Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
In your ActiveRain blog, there are quite a few customizable elements that
you have control over. It is like moving into a house though, there are so
many things on your "to-do" list that you start with "first-things-first"
and then eventually you get to the other things. So in AR, you probably
start right away with your profile page. Perhaps you pick a background color
or image for your blog. Eventually, you create a nice looking header
graphic. Finally you start noticing "everyone else" has little widgets
and gadgets and gizmos over there on the right hand side in what is called
the sidebar. You say, hey! I want that too! This post is for you when you
are ready for that step.
The sidebar starts at the top with your portrait and basic contact
information. Underneath that is the all-important subscribe button. The next
area of the sidebar (from the subscribe button down to the links area) is
all yours to do as you please!
When you go to your "My Home" dashboard screen. On the
left you will see the "Settings" menu. Go there and notice
that there are four main boxes that you can fill in (Blog Title, Blog
Description, Blog Description/Text Version, Signature). What you put into
the "Blog Description" box is what shows up in your
sidebar. You can simply type in some descriptive text (in plain text mode)
about you and that is good thing to do for starters. However, in order to do
badges, widgets, and gizmos you are going to have to paste in little
snippets of HTML code.
Before I go into the HTML stuff, let me stop and mention the Blog
Description (text version) box. What you want to write in there is
what you want Google to know about your blog. This
information is set in a backend meta tag "description" and so is not
visible. However, take a little time and write a few lines of google-centric
targeting about what your blog is about and keep in mind keywords for how
you would like to be found.
OK - now lets move on to the visible part. The side bar
gives you an effective area of 218 pixels. If you exceed
that, it will overflow the edge and look not so nice. So when you go out and
get code for widgets, try and pick the version that is that size or smaller
(widgets usually give you options for size variations). In this post I'm not
going to list all the widgets out there but some examples are Facebook,
Twitter, Realbird, YouTube, etc, etc) As you browse others' blogs, you will
get the idea of ones that are nice and you also want to get. The
basic concept is... a widget is a preset block of HTML code that you
copy/paste into your blog. You don't have to understand the code,
just copy it and use it. If you have multiple widgets, you will have to
understand just elementary HTML to see where one widget ends and the other
starts. That way when you want to cleanup your sidebar (e.g. change the
order of widgets or remove one) you will know where to start and end your
editing at. You might at this point get the sense for this is not
for the faint-hearted so if that is you, simply stick with this box
as plain text - just write out the words that you want to describe you and
Finally, in this post, I want to share how to add to the sidebar
a badge or graphic of some sort that is also a hyperlink to
something. Let's take for example my twitter bird graphic that launches you
to my twitter page.
You need to generate HTML code on your own that you can paste into the
sidebar. This is one simple way to do that. Start a new TEST post in draft
mode. In that post, upload and insert your graphic and
attach a hyperlink just as you are familiar doing when you write blog articles.
Save the post
(in draft mode of course, otherwise people are going to say what is that??)
Note: you need to save the post to switch between normal and HTML views
without losing your edits. Also you want make sure that the graphic you
uploaded becomes permanently saved on the AR servers.
Now go back and edit the post and click over into the HTML view.
Highlight the HTML code that begins with the tag and everything between
that and the ending tag -- you will see the
tag reference in the
middle of all that. Copy that code to your clipboard and then head over to
your settings page and paste it in. Voila!
HTML code is not difficult when you understand a few basic principles.
I'm going to save HTML instruction for other posts, but if you already know
the basics you should be fine. I would recommend that when you are modifying
your sidebar with new stuff, you may want to select all and save
somewhere in case you get all tangled up and need to "restore previous"
My final recommendation for the sidebar is do not go overboard picking
every widget known to mankind there. This is only distracting.
Find a few select ones that are truly useful and ones that a consumer who
finds your blog might appreciate!
About the Author
Craig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. He teaches by means of this blog, online courses and webinars, as well as one-on-one remote sessions with persons located throughout the country and beyond.
craig's classroom blog is a place to come for short technology lessons - here on ActiveRain I focus on technologies for real estate professionals - please subscribe if you want to catch future posts! :)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.