I can't remember when I wrote my first blog, but it had to be more than ten years ago when my first mystery was published. Then blogging was all the rage. "You must blog," the Promotion Pundits declared. "It's one of the best ways to engage with your readers." Many of them drew up long lists of blogging topics for authors. Those documents are still on my computer, though I can't remember the last time I bothered to read any of them.
As mystery writers, we're well aware of our obligation to promote our books and stories. We do this in a variety of ways. While we never know for sure which methods bring us new readers , we know that new ways of promoting rise up and others fade away. Having a newsletter is a must. Social media is still hot. There's Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok. And many more I'm not aware of. Which brings me to the question: Does it make sense to continue to blog?
I write a blog once a month here on Writers Who Kill and even less often on the Blackbirds Writers' Blog. Writing a blog is actually writing an essay—at least it is for me. I suppose my mind has been trained, because I always manage to come up with a topic to write about, usually something related to writing. Doing so takes up time, time away from writing. And the question is: what am I getting in return? I get comments, but these are mostly from my fellow group blogging authors and other author friends.
Am I communicating with readers as I do when I do an author takeover for one of the cozy groups I belong to? Is blogging helping to create sales? I honestly don't know. But to be fair, I'm going to list a few of the reasons why I will continue to blog:
1. I like writing about writing or any other subject I'm thinking about and like sharing my thoughts with other people. After all, I am a writer and it's natural for me to express myself this way.
2. Blogs have longevity. One of my fellow Blackbirds Writers made a comment to a blog I'd written a year ago.
3. Blogs are a way of communicating. I will leave a comment on someone's blog if the subject touched me.
4. Blogs can be reused. The topic, actually, since I always have new thoughts when I rework an old blog.
5. Blogs can be helpful to other authors. I can't count the number of times I've given out "Twelve Things to Include When Writing a Mystery Series," which was first written as a blog.
6. Guest blogs are a good way to have exposure to possible new readers.
7. Mystery writers are also mystery readers; blogging is a way for them to learn about my books and me.
Though some say blogging isn't as important as it used to be, I think it's here to stay. What are your thoughts regarding blogging?