I can only speak for myself. I do not blog about writing as a way to sell my books. I bet a lot of you didn't even know I have books out there available to purchase. I do. But that's not what this blog is about.
This isn't my "author blog", this is my writing blog -- a blog for writers. It's about writing and reading and publishing and how all of those go hand in hand.
And just between you and me, it kind of annoys me when I see "buy my book" pimpage in my Google Reader. I'm not following those blogs because I want to buy the author's book. If I want to buy your book, I'll find your book on my own, I'm not stupid, I know how to click on a link in your sidebar and how to use an Amazon search box, I don't need you to throw it in my face every week, thank you very much. (And while we're on that subject, lay off Teh Twittuh Pimpage, too, please. If you want to pimp something so badly, pimp someone else's stuff -- it's less annoying and makes you look like a freaking Saint.)
If you read and purchase my work as a result of following this blog, then thank you thank you thank you. I sincerely appreciate it. Sometimes I will announce things here in relation to something of mine getting published, but I am not one to dwell on it.
Because this blog isn't about my writing. I may use my own work as an example to emphasize a certain point, and I may post an excerpt from time to time to share what I'm currently working on as a way of connecting with my fellow writers, but the main purpose of this blog is to help other writers on their career path, no matter where they happen to be.
And we will always need blogs for writers as long as there are new writers looking for a place to start, and as long as there are veteran writers looking for a fresh take on something, and as long as there is a venue for blogging.
The great thing about blogs for writers is that, being a blog and not a published book on the industry or craft, you can...
- continually provide new content as you learn new things.
- provide your own unique viewpoint on writing and publishing, which may change over time.
- edit content in a timely manner (not everything about publishing is slow -- news can spread and changes can come about quicker than a wink); delete content if necessary.
- easily share your content through a simple link; this comes in handy even in private communication, such as email and IM.
I've been writing fiction since I was a kid. When I decided to pursue fiction writing professionally as an adult, writing blogs were just starting to get popular. They were not saturating the Internet as they are now. This was also before Teh Twittuh Esplosion (and ebooks, for that matter). I followed a select few blogs in addition to reading books I checked out from the library and/or purchased.
I noticed the value of blogs early on. The posts are short, focused on a single topic, easy to read, points easily discerned, and therefore the content is highly digestible. When you're able to absorb what you're reading you are more likely to apply it, and more likely to return to the source of that help again and again.
This is why blogs work so well as "advice givers." Some writers have even devoted their entire blogs to just answering their readers' questions.
But now we have "too many writing blogs", according to some. I'm not sure that's really the case, though. No, not every writer can follow every blog for writers, but it's good to have choices. Especially in a field that is strongly based on differing opinions and viewpoints.
Find the blogs that work for you and follow them. I am still following Pub Rants -- the first blog about writing and publishing that I ever started following -- after... I don't know, almost 4 years? And I'm still learning from it. Just because more blogs with similar content have cropped up since its beginning (and it's been around for way longer than I've been following it) doesn't mean Pub Rants is any less helpful to me now, and it doesn't mean that blog has stopped gaining new followers, steadily.
Because we will always need blogs for writers.
New blogs fail because the blogger miscalculated their reason for blogging, how much time it would require to maintain, how much mental energy is expended in generating new content week in and week out, how difficult it is to build a loyal readership, etc, etc, etc...
NOT because there isn't a need for a writing blog. There IS a need. There will always be a need.