The volume of websites and blogs that now occupy the internet seems as vast intellectually as the infinity of space. I would understand if a writer looking to expand her readership opted against starting a blog with the reasoning that it would be no more meaningful than the discovery of a faint star in some distant galaxy. But initially, at least for writers still seeking a regular venue for their work, a blog is a very good place to start, hits and visits aside. If you post it, they will come, whoever and however many They are. And even if They are only five people, you will have a readership, and the blog will be serving its purpose.
Yes, writers both new and established can use a blog to promote themselves, and that’s all to the good, but I feel the blog serves a greater purpose, especially, as I said, if you are not working regularly with a publisher. If you can develop the habit of publishing 400 words four or five times a week on your blog, you may begin to break down a certain self-consciousness or inhibition. Here is one of the best uses for what amounts to self-publishing. By writing regularly for an actual readership, the author must enter again and again that place where they can forget about “will someone want it?” and simply focus on what needs to be said. That is the goal, after all.
Writing is very much a conversation with yourself, at least to start. You must find within your life and imagination that which interests you most. But the translation of these interesting ideas to words on a page that are understandable by another human being is the gift of writing, both for the reader and the writer. What drew you to an idea preceded the language you would use to share it.
It is impossible to know who in the world will understand or appreciate how and what you choose to share, but I do believe it is possible to know the difference between wanting to share and merely wanting to be heard. If you publish yourself often enough, you can get over the need to be heard and move on to the higher and more satisfying calling of offering something useful to someone besides yourself.