How To Create and Maximize Your Outside Blog

Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain

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)


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:  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:  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.

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

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Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Michele - Bob said he'd take care of this for us while I'm away to New York.  Let me know if you're still not geting the AR newsletter in the next couple days.  Make sure it's not going into your spam folder once it does start coming. Keep me posted. Thanks.  :-)

Sep 30, 2009 01:19 PM
David Mieth
Exit IH-10 Realty - San Antonio, TX

I am relatively new to Active Rain and I have to tell you that all the information you provide in your blogs is proving to be invaluable to a relative "newbe" like myself. I really appreciate all that you do for us Brad.

Thank you!

Oct 04, 2009 04:04 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Thanks David - here and happy to help if you ever need.  :-)

Oct 09, 2009 12:26 PM
Global Professionals

Nice guide to help users creating a good and presentable blog. As not all people who start their blog are expert and they usually don't know how to go ahead with this so, this would certainly help such people.

Best Home Mortgage Rates

Oct 13, 2009 06:47 PM
Michael Jones

I also posted an article, please read it.

Jan 27, 2021 04:08 AM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Brad - I love this post and think it's a must read for any new AR member. And - I'm entering it into the Scavenger Hunt! Wish me luck!

Oct 29, 2009 10:44 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Thanks Christianne - good luck with the hunt, and thanks again for your sweet comment and gesture, now I really hope you win!! 

Hey wait a minute... what scavenger hunt??   :-O  lol~

Oct 29, 2009 11:03 AM
Lew Corcoran
Better Living Real Estate, LLC - East Bridgewater, MA
Real Estate Agent, Home Stager, & Photographer

Thanks Brad - always good to see how to maximize ActiveRain to achieve phenomenal results. As involved as your blog post is in walking you through setting up an outside blog, it's actually quite easy and simple to do.

Oct 29, 2009 11:03 AM
Jamie Dumaine-Russell
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT

Brad - I missed this when it was first posted but so happy I had to find it thanks to the Scavenger Hunt.  The only step it looks like I've missed doing is #7.  It's a great resource for newbies and some of us oldies too;)

Oct 29, 2009 12:58 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Good info here. I really need to take this and run with it and make my blog stand out. Thanks.

Oct 30, 2009 12:04 AM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Associates - San Antonio, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Thanks for the tips and being on my scavenger hunt!

Oct 30, 2009 02:13 AM
Maui Real Estate - Lisa B. Miller R(S)
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kihei, HI

I have my outside AR blog and this information was VERY helpful to me - thanks!  This is also a great blog for the AR scavenger hunt.

Oct 30, 2009 12:24 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Brad- chalk one up for the scavenger hunt, and gave me a chance to review your post on outside blogs.

Oct 31, 2009 08:41 AM
Dee Mayers
Covina, CA
San Gabriel Valley, CA

Because you are on my list of authors for the scavenger hunt I read your post and really like the information, thank you. 

Oct 31, 2009 04:40 PM
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

When I try to create a domain name for my outside blog, anything I enter is the red circle with a minus sign. Even when I type this: askdjfuoiweurofdvnjnv;a it still tells me it's taken. Why am I having this problem? Thanks!

Nov 01, 2009 07:32 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Jackie - I am off to take a look now and see what's happening. I'll get back to you as soon as I can figure out why it's not accepting your domain.  Make sure you're not adding "WWW" or the HTTP, and also be sure you're including .com.  IE: that is all you need to enter into Box #1 before checking availability.  Also no dashes, no spaces or symbols.  That will also cause the "unavailable" return.  :-)

Nov 01, 2009 08:12 AM
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

As Usual thanks for all the info. Your my scavenger hunt entry.

Nov 01, 2009 09:22 AM
Chris Vinci
da Vinci Realty in Evergreen, CO - Evergreen, CO
CRS, CLHMS, CMAS 303.679.0360


I just upgraded my outside blog and added the Apture widget.  However, I'm getting this error from Apture when checking if the script is installed right:

"The Apture script tag appears before most of the content in the web page's HTML code. Please move it closer to the bottom of the web page."

Are you familiar with do I use Apture?

Please help.



p.s. I love Fairfield.  I grew up in Walnut Creek and went to school at Sac State.

Nov 20, 2009 09:52 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Chris - I sent in a request to our tech support dept and they did respond with "We're aware of the issue and are tracking it." This usually means it's not a simple fix and it could take a while to get resolved.  I know they're doing their best to stay on top of this technical stuff and will get this corrected, just no ETA right now.  Thanks for pointing this out so we can fix it. 

ps. I use to work in Walnut Creek, I managed the First American office on Mt Diablo Blvd. for many years.  Small world eh?? :-)

Nov 20, 2009 11:48 PM
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Thanks Brad, I'm not too computer savvy, but I'm going to try to impliment your suggestions.

Nov 23, 2009 01:58 AM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Liz - and if you need any help at all, just let me know.  :-)

Nov 23, 2009 02:02 AM