3 Easy Ways to Customize Your Active Rain Blog

By
Real Estate Technology with Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency

Customize Your Active Rain Blog

Your Active Rain blog should be an extension of your brand. It’s not only a location for additional information, but should be a destination for anyone looking to connect with you online.

The design of your blog plays an important role in your online presence. It allows you to share who you are, what you are all about and where anyone in need of your services can find you.

A messy or carelessly put together blog will not convey the professional presence you want your readers to receive. Whether you are new to Active Rain or just haven’t taken the time to customize your blog, committing 30 minutes to updating or adding to it can make a world of difference in how often your subscribers return.

1. Create a Unique Blog Header

There are many reasons to customize your blog header. Branding, visibility, marketing and promotional opportunities are just a few. Contrary to popular belief, creating a blog header does not have to be time consuming or left up to the pro’s.

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a blog designer, putting together an attractive header can be quick and simple to do. You have several options, but my favorite online editor is Picnik.

Steps to designing your Active Rain header with this FREE online photo editor:

Design Active Rain Header in Picnik

  • Sign up for a FREE Picnik account
  • Upload your photos from your computer or connect to Facebook and access all of your Facebook photos
  • From the Home Tab, choose “Collage”
  • Choose the look of your collage
  • The pictures you uploaded will be in the bottom left corner of your screen. Drag and drop the photos into your collage.
  • Once your pictures are in the order you want them in, click Done.
  • You are now able to add effects or text to your collage. Once you are finished, your final step is to choose your file size and then save. Your Active Rain header should be 960x130.

You can also choose to edit one photo as opposed to creating a collage. Simply upload your photo and crop to the desired size. Add effects or text and save just as above.

Once you have saved your header to your desktop, upload and save within your “Customize” tab in the top left hand corner of your home page. Then choose your background colors to match.

Upload Active Rain Header

2. Unclutter Your Sidebar

As bloggers we have the ability to customize our Active Rain blog sidebar by adding widgets that either promotes our product, service or various other websites. The top two mistakes I see many Active Rain bloggers make are:

  • Not customizing their sidebar at all
  • Customizing their sidebar with all sorts of junk like misplaced widgets and oversized images.

Your sidebar should be a gateway to new connections, increased website visitors and in the end - additional income. Consequently, if it is poorly assembled, then there should be profit gained by improving it.

What to Add to Your Active Rain Sidebar:

  • Your Facebook Fan Page Widget
  • A free e-book that directs them to your website
  • A “contact me” widget
  • An RSS feed of your blog posts
  • Promote Your YouTube Videos
  • Google Voice Widget
  • Make Your Own Widget

How to Add Widgets to Your Active Rain Sidebar:

  • Click on Settings from the left side of your Home
  • Grab html code from any of your social networking sites, rss feeds, etc and add them to the “Blog Description”

3. Use Customized Icons in Your Profile and Signature

So many times I see random sets of icons that are strewn about on a profile or signature. Clean up your profile by adding customized icons that offer a simple way for people to connect with you on all of your social networks.

http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/30-best-free-icon-sets-for-bloggers/

http://www.dezinerfolio.com/2007/09/25/top-50-supercool-free-icon-sets/

http://webdesignledger.com/freebies/the-best-social-media-icons-all-in-one-place

http://www.komodomedia.com/blog/2009/06/social-network-icon-pack/

http://www.blogperfume.com/social-media-icons-pack-in-3-sizes-for-download/

For step by step instructions, see How to Add Social Media Buttons to Your Active Rain Signature.

Want to know how I capture, edit, add text and share all of my photo and video tutorials? See tomorrow’s Tuesday Tech Tip for all of the details!

Comments (108)

Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

I gave you a few Plus Ones, too!

Sep 06, 2011 04:37 PM
Jayne Clement
Keller Williams Realty - Los Feliz, CA
Los Angeles Short Sale Agents

Another good post to bookmark!  Thx for the tips!

Sep 06, 2011 09:03 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Good post and I know I need to do some upgrades to my Active Rain Blog.  Thanks for the post.

Sep 07, 2011 10:36 AM
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Great information! I am keeping the tab open with this one to use as reference! 

Sep 07, 2011 05:47 PM
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Rebekah - You are on a roll obviously.   Great information here for both the blogger newbie and the AR veteran.  Everyone's blog can always be better, crisper and have a better "first image".

Also featured on "Build a Better Blog" group on AR.

And just subscribed to your blog as well.  Look forward to "chatting" with you more.

 

Sep 11, 2011 02:27 AM
Jacki Shodja
Home Staging in Orange County and LA - Ladera Ranch, CA

I've been wondering exactly HOW to do everything you described in your post. I'm becoming more active on Active Rain, so what a find this was! Thank you!!!

Sep 14, 2011 09:59 AM
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV
CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com

Rebekah ... Great advice, well written and very informative!  Thanks, I'm so happy I found this!

Sep 18, 2011 07:46 AM
Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp
To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Southwest Missouri Realty - Springfield, MO
"Home"work, I have the Answers!

GREAT  blog, you always share such Valuable Information!  Thank YOU!!!!

Sep 22, 2011 04:02 AM
Maggie McFarland
RE/MAX Pearland - Maggie McFarland - Pearland, TX
Pearland Realtor, Homes for Sale in Pearland Texas

Hi Rebekah, I know you wrote this post last month but, I wanted to stop back and tell you thank you for the information.  I have been blogging for awhile but, never did anything with my banner.  It looks much better now.  Thanks again.

Oct 01, 2011 08:20 AM
Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Specializing in Carroll Co., MD

Rebekah ~ I may finally get icons in place thanks to you! Thanks bunches!

Oct 01, 2011 05:52 PM
Jill Watts
Realty Pro, Inc. - Vancouver, WA
A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point!

I have a newbie friend on AR (Jake Palen at JP Sign Setters) and I will certainly send him this blog! Thanks!

 

Oct 06, 2011 05:09 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Rebekah-I don't what took me so long to personalize my blog, after reading your article it was a piece of cake.

 

Best

Dec 03, 2011 09:23 AM
DAdrea Davie
Keller Williams Realty - Stockton, CA
Stanislaus & San Joaquin Short Sale Agent

I am definitely going to revisit this blog so I can un-clutter my blog page. I would like to know how you created the automatic typing in you GOOGLE ME page? Great Post!

Dec 08, 2011 02:42 AM
Rebekah Radice
Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency - Burbank, CA
Social Media Marketing, Coaching & Training

Hi D'Andrea - The link is http://lmgtfy.com/ or Let Me Google That For You.  Pretty cute, huh?  I love how simple it is!  Have fun with it!!

Dec 08, 2011 03:08 AM
Tina Marinelli
Jane Brown Assoc - Edgartown, MA

Hi Rebekah, thank you for these tips I have bookmarked your page and will utilize this information.

I agree creativity an a unique profile is interesting for the reader.  I am a newbie  :)

Tina

Feb 18, 2012 12:11 AM
Yvonne Schnee
Keller Williams Realty Moorestown - Lumberton, NJ

Will definitely bookmark this for future reference. Thanks for all of the information!!!

Mar 22, 2012 03:32 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I am be3coming one of your biggest fans.  Great job and thanks for sharing this information.  

Nov 24, 2012 10:44 PM
Virginia (Ginger) Schott
Cabins & Canoes - Port Jervis, NY
Assoc. Broker, CBR, CHMS

Great Information, I'm using it now!

Dec 19, 2012 02:55 AM
Peggy Harmeyer- Harmeyer Team
RE/MAX Real EstateGroup.com - Altoona, IA
Licensed in the State of Iowa

I read one of your blogs and I am enticed to look at more of your blogs.  Great information and education.  Keep on writing! 

 

Mar 27, 2013 12:00 PM
Lani Stern
Toronto, ON
Your lifetime agent

As a 24 year old who grew up with a laptop, you would expect that this would be common knowledge. Thank you for teaching me tricks at my own game!

Sep 24, 2013 06:28 AM