Is Blogging Dead…and Should I Care?

by Kendra Bonnett on August 17, 2009

catnav-book-business-active-3Post #8 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Today for my post on Story Circle Network’s Telling HerStories blog, I tried to find the truth behind industry stories that blogging is dead. You can read my post by following this link to “Blogging is Dead…In Case You Hadn’t Heard.” My short answer? No, blogging is far from dead. But it is maturing. I closed that post by asking another question: So what’s going on? And what does it mean to authors blogging (or planning to blog) to boost interest in their books?

The answer: More than you might think.www arrow

First, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, blogging is work. And it’s a lot of hard work if you’re going to do a good job. Just as the old adage says everyone has a book in them, I suspect most bloggers only have one or two good posts “in” them. Everything else that comes forth after the spontaneous post(s) bursts into the ethersphere is the result of work. Any blogger who succeeds has probably taken the time to:

  • Set a realistic blogging schedule for herself,
  • Create a strategy for content development (e.g., lists, reviews, top-of-mind thinking, guest blogs, Q&As),
  • Develop several media streams for content format (e.g., audio conversations, video, teleseminars, interviews),
  • Build a social media network and list of followers, friends and subscribers, and
  • Think about how the blog contributes to her business (e.g., advertising dollars, affiliate sales, product/service sales, book contracts)

That much effort is bound to kill off a good number of hobby bloggers that thought this would be soooo much fun. And that brings us to my second point. As bloggers depart the blogosphere, what we are left with is a much higher quality of commentary that elevates respect and acceptance of blog content in general. Fewer but better bloggers gives all of us greater credibility. And that’s something you can take to the bank.

Finally, the Internet being the dynamic environment that it is plays host to new products, tools and services that come along at a dizzying pace. But contrary to blogging’s doomsayers, technology is not a zero-sum game. The introduction of a new tactic (i.e., tool) does not demand the elimination of something else.

As a case in point, much of the belief that blogging is dead can be traced to the rise of Twitter–the microblogging tool that is, in fact, a real-time broadcasting platform for very short blasts of content. Some say that Twitter is killing blogging. The way I see it is that while many of the hobbyists and casual bloggers have left blogging for Twitter, it was really just a matter of time before they abandoned their blog anyway…and it will be just a few weeks or months more before they get bored with Twitter too. After all, you can only Tweet to a nameless horde that you’re getting up and having your morning coffee or are driving to the mall to meet Janet and Steve so many times before the thrill is gone.

In fact, Twitter is a fabulous tool. I have been using it for almost two years and I’m still coming up with new ideas for using it effectively. Hey, I remember when world-class Tweeter Robert Scobel only had a few thousand Tweets, and now he’s passed 22,000. Twitter and other social networking tools play an important part in my blogging strategy…and note that I wrote “my blogging strategy” not my social networking strategy.

Using my own blogging motivations as an example will perhaps make this more clear: I blog to share my thoughts on marketing and writing with published authors, aspiring writers, traditional marketers, Internet marketers and entrepreneurs. I’m delighted when my posts generate discussion that crystalizes concepts and moves understanding forward for all involved (poster, commenters, and readers). I get pleasure from the exercise. But I’ll be honest, I doubt that I’d blog just to see myself think. I am working to build exposure for Women’s Memoirs, as is my business partner Matilda Butler. So at the end of the day we want more readers, more prospective clients…more customers. I suspect that we’re not alone. I also believe that this is the primary reason for the decline in blogging. Those who thought writing a blog would be a great exercise but had no concept of how to grow a business through blogging and social networking probably represent the greatest number of dropouts.

How I make social networking support my blog will be a subject for my next Book Business post. I’ll only say in closing that currently my favorite tools are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and EzineArticles.

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