Active Rain has many fantastic Blogs and Writers. They have also provided you with some useful tools to help you keep track and follow some of your favorite Bloggers and posts. Here are 5 ways you can “Subscribe” or “Track” your Favs. I will also cover how to “ADD” the subscribe link many of you have used to “Subscribe” to my Blog.
- The first way to subscribe to another members Blog is very simple. As you navigate through Active Rain and stumble upon posts and writers that have “value-added” content, or subject matter that you are particularly fond of, you can “Subscribe” to their Blog by scrolling to the top of your screen and clicking on the above their Active Rain Photo. This does not notify you when they post a new article to their Blog, it simply adds them to your “Dashboard.” To see your dashboard, and all your Blog Subscriptions, click the link on your tool bar at the top of your screen that says “Blogs.” Your Dashboard will give you two columns of Blog posts. The left column will be all the posts on AR sorted by the most recent, and the right column will be all your “Blog Subscriptions”, CLICK HERE to see who you’ve subscribed to already.
- The second way to subscribe is something you might want to consider for your Blog. This way will allow readers to subscribe to your Blog, but instead of relying on the “Dashboard View”, visitors and readers can be notified by email when you post something new to your Blog. For this method, I use a product called FEEDBLITZ. Visitors just add their email address and click on “Subscribe” and that’s it. When you post, they will be notified by email. You will need to go to their site and register to get the “Subscribe Widget” you see below my photo. (Click on Preview to see a sample of the email that goes out to subscribers)
Preview Sample Email to Subscribers
- The third way to subscribe is to create an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) of your favorite Blogs and Bloggers. There are many ways to do this, I will show you the simplest one. An RSS feed brings all the information to you instead of you going to look for it.
- Google has a FREE Reader you should check out, this will allow you to start adding subscriptions or you can just take the tour to understand it more thoroughly.
- Using their Keyword Search Feature will get you any Blog, Topic, or person you are looking for.
- Once your search is complete, just click on the “Subscribe” links that you want and you’re done. Now you can use the Google Reader to keep up with the writers and Blogs that matter most. It’s like having your own personal on-line newspaper. I really recommend checking out the Google Reader.
- The fourth way to subscribe is really simple, a bit old fashioned, but it does work. You can always add your Favorite Blogs as a Bookmark to your Browser. I don’t use this Feature within Active Rain, however I do use it on many of the “Outside Blogs” some even written by fellow Active Rain members. You will find that some of your favorite Authors and Bloggers here also run other Blogs outside of Active Rain. Many of them I have tagged as “Favorites” in my browser. Don’t laugh, people still use this method to keep track of their favorite sites and Blogs.
- The fifth way to subscribe is a bit more complicated, and is one that I have been asked about many times. I add the “Subscribe” and “Add Associate” buttons to the bottom of ALL my posts just in case other members or readers may not know or be aware of the other 4 ways to subscribe. How do you do this? Here’s what I do:
Below is a quick sample of something you could create or use for this part of the tutorial:
- Select a graphic you wish to use as a “Subscribe” button or icon. You can even make your own if you’re feeling creative and have the application to do it. (I use the one provided by Active Rain)
- To use the Active Rain “Subscribe” icon, right click your mouse over the icon, and select the “Save Image As…” option. Give the file a name like “Subscribe.jpg” and save it to your desktop or a place you can find it later. (That’s the graphic or image you’ll need to upload in just a minute…) You can use the one above too…
- Now, you’ll need to get the link to your “Subscribe” button that’s above your photo. To do that, just right click on the “Subscribe Button” above your picture, right click your mouse over the button, and select the option “Copy Link Location…” Make sure you are not already “Subscribed” to your own Blog. The button MUST READ “Subscribe To Blog.” If it reads “Unsubscribe” DO NOT copy the link, Unsubscribe first, then copy your link.
- Lastly, place the icon (or any graphic you choose) on your post, and link the graphic or “Subscribe Button” to your Agent Id link as shown below.
- The link should look something like this: http://activerain.com/action/blogs_admin/subscribe?subscribed_agent_id=22617
- The only thing that will be different is your agent id number. Mine is 22617, just replace mine with yours and you’re good to go.
- To find your Agent ID: Go to your “profile page”, right click mouse on “your picture“, select the ” properties” option, and a box will open showing a long URL that appears like this:
FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING FLOCK:
FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING FIREFOX:
FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING INTERNET EXPLORER:
Now you have all the information you’ll need to setup a “Subscribe Button” on your post. To make sure you are able to take this process to it’s completion, I just want to reiterate the instructions for adding the graphic and creating the proper link to your graphic so that you don’t accidentally set it up so that members are clicking on your “Subscribe” and actually subscribing to mine. So, please read these instructions very carefully:
If you are not sure how to “ADD” a link to a graphic, I’ll explain it for you here:
- Place your mouse or cursor where you want the image to appear
- Click on the insert graphic icon from the tool bar at the top of your page.
- Select the icon under the general tab ( it’s just to the right of “Image URL” )
- Click on “Browse” and find your “Subscribe” graphic or Icon of choice
- Click on “Upload Photo” and you’ll see your “Subscribe” Icon appear
- Click “Insert” to place your “Subscribe Graphic” anywhere on your post or page
Now you have your graphic on the page, and it’s ready to link. To create a link to your “Subscribe” Icon, here’s how you do it:
- Click one time on the icon you wish to create the link to
- Next, Click on the icon from the tool bar at the top of your page
- Place the URL (see below) you copied from your “Subscribe Button” into the “Link URL” box
The link should look something like this, but with YOUR agent ID number:
*** VERY IMPORTANT ***
(All you need to do is replace my agent id 22617, with yours for the link to work)
- Next, enter a title into the “Title” box, for example: SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG etc.
(FYI: this only appears on when the users mouse hovers over the icon or graphic)
- Now click “Insert” and you are done!
I told you it was a bit more complicated. But I also knew you could do it!
Keep in mind that you will have to go through this process every time you do a new post. If you want to have the “Subscribe” option included on your post, this is the only way, and you’ll have to add it to each post. I hope this post helps you understand some of the ways you can “Subscribe” to others and setup additional opportunities for others to “Subscribe” to you. If you’re not quite sure about any of this at all, that’s OK too, just let me know….I’ll help you out. I’m not just a member, I’m a SUBSCRIBER!! 🙂