Thanks to our wonderful staff for puting this together for the Newbies out there that still need assistance with their online presence and outside blog page set up.
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
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!