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.

THE BLOG GIVEAWAY

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.

HOW YOU REGISTER TO WIN

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.

HAITI and COLLEEN

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 [email protected] 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!