Here are a whole bunch of little tips for you to consider as you spend your time blogging and reading in ActiveRain. Here are 10 tips for you!
1. Insert a Hyperlink Shortcut
Every post we write usually has one or more hyperlinks to other relevant pages. To insert a hyperlink, you first select the text you want to link, then you click the "insert link" button. Did you know there is a shortcut key for this, highlight your text and press Ctrl+K. I use that all the time. (if you are on Mac that might be Control-K, you'll have to let me know since I can't test that)
2. Make your Hyperlink Color Stand Out
In ActiveRain, the current styling has a color for hyperlinks that I feel should be changed. It is a blue that is very similar to the color of our regular text so that it really doesn't stand out. You could link something and a majority of your audience didn't see the different color and thus don't see the link. After you link something, you can override the color of the link by using the font color selector on the toolbar. Choose a lighter color blue to make it pop out. You can learn more about that on this post that I wrote. ← see... isn't that color better
3. Make your Video Embed Bigger
I still see all the time video embeds on posts that are small. Why are you making us watch tiny videos on our big computer screens? You have 700 pixels of width in your blog area, why are you making us watch tiny videos? Check out my instructions on my blog post about embedding a video into your post to learn how to do it better.
4. Don't Tag a Person in Their Own Post
Recently, ActiveRain added the excellent feature of being able to tag another person in a comment so that they know you mentioned them. This is very helpful especially when you are replying back to what somebody else said and they know that you responded. They will get a system sent email that they were mentioned. However, I'm seeing quite a few who tag to mention the author of the post on the author's own post. The author already gets an email for every comment. So by tagging them in a comment on their post, you just sent them a second email for the same comment. It's a little thing but if you watch that, it will cut the extra email.
5. Drag and Drop to Insert an Image
When you insert an image in an AR post, a browse box automatically appears now to browse to select file. Somewhat hidden behind that is an area that if you wish to, you can simply drag and drop your image there. I'm always working with a folder open of the files I'm working with. So I prefer drag and drop. I'm already looking at the file. It saves me from having to go find it again through the browse dialog. When you see the browse for file box, simply press the Esc key or click the cancel button and then you will be free to drag and drop your file to upload it.
6. Enlarge your blog editing area
When you are in the compose blog post editing box, sometimes you might feel a little cramped. Maybe you wish you could see more of your post in the vertical direction before needing to scroll(if you have a higher resolution screen, this might happen). Notice the bottom right corner of the editing box how it has a special shading. That means that you can drag the corner downward to give yourself more vertical room to write in!
7. Make Your Font Bigger
Looking at a whole bunch of small words is a quick way to disinterest someone from reading more. The default font in AR is a little small in my opinion. Consider the 12 point font size option to make it just a little easier to read. Simply select your text and then use the font sizes toolbar at the top of the editor to choose the larger size.
(PS - this post is in 12 point font, do you like it?
Compare --- this line is in the default smaller size)
8. Find Your Most Viewed Blog Post
On your stats page, you can click the headings to sort by that column. Click on your "Clicks" heading to make the list sort by the posts with the most page views. Which posts of your blogging past have ranked the highest number of eyeballs looking?
9. Social Blog
I feel this is a little known feature that is easily overlooked. Sometimes you just are in the mood to see everything new that was written by those you have subscribed to. Rather than go to your newsfeed and click in and click back and click in and click back, let AR just show you everything! All you can eat! It is called the "social blog" view. It is a link you find on the front page of AR and is easy to miss.
10. Power Click Your Newsfeed
Here's another way to go through your reading list. If you are like me there are a couple of places you routinely check. The AR Featured/Home Page and Following page. In each of those lists there are always so many posts to go check out. Why not set up your reading list with some "power clicks". For any post linked on the newsfeed, press and hold the Ctrl key as you click each post. This will open up a series of tabs in your browser. Ctrl+ click, click, click and you just lined up your reading list! Each post will be all loaded in tabs and ready for you to come read it.