I am pleased to announce that I am now on Instagram. To visit me on Instagram please click here. My thanks to Shanelle for taking the pictures.
I am often struck when clicking on the Gravitars of bloggers who visit my site, by how many of them do not have links to their blog, social media, etc. This makes it difficult to follow them.
Of course, it is up to individuals as to what information they include on their profile, however, the lack of data may be the difference between a new follower or a missed opportunity.
The purpose of this post is to relate my experience of setting up a dedicated domain (kmorrispoet.com), on wordpress.com, to promote my poetry.
Please note, I am not a technical expert. For detailed support on setting up a wordpress.com domain, please refer to WordPress’s support pages which can be found here, https://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/. While my host of choice is WordPress, it is also possible to purchase a domain and connect it to Blogger.
For anyone interested in connecting a domain to blogger, please follow this link, https://support.google.com/domains/answer/6069231?hl=en.
Why choose a custom domain?
In 2012, I created newauthoronline.wordpress.com with the intention of using my blog to promote my writing. At that time I was a new author, consequently the blog name seemed perfectly suited for the purpose I had in mind. Soon after having created my (free) WordPress site, I took the decision to purchase newauthoronline.com, which I did through wordpress.com.
newauthoronline.com is more catchy than newauthoronline.wordpress.com, hence my decision to move from a free WordPress site to a paid custom domain.
When I first began writing, my work consisted almost exclusively of short stories and (as a new author) the domain newauthoronline.com seemed, for sevaral years to perfectly reflect where I was in my literary career. However as the years passed, the domain established in 2012 (newauthoronline.com) became less and less appropriate (as I could know longer reasonably describe myself as a “new author”. Also, for many years my focus has moved from writing short stories to the composition of poetry, which acted as a further incentive to choose a name that reflects my role as a published poet. Consequently, in February 2019 I purchased the domain https://kmorrispoet.com/ (the domain you see in your browser’s address bar).
Primary and subdomains
Your blog’s/website’s primary domain is the address visitors see when they visit your site. In my case, as explained above, my site’s primary domain is https://kmorrispoet.com/. However you can also connect subdomains to your site. In the case of kmorris – poet I choose to retain newauthoronline.com as a subdomain. So although newauthoronline.com will no longer appear in the address bar of your browser, if you click on newauthoronline.com, you will be redirected to https://kmorrispoet.com/.
I retained (and will continue to retain) the domain newauthoronline (as a subdomain of kmorrispoet) as many links to newauthoronline exist, for example as a consequence of people sharing my work and my appearance, as a guest blogger on other blogs and websites. Where I to dispense with the domain newauthoronline.com, anyone clicking on a link to that site would receive an error message, meaning that my site would lose traffic and my books potential readers.
In addition to kmorrispoet.com, I purchased the subdomains of kevinmorrispoet.com and kmorrispoet.uk, both of which connect to the primary domain of kmorrispoet.com. The reason for buying the additional subdomains was to enhance my visibility on Google and other search engines and (in the case of kevinmorrispoet.com to cater for the fact that many people, including my mum think of me as Kevin Morris poet rather than K Morris poet and, therefore search for Kevin Morris poet).
Should you choose a domain purchased through WordPress or via another provider?
As mentioned above, I purchased my domains through wordpress.com. You can, however buy a domain through another provider, for example https://uk.godaddy.com/ and map it to your WordPress site at a cost of $13 per year.
Please note, if you purchase your domain through WordPress they will automatically map your domain for you, while domains bought elsewhere need to be mapped by the site owner. Also there is no charge for mapping a domain bought through WordPress, as the cost of mapping is included in the price you pay when you buy your domain through WordPress.
I am no technical expert, hence my decision to buy my domains through wordpress.com. I also find it easier to manage all my domains in one place, rather than having to flit from website to website to manage them. However those possessed of greater technical expertise may wish to investigate purchasing domains elsewhere.
Do subdomains adversly affect search results?
Prior to purchasing my subdomains, I did some digging online as I (obviously) wished to avoid my search ranking suffering as a consequence of buying my subdomains. The overwhelming consensus is that subdomains do not adversly impact on a site’s search results. See, for example this useful article, https://www.hostgator.com/blog/what-are-subdomains-affect-seo/.
In my experience, having a dedicated (paid for) domain (if you can aford to do so), rather than sticking to a free wordpress.com site, drives traffic to your site (provided of course that the domain in question reflects the nature of your profession/business). At the beginning of my blogging journey, newauthoronline.com reflected the fact that I was a “new author”. However, as time marched on and my writing turned (almost exclusively to poetry), the domain title lost its relevance, hence my decision to buy kmorrispoet.com.
Having a domain which reflects who you are/your calling, also assists people in finding you online which can, in turn help to raise the profile of your writing.
I welcome guest posts from poets and authors. If you are interested in guest posting on kmorrispoet.com, please read the below prior to getting in touch.
1. Posts should be on a literary and/or writing theme.
2. Please get in touch prior to submitting a post. Please don’t submit without having first discussed your article with me.
3. Posts should be submitted as Microsoft Word attachments (or similar formats). Please do not send the text of your article in the body of an email.
4. Please do include links to your books, social media etc.
5. I welcome photographs. However please note that I am visually impaired and use screen reading software which converts text into speech and Braille enabling
me to use a Windows computer. Jaws can read text based formats but can not interpret pictures. Consequently articles which are entirely text based will
be posted quickly while those containing pictures will take longer to post, (I rely on sighted assistance to post the latter).
6. Queries regarding guest posts should be sent to kmorrispoet at gmail dot com, (the email address is rendered thus to defeat spammers). Please put “guest post” in the subject line.
On 17 February, I wrote a post about changes to my website, which can be found here https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/02/17/changes-to-newauthoronline/. In it, I explained that the title of my site has changed to “K Morris – Poet”, and the tagline to “Kevin Morris poet”. I went on to explain that my site can now be accessed from 2 addresses – kmorrispoet.com and newauthoronline.com.
Readers of this blog will see that the blog’s primary address (the address you see in your browser’s address bar) has now changed to kmorrispoet.com. Please note, the address, newauthoronline.com will continue to work (and, as previously stated I have no intention of deactivating it), however, as stated above, irrespective of which address you type into your browser’s address bar, the web address you will see (once on my site) will be kmorrispoet.com.
Over the years many bloggers (and others) have kindly hosted me on their sites and linked back to content on my blog. All of these links should continue to work and anyone clicking on a link to newauthoronline.com be redirected to kmorrispoet.com. If, however you do experience any difficulties please do let me know, either by leaving a comment below this post, or by emailing me at newauthoronline (at) gmail dot com, (the address is rendered thus to defeat spammers)!
I am blind, and use Job Access with Speech (JAWS) software which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a Windows computer or laptop, (http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/software/jaws/). One of the problems I face when navigating the web is the lack (on some sites) of clearly labelled sharing buttons. For example I have lost count of the number of occasions on which I have come across something along the following lines:
(with none of the links being labelled). In such a situation (assuming that I wish to share the content in question), I have no option other than to click on each (unlabelled) link/button until I locate Twitter, Facebook or whatever sharing option I wish to utilise.
When faced with the above situation, I sometimes give up and click away from the post (or other content) without sharing.
The vast majority of site owners (where unlabelled buttons exist) would, I am sure not wish to disadvantage people with visual impairments and are (in most cases) unaware that their site is not fully accessible.
With this post can I please request my fellow internet users/readers to check that the sharing buttons are labelled correctly so that a user of screen reading software such as myself can easily use Twitter, Facebook and other sharing facilities. There is much good will out there and (as previously stated) I know that the vast majority of site owners wish to make their site accessible to all users. So, if you could please take some time to check the accessibility of your site that would be greatly appreciated.
“As the demand for internet content increases steadily, AI content bots become more crucial. That’s because of the sheer demand for information and constant
updates. To stay on top of the search engine results page and remain SEO-focused, bloggers and webmasters need to produce new content consistently — and
not all of it needs to be empathetic, prose-like or high quality”.
It’s the words “and not all of it needs to be empathetic, prose-like or high quality”, (particularly those 2 words “high quality” which give me most cause for concern. This is well worth reading, (https://www.mostlyblogging.com/articoolo-writing-robots/).