Special offer

5 Reasons to use your ActiveRain Outside blog.

Education & Training

5 Reasons to set up your ActiveRain Outside blog.

I'm sure at some point, each one of you has asked yourself, "So, what's the point of an ActiveRain outside blog?"  The answer is, there aren't very many reasons to start a new outside blog these days.  Here are a few, and I hope this article can guide you to the reasons that work for you.  

Keep in mind that there are people out there in ActiveRain-land that are seeing success with getting their outside blog in Google's results.  If you're not one of them, these are some good ways to make your outside blog useful.  I don't recommend starting a new outside blog until you've read everything you see below.  If you have set up an outside blog with ActiveRain already and you don't care about anything you read below, forget that you have an outside blog.  You'll be better for it.  As far as yours truly can see, the only valid reasons to set up an outside blog are:


1) It's great for offline marketing!  

It's easier to tell your potential client to go to "www.jeffhasanawesomebeard.com" than "www.activerain.com/blogs/jeffgray". (No, that page doesn't exist. ...Yet!) You control almost everything people see on your outside blog.  It's branded.  With your brand!  Just don't forget to set up your Hit Router so you don't get frustrated.  My advice is that you need to put your outside blog's URL on your business cards or don't set one up.  

Before you read the next two reasons to use your ActiveRain outside blog, remember that everything gets posted to your AR Blog first and then gets sent to your outside blog afterwards.  People who go to your AR Blog will see all the stuff you've put on your outside blog too.

2) You want a place to send people for hyper-local information!  

You cover a large area and you don't want to make people wade through blogs about five counties they don't care about to get to the stuff they want.  You might want to use your outside blog for this.  The bottom line is, don't use your outside blog to tell me about Seattle.  Your outside blog will not rank for Seattle without YEARS of work on your part.  And it's possible that it never will.  To make better use of your time, talk about homes in the Ballard area -- and only homes in the Ballard area -- in your outside blog, and you might see some success.  

3) You want a place for your niche blog posts!  

You want to be able to send people somewhere to find out about the next cool thing.  So, you want to get traffic from a niche market?  You know, something to reach people who are interested in green living or "green" homes, but you know that sometimes you're going talk about other stuff too?  Have all your green living stuff on an outside blog.  Post all the other stuff only on your AR Blog.  If you're going to use your outside blog for niche marketing, don't ever post anything that isn't about your niche on your outside blog.  Ever.

4) You can use cool things like Google analytics!  

This helps you track how your readers are finding your blog.  I'm not going to lie, this one's pretty cool.  The problem is: Google analytics don't matter if the blog gets no traffic.  If you want more help with making sure your blog posts get read, check out all the great information we have at the ActiveRain University!

5) You crave organization!  

You want to make it easy for readers who find your blog to search what you've posted on your blog.  Your outside blog has some cool built-in features that let you organize posts by topics.  If you follow the instructions in my blog about organizing your AR Blog, you'll see that you can organize your AR Blog pretty easily.  Remember that everything you post to your outside blog is on your AR Blog first.  The other things on this list are the real reasons to set up your outside blog.


If you can honestly tell yourself that you want at least three of the five of these things, your outside blog is worthy of the time it takes to set it up.  Remember that posting your information on ActiveRain in your AR Blog is a huge reason your information can be found on the top of Google's SERP's.  We can't say the same for your ActiveRain outside blog.  You have to be smart about how you use it!  The reason ActiveRain still gives an outside blog to those of you who sign up for a RainMaker subscription is that there are some people who use them with great success.  There is a very high correlation among the people doing what I've outlined here and the people getting traffic with their outside blog.  

My advice about ActiveRain is, and always has been, do the things that will give you the greatest reward with the least effort.  Post great content that's timeless.  Get people as close to the information you think they will want or need when they are reading your posts.  Link to your lead capture website if you have one.  Get a lead capture website if you don't have one.  This goes for anyone posting on ActiveRain for any reason.  

I'm sure you may ask yourself, "What's the point of all this effort?".  It's to get people to talk to you!  To get more business!  Right?  You have to make it easy for your readers to contact you in a way that makes them comfortable.  If they don't want to talk on the phone, they won't call you.  It won't matter if your phone number is all over your blog.  You have to give them other avenues to contact you.  But that sounds like the topic for another blog post...


Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Great information shared here.  Thanks I have bookmarked for later reference.

Oct 19, 2012 08:49 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jeff - THx for your thoughts and perspectives.  I have been here for a while (one month less than Bliz) and pretty consistent - usually 10 blogs/wk (although maybe only 8 are public).  My posts rank very well for their key words, and my WP site is doing amazing and we are getting tons of calls....we can barely keep up and I am hiring more people.

It's just that the AR outside blog has never worked well for me (and my domain is keyword rich).  I know it's worked for a few here (but very few).  For me, my Wordpress site has been much more successful and faster to build (and w/ fewer posts) so that serves the #1 purpose you mention.  So, I will continue doing what I'm doing because it's working great.

Oct 19, 2012 08:53 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I've made my outside blog niche specific an dit has worked well for me.   I don't put all of my posts on my outside blog and it helps with the focus.

Oct 19, 2012 09:00 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Thanks for that info.  I don't think I truly knew what it was for, or how to correctly use it.  I will use it more.

Oct 19, 2012 09:33 AM
Andrew Ostrander
Ostrander Real Estate Group - Phoenix, AZ
Ostrander Real Estate Group

Thanks for the great info and I am going to one of your links in a second as well.  I am using the outside post but will try to use it more effectively now.  :)

Oct 19, 2012 11:12 AM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I think the suggestion to make the outside blog focused like a laser on one topic is spot on. What about the free outside blog we have? I do not understand that at all - how to use it, etc.


Oct 19, 2012 12:11 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - BLiz has used their outside blog to effectively market their patio home niche. It works well used properly.

Oct 19, 2012 04:08 PM
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

My outside blog has really worked for me. You have shared very valid points. Thanks

Oct 19, 2012 08:25 PM
Lynn Pruitt
Keller Williams Lanier Partners - Hartwell, GA

Great post.  Very helpful!  Thank you!


Oct 19, 2012 09:24 PM
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
Thanks for sharing - I have never did the outside blog but will check more into it now. Thanks again.
Oct 19, 2012 09:27 PM
Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

Sound like good  reasons to head over and start using my outside blog-  Thanks for this information.

Oct 21, 2012 02:00 AM
Jeff Gray
Seattle, WA

@Kathy: You're welcome!

@Debbie:  I'm glad ActiveRain is working for you!  Call us if you have questions!  You have our number, right?

@Cindy:  I'm glad my observations match your experience! :)

@Gary, Andrew, and Dale:  I don't think you're alone in that situation.  Fortunately, it's something you can fix!  Let me know how it goes!

@Sharon:  I'm sorry, I don't really understand your question.  This blog post talks about how to use your outside blog.  Did I miss something in your comment?  If you want to know how to set up your outside blog and make it look pretty, you should check out the video tutorial on the ActiveRain University.  I'll be happy to help if I just wasn't clear!

@Christine:  BLiz was definately one of the ActiveRainer's I was talking about seeing success from how they use their outside blog.

@David and other people seeing results:  Did you have any other tips for success or reasons to use the outside blog that I didn't list?  Thanks for your feedback!

@Lynn, Norma, Michele, and anyone else who wants to set up an outside blog:  You're welcome!  :)  I might suggest checking out outside blogs from BLiz, Janis, Bryan, Cindy, and David.  They're seeing success, so you should probably look at how they have their stuff set up before you start!

Oct 22, 2012 05:53 AM
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Good fpoints, I should be doing more with my outside blog... I do not do much with it...

Oct 23, 2012 12:15 AM
Rachell Lara & A List Properties
eXp Realty / 619.316.7445 - San Diego, CA
A List Properties - San Diego Neighborhood Experts

Very helpful for helping getting me to do something with it, but now how to decide the niche to use.  

Nov 23, 2012 06:37 AM
Carol Fox
Allen Tate Company 704-905-3935 - Matthews, NC
Helping You Discover Charlotte's Best Small Towns


I post only hyperlocal stuff to AR.  I like the organization of my outside blog and use it as an online relocation package.  When people ask me for information about my area, I send them a link to my outside blog and point out to them how they can use the organizational features in the sidebar to find the topics that interest them.


Jan 20, 2013 04:12 AM
Scott Farmer
Charlotte Waterfront, Making Clients Successful! - Mount Holly, NC
Broker, Realtor, Scott Farmer Properties, Inc.

Jeff, I already have an established web site and am slowly working on content.  Can that serve as my "outside blog" instead of the free RainMaker blog from AR?  It's established and would be a shame to switch gears. That's what I was told by an AR support employee.

Jan 20, 2013 06:44 AM
Jeff Gray
Seattle, WA

@Carol:  That's exactly how I would recommend using your outside blog! :)

@Meg:  The short answer to your question is "no".  The AR Blog and the AR Outside blog are linked via ActiveRain.  Your outside blog is populated by your AR Blog posts that you tell ActiveRain to duplicate there.  There's no way to tell ActiveRain to duplicate content to your own website.  Honestly, you wouldn't want that anyway.

Duplicate content is a killer for SEO.  If you were to post your material on ActiveRain and on your own website, it would hurt the chances of that information showing up in search results.  

I apologize for any misunderstanding, but you can not make ActiveRain republish the content you post to your AR Blog to any website other than your outside blog and you can not make an established web site your AR outside blog.  You can use a domain name that you already own as your domain for your outside blog.  If you do that, everything on that domain is replaced by our AR outside blog template and the old content is lost.

Please give us a call at 206 701 1475 or email us at support@ActiveRain.com.  We'll be happy to explain this further.

Jan 21, 2013 01:16 AM
Potranco Realty
Potranco Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Potranco Realty"

Jeff, thanks for helping me out today with my account and I'm glad you sent me to this particular blog for outside blogs, Great information and helpful tips.

Best Wishes, Bob

Feb 21, 2013 03:01 AM
Elva Branson-Lee
Best Atlanta - Atlanta, GA
Marketing Specialist, Atlanta Short Sale Pr

So glad that Kristi directed me to this post, Jeff, as this is information I've been looking for and wondering about.

Dec 30, 2013 08:43 AM
Ann Marie Clements
Remax Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD
Montgomery County & Frederick County

Great information! I am working on an outside blog. I am new to blogging and am enjoying it very much. 

Nov 08, 2014 08:31 AM