couple places. So I'm gonna use that probably in the anywhere there's a link. I think I'm gonna change it to this screen to share that feeling, right? That is the feeling when you get to Nest Labs, that is the feeling that you want.
When you click on a button here, for some reason, I'm just gonna copy this and then we're gonna go back to our, let's go back to our first page, our parking. And change this. How to clean, actually change. Enter the elevator. That's a link. That is our link. Let's try first this. Oh, that's nice. That is cool.
Yeah, that looks awesome. Change this to white. Cause I think that is also what this button is. Yeah. White all caps. So we do want to do that as.
And so to do all caps, we're just gonna use the upper, just do really quickly upper, there we go into the elevator, all caps. We can also change this text. I will do that just for fun. Cause that's a link, that's a link down there to, just to keep that theme. Then what we don't wanna change anything on the elevator because I think the food court link will still work.
All of these, we will come back and change these names once we come up with some themes for these newsletters. The one thing we definitely need to do is go fix this. We de Okay, so I'm going to actually come back. I'm gonna do this cuz it's gonna be a little. Take a few minutes. Really boring stuff.
I'm just gonna change this to this beige, I think, and then text this black. So that's all I'm gonna do, but I'm gonna do it all around here, all of the little bits and pops and I'll be right back. Okay. That wasn't too bad, actually, that was very quick. I can actually do it here for you cause it was super quick.
So all I did was change this background, change this text black. Then went here, changed this background, and now I'm just gonna use command Y, which means I get to redo it and I do it again and again, and I can do it as many times. It just redos the last. Thing I did and I there is, that's all it took.
Okay, so no one's claimed these tables. The food court allows people, so what the food court does at a mall is allows people to hang out, right? You put up a link, you hang out and then they go away after 24 hours. So what happens is you can come here if you are a newsletter writer or you're interested in newsletters, maybe yaro from Newsletter crew or someone who is going to run some kind of community of newsletters or wants to host something around newsletters, or four newsletters or about newsletters.
Come here, claim a table. Literally just put in a link, maybe a zoom link, little description and say, Hey, we'll be meeting, at 5:00 PM on Eastern time on this day. And this, these links will stay up for about 24 hours. It says here, 24 hours. What we have to do next, cuz we have stuff here, right?
We're gonna change the text, but I wanna show you how to clear this up. So literally all we're gonna do is select all these and we're just gonna delete them. I know. Isn't that crazy? Delete those rows. And now we go back to our launch and everything. Oh, I had changed that. This is gonna be white as well.
This white. So now everything is in its basic state. We just want to change the text. So I'm gonna take all of this, change it from cons, I think. I think that's what it's called, to roboto. I want to change this also to upper, just to keep that theme alive, upper, and put into quotes. I could also retype it, but for this purpose I won't.
So now what you can do is if you come to this page, any of these pages, I'm gonna actually rename this level one cause I don't know what it's gonna be called yet. I'm gonna go back to Fuco. If there's anything here and you make your own, you can do the same thing, you can just delete it. Level one, what should level one be?
First off, just to show you how it works You're coming here. Okay, so first I'm gonna show you how to claim a store storefront if you're watching this. But plus I'm gonna show you how to create another level. So let's claim this store. I'm gonna use better sheets cuz it is a it is a new.
Okay, now what I need is I just need an image, so I'm gonna right click over here. Copy, image, address. And the name of the store is Better Sheets. Google Tip. Google Sheets. So daily Google Sheets tutorials. Your L is actually, the URL is gonna be better. sheets.co. Nope. Better sheets. Dot. Com the image url. So this needs to be, oh, we have to do https s There we go.
Enter an already hosted image url. So what I did is I went to my ck, I went to my logo here, and I right clicked copy, image, address, that's it. Just right click, copy, image, address. And I go here, back to my claim. Your store. And I paste that here. I don't need to change the level number or the store number as I claim when I claim anything, cuz that'll automatically be there.
So let's see if it worked. It didn't work yet, but maybe it takes a moment to show up or, oh, I know exactly why it's not working. So this is actually really important to do is these URLs. Okay oh no, I'm going to, okay. This is really funny. I didn't even really expect this until I did. I'm so glad I'm doing this.
There's one thing I didn't expect to happen. And let me just fix it right now because everyone's going to need to. So what you need to do is you need to change this url. This URL actually links to the last l u that it was. So this is Docs virtual mall. Alright? So let's create a setting tab.
We're gonna create this, so probably wanna use this one. And what we're gonna do is url. So what we need is this URL here. And we need to just take that off. So it's just the URL of the sheet. And now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to have all of the what is this called? All of the URLs point here, and it'll be a B one.
Okay. So you won't have to change this if you copy the newsletter. Deeks Virtual Mall. You don't have to ch, you only have to go to settings and change this URL here for the URL that exists. I hope this makes sense, but let's go to level one. We are gonna double click in here and we want to concatenate, and I'm going to just take all of this out, up to view, form, and add here.
We're gonna do settings. What not B one. Okay. And then I'm gonna do, now I'm gonna copy and paste this. Oh, I know. I have to hold that because it'll change. Okay, that's easy. Put a couple dollar signs in front of B one. B on one and see now, oops. I'm gonna paste that here there. And each of these. And now, Let's claim this store.
Let's try it again. Let's see how this goes. Page not found. Sorry. We're not able, so this is cool. You're gonna be able to see some interesting ah, this is why, because our entry numbers are also wrong, probably. Oh, very interesting. Okay, so in setting this up, I needed to. Create eight. Oh no, it's not this.
It's not the sheet. Oh, we need to put in this form address. The form address is what we need to do. Oh my God. I forgot how to set this up. Okay, so this U URL is not actually the sheet. Sorry. This U URL is the form. Ah, I forgot to do that. Good thing you're watching the entire video. So we go to a store. Go to form, edit form and what you'll notice now, I realize this says copy of test claim your store in Docs Mall.
I'm gonna now change this to Newsletter Geek Mall. This is very important.
Claim your store, delete all of that. Clean your storefront in these letter geeks Mall. I guess that should be virtual mall. Okay, now, oh, this is so important. Now what we do is go to their more, these three buttons to the right of send. We go get prefilled link. We need this desperately. This is exactly what we need.
We need to choose a level number. Just choose any one and one. And get link. We're going to get this link. We have it now. Share this link to include prefilled responses. Copy that link. Okay, now, oh, now we got it. So we have all of this. What we need first is obviously this URL without the view form. So let's go back to our sheet.
Go to our settings tab. And we're gonna paste that there. Entry, let's do level entry store entry. And so we're gonna put that there and we're, I'll fix this in a second and you'll learn how to do this. We want to go back to, Oh, we need to figure out which one is which. Okay. So I think the one on the, I, I wanna guess that the one on the left is the level and the one on the right is the store.
But let's not guess, let's actually find out what it is. So what we do is just do change this to two so we know, okay, this is stor, whatever's two is this entry, and whatever one is this entry. So let's get that.
Oh, we need to copy it and close some tabs. Copy this. Oh, I don't want to go to it. Oh, okay. So it was it. So the left one is the level. So let's go back to our store level entry. We're gonna copy and paste that there. And we have our store entry is this one. Okay. We don't need anything else here. Okay, we're gonna put that there.
And now we go back to our level one. Now this is pretty darn simple. In our url we have these entries, and these are hard coded in here right now because I had just set up only one mall, but now you're gonna be maybe copying this mall and then creating a mall of your own. And so we're gonna actually make this dynamic.
We're going to take this. F1 is the level, so it's here and end quotes settings and I can't remember what it was. I think it was B3 B three and then comma quote, and have that equal sign. We want that. So settings, b3, we want the B and the three to be hard coded in. And then let's go double check that.
B oh, b2. It was B2 for the level. Okay. Good thing I checked. Okay, so we go back to b3, change this to b2, and now this actually just four quickness. We're gonna copy that. And this entry we're gonna do the. It that need that quote, I need that quote. And now this will be b3. Okay. So B2 is the entry number of the level settings.
B3 is the entry number of the store. Cool. So now just before we copy and paste it everywhere, let me double check that this is correct and it should be one in. You should automatically choose these. There we go, one in one. And are we on the right one Where claim your store for a newsletter. Geek Mall.
We are in the right mall and we are on the right level in the right store and then will automatically be put in there. So we just copy and paste this around.
There's eight stores here, and let's just double check that this is store seven on level one. Let's take a moment to wait for it. Yep. Level one, store seven. And if we want to duplicate this, and we will in a second, we just change the level number up here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. These are available based on what is in the elevator.
So first you have to put an elevator button in, and then you have to create the level. So let's do this. Let's create a level duplicate. Now I'm probably going to, after I finish this video, go and talk to the newsletter geeks. People, the newsletter geeks themselves, I'll have them give some theme events.
So if you are watching this video after you've seen the Newsletter Geeks Virtual Mall then you'll probably see a bunch of different themes. But this is how I make each of the levels and we can essentially make infinite amount of levels, like maybe not infinite, but you don't want a bunch. But I'm gonna just do Let's see.
Dailies, maybe, I don't know, dailies. I don't know. What are some this is not going to be them, but
I'm just gonna write some stuff here. Everything's a newsletter, so we don't need that. But what we do then is we will change this. This is level one. This is command K, make sheets in this spreadsheet, and we're just gonna reassign. Two is here, so we need to reascend cause we deleted it before. So the link that was there before is deleted.
We just have to go back in and make it, make the link again. Apply. And I'd just like to make the text here also, just in case a user comes in here and thinks they can also touch or touch the button. Press. Word here. So we're gonna do command U to clean up the underline, change this to white, change this to black, do that as well.
And then the, also what I want to do, just to keep it all on theme changes, text thought. Here we go. That remains on theme. Oh, I can also make this all caps. So that also will go away that Yeah, we have to reapplied this link. Okay. So a lot of little tiny stuffs, but you'll see you'll see probably different stuff here anyway, so I won't go into the other ones.
The food court, we will fix actually, also because we have to fix it in the same way. So the food court is a different form. The food court. We also have to, what else do we have to do? We have to fix this url. And so I will do that right now. So you'll see this all again. So we have a form here.
Let's go to at four.
Copy of, so we want to, what we want to do is, this is newsletter Geek.
Yep, that looks weird. Let's try that again. Newsletter geeks.
There we go. And we're gonna change the name here.
And so we, again, we need the level and table here, so we're gonna do the more we're going to look for get prefilled link. We are going to do also let's do, we definitely need, this needs to be food court and then this is going to be one. We will definitely be able to see that copy link. Okay, so we have our link here.
We have our entry. But first I'm gonna grab the form url. I'm gonna go back to our settings. I'm gonna label this food. Food court url. That there level entry. What must click some?
Oh, it must be re loading. Okay, so all we're gonna do is copy the level entry and store entry.
Let me put that there.
Okay, so we want to go back to our url. We want to go to the far right where it says food court. We're gonna take entry, we're gonna put. We can actually close these. We'll be testing them in a minute. Copy that for the level entry. And then the table entry is this. Okay, so we have our settings done. Go back to our food court.
And same with the level one. What we did is we went to this url. I'm gonna. Go in a little so you can see what I'm doing here.
Shoot. Let's, okay, so instead of having this big long hyperlink,
go that and add in front of it settings. What was the. I'm gonna guess, but then I'll go check. It was B four and then this was, oh, here we go.
Oh, I see. This is not a concatenate I was just using and here, so we just have to do that. That's. We're gonna do end quotes and two ands actually end quotes and then put in here settings. I'm gonna guess again, B five, but we'll go back and check. And then for entrance. So this is another way to concatenate.
You can use the formula concatenate or you can use the ampersand here. So not there. There's the entry suite. Two quotes, and then, nope, we don't need that. Two ants. And in between, what is it? Settings, b6. And you know that you have a it, you don't know if you have the exact one Correct. But you do know when you have a correct spelling of a sheet and the place cuz it changes colors.
Okay. So we have B four, B five. six of settings. Let's just double check that. That's what it. B four, B five. six. Correct. So our food court. And then also, let's just double check that this link works. It does not work at all. Alright, let's fix it. So we need what is wrong? This link? What's, oh, we might need a little slash at the end.
That might be it. Let's see if that.
That was it. Okay, so we have newsletter gigs, virtual mall, food court. We know we're on the right form. We know it says food court table one. Perfect. Now all we need to do is I'm remembering this now. Add dollar signs in front of the B front of the four. We're gonna also do it on this B and five and this B and six, every other thing here.
We want to move appropriately. Yes, and we're just gonna copy and paste that into each of these cells. Now what this does is it allows anyone to come here, including a table for I guess a meetup or a Zoom or group. I'll throw a full I'll throw a Facebook group in here just to test it out.
We do definitely. Test this out before we release it to the Geeks. Let's just claim this one. I have a Facebook group if you are wondering. Facebook group facebook.com/groups/um, I love Google Sheets, so this is Better Sheets Facebook group. Come join the Fun U URL is there And that's all we need, I think.
Yeah, that's just the name. So you might wanna put a description of when or when or what your event is. If it is an event and now we see better Sheets Facebook group, come join the fun. So this works. And are we gonna go back and test this? We definitely wanna test this. Let me go back. So again, if you were watching this and you are a new letterer, then this is how you should go about finding if you, especially if you're on ck this is easy.
I'm gonna grab this. I'm gonna claim my storefront, I'm gonna call it better sheets. Shoot. It's not daily Google Sheet tutorials. URL is ck.com and the image URL is here. Copy, image, address. So we will put that and again, level one store three, submit. We don't have to change that. That's the cool part of having a prefilled think again, we claim your storefront in Newsletter Geeks Malt.
We have. And there it is. There's our image, there's our link. Let's double check that. Our link works. Great. You can come here. I've created a number guessing game. Here's links to the virtual food court. I added a virtual food court to the mall. Here's the original I got when I built the mall and a bunch of other awesome tutorials on how to make Google sheets.
Alright, what else do we need? Okay, we are done. Because we have actually made this much easier for someone to come in and copy. So if you are looking to copy this is all you have to do. You have to go to file make a copy. Then when you make a copy, you need to go to the settings page here and fill in the correct form URL for your stores and the correct food court URL for your food.
You can also delete the food court if you don't wanna have hangouts, if you don't want those teens messing around in your food court. But I honestly recommend it. It gives somebody something to do right away instead of just go and purchase something. That's the idea of a mall, right? It's a lot of different things.
You have some events, you have some teenagers hanging out. You come shop with your friends, you go shopping, but you also go and prof and have some activities, but you're also going to have them to change out these entry. These will definitely change when your form changes. As I showed you earlier in this video.
So go back and look. If you didn't catch it, I showed you how to get this entry number. You have to create a pre-filled, get a pre-filled link to your form. So you'll create your form. You will rename it just so you double check and you know your users will sorry, you, your users will know they're on the right.
Because the form will say the name of the virtual mall you were creating. And if you are the mall Baron or the Mazar, if you are creating the mall for a group of people what I recommend is I actually recommend making a Loom video like this and putting it at the beginning and saying, Hey, if you want to claim a store, go ahead and do it like this.
Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoy and I hope you claim a spot in the newsletter gigs virtual mall.