This is a blog about book publishing, yet today starts a series on blogging. Why?
- Authors need a platform to promote their book, and blogging is an effective platform-building tool.
- Blogging is a form of publishing.
- Blogging helps us hone our writing skills in a public setting.
- Some writers turn successful blogs into a book.
While there are many options to use for blogging, I’ll only address WordPress, simply because it’s the most popular option. WordPress is to blogging, as Microsoft Word is to word-processing.
The benefits of WordPress.com:
- The beginner package is completely free. (There is an annual cost for the premium and business plans.)
- It is quick and easy to get started with WordPress.com.
- It has a reduced feature set, which minimizes complexity over having too many options.
The weaknesses of WordPress.com
- An awkward address: The web address for the beginner plan (the free option) will look like blog-name.WordPress.com. (You can buy your own domain name to point to your WordPress.com blog, but then it is no longer free.)
- A long web address: Most of the short and nicer blog names have already been taken, so your blog address will likely end up being long. (Again, buying your own domain name is a workaround.)
- No direct support (with the beginner package). There is, however, a strong WordPress community, which is often – but not always – a good resource in resolving problems and answering questions.
- Ads: In exchange for completely free, you agree to allow ads on your blog. (There are no ads with the premium or business plans.)
- Limitations: To achieve simplicity, the trade-off is some of the functionality available from WordPress.org isn’t included in WordPress.com.
Here’s why you should consider WordPress.com:
- The beginner package is completely free. If you have no money, this is the ideal solution.
- It’s a great way to learn WordPress. That’s what I did, but I soon switched to WordPress.org because I needed additional features and flexibility.
If WordPress.com feels like the right solution for you, start using WordPress.com today.
Next week I’ll talk about getting started with WordPress.org.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.