5 Important Tips - Outside Blogs

Education & Training with Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty

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!!



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.

        Bay Bridge Photo - By Brad Andersohn The Bay and Bay Bridge - Photo By Brad Andersohn Rare Bay Bridge Photo By Brad Andersohn


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. :-)

Posted by



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comments (146)

Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Tye - I like them both, but if I had to make a choice, I would probably go with #1.  It was your first choice too, at least as far as listing them, I guess that's a subliminal sign right there...   :-))

Mar 02, 2009 05:58 PM
Cindy Oglesby
Southeast Realty Group - Macclenny, FL

I sam still new and obviously have a lot to learn about blogging. Thanks for the tips. This is the first time I visited this group an it looks like there are a lot of great tips and ideas on it. :)

Mar 04, 2009 04:24 AM
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Brad - THANK YOU for walking me through all of this on the phone this afternoon! I finally did choose the outside blog name (after careful consideration) even after our talk on that LOL!!! You can check it out at http://www.realestateinnorthwestarkansas.com/

You are the best and I am so happy to be part of Active Rain!!!

Question: might be off topic and I could probably find in another post... but how do you get photos in a row like you did above? the 3 side by side? SO MUCH TO LEARN!

Mar 10, 2009 04:55 PM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Nicky - it was great talking with you today.  I just did a post on part of our discussion.  I made it a riddle to have a bit of fun.  Check it out. 

To get your photos side by side, I set the size of each image at 200w with no left or right justification.  Then I use the space bar to create a small gap between them.  Remember, no image should be wider than 600w because 640w is the max width on any AR Blog post including outside Blogs and Localism.  3 images at 200 wide keeps them side by side without pushing them to the next line on a post.  That's it.  Pretty simple, maybe you could do a post now showing folks how it's done?  :-))

Mar 10, 2009 05:58 PM
Kathy Torline
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog 719-287-1049

I'm thinking about adding an outside blog to Active Rain ............ this is my question of the day ........ where can I go to look at sites that people have already put up for their outside blogs.  I'd like to see what they look like, get some ideas.

Apr 01, 2009 01:13 PM
Mike Eddy
Coldwell Banker Island Properties - Wailea, HI
Maui Real Estate Broker


When I was considering setting up an outside blog I'm quite sure I read something about working with your meta tags. Now that I have set up my blog I can't find that information. Do I need to do anything to optimize my blog for the search engines?


Apr 16, 2009 08:10 AM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Mike and Sheryl - the widgets that place local posts and categories on your sidebar should help a ton.  There is a description box, but not sure that's where I'd add metatags.  Let me know if you need some help with this, you can email or call me anytime.  :-)

Apr 16, 2009 11:34 AM
Lisa Rees
Coldwell Banker Reilly & Sons - Lansing, KS
Coldwell Banker Reilly & Sons Real Estate Agent

Brad- Thank you for your help!  I have not quite figured it out but this is what I have come up with.  Active Rain has cloned you and made 4 exact duplicates to work around the clock and that still was not enough so they assigned one assistant for each.  Thanks!  Another question.  When I bring up my blog on the active rain website I can use the email function.  It will bring up a seperate window and you can insert a message - but when I go to my domain http://lisarees.com the email function does not work when I click contact Lisa.  Can I please get Clone # 3 to answer this question?



May 11, 2009 01:58 AM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Lisa - the email function on outside blogs has a glitch in it and we will get it corrected. It has been this way since the launch and is a more technical monster than an easy repair.  We will have it fixed soon as it is on the top of the list for repairs.  Thanks. 

PS. You can clone me anytime, just what I need, a couple more "me's" around...  NOT!  lol~  :-))

May 12, 2009 03:20 AM
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Great info as usual! I will try some of these tips soon.

thanks again! keep on blogging for us


May 29, 2009 02:29 PM
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hello Brad,

I have been considering an Outside Blog and your informative post was a huge help!  Thank you!



Jul 20, 2009 02:45 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I am considering an outside blog but am still not sure what the benefit is for me and have not been able to get a definitive answer.

Oct 07, 2009 02:55 PM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Sybil - I can give you some very definitive answers, would it be ok to call you tomorrow? I am headed back from RainCamp Seattle today and would love to share some ideas on how the outside Blogs could really benefit and be of value to you.  If I don't hear back from you, I'll just tag your comment so I remember to give you a call.

Rita - let me know if you have any questions, I'm here to help if you need.  :-)

Oct 08, 2009 03:05 AM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Sybil - great talking to you today, looking forward to chatting again on Monday.  Good luck with all your appointments.  :-)

Oct 09, 2009 12:45 PM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Thanks for the tips on video and image sizing. This has been a tricky issue between AR and the outside blogs, but now we know how to handle it!

Oct 29, 2009 09:36 AM
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

As always Brad, thank you.  I'm actually on Susan Brown's "Rainy Day Scavenger Hunt" and it has forced me to look into things I have been putting off including an Outside Blog.   I've bookmarked this now so I can get it figured out!

Oct 31, 2009 09:12 AM
Barbara Birinyi
Quitman, TX
TX Real Estate Broker - Horse Property Specialist

Thanks for the advice about putting larger size photos on Flickr and linking to a smaller picture in AR.  I'll definetly try that when I start uploading my Localism content.  We have some charming small towns here in NE Texas and of course lots of farms and ranches, I've got quite a collection of "Texas Flavor" photos to share.

Nov 19, 2009 02:46 PM
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Good suggestions, as always. I bookmarked it for future use.  Thanks!

Nov 29, 2009 11:37 AM
Welcome Home Staging & Furniture Rental
Valesca Bogard - Roseville, CA

Great information, and here we are learning from you today in person at Raincamp SF ! Thanks

Dec 02, 2009 05:26 AM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Valesca - it was great seeing you, and I'm glad you made it to RainCamp SF. Hope you enjoyed it!!  :-)

Dec 03, 2009 09:42 AM

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