Here is some information on "How To" use your Active Rain "My Settings" page. I have tried to make this as simple as possible, for you to get the most out of your Active Rain experience. To access your settings page, go to your "MY HOME" link at the top of the page next to the "Logout" option. Make sure you are logged into Active Rain before you try and modify your settings. Next, click on the "My Settings" link on the left hand side of the page just under the "My Ads" link. The rest is detailed below for your use. You might want to print these instructions so you won't have to go back and forth from this post and your "My Settings" page.
This is your Blog's Title. Be sure to give this some thought, it is the theme of your entire Blog. This is what will appear when anyone clicks on the "Blogs" link at the Top of Active Rains main homepage. You'll see this title under your Blog Subscriptions. You can use any Title you want for your Blog, I suggest make it interesting, and not just your name like "Brad's Blog" or "My Blog". Your Title will attract readers and your name in it will help search engines find YOU easier. You can always change it if you come up with a better idea later.
Your Blog Description. This is an important area of your "My Settings Page" and it has multiple uses and values. First, this is where you can add HTML code to your Blog. For example, I want to have the search engines come see my Blog every 7 days to check for new and fresh content.
A. Here's the code I added for that.
<meta NAME="robots" CONTENT="ALL"/><meta NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="7 days"/><p>
B. I also use Google Analytics for tracking, so I added their HTML code as well.
QUICK IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure to register your Blog or Site at Google Analytics to get your own code, the one above is a sample! This code once added, will not make anything appear on your profile or sidebar, it is a hidden code. All the reports and information gathered from your Blog have to be obtained from your Google/Analytics account at their website.
C. Add Meta Tags, or keywords for your Blog. I use the following for my Blog:
<meta name="keywords" content="Title, Escrow, Technology, Solano, Contra Costa, Title Insurance, Agent Assist, Target Marketing, Marketing, Blogging "/> Yours will obviously vary.
D. Lastly, this is the section where you add the HTML code for widgets, gadgets, graphics, on vacation messages etc, that you want to appear on your sidebar under your photo. There is an instructional page on "How To Add Widgets" to your sidebar in Active Rain. If you want your graphics and widgets to be centered, be sure to use <center> code at the beginning, and use </center> at the end of the code.
Here is your Blogs Description. (Text Only - NO HTML Allowed Here) This is where you should describe your Blog, it's content, and it's value to your readers, but remember this is your HUGE SEO opportunity. You are limited to 100 words, so be direct and focused with your description and keywords. FACT: This is the most overlooked area by new and existing AR members. Want maximum SEO (Search Engine Optimization? You need to read this!!! Trust Me!
Allow Non-Member comments. Be sure you have this box checked, otherwise readers who are not members of Active Rain will be unable to comment on your post. Unless all your posts on your Blog are (members only) I would make sure it's checked!
Sharing your comments. Your comments are already shared in the posts where you've made them. If you want other members and readers to access "All" your comments in one easy access location, you can check this box and allow them access. It's really a matter of preference.
General Settings. There is currently only "One" option under general settings. Let others know you are on-line or not! If you notice at the top of the page right now, you'll see "Members: 53,842 - 1,270 On-line Now" in the upper right hand corner. Out of 53,000 members, I have never seen more than 1600 members on-line at a time. If you click on the 1,270 On-line Now" about every 5 seconds, you'll notice that the numbers change, funny thing is, the numbers never add up. This is very interesting. Regardless, ONLY check this box if you want to be seen by others that you're on-line. Not sure why this is an option, who'd want to hide? :-)
Your Email Settings. This is a very important part of Active Rain and your settings page. You have to decide how you want your email notifications to work and be managed here. Do you want to get emailed every time someone adds you as an associate? What about the comments you'll receive on your Blog Posts? What about the groups you've joined, the founder or administrator can do mass emails to the group, do you want to be notified? There is even Manual Score Adjustments and Link Status notifications. This is really up to each members discretion. You can see, I like to be notified about anything that's going on with my Blog or posts! :-)
Your Referrals. Use the Active Rain Referral Exchange to find the best Real Estate Professional match for your clients. You can also use the associates that you have added to your personal network here. This is NOT for just advertising your listings. This area of Active Rain is for "REFERRALS ONLY!" Please review and follow the instructions when you click on this link.
My Comments. This is where you can go back and track every comment you have ever made on Active Rain. Maybe you commented on another members post, and then had a change of heart and wanted to modify or change it, but you can't remember where that particular post is. Use the "My Comments" link to go directly to any post you have made a comment on. Most members don't even know this is here.
Your Points Summary. This is a link to your total breakdown of points earned here on Active Rain. Every point you'll ever receive will be found here. It's a great tool to see your total points on Featured Posts, comments, regular points, inviting new members points and more. ONLY YOU can see the breakdown of individual points, keep in mind other members can see your over-all points breakdown. TIP: This page can tell a lot about you or other members. Take a look at it, or someone else's, you'll see what I mean! Are you about points or content? Do you comment as much as you receive? Where is your focus here on Active Rain? This link will tell!
Your Blog Statistics. How many comments do you receive? How many views do you get on your post? How many clicks are your posts getting? It's all here at this link. Another great feature of the Statistics link is that you can see every post you've ever submitted on one page! I like using this page to see what's hot and what's not! Using the statistics page will help you determine many things about your Blog and each of the post's you've written.
Your Active Rain Bookmarks. This is the link that will take you to ALL the posts you have book-marked here in Active Rain. We all get the comments from other members that say "I've Book-marked Your Post!" This is so you can refer back to them at a later time when posts get get moved down and buried into a members Blog. The sad thing is, just like "Toy Story" I'm not sure how many of us actually go back and utilize or read the posts we've book-marked. I have hundreds, and am guilty of neglecting them as I am sure you will too. :-)
Inviting Others. Use this link to send an invitation to someone who is NOT currently a member but that you'd like to invite. When you use this link to invite other Real Estate Professionals, you will be credited for their membership and get points for everything they do on Active Rain. You will get a percentage of their points on any activity they have while Blogging here. You also will get points just for them signing up from your invitation. You can also sent an Active Rain Invitation on your own, just be sure to use the proper link or graphic so you can get credit for inviting them.
Links To Active Rain. This link will give you options and graphics to place on other websites and Blogs. This allows you to promote your membership here and the network. You can use the HTML codes here to on outside websites and Blogs. You will receive "Bonus" points when you add these links to other Internet pages. Here is an example of some I have added to my Outside Blog at TechKnowBabble. I suggest doing this not for points, but to help promote our Real Estate Network Community to others!
Your Associates/Associations. Here are all the other members that have added "YOU" as an associate. When you add someone as an associate, don't forget to put a comment in the box at the bottom of the page. When someone adds you as an associate, this is privilege and an honor. Don't just add them without commenting, others want to read why you've added them, this adds credibility and helps them determine if they want to add them too. This in my opinion is one of the best tools on Active Rain. I use it as my Referral Network Resource and would truly refer business to those who I've added and who have added me.
The Final and MOST IMPORTANT TIP HERE: Don't forget to click on the link when you're done making your changes. Trust Me, we have all learned the hard way!! LOL!
Feel free to modify your settings now with the hopefully, a better understanding of what each of these areas and links provides. If you have any questions on how to do ANYTHING here on Active Rain, there are hundreds of instructional posts available, or you can ask right here, I will try to answer or find the answer to your questions or comments. I hope you'll find the same value and relationships that I have. There's nothing quite like being a member here at Active Rain.