Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Today is That Day - Last Post!!!

NOTICE: We've Moved! Please click here to be taken to the new location!!

Well, this is it. Today's post will be the last one here. Yes, I know, I know. Feels strange, doesn't it?

In a funny sort of way, I've become a little attached to this blog but as you know, it was time to move on. A few of you somehow found the new location even though it isn't yet ranked on Google or Technorati. Imagine my surprise when I found a couple of your comments over there:
Really terrific look, feel and tone. I especially like the analogy to buying a house — because that’s what this process is closest to. You find that you always have to trade off here and there. But it looks like you’ve got yourself some prime real estate. Consider me a frequent houseguest. Ivana Taylor
I stumbled across your comments to this theme creators design and followed to your new site. Kind of crazy isn’t it? Anyway, I like the look and feel of this theme..... Chris Melton

Okay, are all 170 of you ready to join me? In the next day or so, I will be posting my first NEW article at the new blog. When you go over there for a look, you will see that I was successfully able to import every single article from here to there. I still have a lot more tweaking to do in the coming days, weeks and months but the hard part is over.

There's one more thing we have to do.

Remember I told you in a previous post that RSS and email subscribers "wouldn't have to lift a finger" to be moved over with me?

Well, I learned to my surprise that it isn't quite as simple as that. I've looked high and low for a painless subscriber transfer method but for the life of me, I could not find a ready-made solution! Quite frankly, I was shocked. The email subscription service that I am using at the new site (Feedburner) does not even offer an import feature!

Do you know what that means?

Yes, you got it. Would you mind? It'll only take a few minutes of your time. In fact, I've provided links below to help make the re-subscribing process easier for you. We'll get to that in a moment.

I read in a few places that by asking current subscribers to sign up at the new site could cause me to lose half of you out there. Apparently that's the risk I had to take by moving. But you know what?

That's their opinion.

Just because "they say so," doesn't mean it's true. Right? Will you help me prove them wrong?

All 170+ of you on the subscriber list are a unique and special group of people who have been drawn to Adversity University through the law of attraction. You came here and signed up for a reason. And you've stayed. Now that speaks volumes about what you think of Adversity University! That's why I feel good about asking you to take a few minutes to re-subscribe to the new location.

A quick note before we charter a plane to the new site. For those of you who are email subscribers, I will be sending you a follow-up email in the next couple days personally inviting you to re-subscribe. You will see "Adversity University" in the subject heading so that you won't think it's spam. Please be on the lookout for that. Okay?

I think I've covered all the bases. Shall we?

Welcome to my new home!

To re-subscribe by email, please click here. (this means you get an email notifying you of new materials automatically without having to re-check the blog every so often).

For those of you who prefer to re-subscribe by "regular" RSS FEED, please click here. (this means the blog address has been bookmarked under your Favorites tab in the browser - every time you're on the Internet, you simply check your "favorite feeds" and click on those that appear in bold - that means new information has been posted).

And finally, do you have a favorite RSS Reader? If so, click here to continue using your favorite reader. (you know how your favorite reader works, so no need to explain further).

That's it! That wasn't so hard, was it?

Let's see a show of hands....how many of you just re-subscribed?

Let me count: 1...2....50....100...170.

Hooray! We did it! See you soon........
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Virtual Realtor Hands Over New Keys!!

NOTICE: We've Moved! Please click here to be taken to the new location!!

After canvassing blogging neighborhoods all around the globe and looking at differently designed themes over the last three days, I'm happy and relieved to say that the virtual realtor finally handed me a new set of keys yesterday!

Now that I'm a new blog homeowner, I've been busy painting, adding, deleting, tweaking and otherwise fixing it up. I want it to not only reflect my personality but also transform it into a pleasant environment for those who have become part of the Adversity University community as well as for visitors who might stop in for coffee and browse around.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the goal was to find a place that gave me at least 5 things:

1. Prime real estate screen space (i.e. from 2 to 3 columns, without the clutter)
2. Intuitive navigation capabilities
3. Easy to read text with clean white background
4. The ability to create new pages with tabs on top for future material
5. A theme that was compatible with Wordpress 2.3 version

When I first started looking, I found 20 potential themes. Each designer was sent an email with questions to gauge how responsive and friendly they would be. While waiting to hear back from them, I browsed through their blogs to ascertain whether or not they were keeping up with regular postings.

If the designer got back to me within a reasonable period of time, appeared to be friendly and maintained a current blog, that meant I would probably get a fair amount of support throughout the installation/tweaking process. Keep in mind that while I've learned a lot about blogging in the last year and a half, I'm still learning my way around, especially now that I'm in a new environment with a learning curve to content with. It helps to have some kind of live support on the way, you know what I mean?

After hearing back from some but not others, the list was slashed to 5 potential themes. All of them were well designed and compatible with Wordpress 2.3. The clincher was when I learned one of designers was commissioned to write a book by a well known publisher, which I think will turn into a mega-bestseller. That meant this designer probably knew what she was doing when creating the theme I had my heart set on. In addition, it helps that she was hired by some well known bloggers to redesign their sites. Last but not least, she has a bunch of documentation at her site about how to tweak the theme to each individual blogger's liking - a huge bonus.

Yes, it's a woman. But that's all I'm going to tell you. I am purposefully keeping you in suspense until I launch my new site, which I expect to take place on Wednesday, October 10th at 12 pm EST.

As you can imagine, there's a lot of work ahead. Over 150 posts from this blog are being exported to the new location. In order for that to happen seamlessly, I might be forced to upgrade to Blogger's new template. If that happens, a lot of stuff you now see on the sidebar will be forever gone (which is one of the reasons I'm moving in the first place). In addition, I will be focused on transferring email and RSS subscribers, adding/moving around furniture (i.e. sidebars and plug-ins), plus a host of other things like inserting a notification in each and every post at this location telling visitors where to go.

After we are settled in the new location, I want to throw a blogwarming party!! Any ideas how I can do that? Go ahead and use the comment feature to let me know your ideas or if you prefer, send me a private email at stephen(at)sjhopson(dot)com (this is just in case the email link on the right side disappears if and when I am forced to upgrade to Blogger's new template).

Have a great rest of the weekend! Stay tuned for more updates......
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Some News and Link Love

NOTICE: We've Moved! Please click here to be taken to the new location!!

After months of dragging my feet, I've FINALLY decided it's time to move Adversity University to a new home.
Yes! We are moving! (Above Photo Credit seen here).
Over the last few months, traffic has spiked well beyond the normal levels, resulting in a 50% increase of subscribers. Adversity University now ranks #1 on Google when someone types in those two words in the search box. Technorati reports well over 200 blogs linking back here, attracting even more traffic. Word about my work here at Adversity University has begun to reach the attention of well-known bloggers like Liz Strauss of "Successful Blogs," Phil of "Make it Great" fame, Laura Young of "The Dragon Slayer's Guide to Life," Aaron Potts of "Today is that Day," to name a few.
Simply put, Adversity University is growing by leaps and bounds!
Because of that, it's time for an extreme makeover and move to a more flexible platform (Wordpress) that will allow me to accomplish even more. It's like that five and ten store in a tiny building that needs a bigger place to handle more customers.
Before I share with you my vision for the new home, if you are an email or RSS subscriber to Adversity University, THANK YOU. I truly appreciate you being here and look forward to continuing our love affair. You will NOT have to lift a finger because through the miracle of technology, you will automatically be directed to our new home.
Here are 7 main reasons we're packing up and moving:
1. While we will keep "Adversity University" because of it's unique name and "play on words," I want it to be branded as a personal development site covering subjects including, but not limited to, the Law of Attraction, Thought Transformation, Positive Thinking, Blogging, Adversity Stories from Other People (You?), Power of Visualization and Wealth Building among others. Naturally, this calls for the creation of categories, something I cannot do here (unless I upgraded to Blogger's new template but that would result in the loss of all the tweaking I've done to it). If I'm going to lose a year's worth of tweaking by upgrading, why not start fresh elsewhere?
2. The comment feature at Blogger does not give commentators the ability to receive automatic email notifications on any additional comments that might come in after theirs have been left at this blog. If they wanted to see other people's responses to their comments, they'd have to keep checking back to see for themselves. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Wordpress has a little box that gives everyone the option of getting an email alert for that purpose.
3. More often than not, I tend to edit my writing repeatedly in an effort to give you the best possible material. On more occasions than I care to admit, whenever I went back to edit, the formatting would somehow go haywire, forcing me to manually fix it before republishing the post. I want to be able to repeatedly edit my work without having to worry about the formatting going nuts on me.
4. I am also looking for a more attractive design and go from two to three columns, giving me more "screen real estate" to play with.
5. While I own the copyright to everything at Adversity University, I do not own the domain name. Why? Because Blogger owns it (i.e. adversityuniversity.blogspot.com). By creating my own domain name and hosting it at a server of my choice (Hostgator), I become the owner of the new Adversity University site. If in the future someone wanted to purchase the Adversity University domain name, I would have the option of accepting that offer, putting me directly in the driver's seat instead of the other way around.
6. On top of all this, I want the ability to post-date my articles, a feature Blogger does not have available. Every time I am inspired with ideas, I'm stuck with writing one post for each day I want to publish something. Otherwise if I uploaded more than one at a time, you'd be deluged with a bunch of articles that were meant to be spread out over a period of time. By deliberately post-dating them, I could write a week's worth of articles at once (if I'm inspired to do so) and then arrange for their delivery on the days I want them delivered. How cool is that?
7. In the last year or so, I've been looking at different online income streams that are passive in nature. This calls for making more room for Google Ads, affiliate links and other programs. While daily traffic at this site is substantially higher than before, the overall click-through rate on the Google Ads has been dismally low. However, thanks to the experience I just had with "Pick the Brain," I've seen firsthand what a huge surge in traffic can do. When thousands are visiting your blog at the same time, the Google Ad click-through rate goes right through the roof. Since I will have a new category called "Blogging" (or maybe even "How to Make Money with Blogging") over at the new site, it puts me in the position to share with you what I've learned along the way. That would be especially beneficial for those of you who happen to have a blog of your own. What a great way for me to give back!
Now, of course, the decision to move isn't without risk. Because I am, in effect, starting all over, I will be focused on rebuilding traffic, increasing the number of incoming and outgoing links, regaining Google/Technorati rankings as well as put a forwarding link to every single post on this blog so that new visitors will be directed to the new location.
Despite the amount of work involved in moving (who ever said moving was easy?), let's take look at the big picture. I anticipate blogging for at least the next 20 years. What's one year in starting over again? Makes it seem small by comparison, doesn't it? By having a blog that I own and operate, I'm positioning us for bigger and better things. Blogger.com provided me with much needed "training wheels" and now they are coming off. I've learned a lot in the last year and a half. It's time to sprout my wings and expand. Won't you come along?
Now for some link love.
The following sites are blogs I currently subscribe to. Every one of them have recently mentioned my name, Adversity University and/or embedded the fast-spreading YouTube video on their sites. Not only do I want to publicly thank them but I also want to introduce you to them because I believe they are truly making an impact:
1. Pick the Brain - John Wesley at "Pick the Brain" responded to an email from me one day when an idea occurred to me to see if I could contribute to his blog with an article or two. To my delight, John responded quickly and opened the door for me to submit a couple that I thought would be a good fit for PTB. He ended up publishing an article originally entitled, "How to Deal with Difficult People" that was subsequently renamed, "7 Tips for Resolving Conflicts Quickly and Peacefully." In that article was a link to my "Adversity at the Barbershop" story that drew well over 2,000 visitors last week (and continues to bring in hundreds more every day!). If I hadn't had the courage to ask, I might not have experienced such a sharp increase in new traffic/subscribers. So I thank John for opening the doors for me. It's well worth your time to check out PTB - it's chock o' full of great information! (Did I get that right?)
2. How to Have Great Confidence and Self Esteem - David Rogers from England has many wonderful tips about developing self esteem and increasing confidence. He's worked in various mental health positions over the last 20 years, putting him in an unique position to share ways of achieving more confidence and self esteem. His words of wisdom will surely inspire you.
3. One Powerful Word - Wisdom of the Ages - Mr. Biggs, as he likes to be called, is a young guy whose picture I kept seeing over and over on the Internet. In this picture, he stands next to a shiny black BMW, which he manifested through the Law of Attraction. What you probably don't know is that owning a BMW is dream that I intend to manifest - particularly the 535i series. In any case, after seeing his picture for the umpteenth time, I realized the universe was nudging me to contact him. So I did and we ended up becoming Internet buddies. His blog focuses on utilizing the power of the Law of Attraction. Pretty uplifting material!
4. Communicatrix - Colleen Wrainwright wrote a very cute article with a photo of a doll with dazzling pink hair and glasses. The article was called "Can You Lead an Authentic Life with Fake Hair?" I found her on Priscilla's world famous list of Personal Development Blogs. When I arrived at Communicatrix, I was immediately drawn to the fake hair article, not because I have fake hair - I have NONE - but because she touched upon the power of authenticity, something I strongly believe in. I enjoyed that article so much that I browsed around Communicatrix some more. It's is mostly about her own personal life but because she is so authentic, I have fun while reading about her adventures.
5. Success from the Nest - Here's one of my favorite discoveries on the Internet. Tony D. Clark is quite the creative blogger. His niche is primarily on self development for small business owners complete with colorful cartoons and illustrations, making frequent visits to this blog a great source of information and pleasure for me.
6. Gus' Gang - Jenny runs a small ministry reaching out and encouraging families with chronically ill children and families who are suffering the loss of a child. I found her on the Priscilla list too and was immediately inspired by her ministry. There are loads of pictures of very cute babies that will absolutely, positively melt your heart.
7. Shards of Consciousness - Rick Cockrum is a personal development blogger who specializes in helping people raise their level of awareness on a spiritual and emotional level. He writes in a way that you intuitively understand what he's trying to say. Go check him out too!
8. soupornuts.com - Here Chris Melton covers topics like people skills, the law of attraction and many others but what's even more intriguing is something his business partner (Scott Kay) invented. It's a product called "The Rotater" (not a misspelling) that's fast making news in the world of sports and physical therapy - if you've ever had shoulder problems, I'll bet you'll benefit from using one of them. Even I'm considering one for myself because my right shoulder seems to be perpetually sore for some strange reason. They have a demo video on the rotater site showing you how easy and effective it is. It's pretty cool! It's probably one of those ideas that's causing people to bang their forehead like that V-8 TV commercial exclaiming, "WOW, I could have had a Rotater!"
Well, that's all for now folks. I hope you enjoy reading through some of these blogs and end up subscribing to them.
Meanwhile, I'll continue working on the move and keep you posted. I'll also throw in some older posts from this blog to keep you entertained and/or informed.
Are you excited about your forthcoming new home? I hope so!
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