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.