Here's 5 Really Important Tips for Outside Blogs
Now that many members have had the chance to setup their own Individual and Outside Group Blogs, and we've had the chance to work out the kinks, I've noticed some common issues that keep popping up as we're setting these up. I wanted to share them in hopes it would save you some time and frustration.
You do NOT need to go elsewhere to purchase a domain name for your Outside Blogs on ActiveRain. If you setup your Outside Blog and URL or Domain name through AR, it is a 3-step process and your domain will be up in most cases within minutes. If you go outside AR to purchase a domain name, you can still use it, but you'll have to point the DNS nameservers and for some, it's a PITA! (Pain In The @$$) See Jodi's Post
This is the best way right here!
see below: (and yes, you do own the domain name, AR is just hosting it)
Once you click check availability, You'll know if the domain is available or not by what's returned in the box. If it has a red dash mark, then it's not available, if it has a green check mark, then you can claim it!
Just click on the "Claim Domain" button and you're done. Some new domains come up instantly.
RED = NO & GREEN = GO
Adding your Posts to your Individual and Group Blogs is easy. You can either create new posts or move existing posts over to your new domain and outside Blog, but you'll need to be in the edit mode, then select the appropriate boxes by placing a check mark in the ones you want to push your post to. It's Fast!!
SELECTING WHERE TO SEND YOUR BLOG POSTS:
Be sure that you are using the "Topic" feature in Channels when creating ALL Blog posts from now on, this will help index your posts for easy searching on your outside blogs. Many other Blog formats have "Categories" or "Keywords" on the sidebar that can be searched and viewed by visitors, but your AR Outside Blogs will be searchable by "topics" and "local area posts". (Raindexing) Make sure you are using "topics" to avoid having to go back and edit posts later.
You may even want to go back and edit the ones you have.
Keep ALL your Videos, Photos, and Images under 600W on EVERY POST. (200-400 is optimal) This will keep ALL your (AR Blogs, Outside Blogs, & Localism) formatted properly and looking consistent across all three platforms. This is one of the main issues we see repeatedly when setting up outside Blogs. Some members are using photos that are 1024x768 or 800x640 and they will not look right on Localism or Outside Blogs.
You can see this post at ActiveRainGuide.com to confirm this format works.
If you want readers to be able to see your FULL SIZE photos, upload them to Flickr.com first, then place the photo in your ActiveRain post at 200w (as shown above), with a link to the full sized photo in Flickr. This will not only look better on your posts, if readers want to see the full image, they can, but let it be their choice. An 800w photo or image is just too big, it'll overlap and look weird on Localism and Outside Blogs.
There's your High-Five for this week ~
I am very proud and excited of what our team behind the scenes at AR have produced. I'm looking forward to showing off some of these Blogs by our members and groups this week, they really do look awesome. :-)