Craig's Clicks - ActiveRain Blog Themes (#5)

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

You know I like to give out gold stars. I've even started a gold star group where we get to feature other ARs and the work that they do. This particular series of gold star posts I call "Craig's Clicks". If you want to go back and see previous posts, that link will list them for you. Our blog content is the most important thing for us to focus on... however our presentation is very valuable too. We want readers to enjoy the appearance so they stay long enough to read it!

I'm featuring blogs three at a time in these different categories: blog theme, blog profile, and blog signature.

The purpose of the series is to find good examples that inspire us and give us ideas on our own blogs. I'm clicking around ActiveRain as much as I have time to and if I see something that I like, I'll mark the click with a gold star in my book. Once I've gathered three, I'll post the features.

These next three stars are also going out based on the blog theme (appearance). I'm looking specifically at blog banner and background image or color.

(These settings, by the way, are editable if you go to My Home > Activerain - Customize)
The next three stars go to...

Andi Grant
Andi has chosen a brown background color with light (non-distracting) pattern. The colored background frames in the blog but doesn't DISTRACT from the content of the blog. The header has several photographs which brings interest. Her banner has text for the blog title, a tagline, and her phone number. I really like to see references of how to contact you! That is ultimately what you want and you do not want them to have to search for it. Well done Andi!

Frank & Sharon Alters
Sharon has chosen a water photo for the background image. What I think is unique is that the banner graphic is not the full 130 pixels normal height. This allows the background to have a thin slice under the banner and connects the left and right sides. The banner graphic is very nicely done too. It has several photos plus the title text and secondary text/tagline.

Kathy Nielsen
Kathy leverages "less-is-more" design philosophy in this case. The blog is nicely framed in by neutral color (just like a stager :) and her banner shows her website URL, text/tagline, and telephone number. Go Kathy! That works just fine for me!

Well there you have it - my next three "Craig's Clicks" gold stars in featuring blog themes.

PS - If you want a couple of different ideas about blog banners. You can check out my post using Picasa to create a header. Also, you may want to check out -- Joel Kruse on AR wrote this post on how to use it. Keep in mind that you will want a custom sized banner of 960x130.

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My blog home page lists my most recent posts, so if you feel like reading more, that's the place to go next!

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Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS
ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"


I enjoy reading your Gold Star blogs!

Looks like there are alot of great people here on Activerain!

May 04, 2011 01:47 PM #14
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Craig - glad to give you ideas - give some thought to a header graphic too :)

Gene - love the enthusiasm, helps me want to keep blogging, thx! PS - your blog header is nice too

Jerry - your header is a good one - if you do an updated version watch the sizing to match 960 x 130 pixels to make sure everything aligns right

Alan - like to hear that thx

Michele - it is a special group, thanks as always for visiting (though I'm used to seeing you in the AM :)

May 04, 2011 02:22 PM #15
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Thanks for a great demo of good effects and appearance. I've only recently learned, with some help of AR member Valerie, to use these features. More improvements well be coming now.

May 04, 2011 03:38 PM #16
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Great picks Craig. Though with the winter and cold spring we have had the swimming pool one is calling my name!

May 04, 2011 03:38 PM #17
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Had to bookmark this one, great examples and helpful information Craig. Thanks for the post.

May 04, 2011 06:52 PM #18
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Some great ones here. Nice picks and great explanations so we all can learn.

May 04, 2011 11:12 PM #19
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

These are all nice themes.  I like the simpleness of Kathy's, very clean.  I know I have work on mine to do, now I will take another look.  Thanks

May 05, 2011 04:58 AM #20
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Craig, thanks for the Gold Star for our blog :) We were very happy with it and it's a super affirmation that you and others feel the same way!


May 05, 2011 07:03 AM #21
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Robert - it helps to get ideas from others, I know it always helps me! :)

Shar - thanks glad you enjoyed my picks!

Tom - I see your theme was recently updated, like it too!

Debbie - thanks, glad you like my narratives

Mary - glad to see your comment, thanks!

Sharon - well done!!! glad you found your way here :)

May 05, 2011 07:09 AM #22
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

What an honor to have received one of your coveted gold stars. Thanks, Craig.

As for my banner - you nailed it. I was absolutely aiming for the "less-is-more" look. Thanks again for the feature.


May 05, 2011 07:38 AM #23
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales
I have been looking around a lot to get some ideas myself.  Thanks for helping out Craig.
May 05, 2011 07:40 AM #24
Andi Grant
310-508-4354 | - Los Angeles, CA
Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA!

Oh wow Craig!  Thank you so much for the Gold Star!  Thanks #8 as well!

May 05, 2011 07:56 AM #25
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Kathy - glad to spotlight you - it is a nice example in the "simple is good too" category

Jeremy - glad to add different thoughts to the queue!

Andi - you are very welcome, again a terrific job and gold-star worthy!

May 05, 2011 10:36 AM #26
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates - Roanoke, TX
Roanoke Homes for Sale - Roanoke Neighborhoods

Hi Craig, thanks again for the excellent post, I plan on being one of your featured themes soon.  If I can just get this dang Broker exam taking care of first.  Will keep you posted.

May 05, 2011 01:06 PM #27
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Craig - thanks for posting this - good information and I am hoping to be able to put it to use quickly.  My market has picked up greatly and, while I am keeping up with my blogging goals, I have some technology issues that I need to address.  Still learning - lots to work!

May 06, 2011 02:12 AM #28
Greg McCown
Century 21 1st American - Tucson, AZ

These are some great samples.  I definitely need to give mine an update.

May 08, 2011 11:48 AM #29
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

I did a banner once -- then I forgot how to do it again... I don't do them often enough to be proficient at it... I love your gold star - and I really like your background with the blue bird of happiness sitting on your umbrella.

May 08, 2011 05:18 PM #30
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks Craig, I've got a banner just waiting to be uploaded to my site...AR having some tech problems in this area...but it's giving me time to fine tune. Your input and suggestions as ALWAYS are appreciated. 

May 09, 2011 06:05 AM #31
Waterfront Properties
Waterfront Properties & Club Communities - Jupiter, FL

Craig - I love your blog and I really like the idea of Craig's Clicks.  I think you've picked some really great examples for customized sites.  Thanks for this posting and your very educational blogs.

May 10, 2011 04:25 AM #32
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Craig, thanks for the lesson.  I will look at customizing my sight later today.

May 13, 2011 12:32 AM #33
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Craig Daniels

Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
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