New WordPress Websites – A2A

Hello Friends!  Once again I apologize in advance for what seems to be a long hiatus from writing on the blog. The truth be told, I have been in this blog almost everyday repairing and fixing it. As much as I hate to say it, the really expensive fancy theme I had been using just wasn’t working for me anymore. Sure it was really cool and could do a lot of really cool stuff, but it got in the way of what a blog is intended, and that is just writing. I also admit I have been revisiting some of the articles/blogs written many years ago. Evidently angels had been visiting me for many years, but chose not to identify themselves. That’s okay, I know now.

 

For some of my longtime readers, you may notice that some of the blog entries are gone. Yes, I had to restore this site from an older backup. So those thoughts are gone and lost forever. So I have defaulted back to my all time favorite theme, which allows me total freedom, background customization, font freedom, and of course some really cool parallax technology every now and then. I actually love this theme and I have used it on almost all of my websites. The cool thing is even though they are different sites, they all look like different themes. One thing in common is most of them are long scrolling sites. I have deleted and recreated so many WordPress sites now I can do it in my sleep. After awhile things become so automatic I perform tasks so effortlessly that take others hours to complete. I literally can create a new, full functioning website, WITH high security pre-installed, in less than an hour. There actually is a lot to know about website security that I have unfortunately had to discover due to multiple attacks on many of my websites. After I became semi-famous I naturally became a target. It is amazing the number of attacks my site receives daily. I had to hide my login page so only I know the secret backdoor.

 

When I rebooted this site, I changed the landing/home page to a very short one page. Rather than assigning the pictures that previously were attached to posts I created a very cool graphic slider. It actually is the same slider I use on all my sites, but it just scrolls through pictures. I actually wanted my page to be slightly entertaining when someone landed on it. After the reader goes through some of the blogs, the pictures will begin to decipher themselves.
In addition to fixing/recreating this site, I also creating another site that is strictly lyrics of songs I like to sing. On the menu of this site you can just go to “Songs” and a new window will open.  A long time ago I registered the domain “accordingtoaaron.com” not really knowing what I wanted to do with it. Since it was technically a brand-new never used domain it was safe from any hacker attacks and was on the clean website list. This website actually was safe, but rather than risk any hidden backdoors or scripts I deleted everything off my VPS and started clean. Change is a good thing.

 

So the new site gave me a lot of freedom to just have fun. A lot of people know I am a singer and some people wonder what songs I sing. If you are ever in my company you might actually hear me bust out a song or two. So if you check out the site you’ll start to know some of the songs I have in my musical radio head … playing when I want. When the music sucks, I just sing something I like better. I have the most amazing range for a singer. I can technically sing bass – baritone, and all the way up to tenor 1 & 2, and some alto 2 chords. If you ever take a walk with me, many times in the silence I will start singing. I actually like to sing a lot of country songs. I realized that after I had quite a few songs on the site there wasn’t any navigation for me, or anyone else to go back to a song again. So I created a menu … a very long menu.

 

I didn’t think anyone would actually visit the site, but shortly after it went online it received hits from around the world. The only place it is listed is on this site. I looked at some of my other sites and thought if I wanted to add it, but ultimately decided against it. I don’t do any active promoting of my personal blog or the new site anywhere. My other sites have all kinds of marketing efforts staged promoting the site and Facebook pages. Many people wonder how I continue to get likes for my two main pages on Facebook without doing active or passive postings. Simple, I have over a dozen sites that are actively promoting both of the pages.
Ultimately my goal is to get new readers to angel.academy, where they will be drawn into a very seductive parallax site. That particular site is unlike any other site I have done as I actually used portions of the book to create the site. A lot of questions that readers had while I was creating the book are actually incorporated into the site. It is a very colorful site with a lot of cool artwork. One piece I actually used from an artist I found on DeviantArt. It is the piece listing the book launch dates and links to buy the book. On that site and my author site I made it very simple for readers to purchase my book.

 

One of the things that made me so successful was that I used so many platforms. Goodreads still continues to introduce new readers to the book simply due to the number of readers who have added the book to one of their “To Read” shelf. If you check out the other sites that I have in my portfolio you will also see some sponsoring that Angel Academy did to get new readers/fans. Those sites have a different audience that still appeal to angels and the cute cartoon Disney-like characters that point readers back to the site. I would say that most of my social media platforms point people back to AaronMstephens.com, which then points readers to the book. I would say that I do get a lot of hits from the Facebook page for the book. One thing I recommend for authors to do is have a “pinned post” with a short catchy intro and list all the electronic versions and paperback outlets. Trust me when I say this works. There really are a lot of people who watch what I do and imitate it best they can. I used to pay attention to how many people liked me or my book page on Facebook. After awhile it wasn’t so important. It wasn’t the reason I had either page. Both pages were created for angels to use; to attract new readers. I haven’t been too active on social media. The only vehicle I use on a semi-regular basis is Instagram. Probably because it is super simple. Take a picture, give it a catchy hashtag and click the button to post on Facebook.

 

Since I am a chef, I like to take pictures of food. I also like to use my own Instagram page to remind me of fun things to eat, prepare, go out for dinner, … you get the idea.I really don’t follow very many people as I don’t spend anytime reading other people’s pictures very often. One thing is for certain, and that is people still like to read. This blog is now “fixed” and is much easier to read. I doubt I will have time to add pictures to past entries. New blogs moving forward should have a cool picture as a background. If readers had previously subscribed to this site, unfortunately, they will no longer get updates. I don’t fully trust Jetpack, which was the plugin previously used to notify readers. That also means that new blogs will no longer automatically publish to other social media platforms. Sorry, but after the last few hacker attacks I can’t take the risk.

 

You might notice that this site and A2A use some of the same graphics. I wanted both sites to have a similar look and feel. You will notice that in both logos I used the same font for my name, giving it and me a cool branding.  Of course I created both in PhotoShop. My brother initially taught me how to use PhotoShop, and then I bought the “Down & Dirty” books that taught me all I needed to know to look like an advanced graphic designer. All I had to do was watch my brother work and I absorbed the information to do it again. Unlike other people, when I want, my eyes record what they are seeing for future recall.

 

So for now that is the latest update. Fans, friends and family are wondering what is going on with me. Book projects are on the back-burner as I finish up websites for clients. And as you can tell, writing on my blog is not top of the list … until now. If you are new to the site, … kick back and enjoy reading some of my thoughts. Some of the blogs are literally directly from angels/God/guides. They are listening. Are you?

Valuable Marketing Dollars

For many traditional business owners there has always been the cost of advertising. Back in the day of paper, we used the Yellow Pages to find a reputable vendor. Advertising in the Yellow Pages or any other paper medium is still very expensive and there is very little return on your investment unless you spent time and effort to track each new customer from that source, usually with a code on a coupon.  Many business owners will tell you how ineffective that is in acquiring new business. Why?  We all know the reason. We have smart phones and we have the internet. Why would you ever pick up a big clunky book to find something? You wouldn’t.

 

Instead you would do something now referred to as “Google it”. This simply means you would go to a website called Google and type in whatever you were seeking. Magically not one, but dozens of options became available to you, and if you were lucky, testimonies to go with it.   As a webmaster I am constantly finding customers who want their website to be number one when some puts in a common search term. They want their website “programmed right so it is number one”. Of course, who wouldn’t? But who is willing to pay for it?

 

Back in the days before the dot.com boom/doom, you literally had something called “meta tag” and “keywords” written into the code so your website would be found for your prospective client.  Things have changed dramatically, and one of the reasons why Google is probably the number one company is because they will take anyone’s money and put you higher on the list. Yes, it is true, you can throw millions of dollars at Google to achieve this.

 

Are there other ways that you can find clients using Google? Yes.  You can have a blog on your website that has interesting articles to drive customers to your site. You don’t have to pay to write a blog.  The search engines will still read and index your site based on the text that is coded into the files. Most blogs these days are written in SQL and PHP a different type of website programming language.

 

So rather than throwing more money at Google with the hopes of new clients, instead invest in your blog with quality articles. Share those articles to your personal network to drive business to your website. Websites that have copyrights on them are fine as long as it is the current year. Your website should always be fresh, attractive, easy to read, and most importantly, generating new business or repeat business for you.  Your website is your 24/7 employee representing you and your company.

 

Are you challenged with your website?  Is your website not producing leads, clients and sales? Then perhaps you need to reboot it to a new scrolling website, where you can direct your viewers to your products and services.  If you would like to reboot your website with a high caliber marketing tool, then I invite you my websitehttp://www.opusdeorum.com.

"You just be you…"

“You just be you. You will shine and people will notice you.”

– Jennifer Burnett, Mile Hi Church Lead Vocalist

This was the advice someone I look up to gave me.  I don’t usually get advice or wisdom from many people, so when it comes from someone you admire, you really should pay attention.

World Wild Web

Isn’t it kind of funny how the Internet, a geeky telecommunications technology at the time was branded “The Web”. When I think of a web, I think of a spider web. What does a spider web have to do with a communications means? There isn’t a connection.  Spider webs have nothing to do with the Internet.  But yet, somehow, it was born as the World Wide Web. Double you double you double you.  Damn, like that wasn’t a blunder to try and say that … at the time they also added in backslashes. What the hell was a back slash?  It sounded like it hurt. Spider webs and slashed up backs.  And to top it off, they have to get real personal and talk about your colon and “periods”. Could things get any more confusing?

 

Well one thing is for sure, the web just got more and more advanced. Things changed, and everyone just accepted the new technology as easily as they did Daylight Savings. Well at least in the United States we believe in Daylight Savings.

 

So why the long intro on the world wide web?  Well, myself like billions of people out there rely on it to make a living. Everyone’s reason and method is always a little bit different. It’s amazing how so many people need a service that I provide. The funny thing is I never went to school to be webmaster. I have no formal training, yet the things I know is worth thousands to some. Literally people are willing to pay me thousands of dollars to design and build a site for them.

 

Can anyone build a website? Sure. Of course they can.  I ask, can anyone make a meal? Sure of course you can, but just because you can cook a meal doesn’t make one a chef.  Nor does having a webpage make one a webMASTER. I find there are very few people that can call themselves Master of the Web.  There really is just way too much stuff to know to learn it all overnight.  While the Internet looks the way it does now, it will continue to evolve and change. One day, Internet, like a public drinking fountain will be free.

REBOOT Your Website! OpusDeorum.com

This is my newly rebooted website. I say rebooted, because all of the movie studios are doing it to movies.  And we all know what rebooting your computer is.  And technically, a website runs from a computer. So, since my website has gone through such a transformation, I wanted to share some of the things that have been going on.

 

Once upon a time ago in a dot com boom,

I was a geek.  Okay, maybe I still am a geek, but at least now I am a cool geek.  I mean that in the most honoring of ways, to my fellow geeks out there. I have always had a thirst for knowledge and information technology was an area that you juts never could learn everything about … ever.

 

I’m not normally computer geeky. I didn’t take Cobal and Pascal in college, instead I made friends with those programmers and they taught me the things I needed to know. My first server was a VAX-VMS, and the funny thing is my iPhone 5 has more computing power that it did in its time.

 

So this story is about how my website has evolved and made its transformation to what it is you see above today.  I say that now because it will go through many more revisions and changes as technology and society evolve.  It originally started out as a playground for me to learn, evolve, grow, and ultimately teach this new cool technology we called HTML. Hyper Text Mark Up Language.  It was a bunch of brackets, words, symbols and slashes.  I got it. Didn’t like it, but I got it.  As geeky as it sounds, it came in handy at times being able to read and write “code”. Even today, in the ever popular blogging world, having to know code is valuable.

 

OpusDeorum.com was born in 1996 officially, and had an awesome Adobe Flash introduction on the home screen, where it then led you into the main site.  There you could read my works of art, explore fun websites, use the valuable tools and articles that were available, and there were even some fun recipes on there.  It was ad free, had no pop ups, and for the most part was a functional website. It didn’t sell anything, but amazingly received thousands of hits on a monthly basis.

In later years it evolved as new things came out, OpusDeorum.com was a learning tool, allowing me to learn and grow.  I’m not sure when it was, but at one point, my hosting company that I used vanished.  For ten years they were reliable, and then … gone.  Myself and my clients were screwed. Using Active Server Pages as my medium, nothing was stored locally. I had most of the original artwork for my own site, but many works of art, writings were lost.

 

I never created a blog on OpusDeorum.  It actually is a lot of work, hard to program, and by no means was anything fancy. Even the blog in WordPress is a poor writers tool.  Over the years my writings were housed on Xanga, MySpace, Blogger, and short articles on OpusDeorum. Eventually my writings landed here, on AaronsAfterthoughts.com.  I used a magazine theme for this particular website, incorporating an “infinite scroll”, which eliminates a footer, and on the main landing screen, any sidebars.    Of course the design, layout, header, background, are all my design.  I imported the blog from Google’s Blogger software. Since WordPress was created as a blogger’s site, and not a CMS (content management system) for a business website, I wanted to show what it could do for a writer.  In case you didn’t notice by this long article, I am a writer.

 

So back to Opus.  I have branded the site as what you see today. A website consulting, design, development company. I have easily spent a hundred hours working on it.  I really feel that if I wanted to attract high quality customers, then I needed a high quality site to impress them. Using parallax technology, I have a very clean, up to date website that impresses readers.

Living the Dream

As I work with my students each term, many of them don’t even know what they want out of a dream job let alone where to start looking.  Before you can say you are living the dream you have to be able to define it first. So let’s start with some basics.

1.  No bills.  Plenty of Money.
2. No boss.
3. Never have to be anywhere unless you want to.
4. No negative people in your life.
5. Glorious health.
6. MAGNIFICENT relationships. (Love, family, friends)

Wow, I guess I am living the dream.

A Prosperity Treatment (23rd Psalm)

The Lord is my banker, my credit is good.
He maketh me to lie down in the consciousness of omnipresent abundance;
He giveth me the key to his strongbox.
He restoreth my faith in his riches;
He guideth me in the path of prosperity for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in the very shadow of debt,
I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me;
Thy silver and Thy gold, they secure me.
Thou preparest a way for me in the presence of the collector,
Thou fillest my wallet with plenty; my measure runneth over.

Energy

This past week was a busy week for me. I have been running around, going to meetings, meeting new people, hob knobbing, and telling people my 30 second commercial many, many times.  I have to say, after all of these years of telling people who I think I am, … I have gotten pretty good at it.  The more interesting things you have to talk about, the more fun it is.  Literally every day this week I have been meeting new people. It can get exhausting. Luckily I had lots of energy.

 

I tell you, some people just have no social skills at all. I can think of a handful of people this week I wanted to just turn around and walk away. But instead I smiled as I listened to their sad “work” life story. I’m at a bar, do I really want to go into the intricacies of futures oil trading? Some people talk just so they can hear someone else say, “Oh my …you are a CEO?  HOW impressive.”  I smiled and said, “Well, I have changed the lives of thousands of business professionals as they have achieved their educational goals. I love being a positive role model.”  My response included, “Oh, I’m a professor too at my company that I own.”  I really began to wonder if this new found friend was just trying to impress me or what.  Oh and did I mention he has his MBA too?

 

All week long I have worn different identities.  Many times I am Professor Stephens. But I was also a sales guy for many years.  And now I have been introducing myself as a motivational speaker and a small business owner.  I love watching people’s face as I hand them a business card and they look at the logo. It’s pretty cool.  I have to admit though, wearing a bow tie in downtown Denver Saturday night will usually always strike up a conversation. Women love it. Gay men adore it.

 

I am a little surprised at just how many people have commented on my energy. “You have GREAT energy!” I wondered if your excitement and enthusiasm could have any affect on that. Can people really feel my positive energy as I just want to bounce up and down all around? Funny, that … since I have been thinking about my energy all week long.

 

Isn’t our consciousness just complex “energy”?  Isn’t our soul just energy? Aren’t thoughts just energy? So how is it you can have a lot of energy, and other times hardly any at all? Where does it come from? Where does it go? When I think of energy, I think of Star Trek.

“Energize.”

 

One day the technology will be there so our atoms will be zapped across the Universe and somehow get put all back together correctly. I saw the movie “The Fly”.  If you haven’t you should.  Creepy.

 

Butterfly

Anytime I think of a butterfly I think of change.  Not the circular coins, but life changes.  It is God’s miracle to take something as ugly as a hairy slug and transform it into something beautiful and amazing.

 

Many people are resistant to change. Many people fight it. When I was in grad school I took an entire semester on change management.  The thing that I found the most profound in change, is not changing behaviors but changing perception and attitudes.  I am an advocate of change. I feel that change is good. You may not understand sometimes, why change has to happen in your life. But one day, some day you may.  And then again, you may not.  People say that they are open to change, but yet they practice and demonstrate quite the opposite. Sometimes people want change, but don’t want to change themselves.

 

“I am so ready for a change.”

I hear this from my students all the time. What do you want to change? Lifestyle, money problems, relationships, … you name it, someone wants to change it. How can you change it? Change your mind?  Have a change of heart?  If you want life to happen, you have to make it happen.  Don’t blame things on the economy. You can’t change the weather, the trillion dollar budget, and you can’t change the economy. Deal with it. Move on.  The world is changing due to conditions and factors out of your control.

 

One of my favorite company slogans comes from SONY.   “Make.  Believe.”

So a big shout out going out to SONY.  Your marketing department … awesome!

Who ARE You?

I smiled.  And with a cheerful smile in my sing songy voice I said, “As detailed as possible, please tell me WHO you are.”

 

Wow. Point blank, who are you?  Most people don’t really know who they are. And when asked in a point blank question, don’t have the foggiest clue on what to say, or even how or where to start.  And I think and even better question is .. who do you THINK  you are?  Both questions are like loaded pistols. The answers, many times will just amaze me. I am an expert at reading people. I can hear the lack of self-confidence in the hesitation of the responses. For the most part most people identify with whatever their  occupation is, or was. It really does amaze me how little people think of themselves. Seriously.

 

I was at a restaurant and I noticed that the hostess had an unusual yet pretty name. I commented on how pretty her name was, and then said “I am sure you must you hear that all the time.”  She looked back with a sincere, genuine smile and said, “No, people don’t tell me that all the time.” I smiled back and said, “Well, that must be because they are shy because you are so pretty and don’t want you to think they are hitting on you.”  I tell you, I don’t think she had genuine nice compliment like that in a long time.  I make it a goal to compliment people everywhere I go. It has amazing effects.  Such as getting an awesome table at the restaurant where you just complimented the hostess. 😉

 

Who am I? My goal is to be a role model. We all have different ideas of what a role model is, and I think I do a pretty amazing job at providing a positive influential person to look up to.

 

I haven’t done a lot of studying on Ghandi, but there is one quote that really stands out to me.

 

 “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

My goal is to change the world. How can one person change the world? Do you have to be rich? Or famous? Do you have to be a leader? Do you have to have influential power? Do you have to be in congress?  Do you have to have a million followers in your tweets?

 

I used to think that one person couldn’t make that much of a difference.  I used to think that one person was powerless. I used to think that my thoughts didn’t matter and couldn’t make a difference.  But I was wrong. I was very wrong. And whom am I to feel that I can make a difference to change the world?  Every change, every movement, every action started with a thought. A thought from one individual.

….

 

All it takes is one person to communicate a thought … sending it out to the Universe, projecting passion and emotion behind it … and other “like” minds will be attracted to it.  And soon, that one thought becomes tenfold, and soon becomes hundreds, and then thousands.  Trust me on this one.  The terminology varies from culture to religion, but most accept this concept as “prayer”.   There is power in prayer, and hence there is power in thought.

 

When I am asked who am I … my first response is, “Who do you want me to be?”

Believe it or not, hundreds, if not thousands contemplate, and ponder the many thoughts that cross my mind in the form of my blogs. Who am I?  Perhaps I am just the messenger.