Haiti, RSS, and a Big Blog Giveaway

Tim Brister —  July 23, 2012 — 58 Comments

About one month ago, I made the switch. After six years of blogging on the free version of WordPress (.com), I finally upgraded my blog to a self-hosted, customizable WordPress blog. Needless to say, it was long overdue, and I am very happy with the new theme and look of my blog.  However, not everything went as planned.

I have been steadily blogging for over seven years with nearly 2,500 blogposts. During that time, my blog subscription slowly grew to over a thousand RSS subscribers. When I made the switch last month, I lost nearly all of them due to a technical issue. Basically, the feed 90% of my subscribers used was timmybrister.com/feed, the RSS intrinsically connected to the WordPress-hosted version of my site. When the switch took place, only those who subscribed through Feedburner carried over (less than 15%). As a result, a thousand subscribers over the course of seven years disappeared in one night. Bummer, right?

Since that time, I have been thinking what I can do to perhaps jumpstart blog subscriptions for my newly minted site.  I know there’s no way that I will be able to get all of my previous subscribers back, but I’d like to ask for your help in rebuilding my blog subscriptions.


Starting today and going through the end of this month (July 31), I am going to do a big blog giveaway in hopes it may encourage you to lend P&P your hand. There will be at least 8 winners in this giveaway. Last week, I contacted 8Bit, the developers of the Standard Theme (which I now use), and asked them if they would be willing to donate a license for the giveaway. They responded and shared that they would like to give two licenses away! Very cool. I have also decided to give two $50 gift certificates to Westminster Bookstore and 10 copies of J.D. Greear’s excellent book, Gospel: Recover the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary. There will be three big winners:

The Biggun: Standard License Theme + $50 WTS Gift Certificate + Gospel by J.D. Greear [$115 value]
The Blogger: Standard License Theme + Gospel by J.D. Greear [$65 value]
The Bookworm: $50 WTS Gift Certificate + Gospel by J.D. Greear [$65 value]

In addition to these winners, I will give 5 more copies of Gospel by J.D. Greear.


To register to win any of these giveaways, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog either by the Feedburner feed or by email using the box on the right sidebar of the blog. Once you subscribe, you will be entered to win (if you are already subscribed, you are included as well).

In order to increase your chances of winning, I am offering the following options, each which will be an additional entry to win the giveaways:

1.  Share on Twitter about the giveaway with the suggested tweet (and comment below to let us know that you have done so):

I just subscribed to @timmybrister’s blog and registered to win @standardtheme & $50 gift certificate for @wtsbooks! » http://bit.ly/MiCQwN

2. Share on Facebook about the giveaway, encouraging others to join in (and comment below to let us know that you have done so.

3. Write a blogpost about the giveaway, and comment below with a link to your blogpost.

If you do all four, your name will be entered four times to win the giveaways. Simple enough, right? 🙂 But be sure to comment below to let us know if you took advantage of the additional options. The giveaway will conclude July 31 at 11:59PM. On August 1, I will randomly select the winners of the giveaways from the total entries submitted. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the contact form.


As some of you know, I lead a network called The Haiti Collective, and as this giveaway is getting started, I’m getting on a plane to spend the next ten days with our partner church in Desarmes with a team from our church. We will be doing VBS for 100+ orphans, evangelism training in the afternoon, and hosting evangelistic services for the community in the evening. Additionally, we have some men who will train Haitian men in building benches/pews for the new building we constructed in 2011. If you think of it, I’d appreciate your prayers, though that will not give you an additional entry for the giveaway. 🙂

While I’m away, my executive assistant, Colleen, will be administrating the giveaway, fielding your comments, and answering any questions that you might have. You can contact her directly at Colleen@plntd.com or through the contact form. She is a great support, and I’m glad to introduce her to readers of my blog. Thank you, Colleen, for handling this in my absence!

Thank you for helping me rebuild my blog subscribers. I hope those of you new to the blog will be edified by the content. I look forward to getting back in the saddle in August! Till then, please lend me a digital hand with a little RSS love!


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  • I’m new, but I’m on this.

  • Nick Horton

    Lets build this subscriber base!

    I’m subscribed on feedburner to my google reader.

  • Nick Horton

    Tweeted out about the blog and givewaway.

  • Nick Horton

    Shared about it out on facebook.

    Now, may God bless you and your laborers in Haiti. I think the investment of time and resources over the long term will prove to make the difference for the Haitian people.

  • Tim, I may be wrong, but I think there’s a plugin that reverts all your feeds to your new feed? So, you can set up your new feed to send its feed to your old feed. I may be way off though. This is the plugin I use: FD Feedburner Plugin. There may be something that can send your feedburner feed to your original feed url? Thus, folks subscribing through the old feed would still be subscribed.

    • admin

      Thanks for the suggestion Jared. I will look into it!

  • well it looks like your dastardly plot is working…I found this through someone else’s attempt to win these sweet prizes via twitter and I’ve added you to my RSS feed and I’ll be tweeting momentarily 🙂

  • Devin Moncada

    I tweeted and shared on Facebook

  • Followed via FeedBurner!

  • Spread the word via Twitter!

  • Spread the word via Facebook!

  • Subscribed, and posted on FB. Grace to you.

  • Dustin

    I followed via feed, tweeted, and facebooked!

  • Donny

    I signed up, tweeted & posted on Facebook!

  • I tossed out a tweet for you, gave you some love on Facebook and subscribed via Feedburner. Hope I win the Biggun or the Blogger!

  • Matt Cummings

    Registered by email and tweeted it out.

  • Julie

    Subscribed via email and shared on facebook.

  • Subscribed, tweeted, and shared on Facebook. Many blessings!

  • Dan Sardinas

    Subscribed, Tweeted and posted on FaceBook. Thanks, bro.

  • Just followed via e-mail and tweeted about it.

  • Subscribed to the blog

  • Tweeted about the giveaway (@jchrisland)

  • Posted this on Facebook

  • You got a fb and a blog shout out from me! I don’t tweet so I can’t do that. Have a great time down there and we are praying for you and the gospel to go forth!

  • Luther Wesley

    Ok I signed up with email, and gave a shout out via twitter and Facebook

  • I just tweet this, share this on Facebook, and share this on Google+. Also I just subscribe to your blog by email. Looking forward to this.

  • John Taylor

    Shared this on my twitter account.

  • Shawn Dobbins

    I joined by email and shared on FB and twitter. Thanks!

  • I subscribed to P&P via email and Feedburner (Google Reader).

  • Jonathan S

    shared on twitter and facebook

  • I blogged about the giveaway at KevinFiske.com.


    Hoping to win “The Bookworm”…

    Thanks for your ministry, Tim!

  • I subscribed to the blog

  • Tweeted

  • Shared on FB

  • Corey

    Subscribed via RSS

  • Corey

    Shared on Facebook.

  • Pingback: Tim Brister’s New Blog & Giveaway « kevinfiske.com()

  • Corey

    And tweeted the giveaway. Thanks for hosting.

  • Dayton

    I tweeted…

    Facebook shared…

    and e-mail subscribed!

    Great looking site!

  • Shared on Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, Posterous, MySpace, and Stumble Upon. Ok, I went overboard. 🙂

  • Contest entries for
    Email subscription, PLUS tweeter PLUS Facebook.
    Thanks much!

  • Tommy Perry

    Tweeted & subscribed. I guess that can be translated as locked & loaded.

  • Jeff Miller

    Been a loooong time subscriber (2006?)
    Posted this to Twitter / FB too.

  • Check out the blog post: http://apuritan.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/blogging-and-winning/ thanks for the chance!

  • Subscribed, tweeted and shared on Facebook.


  • Subscribed via RSS, shared on Facebook, and Twitter.

  • Ryan P

    Retweeted & joined feed via email

  • Sal

    Subscribed to the feed.

  • Sal

    Tweeted about it’s awesomeness.

  • Sal

    Shared with my buds on facebook.

  • I just tweeted out a link!

  • Already subscribed to RSS, shared on twitter and G+

  • Just subscribed and tweeted this. Best wishes on regaining your readership!

  • jleeinsc

    Hope it goes well in Haiti. It was great to connect at Founders in NOLA. I’ve subscribed, tweeted, shared via facebook, google +, & posted via my blog on the giveaway at:


    So sign me up for all four chances!

  • Thanks to all of you who participated in this giveaway! I am currently traveling back from Haiti and will it be able to determine the winners until tomorrow, which I plan to announce this Friday.

    Bondye beni ou!

  • Pingback: Congrats to Blog Giveaway Winners! | Tim Brister()