Are Blogs Passé?

Are blogs passé? I’ve heard blogging is no longer considered an effective use of social media. I don’t know what has replaced blogging, but I have noticed a drop in hits on my blogs. But maybe that’s because I’m running out of new things to say. I’ve focused on writing topics, but I’ve been doing this for several years now, week after week. There’s only so much one can say without being repetitive.

I’ve also noticed that I don’t read as many blogs as I used to, even blogs that I always find informative. I’m not sure why, other than time constraints. I just don’t seem to be able to find enough hours in the day to do all I want (or need) to do.

It takes time to write a blog. At least it does for me, especially if I include on-line sites where the reader can find more information on a topic.

And coming up with new ideas or new approaches is difficult. Attending a conference always gives me new material (or a new approach), but I can only afford a couple writers’ conferences or workshops a year. (A conference usually provides four to six blog topics; ie, new or informative material.)

I like to think my blogs help new writers in their journey to learn the craft, but I’m not sure 400 to 600 words convey enough information to be of any real value. Most new writers need the basics: how to format for an agent/editor or for ebooks or for selfpublishing; punctuation instruction, self-editing ideas; spelling and capitalization rules; how to write and punctuate dialogue; and so on. A good “how-to” book can give all of that information and how many times should a blog be devoted to those topics?

I do love hearing people say they’ve enjoyed (or learned) from reading my blogs. That’s nice, but it’s mostly an ego stroke. I don’t think I’ve sold many books because of my blogs.

So what do you think? Are blogs passé? Are they worth the time it takes to come up with an idea and write it? If they are “old hat” what is the new trend?

Just asking—

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32 Responses to Are Blogs Passé?

  1. Peg Herring says:

    I don’t think a lot of people read blogs anymore unless the title is of interest to them (as this one was to me). I use mine for announcements mostly, new book, new format like audio, which always comes so much later, or new cover. I doubt it brings in new readers/buyers, but it might keep my loyal few in the loop.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, Peg. I think this will be my last year of doing this every week. As I said, I’m running out of things to write about.

  2. Several years ago I heard an editor say blogs were passe, but then they had a resurgence. I don’t write nearly as regularly as you do, Maris, but I find that I enjoy writing most of the pieces, and that’s why I keep at it. I don’t have another ready outlet for my essays, so I continue to blog. I still read quite a few, but not about writing issues.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks for your comment, Susan. One thing I’ve enjoyed about writing these blogs is I also learn new things, either from my research or from comments others make.

  3. Diana Stout says:

    It’s the rare blog, I think that can do it well weekly. Jane Freidman comes to mind. After having written a weekly column for five years back in my 20s, I swore I would never do a committed weekly project like that ever again. I’ve noticed that anytime I blog now, I’m getting followers across all of my social media because everything is so well linked and I’m happy if I can get 3-6 blogs on each blog per year. I don’t know how you did it all these years. Personally, I’d love to hear stories about your journey, what got you into writing, the early challenges, how you faced those frustrations, do you see patterns from the past re-emerging, and so forth. And not as a weekly either. A time to reinvent yourself?

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Diana, those are good ideas. I love Jane Friedman’s blogs, but I don’t always find time to read hers, so I understand what you mean.

  4. Zara West says:

    There are so many great blogs out there that reading every post is impossible. But I do think writing a blog is worth it. Maybe not every topic, but once in a while I hit a topic that draws people in, and they sign up to follow me or for my newsletter. Or it’s a topic that people search out for. Writing a blog does takes a tremendous amount of time so I think every week is too much. I try to do 1 or 2 originals a month, plus 3 author interviews.

  5. Why do you think you have to contribute weekly? I write about 2 blogs a month, and they tend to be long because I can’t keep anything short. I seldom write about the”how-to’s” of writing. Any writer can find that anywhere. I write about my personal experiences, feelings, why I write what I write – that kind of thing. And I never “work” at it. When something hits me, I sit down and write it in about 10 minutes and send it off to Florence (the networker who takes care of things like that for me) and she posts it. She gets it out to several blog sites, puts it on my Facebook page, etc. I often blog about the book I’m working on, or my new book (if I happen to have one at the time) – “the writing life” as opposed to “how-to.” A lot of times it gets personal as to what I am feeling or thinking, but I think my readers like that. I get a lot of response from them. I have no idea how much it helps book sales, but at least it keeps reminding people I’m here and have books to offer. If I thought of it as “work” or something I “have” to do, I wouldn’t do it. I enjoy it. And you never know when you will hit the right person at the right time and something more will come of it. I always liked your blogs – simple and to the point – and I wouldn’t give it up. Just quit thinking you have to post one every week. Do it as a “joy” rather than a”job.” OH, MY GOSH! I just now see a title for my own next blog about writing! Let it be a joy, not a job! Thanks, Maris!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Rosanne, I admire your ability to write about your everyday life and what you’re working on, etc. I’ve enjoyed writing my blogs, but I’ve reached that point of “What do I write about next?” I’m afraid most people would be bored if I wrote about my day to day life, but you’re right, an occasional blog about what I’ve been doing would be good. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. Wow. I’m considering my first ever blog and I learned so much from this post and the responses. Thanks, all!

  7. Melissa Keir says:

    Like you, I’m finding less and less people read blogs and virtually none respond. When I use blog posts to share my work (blog tours, blog hops), the only people who comment are the ones who want a prize.

    I really enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Well, I certainly hope blogs are not passe. I’m still writing my own blog and keeping up with Author Expressions. We don’t get as much traffic as we once did. However, I do take pride in writing a quality blog.

    • Maris Soule says:

      And you do write quality blogs, Jacqueline. I read most of them. I don’t always comment, and once in a while I get behind with everything and have to skip a few.

  9. L.A. Sartor says:

    Maris, I know you’ve been a guest on my blog and my main source of posts are my guests. I’m pretty picky about formatting, so it takes awhile, and when I was doing 3 a week, I began to resent the time. I reduced the schedule and will do it again this fall.

    That being said, I have a very important 3 part blog comming up mid month about cyber security, so I’m hoping everyone will read it and be safe, and use Josh’s suggestions to protect yourself. This post makes me thrilled to still have my blog.

    Hugs, L.A. Sartor

  10. Marsha R. West says:

    You ask a good question, Maris. I don’t read as many as I used to. I still write a weekly blog, but generally not about writing (though tomorrow’s post is about writing.) I write about what’s going on in my world or the whole world. I enjoy doing it, but like you I question it’s worth. I have a few faithful followers who almost always comment, so I don’t feel I’m exactly speaking into the nothingness. If blogs are passe, I haven’t heard what’s taken their place. Thanks for this interesting post.

  11. Good question, Maris. It all began for me when the publisher said “Do it” and I did. Years pass, I write books, share feelings, stories, funny stuff, I fell and tell instead of show and tell. To each, his or her own. Life is too short to fret about it. My motto is chin up and smile. . .a lot. Thanks for you, my friend.

  12. Helen Robertson says:

    The reason I think a blog is a good idea is that you have complete control, especially if you own the domain. On other social media platforms, you have no way to ensure your followers see your posts, and the platforms come and go in popularity. Plus you have to curate each account. A blog is a place where people can always find you.

    • Maris Soule says:

      You’re right, Helen, I do like the control I have over my blog. It allows me, at times, to voice concerns I have or convey information I’ve just learned. I don’t think I’m ready to quit blogging, but I may cut back on the frequency.

  13. Diane Burton says:

    Interesting post, Maris. I’ve always enjoyed your posts. I find the hits & comments on my blog increasing. I belong to a weekly (Weekend Writing Warriors) and monthly (Insecure Writers Support Group) that make my numbers go way up. I started blogging in 2011 and still enjoy it. I also have guests and that always increased comments. I guess it just depends on the person.

    • Maris Soule says:

      That’s great that you’re seeing an increase in hits and comments. I do know I’ve heard more than one agent and editor say they’re no longer suggesting blogs as a means of publicizing books. Websites, yes. Blogs? Their opinion seemed to be if a writer liked doing that, fine.

  14. HiDee Ekstrom says:

    I enjoy reading blogs. I have some favorites – yours included – but I enjoy exploring new blogs too. Maybe it’s a title that catches my eye or a post from a favorite author that they are guesting on a blog, but I do like exploring new-to-me blogs!

    • Maris Soule says:

      HiDee, I notice the number of hits I receive often depends on the title of the blog, which isn’t surprising. I often choose blogs to read by the subject mentioned in the title.

  15. You’ve been reading my mind again, Maris. I have been wondering the same thing. I have cut back to one or two a month because I have been concentrating on my newsletter. That’s where “they” say we best connect with our readers. I always enjoy your blog, and while I don’t always comment, yours is one I always read. I like what Rosanne said about make it a joy not a job.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Betty, you’re right. I need to put out a newsletter more often than I do. I think it’s been 9 months or more since my last newsletter. I need to do something different, and all of these suggestions are helping me come to a decision. Thanks.

  16. I consider my blog as an online journal. I share more than writing advice articles. I’ll describe a day at the park, a cooking class I took, or a trip to an interesting site. There’s a difference between hits and subscribers, too. My subscriber base in increasing. Hits? Not so much. I always wonder if anyone is reading mine (http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com) but then someone comes up to me at a conference and says they enjoy my blog. So I’ll keep it going until I run out of things to say. Maybe change yours up a bit so it’s more fun for you.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Good ideas, Nancy, and, I’m also always pleasantly surprised when people come up and says they enjoy my blogs. I think I do need to expand beyond writing about writing, and maybe drop down to every other week. Thanks for taking the time to respond.