I wanted to share my experience in setting up my new outside blog. First, I want to say that as soon as I learned about the new outside blogs, I was very excited. Having the right type of outside blog that has built in search engine optimization is very powerful. Having Active Rain behind our outside blogs is even better.
I was thrilled when I saw Brad Andersohn's featured post on The 10 Easy Steps to Creating an Outside Blog. This is a great how to. Wouldn't it also be great if I could read! I was so excited about getting this going that I missed a very important feature to the outside blogs -- THEY COME WITH A FREE URL.
Missing this key point, I immediatly bought a great url from Go Daddy (ok, so I wasted $10). I followed the directions and pointed the url to the Active Rain name servers. This should have worked but, guess what, it did not. The powers that be at Active Rain worked with me on trouble shooting this problem but we just could not get this to work.
Being the Type A person that I am, I decided to try a slightly different url in the outside blog's domain search feature. It was amazing. In about 5 seconds, my new and improved domain name was up and running and my outside blog was alive and kicking.
Here is what you do:
1. In the box labled Choose a Domain Name, type in the domain name you want.
2. Click Check Availability. If the Claim Domain box is highlighted and there is a green circle over the domain name, it is all yours! If you get a red box, this means the domain name is taken and you need to try another url.
3. Once you get your green circle, click Claim Domain and you will be off to the races!
Please learn from my mistake -- it is far easier to use the Active Rain domain creation feature. We all love GoDaddy, but given that Active Rain is providing the url at no additional cost and it is unbelieveably easy to use, what more could you ask for?
I can't stop here, however, I have to ditto Bill Gassett -- Yes! Active Rain Outside Blogs Will Rock The House With Google Juice! As soon as I created my outside blog (Chapel Hill - Durham Real Estate News), I could not believe what I saw in the side bar. I have been working hard at posting information to Localism on neighbhroods throughout Chapel Hill and Durham, all of which were immediately indexed. Google is going to love this.
I can't say this any better than Bill Gassett did,
"Listen up folks....the members who are wise enough to jump on board are going to be reaping the benefits of having a stand alone blog that is found locally in the serps!
For example, when you write a post about one of the neighborhoods in your area it will be broken down from the state level, to the town, to the specific neighborhood.
Consumers will be able to easily find what they are looking for because it will all be laid out in front of them."
I am looking forward to Active Rain rolling out new features and widgets to help make these outside blogs even better.
Thank You Active Rain!