This may not be new ground for most veteran members, but if you are new to the site, you will probably find this information very helpful.
I first started blogging back in 2004 on another website, although it was not for business at all. Rather, it was just an assortment of personal stories and opinions. I guess not all that much has changed since then - I still write plenty of personal posts here on ActiveRain. I rarely wrote anything over there, but I have made a habit/hobby out of writing since joining AR.
JUST TO CLARIFY...
BLOG vs. POST - The term "blog" is actually short for "web log", since blogs were originally intended to serve as a type of online diary. I have seen a lot of new AR members mentioning that they read my "blogs" when they really mean that they read the posts on my blog. I have almost 600 posts on this blog. I only maintain two blogs. See how that works?
POST vs. COMMENT - So, a "post" is an article of sorts; it's an entry appearing on my blog. A post and a comment are different. Almost daily, I see someone say, "You have a lot of posts on this blog." Well, yes, but what they mean to say is, "You have a lot of comments on this post."
"HOW DO I GET POINTS?"
You get 200 points per post, with a limit of 10 getting the automatic points each week (25 extra points per post if you select an "ActiveRain Channel"). The week ends at 11:59pm Central time Saturday night, and a new week begins at midnight. Extra points come with getting featured on the main dashboard, and/or getting comments on your post. There is no hard and fast rule for the maximum number of points per post, but I think it caps at around 750-800 or so. I have one that exceeded this, but perhaps it was an anomaly.
If you write more than 10 posts during the ActiveRain-defined week, you will not get the base points, but you will still get points for comments or getting featured. No extra points are issued for getting featured in the network groups - those simply give your post more exposure.
You receive points for comments of at least 10 words (or thereabouts) that you leave on someone else's post(s). Comments receive 25 points each, and you are limited to 10 comments each day that will receive points. After the first 10, you can still leave an unlimited number of comments daily, but not for points.
"HOW DO I GET FEATURED?"
Usually, the featured posts are those that are well-written, and those that stimulate discussion, provide valuable real estate tips, interesting real estate experiences, AR tips and tricks, SEO information, etc. If you want to learn how to gain a big following, I would encourage you to spend time perusing the featured posts each day (there are currently 13 at a time that are displayed on the main ActiveRain.com page, and you can see the older ones by clicking the "More Featured Posts" link at the bottom of that page).
Often, the featured dashboard will include information on changes taking place around here, or new features that are being launched, such as the recent re-design of Localism, which is ActiveRain's sister site for consumer-related content.
If you see a post that you think should be featured, you can click the red flag icon at the bottom of the post and check the "Featured" box. This will alert the AR staff, and they can consider it for inclusion on the main dashboard.
"WHERE DO I FIND MORE HELP?"
At the bottom of EVERY AR page, there is a link that says "HELP/FAQ", which will take you to a bunch of helpful tutorial posts (currently just over 100) written by ActiveRain staff and veteran members including me, Brad Andersohn, Jeff Turner, Rich Jacobson, Bob Stewart, Brad Carroll, and more. It is a wealth of information, believe me. Most of the more frequently asked questions have answers within this group.
Additionally, you will see a link at the bottom right of every page that says "CONTACT ACTIVERAIN". This will enable you to create a ticket for an AR staff member to assist you if you have questions or technical issues.
Lastly, you will find that most members who have been around here for any length of time don't mind helping to answer your questions. This is a kind and caring community for the most part. All of us were new here at some point, and the functions and features of the site are numerous and a bit overwhelming at first.
MY OWN PREVIOUS TUTORIALS
These are the previous tutorial posts that I have written for ActiveRain members:
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me anytime. My cell phone number is 512-796-7653 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you will find that Bob, Rich, and Brad (all mentioned above) are easy to reach if you have an issue or question about the network. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I have!
If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks!