World AIDS Day 2014

Today is World AIDS Day. Look for folks wearing a red ribbon! Speaking of which… Do you know where the red ribbon for AIDS awareness comes from? Way back in good ole 1991, a creative group (made up of photographers, painters, film makers, and costume designers) of twelve people gathered to discuss a new project; a New York arts organization that raises awareness for HIV. After a short brainstorming session, they came up with an idea that later became one of the most recognized symbols of the time – the red ribbon. It is worn to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Since the red ribbon was popularized for AIDS awareness, literally dozens of other colors have appeared, including: pink for breast cancer, yellow for deployed U.S. military forces, white for lung cancer, and so on and so forth. Technically, the yellow ribbon came out more than a century ago and has appeared in several songs and poems. But, the official ribbon stipulation started with the red AIDS ribbon.

Please take 90 (or more) seconds out of your day today to reflect and remember the millions and millions of people affected and infected by this horrible virus, disease, and/or syndrome.

As usual, I like to put things into perspective… So, let’s tackle some numbers first. Did you know?

  • It’s estimated that around 40 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Almost 40 million people have died of AIDS worldwide.
  • Each year, around 2 million people die due to HIV/AIDS, and another 2.5+ million are newly infected.
  • Although HIV/AIDS affects all regions of the world, almost 97% of those living with it reside in low to middle-income countries (mostly in sub-Saharan Africa).
  • There are more than 16 million orphans due to losing their parents from AIDS!
  • Last, but not least, around 10,000 of those who lost their lives in this horrendous battle were hemophiliacs.
  •  

    I have been living with HIV for around 30 years. Over the years I have asked myself countless times, Why did I survive and others like me didn’t? I believe that I was spared because I am a strong and comfortable speaker. Seriously! I truly believe that I am still here to be an advocate and activist. It is my duty to stand tall and let the world know what is going on. And, potentially to help inspire those living with and dealing with HIV/AIDS. My message is a simple one… “This is not a death sentence, and you can thrive despite having it!”

    You guys might remember a post from last year called, Dum Spiro Somnium. That is my life motto and it essentially means, While I breathe, I dream. In other words, as long as I breathe I will continue to believe in my dream of a world without AIDS. Join my dream, and together we can defeat AIDS!

    My Dream is a World Without AIDS

    If you want to read my story and the journey that I have struggled through, pick up my book Survivor.

    It is our duty to NEVER FORGET and strive to beat this horrific disease!

    As part of my advocacy and message spreading, I started blogging around six years ago. Back on February 13, 2009, I created HIV Longevity, and tried to send inspirational and thought provoking messages, posts, and articles. Since then, I have posted more than 200 articles. Many of these blog articles have been based around HIV, AIDS, and dealing with the horrible problems associated with them. More recently I hibernated the HIV Longevity blog and switched to the Healthy Wealthy Tribe. Primarily I did this because I wanted to reach a broader audience and talk about things outside of HIV and AIDS.

    Since 1 in 100 people are HIV+, almost all of us are affected by this terrible virus. How are you affected by HIV/AIDS?

    This message of hope was sent with love, from my still beating heart (despite the odds).

    Signed,
    the survivor, the advocate, and the inspirational dreamer.

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    I Need You

    This is article number 100. YAY! (mini celebration over silly stuff). Seriously though… I started this blog on July 8, 2013 and haven’t looked back. Here I am, freaking, as I realize that I’ve already written one hundred articles!!! It’s time to evaluate our mission… Look at our goals… Determine if our course remains the same… And, make adjustments as necessary. In short, I need your help building this blog into something even better. YOU are the reason I created this dang thing in the first place. Now I’m asking you for input. Please help me make an even cooler blog.

    Our mission with Healthy Wealthy Tribe is: We inspire people to lead extraordinary lives!

    Our goals were simple… Help people improve themselves in key areas of life: health (dietary, mental, and fitness), wealth, business (and entrepreneurship), family, writing (I hallucinate that some of you like my writing advice), technology, parenting, and general philosophizing.

    Notice that I said “our” not “my.” The simple reason for this is because this blog is bigger than just me. It takes you guys and your participation to really turn this into something special.

    After careful scrutiny and analyzing the data, I am finding that my blog categories are sort of off-kilter… Let’s look at the statistics:

    Health = 30%
    Philosophizing (other category) = 26%
    Kaizen = 15%
    Inkslinger (writing) = 7%
    Wealth = 6%
    Parenting = 5%
    Technology = 5%
    Grooming = 4%
    Entrepreneurship = 2%

    Obviously we are health bent (for leather). Also, the general topic (philosophy is outside our standard categories) has many posts as well. This part is kind of okay for me. However, I’d really like to improve by adding more articles in the other areas. This is where you come in. I’m asking you to comment below and let me know which articles and categories you like (love) reading, and which ones you avoid (God forbid). Also, is there one category that is most important to you?? And, is there some information or story that you’d like to get from me?

    Essentially, How can I make my blog even more entertaining and useful to you?

    As I said, I need you! Please, let me know how to better serve YOU!!!

    Thank you very much for your support, caring, and kind comments!

    Sincerely,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    World AIDS Day 2013

    Today is World AIDS Day. Please take 90 (or more) seconds out of your day today to reflect and remember the millions and millions of people affected and infected by this horrible virus, disease, and/or syndrome.

    I like to put things into perspective… So, let’s tackle some numbers first. Did you know?

  • That as of 2008, there are 33.4 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS.
  • More than 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide.
  • Each year, around 2 million people die due to HIV/AIDS, and another 2.5+ million are newly infected.
  • Although HIV/AIDS affects all regions of the world, almost 97% of those living with it reside in low to middle-income countries (mostly in sub-Saharan Africa).
  • There are more than 16,000,000 orphans due to losing their parents from AIDS!
  • Last, but not least, around 10,000 of those who lost their lives in this horrendous battle were hemophiliacs and are my blood brothers.
  •  

    I have been living with HIV for 28+ years. Over the years I have asked myself more than a thousand times, Why did I survive and others like me didn’t? Now that I’ve survived for nearly three decades, I think I can finally (and honestly) answer that question. I think I was spared because I am a strong and comfortable speaker. Seriously! I truly believe that I am still here to be an advocate and activist. It is my duty to stand tall and let the world know what is going on. And, potentially to help inspire those living with and dealing with HIV/AIDS. My message is a simple one… “This is not a death sentence, and you can thrive despite having it!”

    You guys might remember a post from a few months back called, Dum Spiro Somnium. That is my life motto and it essentially means, While I breathe, I dream. In other words, as long as I breathe I will continue to believe in my dream of a world without AIDS. Join my dream, and together we can defeat AIDS!

    My Dream is a World Without AIDS

    If you want to read my story and the journey that I have struggled through, pick up my book Survivor.

    It is our duty to NEVER FORGET and strive to beat this horrific disease!

    As part of my advocacy and message spreading, I started blogging nearly five years ago. Back on February 13, 2009, I created HIV Longevity, and tried to send inspirational and thought provoking messages, posts, and articles. Since then, I have posted nearly 200 articles. Many of these blog articles have been based around HIV, AIDS, and dealing with the horrible problems associated with them. More recently I hibernated the HIV Longevity blog and switched to the Healthy Wealthy Tribe. Primarily I did this because I wanted to reach a broader audience and talk about things outside of HIV and AIDS.

    Since 1 in 100 people are HIV+, almost all of us are affected by this terrible virus. How are you affected by HIV/AIDS?

    This message of hope was sent with love, from my still beating heart (despite the odds).

    Signed,
    the survivor, the advocate, and the inspirational dreamer

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    Stalk Me

    It may sound creepy, but I’d love for you to stalk me! Seriously! I’m always looking for new virtual connections and friends. In this information technology age I am living life on the bleeding edge. I have countless social media outlets and memberships. Today I will list many of them and request that you click on each and connect with me! Please?

    Without further ado, click away!

    Stalk Me Online

    My Online Blogs and Sites

    To find out more about me, read my article: Allow Myself to Introduce Myself.

    Also checkout my About page.

    Better yet, read my memoir, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C.

    Enjoy your stay here, and please remember to subscribe to our newsletter and share this site URL with your friends!

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    Monetize Your Website with Advertisements

    As you can see on my right sidebar (bottom of page on your mobile device), I use Google AdSense and highly recommend it to monetize your website. That said though, there are some fairly strict rules that you must adhere to, or you risk being banned from the program. For instance, I cannot ask you to click on my ads, and would never dream of requesting that, even though it would help support my blog. This post is going to discuss some of these rules in a little bit of detail.

    First things first – If you fail to follow Google’s AdSense program policies, you might be banned for life. I’m not kidding! Fortunately, the gist of the program policies are straight forward and easy to adhere to. Basically you cannot encourage clicks or click your own page ads… Also, your content must meet the guidelines (no porn, gambling, and so on).

    AdSense is what you join to get advertisements to post on your site. If you’re looking to advertise on websites, you need to look into Google AdWords.

    Before going down this path, I highly recommend that you investigate the policy and read other information you can easily find. Make yourself comfortable with the rules before proceeding. Remember: it is your responsibility to check this stuff out. Just like everything else in your life, the onus falls on your shoulders.

    Let’s define a few no-no’s that are recognized by several of the big advertisement companies:

    Click Fraud
    Click fraud is when a website owner clicks on his own ads to boost the number of advertisement ad clicks that he gets. Clicking your own website ad is against the policy of nearly all advertisement companies, and should never be done. Not even once to test that it’s working okay.

    Cloaking
    This is a technique that some website developers use to make a search engine think your site is something completely different than what it actually is. If you participate in this sort of bad behavior than you can lose your AdSense account and you may even have your website removed from Google (and other) search engine indexes.

    Keyword Stuffing
    When you inundate a website with repeated keywords, this is known as “keyword stuffing.” Usually done by hiding keywords inside content by matching the font color and background color. In this way, visitors rarely see the extra words, but search engines pick them up.

    Title Stacking
    Essentially this trick is done by using the HTML “title” tag redundantly. By making multiple title entries using same or different keywords, you can optimize your site for searches. However, this is pretty easily found out and you chance having your website removed from the search indexes.

    Unrelated Keywords
    Any time you pile up keywords that aren’t related to the content of a page, you are guilty of this practice and chance having your site banned from search engines.

    Duplicate Content
    Website administrators sometimes put up the same article on different pages to enhance and boost the page views that they receive.

    All of these “dirty tricks” are considered bad and can easily get your site removed from advertisement companies and search engine indexes. DO NOT DO ANY OF THEM!

    In all honesty folks, it ain’t complicated. If you want a descent amount of visitors and repeat customers than your best bet is to do things the old fashioned way… Earn them! This isn’t rocket science. There truly is a simple formula to get tons of visitors and returning readers:

    1. Create good content.
    2. Create regular content.
    3. Be honest.
    4. Offer your knowledge and help when you can.
    5. Don’t be a bozo! (okay, I just made that one up)

    Is that so tough? Not really.

    Now that we’ve covered how to get you kicked out… Let’s talk about getting you in! Before we stand-up your AdSense account, let’s quickly go over what you need in order to get validated.

    You need a website that has existed for a while and is loaded with great and frequent content. Your website will need to have been created more than a month ago (longer is better, as long as you’ve been pumping it with content). A blog works really good for this, because you update the content on a daily (or at least weekly) basis – Don’t you? Once you have about 22 blog articles posted, you are ready. Google doesn’t publish there standards, so these are only guesses based on previous experiences.

    In order to request an AdSense account, you simply login to your gmail account (you will need one of those) and follow these quick steps:
    support.google.com/affiliatenetwork/publisher/answer/156883?hl=en.

    BTW – You only need to be accepted at one of your websites, so pick the very best one with lots of content and updates and submit that one for approval. Once you’re approved, you can use this account for ALL of your websites (as long as they follow the guidelines).

    After you’ve setup your account, go to AdSense and create your ad. After creation, AdSense will give you the short bit of code that you can insert into your webpage(s). Viola!

    Now all you need is for people to click your ads! Like I said, you want people to click your ads, but you can’t ask them to. Remember this rule. As much as I’d love to tell all of you to go over and click my ad, I cannot. As an honest and upstanding blogger it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to cheat the system. Instead, provide good articles and information and wait for the readers to start clicking on their own accord.

    I hope my post was helpful.

    See you next time,
    V

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    How to Create Your Own Blog

    Several times a week I am asked two questions:

    1. What is a blog?
    2. How can I make my own blog?

    So, I thought I would take a break from the deadly serious subject of health and wealth and tackle another tough subject: blogging… and, how to do it.

    What is a blog?
    Let’s start with a definition. The term blog was created by combining the two terms “web” and “log.” Somewhere along the line, someone simplified these into the single word, blog. A blog is a journal of sorts that stores and displays (usually in reverse chronology) a person’s blog posts (articles).

    Most blogs are articles around a certain subject. For instance, my blog HIVLongevity.com was created to discuss how I’ve survived all of these years despite being HIV+. As you can see (if you read my other blog), not all of my articles are specific to surviving, but most all of them relate back to the subject in some form or fashion.

    You will find that almost all blogs out there have a way for readers and subscribers to comment on a specific post. In this way there is often an open dialog between the author(s) and readers. Therein lies the magic of a blog!

    Should you create a blog?
    Do you have a story to tell? Or, do you have lots of things to say that you think others would dig reading? You first might consider sticking to simple social media avenues like Twitter and the Facebook. But, if you, like me, feel compelled to post long diatribes on a routine basis then maybe a blog is for you. An important question is: Will you be able to keep up with a blog? Many authorities in the blogging world recommend posting a blog article AT LEAST once per week. Most say that you should even do more than that (think two or three per week at a minimum). Despite what you might think, this is much tougher than you can imagine without trying it!

    If you think you have something to share. And, that you’ll be able to share that weekly (or more often). And, (perhaps most importantly) that others will be interested in what you have to say/share… Then a blog may be just the thing for you.

    Before moving forward and creating a blog, I would recommend going out and reading other people’s blogs. Find ones that you like and read them on a regular basis. Note what they do that you like, and what they do that bugs you. This way you will be more prepared to provide a good blog for your future fans.

    How is a blog created?
    One of the first things you need to decide is if you want to host or be hosted. What that mostly means is how your URL will look. When I created hivlongevity.com and healthywealthytribe.com I decided to host it myself; which gives me the unique URL and a little bit more control (including deciding not to have someone else’s ads on my blog). If I had gone the hosted route, my blog URL might have been something like: healthywealthytribe.wordpress.com

    If you can afford to pay for a URL and site, and have the additional time needed to manage and administer your own site, I would recommend hosting it yourself. In addition to not having some provider’s ads on your blog, you also get the unique name, and to me it feels more like your personal site.

    That said, a free hosted blog site can be a good way to get started and learn the ropes. Just remember that if your idea/blog takes off and you decide to host it yourself later that you will not necessarily take your subscribers with you! Migration from a hosted blog to your own site is not an easy process, and you may lose readers along the way. Think this out before deciding.

    Creating a hosted blog is extremely easy. You simply go sign-up at a service like:

    wordpress.com
    www.blogger.com
    www.movabletype.com

    If you plan to do the hosting yourself, then I recommend using a provider like godaddy.com or someone similar. GoDaddy has a very easy process and you can stand up a server with pre-installed blog software using your very own domain name.

    I purposely didn’t go into deep detail here, because there are lots of sites that have already done this. If you are new to domain creation and blog install, I would recommend visiting one or more of the following sites:

    firstsiteguide.com/start-blog *note: most comprehensive blog creation site I’ve ever run into!
    howtostartablog101.org
    www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Blog

    Another great resource (as usual) is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

    How Long Will This Process Take Me?
    The first thing you need to do is come up with a catchy name that isn’t already taken. This can take a few hours of investigation. After the name is decided, getting the domain name, setting up hosting, and installing your preferred blog software is normally accomplished within an hour or two.

    Once that is complete, you will need to select a theme (free or paid) and install it. Selection can take anywhere from ten minutes to ten hours depending on how much research you do. Installation of the theme is a simple process and only takes a few minutes.

    The tough part is editing your theme to make the site precisely the way you want it. This includes adding “plugins” to add the cool features you want on your blog. You’ll also add pages as needed (like about, contact, etc.) Expect this editing/adjusting part to take a solid twelve or more hours… if you’re doing it right.

    Now comes the easy(ish) part. Posting your first article. I like to do a “Hello, world!” post to get things kicked off.

    Once you have that first article published, consider writing other ones in advance and scheduling them. Most blog environments offer the ability to postpone publishing until a future date. Doing this ensures that you’ll have fresh content going up on a regular basis.

    I like to plan on an ENTIRE weekend to fully create a blog site and get the first article published.

    How to Attract Readers to Your New Blog
    Once you have the blog in place and have done a post or two, start by bouncing it off your friends with emails and status post on your favorite social media site(s). With a little bit of feedback, you should be able to adjust and work up to a mighty masterpiece.

    When you feel that your blog is ready for the general population, you can freely advertise it by going to other (similar) blogs and replying to blog articles as comments. You will notice that most blog comments allow you to put your website URL in there… Insert your blog URL. Before you know it, you will start to have a following and it will grow by word of mouth.

    Deeper marketing and publicity ideas are easily found on blogs around the web.

    Most of all; make sure that you are having fun with your blog.

    Now… Start writing!

    Your friend and fellow blogger,
    Vaughn

    p.s. In future posts, I will tackle deeper blog subjects like: plugins, themes, getting readers, advertisements, and even make some side-money posting. Until then, I hope this was useful.

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.