Your ActiveRain Stats

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Once you have been blogging for a while, you will have accumulated a fairly long list of blog posts. Hopefully you've been mixing your topics. If so, you might have a mix of localism posts, market reports, and answering frequently asked questions for your audience. 

How well are your posts performing?

If you monitor your stats page after you post, you'll be able to know. The stats page will show you how many views, comments, and likes on your posts. Ideally Google will pick up on some of your posts as well and over time some of these posts may take off more than others. What were the topics that did better than others? That would be a useful thing to know.

Sorting Your Stats

If you click a column heading on your stats page, it will sort the page by that metric. So if you click the views heading, your posts with the most views will come to the top. How many views do you have on your most viewed post? (leave a comment below and let us know!)

Exporting Allows a More Comprehensive Review

If you are a data geek like me, you really love to dive in and analyze data to learn from it. Exporting your data from ActiveRain is easy to do. On your stats page, at the top right of the chart, you can click on the "Export Results" link and download a CSV file. (CSV stands for "comma separated values" which basically means it is a format that you can open in your spreadsheet app like Excel).

Formatting Your Raw File to Make It Readable

Once you open your file in your spreadsheet, it will at first be hard to read. You can adjust your column widths as necessary to be able to read the data. I also often adjust the font and font size settings. 

Excel and other spreadsheet apps have a tool to take a block of data like we see above and make it easier to review by commands like sorting and filtering. The command in Excel is "Create Table". If your any cell inside the data is selected, you can then press Ctrl+T (for Windows, Command+T for Mac) to convert to a table. In addition, tables by default are styled with alternate row shading which makes the data more readable as well.

A Comma Caveat

As mentioned above, a CSV export type is where excel splits the received data into cells based on the commas in the received data. One problem with this file type becomes obvious if you have commas in your data. Take a post title that says Themes, Signatures, and Profile Pages (like you see in my post below)

Excel will split this title up into separate cells instead of keeping the title in a single cell. This is a pretty easy fix once you have opened the Excel file. I'll show you how to fix the row of data in the video at the bottom of this post.

What You Can Do With Tables

By clicking the button in the header cell of any column, you can sort the data by that column (such as to show the posts with the most views). You can also create a filtered list where it shows only posts with a certain keyword. See my example below, filtered by the word "profile"

Conditional Formatting Helps Visualize Magnitude

Seeing a large set of numbers can be hard sometimes to comprehend magnitude of scale. Excel has conditional formatting preset rules to help quickly visualize data sets. In the below snapshot, I did conditional formatting on my views column for my posts. The "Data Bars" rule will show bars of varying lengths to illustrate the value. The longer bars quickly pop out as posts to take note of. You can also use the "Color Scales" formatting. Magnitude is represented by differing colors (in this case, red for lower performing and green for higher performing)

Saving Your File

Remember how we started off with a CSV file. Since we have done all this work in formatting our file, we'll need to use the "Save As" command and change the file type from CSV to Excel (.xlsx) format. This way all of our formatting will be retained (which a CSV type cannot store).

Making the URLs Clickable

Now that you have a master list of all your posts, it would be helpful to be able to click on the URL and jump straight to the post. Initially, the URL cells are not clickable. If you double click any URL cell to go into "editing mode" and then select the URL text, you can jump over to a browser window and paste to go to the page. Not ideal, but that gets the job done. 

For the more advanced Excel geeks out there, you can insert a new column and use the hyperlink formula in this format
=HYPERLINK(B2, "Link")

This will make every row in the whole list show a link that you can click to get to the post. You can use the text "Link" to make the column nice and narrow (compared to seeing the long URL). Hide the B column afterwards, leaving just the C column visible.

And if there any super ActiveRain Data geeks (raises hand), you can go further and use the formula that shows the specific post ID number as the link text
So instead of saying "Link" it will show 5792456 as an example link text. This formula parses the URL text between the 4th and 5th slash characters to get the post number. Okay, there's probably about 0.3% of you reading this that will go that far, but I thought it was a neat twist. 🤣 My first post on the site in 2010 was 1,796,177 and my last one was 5,792,456. That's nearly 4 million posts (by us) added to the site in those 13 years! #datageek

What We Have Learned Today

Ok, so I took us beyond the case of the ActiveRain stats to dive into a little more Excel training. But it was a good case study. You learned about some neat features like Tables and Conditional formatting. 

Instead of stats data, perhaps you could imagine downloading the CSV transactions for the past year from your checking account. You could turn that into a table. You can then sort and filter just in the same way. For example, you could filter all your transactions to show just a particular utility company or other payee.

The How To Video

In case you learn better by watching than reading, or if any of the above wasn't clear enough, here's the how to video.

(pro tip: after video starts, press F key to view in full screen)


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I appreciate every new subscriber
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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
Are you ready to learn?
Welcome to Craig’s Classroom!

PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (26)

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Craig,

It is always good to get a refresher and help those who may not know about these features.  Thank you.

Jun 29, 2023 08:37 AM
Craig Daniels

I took it through a couple different levels so hopefully something new for most everyone. thanks

Jun 29, 2023 03:09 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Crai  and thank you for the great information in your blog with us today.  Make it a good one.

Jun 29, 2023 08:40 AM
Craig Daniels

thanks Will

Jun 29, 2023 03:09 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Crain great information as always.  I was not familiar with the export feature.

Jun 29, 2023 08:41 AM
Craig Daniels

Yes, getting the data into excel adds a whole new dimension. Thanks George Souto 

Jun 29, 2023 03:09 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Morning Craig, when I get stuck with new blogs, I do look back into the stats, it is eye-opening at times which ones get more views.   Thanks for all your valuable information.


Jun 29, 2023 08:41 AM
Craig Daniels

Looking over my list, I had forgotten about a lot of the posts I had made. It is good for generating new post ideas when we look back.

Jun 29, 2023 03:10 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Craig Daniels Your information is always so informative you are a real guru!  Many times I look at my stats and wonder where all the clicks are coming from as I may not receive many from AR and I realize they are coming from other sources. I have booked marked this post as it is full of incredible information 

Jun 29, 2023 08:55 AM
Craig Daniels

Yes, we expect a certain number of views from AR members watching the blog feed. When a post exceeds expectation, it hopefully means outside eyes have discovered it.

Jun 29, 2023 03:12 PM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Thank YOU for this valuable information! I've bookmarked this, to read it very closely.

Jun 29, 2023 09:17 AM
Craig Daniels

thank you Faye

Jun 29, 2023 03:12 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Thanks for this detailed explanation in writing, Craig. I remembered a lot of what you covered in our Zoom call, but not all of it. So now I've saved the post, as well.

Jun 29, 2023 09:50 AM
Craig Daniels

Thanks Nina Hollander, Broker - I took the ideas from the zoom call demo and added a few additional points. Plus having it on youtube means more have a chance to see it.

Jun 29, 2023 03:13 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Craig Daniels hi Craig... now that explains why I felt I had totally missed out one some things... happy to know it's not my brain!

Jun 30, 2023 04:36 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

A very nice tutorial; confessions of a nerd- I did something similar to this a while back and now I feel like I have company. :-)

Jun 29, 2023 10:05 AM
Craig Daniels

Very nice to add you to my subscriptions list Chuck Willman . hope to see more of your posts as well. Thanks!

Jun 29, 2023 03:14 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

my mom is a retired accountant and my dad a retired engineer, so following the numbers is how I'm wired. 

Jun 29, 2023 10:59 AM
Craig Daniels

I like that wiring Tammy, good stuff!

Jun 29, 2023 03:14 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Thanks for the refresher on getting value out of our stats for posts. It helps to make them more productive.

Jun 29, 2023 11:20 AM
Craig Daniels

I would hope it makes people think about where they've been to influence where they are going next. Thanks Ed Silva 

Jun 29, 2023 03:15 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for a helpful update on better using our AR stats.

Jun 29, 2023 12:06 PM
Craig Daniels

There's some definitely useful information there when we are looking for it. Thanks!

Jun 29, 2023 03:15 PM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

thanks for the info,  I agree,  data is nice, working with data is nice.  

Jun 29, 2023 01:40 PM
Craig Daniels

Taking off the data blindfold is a good thing Peter Mohylsky 850-517-7098 thanks!

Jun 29, 2023 03:17 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Craig Daniels , are never cease to amaze me with all your knowledge and sharing with us! I've bookemarked..definitely will be going back in more detail to read your post. Thank you for all you do!

Jun 29, 2023 03:30 PM
Craig Daniels

thanks Dorie Dillard Austin TX - hope it gives some food for thought about how to explore stats and excel a little bit more than you previously might have 😄

Jul 01, 2023 08:42 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Amazing info, thank you...bookmarked and I'll play around with this over the weekend. 

Jun 29, 2023 08:29 PM
Craig Daniels

I hope this leads to some interesting discoveries Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets thanks!

Jul 01, 2023 08:43 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

very informative and useful of the few blogs that I have bookmarked!!

Jun 29, 2023 09:43 PM
Craig Daniels

I appreciate the kind words Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - I appreciate being bookmark worthy!

Jul 01, 2023 08:44 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Thomas, this is from school days after my own heart. I agree with you mostly….

Jun 29, 2023 09:50 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Craig:

This is useful information and an easy-to-follow tutorial. I find that my Localism posts (communities, beaches, places to visit) tend to get the most traction in terms of views, but aren't necessarily high on the list in terms of the number of comments.


Jun 30, 2023 11:53 AM
Craig Daniels

Jeff Dowler, CRS as you know high views/low comments is right on target when your posts are mostly external visitor views. great news!

Jul 01, 2023 08:46 AM
Katerina Gasset
The Gasset Group & Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Provo, UT
Amplify Your Real Estate & Life Dreams!

Thanks for that share! I didn't know we could export to google sheets, etc. maybe that is because I hate with a passion spreadsheets lol! When I start publishing articles for our local area  ( I moved)... I will have my data analytics va do this task for me:) That way, the task gets done, I get to see the data, but I don't have to touch the spreadsheets. 

Jun 30, 2023 06:10 PM
Craig Daniels

glad to have pointed you to a new analytic method Katerina Gasset - glad your spreadsheet-aversion has a good workaround option! ;) 

Jul 01, 2023 08:48 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Craig- it took me a few days to finally get to read your post...and as always you are amazing. Thank you for taking the time...and I know it must have taken you some time... to write this for us. 

I have been known to play with my stats and use the section to see what posts might benefit from being reworked. 

It's going to take me 2 or 3 readings at least to figure this out!!!! Thank you!

Jul 01, 2023 06:06 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jul 01, 2023 07:24 PM