Let's make your "AR Blog" easier to navigate.

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Education & Training

Use "Tags" to Organize your ActiveRain Blog 

While Tags no longer have the SEO power they had once held, you may still want to use them on your ActiveRain blog. Recently, I've heard a few RainMakers say they really want to be able to organize their "inside blog" so it looks more like their "outside blog". For those of you who are new to ActiveRain, "inside blog" is slang for your "AR Blog" and your "outside blog" is a feature you get with a RainMaker subscription that allows you to claim a custom domain. This information works for ActiveRain members who aren't RainMakers too, so everyone can use this!

Before we start, look at my tags for this post. You can find the tags at the bottom of this post - right above the comments section. You'll see that I'm using the tags "organization", "activerain help", and "tags". When we're done setting up the links to my tags, you'll be able to find any post I tag with "activerain help" by clicking on my link for "ActiveRain Help" on the right hand side of my blog.

The quick, easy way to use "tags" to organize your AR Blog is to be consistent with how you tag your blog posts. If you're consistent with the tags you use, the trick I'm going to show you will make your tags automatically organize your topics. For example, let's say you write a blog about your new listing in Ballard. You may want to use the tags: "Homes for Sale", "Ballard", and whatever type of home it is. Then, next week, you write a blog about a condo listing in South Lake Union, you might use the tags: "Homes for Sale", "South Lake Union", and "Condo". When we're done setting up the links, visitors will be able to find both of your listings under "Homes for Sale", information about Ballard under "Ballard", and information about condos or homes under their respective links. You could have a link for each city or neighborhood you work in! The other cool thing is that new blog posts with the same tags will show up in those lists automatically.

To get started, go to your blog and click on one of your tags.  You'll see a page with all of the blogs you have tagged with the word you clicked.  

Copy the URL of the page with the list of your blogs.  In my example above, the URL is: http://activerain.com/blogs/jeffgray/tags/activerain%20help  Yours will have the name of your blog in the URL.

Then, go back to your AR Blog and create a link by clicking the [add/remove] button found next to "Links".  The top arrow in the screenshot below shows exactly where that link is on your page.  From there, you'll see a blank for Link and a blank for Link Text.  Paste your URL in the Link blank, and type whatever you want the link to be called in the Link Text blank.  In my case, it's ActiveRain Help.  

Now you can repeat this process for each tag you want your visiters to be able to browse, and you're done!  Now you have an easy, intuitive way for people to browse your AR Blog posts.

Comments (47)

Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Thanks for theGreat info. I'm just getting started with blogging so i will be starting off right after reading this.

Sep 21, 2012 12:38 AM
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Bookmarked to reference this, this is great information!! Thanks for sharing this!

Sep 21, 2012 01:20 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the tips Jeff!

Sep 21, 2012 02:20 AM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

Thanks so much for sharing this - I had no idea I could click on one of my tags and see how many times I had posted on that topic!

Sep 21, 2012 02:48 AM
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

yes tag tag tag so that the seo fairys will find you throughout google and bing and yahoo

Sep 21, 2012 03:02 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Thanks AR for those really cool tricks and tips.  We keep learning.

Sep 21, 2012 05:20 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Jeff, thanks for sharing, it's definitely something worthwhile to implement!
Sep 21, 2012 05:26 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks for this. I was shocked to see how many tags I have - used only once. I'll be much more careful in the future.

Also, I'm with Debbie - would love to be able to back and update my tags for better organization.

Sep 21, 2012 06:59 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jeff - Thx for your response, but it's not really working.  Yes, I can "edit" the tags...but no it does not get rid of the 500+ that I already have.  As a result, this tool is pretty useless to me.

Sep 21, 2012 10:14 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is good information.  I'm going to go back and organize my posts when I have time!

Sep 21, 2012 04:26 PM
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Jeff...this is a MASSIVE project to do for me now. As AR does ANY kind of initial training for "newbies" this should be a top priority so they don't create a tag mess like I have.

That said, when I go to tag a post, most of the time Active Rain auto-populates with the phrase or words I've used before. Easy peazy to keep up. But then, there are times when this feature does not work...and bam...where am I?

It contributes to the mess. And I can't tell you how many pages I have of tags I need to consolidate. Maybe that's why I keep putting it off.

UGH!

Sep 23, 2012 10:11 PM
Jeff Gray
Seattle, WA

Wow!  Thanks for all the feedback guys!!!  I'll try to address your concerns as best as I can!

@Lyn: Sounds like you have some articles posted to channels that no longer exist and that's what's tripping you up.  I called to see if I could help, but I got your voice mail.  Call me and we'll see what we can do to fix this!

@Mark: Just in case I wasn't clear, tags don't do anything for SEO anymore.  According to the research I did before I posted this article, the tags at the bottom of your AR blogs have been useless for SEO for about four or five years now.  Tags are only useful for organization now.  I hope that this article has helped you organize your blog! 

@Debbie:  I tried calling you this afternoon too.  I left a message on your voice mail, so give me a call and I'll help.  I know you have tons of tags, and I see that you have lots and lots of one-of's.  You can just add whatever tag you want to use for organization and create a link for that one.  You really want this to be a short list, a few bullet points of what you think people might want to see when they come to your blog.  In your case, I'd think you would want to make them as simple as "Hardwood Flooring", "Laminate Flooring", "'Green' Flooring", and "Flooring Guide".  I don't think you really need any location terms because you're dealing more with remodels than selling houses in specific neighborhoods.  Obviously, suit this to your taste.

@Thom:  I posted this in the "newbies" group on AR in hopes that I would catch people who weren't too far into their blogging coreer with us.  I'll see what I can do about getting this added to the F.A.Q.  

ActiveRain doesn't suggest what your tags should be when you're writing them but your browser can and sometimes will auto populate information, but I wouldn't count on it.  When you clear your cache (and you should every once in a while) then it won't make suggestions to populate your old tags anymore -- until you enter a tag again.  I think that may be the problem you're talking about in your second paragraph.  

@Eveyone:  I know this would have been really useful information years ago.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that you could do this until about a month or two ago.  Just so you know, you can check your tags on your AR Blog by clicking on the "Tags" drop down menu on the right hand side of your blog, but no consumer sees that.  Log out of your profile and then visit your blog, you'll see what I mean.  If you delete some of the tags, be aware that they make 24 hours to disappear from your "Tags" drop down.  It's only there to help you find stuff on your own blog.

Remember, you don't need to delete the old tags on your blog.  Don't get so hung up on how you've been doing it.  You want to keep your list of links to be short for it to be effective.  This is to save your reader's time.  Just add whatever tag you want to have the important blogs show up by, then follow the steps above!  

Sep 24, 2012 09:35 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Jeff I was just looking at this today and relized mine is a mess.  Thanks for the post and I hope to get some organzing done soon.  It's a lot of work but it would be so worth it for the readers.

Oct 19, 2012 08:58 AM
Andrew Ostrander
Ostrander Real Estate Group - Phoenix, AZ
Ostrander Real Estate Group

Thanks for the great tip, though I think I may want to read that a 2nd time when I start actually doing it.  What a great handy feature.  :)

Oct 19, 2012 11:26 AM
Amada Slade
Island Realty of the Lowcountry - Beaufort, SC

I just found this and want to say Thank you for making all this a little less complicated.  

Oct 20, 2012 06:46 AM
Jeff Gray
Seattle, WA

@Anna, Andrew, and Amanda: You're very welcome!  I think I've got it all sketched out in the blog and in my comments, but let me know if you run into trouble!

Oct 22, 2012 05:29 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I have been using the tags just to help me find past posts. Maybe messy but it sure works for me.

Margaret

Oct 26, 2012 01:32 PM
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

That's awesome.  I only have 20 blog posts, so it was pretty easy for me to go through and add a few tags that I used to group posts with common themes.  I left all the other ones there, too.  No harm, no foul.  But I love the way the new categories line up on my blog now.  Lovely.  Thanks!

Feb 27, 2013 03:49 AM
Jeff Gray
Seattle, WA

@Brad:  Thanks for the feedback!  I'm glad this helped!

Feb 27, 2013 06:03 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Wow, I am getting to great blogs but coming so late. Hope this is still relevant. I have to say that I would have to read it a few times, as it is not as easy for me as I would have preferred :)

I believe AR moved the tags from the blog page, so I do not see them on the right side, or I am doing something wrong

Feb 05, 2015 10:47 AM