Those of you who are regular visitors may have noticed a big change. My website now has a whole new look.
I began writing books in the early 2000s. This was back in the dark ages of dial-up modems and AOL flash sessions to download your email. The two main Internet providers, CompuServe and AOL, only offered a limited amount of online hours each month. My how times have changed. Back then having a website was something of a novelty, but once I started writing books having one was a must. I started out with a now defunct company called Internet Cafe. It had an easy to use site wizard, so I was able to quickly build professional looking website. The Internet, however, seemed to be changing faster than anyone could keep up with it.
About a year or so later I started hearing a strange word. Blog. Short for, “web log,” a blog was something like an online diary. I wasn’t quite sure how it all worked, but I soon found out. A website was where people went for information. A blog was less formal. It was where you could talk one on one to your customers. They were two entirely different animals.
There were three blog hosts to choose from. Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress. I started out with Blogger. It was a free, easy-to-use, Google product. It took me some time to get into blogging, but once I did, I loved it. I could talk one-on-one with readers. I could discuss other details, such as the inspiration for the story or a character. Best of all, I could post links individual blog posts, or articles, on social media.
Call me a blogging fool. I then proceeded to start different blogs, geared toward different audiences. For example, From the Writer’s Desk is for tips and tricks for writing fiction. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is a food blog, sharing recipes and promoting my WWII historic cookbook. (Which I wrote as Gayle Martin.) I also share favorite family recipes, as well as a few concoctions I created on my own.
Google, unfortunately, no longer supports Blogger. While still free and easy to use, it’s very limited, and I’ve since outgrown it. I finally came over to WordPress. WordPress has lots of options. So much so it boggles the mind. However, many of the themes are simple to use, including the Twenty – Sixteen theme. Even so, as my blogs grew, I became more and more befuddled with all the various plugins. I finally had to break down and find a WordPress guru, Valerie Lancaster of Wowser’s Web Design. She is my go-to for all my WordPress worries. Her rates are reasonable, and she keeps my blogs going. She’s also a very talented WordPress web designer.
As the years went by I noticed I was using my blog, formerly called Marina Martindale’s Musings, for virtually all of my book promotion, while my formal website became more and more outdated. I also noticed that more companies were adding blogs to their websites, which certainly made a lot of since. The renewal date for my formal website was this past month, and I decided not to renew. I would instead have Valerie combine the two into one website. I also decided to give it a new name. Marina Martindale Contemporary Romance Author. Those who follow my blog will find the latest entry on the home page. The remaining posts can be found on the Marina’s Journal page.