activerain: Stepping Up to the March Signature Challenge - 03/27/22 05:02 PM
Hasn't it been great seeing all the participants in the March 2022 Challenge! I'd say we have some real transformations going on here!!
I wanted to do a single post capturing all the hard work. 
Even if you weren't able to participate in the challenge month, it is still time well spent to look into a blog signature refresh! Hopefully this post will inspire you.
You can see my post about the challenge instructions
Refresh Your Blog Signature - March 2022 Challenge
And you can also see my posts about creating a signature, adding snapshots, and adding social media icons
How To Create an Effective Blog Signature
Social … (27 comments)

activerain: Refresh Your Blog Signature - March 2022 Challenge - 02/16/22 07:58 PM
This month's challenge is to up your game on one important element of your sales funnel. We're going to have you take a look at and update your blog signature. The blog signature is what they see immediately after they have just read your post under the "Posted By" subheading. 
If a person has just dropped in out of the Google SERP sky and has completed one of your fantastic blog posts. What next? Well your blog signature had better give them exactly what they need. Do they want to read more from you? Help them! Do they want to call or email … (70 comments)

activerain: How To Embed Video Into Your Blog Post [2022 version] - 01/29/22 06:14 AM
I have written posts about how to embed videos in posts in the past, but things have changed and I thought I should update this how-to topic. The good news is that it is now easier than ever.
When you find a good video that you want to share in a post, the first thing you'll need to do is get the URL of the video. You will need to copy the URL to the clipboard. You can get the URL either from the address bar or you can also right click on the video and choose 'Copy video URL'
Next, in your … (29 comments)

activerain: Craig's Classroom Catalog 2022 - 01/28/22 05:16 PM
The AR Developer team is working hard behind the scenes on a list of items that we want to see on our site. Quite a few things have been checked off, many more are still waiting to get looked at.
The top couple of things on my personal wishlist are (1) fixing the commenting system on the site and (2) fixing the look of our personal blog feed pages.
Our own blog pages should be a showcase of what we are doing as bloggers. Instead it has a very outdated and non-interesting look and appeal.
Let me show you what I mean, compare the … (24 comments)

activerain: How To Create an Effective Blog Signature - 01/25/22 03:57 PM
Every single blogger on ActiveRain should be utilizing the blog signature feature. A blog signature is a block of text that appears in the "Posted By" section of every blog post. Imagine a visitor has found their way to their post and just made it all the way to the bottom. They are very impressed by what they just read! You should take advantage of this opportunity! Tell them first of all who you are and what you do! Give them ways to contact you. Give them links to other things that you'd like to share with them so you don't … (35 comments)

activerain: HOW Should I REPLY to a Comment? - 12/03/21 12:37 PM
If you've blogged on ActiveRain for any length of time, you'll notice something very different than a blog that you have on your regular website. The comments you get on your regular website blog is probably 99.9% spam and put right into the trash. And the 0.1% of REAL comments are probably few and far between. AR comments come in nearly instantly after you publish, and they are REAL comments from people who have read your post. Astonishing if you have experienced the alternate mentioned above!
The ActiveRain points system has a lot to do with incentivizing interaction on the site. When … (39 comments)

activerain: Your Blog Posts COULD Look Better - 08/16/21 01:41 PM
update November 2021
note: the workarounds in this post are no longer necessary thanks to the AR dev team making the needed corrections!! The "clear formatting" point below is not a bug however and is still a good consideration for you to take a look at.
-----
How's it going there bloggers? If you feel like the appearance of your blog posts with the recent updates has taken a turn for the worse, then you are not alone! Watching the Q&A in the recent weeks it seems like some developer updates may have moved some things "one step forward and two steps back." First … (40 comments)

activerain: ActiveRain Dev Wishlist - June 2021 Update - 06/21/21 03:05 PM
We've seen some very nice improvements on the ActiveRain site in recent months. The presentation of the site is taking on a more modern and polished look. Thank you to the AR team for working on these things!
Meanwhile, for those using the site frequently (i.e. this means the reader of this post), you have no doubt seen a few things that previously used to work better. Now there are several things no longer working as expected! These are less of the user interface issues (UI) and more of the user experience (UX) issues.
We have been given the opportunity to email the … (32 comments)

activerain: How to Insert Photos Into Your Blog Post - 04/29/21 04:00 PM
Inserting photos or other graphics into our blog posts is an essential step to creating a presentation that is compelling. The textual content is also essential, but can you imagine picking up a magazine that had no photos in it at all? How much better to attract our attention when images are added to articles!
Whether you are in ActiveRain or on another platform like WordPress, you can think of images on posts as falling into 3 categories: cover photo/hero image, image with wrap around text, and a full-width image in the body of the post.
The first thing you see when you … (32 comments)

activerain: Bug Report: ActiveRain Editor Page Blank - 02/17/21 05:32 AM
It has been reported quite a few times in Q&A of having a half blank page when editing a new post. I had seen that happen a few times in my case but only rarely. But what is a person to do if this happens to them? How can they finish a new post when they can only see part of the page?
Well, yesterday I went exploring a little further and was able to discover what causes it to happen. There are several methods to scroll down a page. It turns out in this one page (the edit post page), that … (22 comments)

activerain: ActiveRain Tips & Tricks - Comment Notifications - 02/11/21 01:42 PM
One of the things you realize early on in the ActiveRain community is that you can expect comments on the posts that you create. These are real people making comments and interacting with you. If you have had any blog out there in cyberspace, for example on a WordPress site, you quickly realize there are a ton of spammers and bots ready to hit your site with garbage comments. The rewarding difference in ActiveRain is you get real people and genuine comments!
A couple of months back, something went awry with the notification system as far as comments were concerned. When the … (33 comments)

activerain: ActiveRain Essentials - Profile Photo - 02/04/21 07:40 PM
One the interesting facets of marketing ourselves on the internet is that someone can meet us online first before they ever see us in person. Having a blog is a way for us to share our expertise and help a person come to know and trust us. Letting them SEE who we are helps fill a hole in the whole virtual meeting process. Our profile photo then is a key element to introducing ourselves properly.
First let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid. Then we’ll go into the process of how to prepare your photo and upload it to ActiveRain.
Craig’s List -
What You Should AVOID … (40 comments)

activerain: Some Tips On Our New AR Post Editor - 12/02/20 01:38 PM
The buzz around the site these days is about Tiny!! tiny?? yes, tiny, what is "Tiny?"
Tiny, short for TinyMCE is the plugin used for us to create the body of our blog posts. The editor has a toolbar with all kinds of buttons for editing and formatting. The new version is very similar to the old one, but from what I've seen it works better in many ways. (albeit, there were a few hiccups to iron out that the AR Dev team has obviously been getting fixed for us)
Some of the questions I've seen on the Q&A relate to things like
How … (53 comments)

activerain: June ActiveRain Amnesia - I Want My Posts Back! maybe... - 07/17/20 03:03 PM
Well 2020 is a very tough year and you might add ActiveRain problems to the list of things that we aren't happy about. I'm not sure if anyone has figured out what went wrong, but all the June posts went POOF and perhaps never to return. Though AR staff has commented that they found the lost data, it would appear that restoring the data has proven to be more of a technical challenge than would superficially seem.
One of the problems that I am aware of is that as people started creating new posts, the system started reassigning the same post IDs as … (43 comments)

activerain: WAIT! Don't LEAVE Me!! - 02/15/20 08:00 AM
WAIT! Don't LEAVE me!!
We work very hard to get eyeballs on our blog posts and web sites, so then why are you sending people away once you get them?? You are not intentionally doing this, but if you aren't aware, you might in fact be doing this.
Whenever you are creating a hyperlink, you have two choices for what will happen when a person clicks on that link. Your link will either (a) use the same browser tab, or (b) open up in a new browser tab. There are two choices and you are in control. But how do you … (27 comments)

activerain: Optimize Your Images for Website Pages - Compression - 01/12/20 03:53 PM
Images are very important to help your web pages engage your audience. The combination of informative text along with appropriate photos and illustrations is the formula for a captivating post.
Some of the biggest amateur mistakes of creating web pages is related to working with images. Doing it wrong will not "break" anything, but doing it right shows your expertise. 
The ways to optimize images that you should be aware of are:
(1) file resolution/pixel size not exceeding actual page frame size
(2) file aspect ratio
(3) maximizing file type compression
(4) SEO optimization
In this post, let's talk about the first 3 ways noted above to optimize … (18 comments)

activerain: How to Embed a Video in Your ActiveRain Post (2019 Edition) - 12/25/19 05:52 AM
I have recently been going back and reviewing my old posts as I plan my schedule of upcoming new posts. The more I look, the more I realize that the methods I described were for how things used to be and so those methods no longer work! Today's post is one of such needed updates:
How to embed videos in ActiveRain posts
Like a few other things here in ActiveRain, we are in  'workaround mode' until (when and if) we get some updates to our blog composition tools. Meanwhile the workaround procedures do work for us and today's how-to is going to show … (29 comments)

activerain: Your ActiveRain Profile Page NEEDS HELP - 12/17/19 10:26 AM
Can I be frank?
Your ActiveRain profile page is deficient and really needs some help!!
Now...
don't get mad at me. It is not your fault that you have this problem. But in this post, let's talk about how you can make it better!
So somewhere back in time, the AR devs made a change that handicapped us all. Take a look below at the profile editing screen that we now have.

The first thing that really bothers me about this, is that you have a 2 inch box in which to edit your profile text. Um, really?? That's just uncomfortable (unless … (34 comments)

activerain: Craig's 2019 Technology Survey - RESULTS - 12/11/19 05:30 PM
Thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to take my 2019 Technology Survey!! I was able to get 49 responses and so I feel it was a good sampling pool to create a meaningful snapshot of the technology being used by those of you who are interested in reading my blog. This helps me create future posts because it sees where you all are at technically and I can tailor the results to be more targeted.
Ready? Let's dive into the results and I'll give my running commentary as we go...
 

This first result was a little surprising … (31 comments)

activerain: PRESENTATION OF YOU - Your Blog Signature (Part 3) - 12/03/19 05:37 AM
In this blog series, we've been focused on our blog signatures and how we can best utilize this part of our digital presentation. You've worked hard on a blog post and have connected with your reader. What will you offer them next so they can stay with you and not move on elsewhere? This is where your blog signature comes into play. This is part 3 of the series and we are on the final stretch! (note: if you want to catch up on part 1 or part 2, you can use those links to get there)
In the illustration below, … (17 comments)

 
Craig Daniels, Technology Instructor/Project Consultant (Tech Training for You!)

Craig Daniels

Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Staten Island, NY

More about me…

Tech Training for You!

Office: (646) 450-2728

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Since 2010, Craig's Classroom blog has been the 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! :)

ACTIVERAIN

How To Create an Effective Blog Signature

Your blog signature is what shows at the bottom of every blog post. Make it count!

GOOGLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Are You Using Google Photos?

Google photos is a cloud based service to edit and organize all your library of pictures.

CLOUD

Leveraging the Cloud

Cloud services are extremely useful. Learn some of the main providers and how you can benefit.

ACTIVERAIN

How Should I Reply to a Comment?

While we await an update to the AR comment system... there are two schools of thought on how to reply.

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