When Huffpost Editor-in-chief Jimmy Leach announced the closure of its blogging platform he said that “publishing thousands of blogs has been a distraction from the delivery of impactful, targeted investigations, explainers, breaking news and lifestyle and entertainment journalism.” He also pointed to changes in the digital media landscape and the fact that, when Huffington Post launched in the US 14 years ago, “there was no Medium for self-publishing, no Twitter for amplification, and Facebook looked like the exciting future, and not the jaded behemoth we seem lumbered with today”. And anyone doubting the veracity of his last statement needs a reality check.
Should Authors Blog?
Not only has blogging become accessible to anyone with an inkling of an idea, there are now More Than 440 Million Blogs In The World, a staggering increase from the 181 million Nielsen estimates there were by the end of 2011. Finding a good blog with meaningful content is now much like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack and for authors using their blogs as a way to market their books and engage with potential readers the sheer volume of blogs creates a significant problem. Competition is fierce and since the first blog was posted way back in 1994, blogging has gone through considerable metamorphism to become pivotal to online content but a recent poll amongst BookViral reviewed authors showed that over 72% of them had seen a distinct drop in engagement through their blogs. But does this mean that blogging for authors is dead?
Is Blogging Dead?
Certainly not! It’s simply being diluted by new trends and for authors serious about marketing their books this means keeping up to date with new developments. There are new emerging trends in Social Media all the time but authors need to do their homework and not be swayed by a sudden groundswell in popularity which has no longevity. Remember Google Plus? American marketing specialist guru Guy Takeo Kawasaki was a keen advocate and many followed his lead in adopting the platform as a possible competitor to Facebook but it never reached their expectations.
For authors in any genre, it’s important to focus on emerging trends in their niche and experiment with ways to re-engage with their existing readers. Don’t let your blog slide into the quagmire of obscurity. It is still a powerful medium for engagement and will be for many years yet to come.