Mimi Foster brings us great hints on what to do and how to succeeded in ActiveRain blogging. Please leave your comments on Mimi's page. I am disabling comments.
This morning I was talking with someone about how I felt like a blind pig finding an acorn when I started on ActiveRain. After someone had told me about AR, I thought, "I'd like to blog someday," so I signed up for a year.
Several months later, after having received a few emails from AR, I wrote my first blog post, and was so excited that I got four or five comments on it. I kept wondering where in the world those people had seen it to comment on it. I was in awe, but could never figure out how to do it again. I often imagined it as a party behind closed doors, and I was standing in the entryway waiting for someone to open the doors so I could see what was going on.
Months would pass before I would write again. Karli at ActiveRain called me one day last March and held my hand and talked me thru it, and it has been a whirlwind of writing since then. Being creatures of habit, we do what we know. Sometimes we will venture out and find new things, but for the most part, it is often an AHA moment when we stumble upon something we didn't know in our comfortable venue.
Often I will get phone calls from AR friends who will say, "Well, if you go (here) you can do (this)." Kathy Streib has been the best at teaching me tricks that really aren't tricks, basics that probably everyone else knows. But since I didn't know them, there may be a few others that don't know some of them either.
The feel and look of ActiveRain is going to be changing (dramatically) soon, including our logo (so says our Fearless Leader). We are going to have to learn new things to be able to navigate (I will not resist change, I will not resist change, I will not resist change). So before that happens, I wanted to share some basics that I recently learned. (Old timers will know these things . . . )
- When you want to comment on someone's post, hit the "END" button on your computer keyboard to get to the end of the comments. This is helpful if it is a Featured post and you don't want to read all of the comments. Conversely, you can get back to the top by hitting the "HOME" button on your keyboard
- To activate additional points on your posts, you need three comments from others and you need to respond with at least one comment
- Your comments that you make on other people's posts must be at least 50 CHARACTERS (not words) for you to receive your 25 points for the comment, up to 250 points per day (10 comments). You may, of course, comment on as many as you would like per day, but only get points for 10
- Your blog POSTS must be at least 50 WORDS to get credit for the post
- The ActiveRain logo in the upper left corner of the page is a link to the Feature Board (am I the only one here who didn't know that?)
- If you click on "BLOGS" in the blue AR toolbar at the top, you get links to the people to whom you are subscribed down the right column. BUT if you hit "MY SUBSCRIPTIONS" on the upper left side under "BLOG POSTS," then you get a three-line summary of the current post of the people you follow (again ~ DUH)
- The "CHANNELS" arrow in the blue tool bar allows you to study areas of expertise more thoroughly. From Training to Tactics to Technology to Tools, there are wonderful things to be discovered there
- If you want to know how many Featured Posts someone has, hover your cursor over the Gold Star under their picture in their signature (or comment). The number will become visible
- If you suggest someone who gets Featured (little SUGGEST button at the top of their post), you get a Called SHOT but no points. You can only suggest up to 5 posts per day. After you get 5 Called Shots, you get a Purple Star as a CALLED SHOT MASTER
- So now that I've been here for almost ten months, I won't even begin to tell you the convoluted trails I have followed to find people to whom to send referrals. The little "STATES" button in the blue upper toolbar breaks down Agents by not only States, but also by Cities! Double Duh!
- If you want your blog to stream down the middle of the page and not run from side-to-side across the page, making it more difficult to read (yes, Fearless Leader's blog is an example :) ~ all in good fun, Niki, all in good fun), then go to your Home Page, upper left corner under BLOGS > ActiveRain > (Customize) and insert any color or picture as your Background Image. If you don't want fru-fru, just make the Background Image WHITE and it will at least narrow up your writing, making it easier to read
- When you comment on posts, the author will often respond. On the lower left of your home page you have a link called "MY COMMENTS." If you click on the link, it will take you to a list of where you have commented, and then when you click on each one, they are anchored to take you to exactly where in the post you commented so you can see if the author has replied (My Comments for Your Comments)
- Inviting others gets you lots of points when they join, and 10% of everything they make while they're here. Towards the bottom of the Home Page on the left side is an "INVITE OTHERS" link. Here's the kicker ~ be sure to use the LINK so that you get points when they sign up. Joe Cuchiara got me involved, but because he told me about it over the phone and I didn't know to link to him, he is not reaping the rewards :( (Sorry, Joe, I've tried several times to rectify it!)
- Did you read a post today that you really liked? At the very bottom of the post under where it says who the article was written by is a little link that says "BOOKMARK." You can click that to save the post for future reference. When you want to read your BOOKMARKS at a later date, the link is towards the bottom left of your Home Page entitled "BLOG BOOKMARKS"
- OH! And when you are writing your (at least 10) comments on posts each day, or in writing your own posts, in the upper part of your Comment Box where you have the options for making your writings BOLD or Italics or Underlined or Striking Through, on the RIGHT SIDE of that bar is a SPELL CHECK (ABC with a checkmark). Who Knew???? :)
I feel somewhat silly in even sharing some of these things, but I figured if I wasn't aware of them, this may help someone else. And if you are looking for a safe haven to share real estate stories, life lessons, and learn new things, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my blog. :)
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