ActiveRain Grab Bag - 10 Tips For You

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

 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.

Posted by

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my blog today. I'm a tech guy living in New York City but I love that I can reach so many via means of the web. In my blog posts and tutorial videos, you'll get many new takeaway points that you'll be able to apply. By following my blog (button below), you will be able to see my new posts in your "following" newsfeed. If you enjoyed this post also be sure and click "like". It helps me see that my content is hitting the mark!

My blog home page lists my most recent posts, so if you feel like reading more, that's the place to go next!

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Donna Foerster 09/20/2014 09:20 AM
ActiveRain Community
tech tips

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Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Excellent list! I was impressed starting with #1 LOL. I never have heard of the Ctr K option. Many of the other s I knew but this will be so helpful!  Oh and yes, the 12 font is nice!

Sep 20, 2014 01:22 PM #62
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great tips Craig, many of these I am familiar with, number nine was new, and I have had sporadic results with number ten.


Sep 20, 2014 04:14 PM #63
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Craig, you always find something new for me to try out.

Sep 20, 2014 09:37 PM #64
Melissa Zimmerman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty - Huntersville, NC

Thanks for all the helpful tips!


Sep 20, 2014 09:41 PM #65
ReadySetLoan Condo Approval Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
The FHA/VA Condo Project Approval Specialists

Great article Craig!  I was unaware of #10.  I line up my reading in tabs like you mentioned but I use many more clicks to accomplish the same thing. This will save me time!  Thank you

Sep 20, 2014 10:48 PM #66
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Craig: I'm booking marking this post. I'm coming over from Kathy's post this morning and can see why she featured the 10 grab bag items..didn't know about #10 either and YES I like the 12 point font!!

Sep 21, 2014 12:33 AM #67
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Well done Craig! This one is packed with information and needs to be bookmarked for later. Thanks!

Sep 21, 2014 12:49 AM #68
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

What I learned

Thanks Craig Daniels 

Sep 21, 2014 12:53 AM #69
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Wow, that is a great load of information and I will have to bookmark it!

Sep 21, 2014 12:54 AM #70
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I don't embed video that often, so when I do, I tend to forget about sizing it.

I had no idea about dragging/dropping images or enlarging the blog editing area.

So glad Kathy included this in her favs!  Great tips!



Sep 21, 2014 07:57 AM #71
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thank Craig - just did number 10 and it works well...the others I knew about!

Sep 21, 2014 10:55 AM #72
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Great post. I totally agree with not tagging a member in their own comment section...too many emails. 

Sep 21, 2014 11:06 AM #73
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Craig, again I learn new things.  Didn't know about the drop in the photo.  I am going to try that out! Thank you!

Sep 21, 2014 11:24 AM #74
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Craig, okay I'll say it. I LOVE YOU. You give us the goods every single time and you are a Dream Guy when it comes to the techie stuff. 

If there was an Academy Award for this category, you would WIN. Hands down. 

Thanks goes to Kathy Streib for spotlighting you. I HAD to bookmark as always!

Sep 21, 2014 12:00 PM #75
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Good Morning Craig: Stopping by from Kathy. I would have missed this if it were not for her. So many pointers to utilize. I will be testing the drag and power click today. Thank you.

Sep 21, 2014 08:52 PM #76
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Thank you so much for this amazing, informative post!   I've bookmarked it and look forward to improving my posts.

Sep 23, 2014 10:43 AM #77
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales

Thanks Craig. I always appreciate your tips.

Oct 31, 2014 09:18 PM #78
Cheryl! Tisland
Realty Executives Phoenix - Chandler, AZ
BSCS, Real Estate Agent

Craig, I jumped over here from your other post from today.  Thanks for the tips.  I am new to AR and have taken note especially to number 4 on this list as I think I thought that it was a good idea to always tag the person I am responding to in comments, but you are correct in that they are already getting notified of a comment on their own blog post.  Point noted.  ;-)

Nov 15, 2014 04:35 AM #79
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Craig - I had missed this earlier, and so glad that I caught it now.    Great tips - in particular, the one at #10.    And, dragging the photos in.   Love them!   

Have a very very happy New Year, and a prosperous year, too!

Jan 01, 2015 04:51 AM #80
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Craig - You offer some excellent tips on how to enhance the AR experience. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 04, 2015 02:33 AM #81
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Craig Daniels

Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
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