Your blog is your sketch book, note pad, diary (of sorts), op/ed column. Take advantage of the free and easy opportunity a blog affords to air out your prose or poetry if you’re really sincere about growing as a writer.
Publishing a blog any time can work to your benefit. If you create your blog as you’re writing the book, you have an online notebook where you can try out and refine content. Blog posts can be held as drafts indefinitely, so you don’t need to publish them until you’re ready. When you do, you can promote them in a variety of ways and generate comments that may help you think about possible improvements.
After your book is published, your blog is a great promotional tool and a way to interact with readers.
If you have a blog to feature or practice or air out your writing, you already are a self-publisher. Blogs (from web logs) are online newsletters/newspaper columns/magazines (depending on how elaborate they are) where you can give your writing some market exposure prior to pulling together everything into a book. Or, you can just stick with blogging and grow a periodical empire.
I’m partial to WordPress for blogging and so are most of the world’s bloggers. It’s powerful enough to become the basis for your entire website if you need it to, or you can just use it for blogging and be up and running in minutes for free.
WordPress comes in two flavors, plain vanilla and tutti frutti, if you will. Visit WordPress.com for the quick and easy version. Check out WordPress.org for the self-hosting version you install on your own server or that of a web hosting company such as GoDaddy.com.
Blogging has been a great way to get this writer out of the closet. I recommend it to anyone interested in self-publishing for the reasons in the first paragraph and then later as a marketing platform for your writing enterprise.