Kerrie's Blog: How To Create and Maximize Your Outside Blog

How To Create and Maximize Your Outside Blog

This is the best way to create and maximize your outside blog.  If you happen to get stuck along the way, please reach out to support by calling 1-888-643-3837 or submitting a ticket to support@activerain.com. 

Here's the quickest and easiest 7-step plan to setup and maximize your ActiveRain Outside Blog.  These directions should help you to have your Blog set-up in no time at all.  Allow 30-60 minutes to complete these steps. ActiveBlogs are currently available to ALL Rainmaker and Grandfathered AR members. Find Out More

Step One:

Creating Your ActiveRain Outside Blog

First, be sure you are logged into ActiveRain.  Click "My Home" to get started. 

From the tools and links on your "Left Sidebar" click on "Outside Blog"    

(Some members may already have a link and upgrade option available, click upgrade) 

Click on the "Sign Up Button" from the Custom Blogs landing page. 

Enter your information below in the following order:

  • Enter the name of your Blog
  • Give a description of Blog
  • Select a Theme for your Blog
  • Enter Credit Card Information

After you've completed the steps above, click on the "Create Blog" button 

Once you click on the "Create Blog" button, please note:
(To avoid being charged multiple times, please don't use your browser's back or refresh buttons)

Congratulations!

Your new Outside blog is ready to go. You'll receive an e-mail containing further instructions. If you want to get started immediately, you'll be given a temporary name until you choose your own custom domain name.  (Domain names are included w/Outside Blogs)  Your temporary domain name will look something like this: 37e99f3.activerain.com  Click on the link to start customizing and personalizing your new Blog.

You can have Unlimited Outside Blogs on AR, just repeat the above steps for each Blog.

Step Two:

Getting to Know The ActiveBlog Toolbar

  • Theme - Select from multiple Company or Generic Themes for your Blog
  • Customize - Allows you to import a Custom Header/Banner and Sidebar Image
  • Widgets - Add from multiple ActiveRain and Third Party Widgets currently available
  • Info - Change your Blogs Title and Description
  • Domain - Create, Check Availability, and Select a Custom Domain Name for your Blog
  • Links - Add Custom Links To Your Blog Sidebar - Unlimited
  • Members - Invite other ActiveRain members from your Brokerage or Team to Contribute

NOTE: If you DO NOT see the toolbar above, just click on the link, and the toolbar will appear.
(You must be logged into ActiveRain in order to login and begin customizing your Outside Blogs)

Step Three:

Creating and Claiming Custom Domain Names - Easy as 1-2-3

It's important to establish your own domain name for your Blog once you have created it.

From the Outside Blog Toolbar, click on "Domain" 

1. Choose a Domain name in the box:  No spaces, No Caps, No Symbols, No Dashes, No HTTP or WWW.
    (Example: activerain.com)  Don't forget to add .com

2.  Check the Domain Name Availability by clicking on the blue "Check Availability" Link:

If the domain name is NOT available, you'll see this: 


If the Domain name you select IS available, you'll see this: 

3.  The final step is to click on the "Claim Your Domain" name button. 
Your Blog will now appear at that URL / Web Address immediately.

Very Important!  The section below is ONLY if you have already purchased a domain name elsewhere, and feel you must use it.  Keep in mind that there CAN NOT be any existing data, websites, or current Blogs attached to or affiliated with the domain name you wish to use.

If you choose this option, be sure to follow the instructions located on the "How Does This Work" link.

Step Four:

Adding Widgets to your ActiveBlog

What's a Widget?  Installing widgets is easy. There are many currently available, and plenty more being added.

1. Go to your ActiveRain Outside Blog and Click on the link.

2. Click on the "Widgets" link from the toolbar at the top of the page.

 

 

3. Click on the  button to open your Blogs Widget Manager.


4.
From the "Widget Manager", using the pull-down menu, select any of the available "Widgets" then, Click the "ADD" button and you're ready to install.  Follow the instructions for each widget carefully.   You can customize and sort or reorder your widgets any way you like.  Click "Reorder Widgets" then just drag and drop them wherever you want them placed.

Step Five:

Setting Up Your Listing Router and IDX

As traffic and visitors start to frequent your Outside Blog, you'll want to be sure and setup your Listing Router so that it links all property searches back to your IDX sites.  Be sure to set this up immediately after creating your outside Blog.  You can either use the "Listing Router Campaigns" or the "My Markets" search when creating the links to your IDX systems.

Step Six:

Adding Content to Your Outside Blog

In most cases, when setting up your first Outside Blog, all your current public content will be moved over to the new Blog.  To add or create new content, you can edit existing Blog posts, or create a new ones. 

To add posts to Blogs, put a check in the box next to "Outside Blog" then submit your post. 

Step Seven:

Inviting Others to Participate and Contribute to Your Blog

Click on the "Members" link on your Outside Blog Toolbar

You can invite other members just by entering their ActiveRain user name (Example: activebrad)
 

An Invitation will be emailed to that specific member giving them the option to either accept/decline.  Once a member accepts your invitation, they will appear on your "Members" link as shown below.  You can assign different roles and rights to your Blog contributors.  There is also a frequent contributors widget that can be added to your sidebar showing the authors and sorted by the most recent post.

 

Don't forget to always promote and link back to your New Outside Blog and posts.  Add Google Analytics for tracking, the Google Search Widget to search your Blog, and the Feedburner Widget so others can subscribe via email to your Blog.  Add hyper-links anytime you can to drive traffic to your Outside Blog. 

We're always available to help you with these, so don't hesitate to ask any of us if you need it.  Enjoy!!  

Click Here to DOWNLOAD or PRINT These Steps

Kerrie La Guardia
Community Manager
ActiveRain

   

Comment balloon 12 commentsKerrie La Guardia • January 17 2013 01:04PM

Comments

Kerrie   I depend on my outside blog for leads .I get more leads from my outside blog then I do from my website . Perhaps we could have a class on using the features of our outside Blog . I really don't know what I would do without it .I don't think I am using all the features correctly .

I love my Outside ActiveRain Blog

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 6 years ago

Thanks for this post, Kerrie.  I will follow up when I have an hour to play in the Rain. (That is my terminology for learning new technology.)

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Ditto, what Hannah just suggested about a class in how to do utilize the features of outside blog.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

I would like to know more about my outside blog and hope it is set up correctly.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) almost 6 years ago

Thanks, Kerrie. I plan to follow all these steps to improve my outside blog. Now, is a great time to focus on my outside blog more.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com) almost 6 years ago

Thanks for these tips- this is something that I wanted to work on .  Thanks- bookmarked to work on.

Posted by Michele Cadogan-Cell 917-861-9166, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker - (Fillmore Real Estate 2926 Ave J Brooklyn NY 11210) almost 6 years ago

Kerrie ...You are always there trying to make us better ....Thanks!

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) almost 6 years ago

Kerrie,

Excellent tutorial on setting up outside blogs. I have to go back and check the one I set up years ago.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 6 years ago

Thank you Kerrie,  I will take you up on this over the weekend and tweek mine and see what I can give it for a makeover..

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) almost 6 years ago

Awesome, Ms Kerrie.  I really like the print option too.  I'm going to review mine and see what needs to be done to "freshen" it up a bit.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) almost 6 years ago

Kerrie I bookmarked this it will take my pea brain a while to get a handle on this . Thanks

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) almost 6 years ago

I'm gonna have to call you about Feedburner.

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) almost 6 years ago

Participate