Long-time readers may notice a few changes on my blog recently. Hopefully they will provide a better reading experience and, my personal goal, a better SEO experience. You can skip this post if you like, there’s nothing really doctrinal in what I am about to share.
New Look and Feel for the Blog
First and foremost, I have changed the theme and the front page. For years I have wanted to keep the front page static with a message that may last longer or shorter than the interval between my blog posts. You’ll note that if you go to visit my website today.
I know thousands of subscribers read my blog in their email or their blog reader, but I still get hundreds of daily organic or generic hits from keyword searches. The bounce rate is high, so I am hoping to provide something of greater general interest on the front page.
Focus on Critical Topics in the News
For example, today I have a static page about Matt Lohmeier’s book, since he and his book are in the news lately, for good reason. In case you haven’t read it (the book or my page) I recommend both. Matt is a hero to me and I am grateful he has published his book.
I can now keep that page there at the top of my blog for as long as I like and still publish posts that go out to my readers. I can also change the front page without sending out a post, which is also something I have wanted to be able to do for a long time now.
Mechanics of Website Hosting
Secondly, I moved off WordPress.com, where I have hosted my site for the last eight years. While the free hosting service (if you don’t mind the ads) is nice, it is limited. There are too many thing you can’t do on WordPress.com as opposed to hosting in the open.
By that I mean, hosting with a site like BlueHost, HostGator, DreamHost, GoDaddy, Ionos, GreenGeeks, NameCheap or one of the many hosting companies owned by Endurance International like Dotster, where I started some twenty years ago and still have some sites.
Of course I still use WordPress. Over thirty percent of the web is driven by WordPress. I just no longer host my WordPress site there. It’s easy to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. One distributes the software and the other is a hosting company like BlueHost, etc.
I still use Dotster for domain registration, but am slowly moving over to GreenGeeks, where I now host two of my sites. I have also added a few additional domain names to make if easier to find me. You can now use TimMaloneBlog.com to reach my LDC site.
Importance of Personal Branding
The most popular search for my blog has always been “Tim Malone Blog” so why not capitalize on it? That why I went with the easy name of TimMaloneBlog.com. Brand protection I guess. Still working on other iterations of Latter-day Commentary domains as well.
Some may consider it vain, but anyone who wants their stuff to be read, knows the importance of name recognition. People may not remember your blog name, but they will usually remember your name. I’m nobody famous, but I love to write and publish online.
I’m Still a Wanna-Be Author
Carol has published three books now, working on her fourth. I have watched her grow from knowing nothing about book publishing to being someone who can and does teach classes on the mechanics of getting your book edited, formatted for print and published.
The closer I get to retirement, the stronger I feel the pull to finish my novel about the return of the portion of the earth that was taken up when Zion fled. I believe more and more every day that we are fast approaching the day when Zion returns. I see it in my mind.
Collaboration With Carol on a Book
I’m impressed with Carol’s ability to develop a story from the character’s point of view. Me, I focus way too much on the science behind the events (some call it pseudo-science). I hope with Carol’s input we can make something folks will enjoy reading and find uplifting.
No matter where you are in your personal beliefs about the timing of the end of the world, or of the return of the Savior, the greatest story every told was his first coming. Wouldn’t a story about the Second Coming be just as exciting, especially to readers in our day?