Monday, November 11, 2013

Blogging Is Dead

That's the word on the street, anyway.

It used to be the first question that came up when social media was mentioned - do you have a blog? Now I'm asked more often if I have a Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook... although I'll add that the latter is quickly falling off the inquiry list.

The answer is yes, I do. I have all of them. I also have a YouTube channel, Pinterest, G+, Instagram and even a LinkedIn. Sure, a couple of those are virtual cemeteries when it comes to traffic, but because they exist, I have one. Some are more work than others, some are easily fed by content from each other, and some I can get lost in for hours looking at videos of cats.

But the blog? This blog - the one you're reading right now.

This is work. Real work. This is me talking to you about writing life on Mondays, sharing how other authors achieved their success on Tuesdays, diving into etymology on Wednesdays, taking a little tour of my head on Thursdays, doing a virtual librarian book talk on Fridays, and offering up query critiques on Saturdays.

And everyone says it's dead. They say no one reads blogs anymore because it's easier to look at gifs and easily digestible 140 characters of wisdom than read a whole paragraph. For the most part, I am seeing this pan out in the numbers. The group blogs that I contribute to are seeing less traffic and comments have nose-dived everywhere. Interaction is a thing of the past and even giveaways aren't pulling in the clicks like they used to.

So this makes me sad, because I like blogging. I'm one of those people that does it because I enjoy it, not because I have massive amounts of followers or because my traffic consistently has four digit hits daily. It doesn't. In fact,  if I told you what my average traffic is like you would advise me to stop wasting my time.

And maybe I should. But I'm not going to, and I'll tell you why. Underneath my snail-house exterior I'm a complete softie for those people who come up to me at book fairs and signings to tell me how much they like my blog. If you ever see me and you feel the same way, say so, and you'll get to see a real smile - one that doesn't flash out that often. The one that pushes my cheeks up so far that my eyes practically close.

That's because this blog is work, like I said, but it's a work of the heart. My novels are too, and I'll gladly accept compliments on those as well. But if I'm being totally honest I write my novels for me, and I blog for you.

So tell me that it means something to you, and you'll make my day.

21 comments:

Artemis Grey said...

I totally agree with you, and I love this post! My own blogging has slowed as of late, because I've been focusing more on writing (still in the agent-hunting stage) but I very much love blogs, and I think they're vital for all the reasons you've listed. I plan on keeping mine as well.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love blogging and think it's sad people aren't doing it as much too. I really appreciate you aren't quitting. Me too. I really think you can share so much more on a blog. I miss so much on Facebook and Twitter. I don't have time to be on there all the time and there's too much posted to keep up.

I wonder where all the people who quit blogging think they'll be able to promote their books if they stop blogging.

Sorry I don't stop by as much as I'd like but I try to follow lots of blogs.

Jessica @ Books: A true story said...

So true - Blogging is so much work and it makes me sad when people say it’s dead. I think it’s just not as common as it used to be since it isn’t as shiny and new anymore. I love blogging for me, too. And I love reading your blog! Your Thursday thoughts always make me laugh :)

kelpeterson said...

Aww... well, if it makes any difference, I've certainly been enjoying your daily tidbits in the short time since I stumbled across your blog. (I do have to confess to being one of those who doesn't comment as often as I should.)

I wonder, do you think the drop in blogging and interactions on blogs is indicative of a larger cultural trend toward consumerism in place of relationship building? I know I'm guilty of often going online to find content without contributing anything in return. It is easier, but it can also mean missing out on connecting with and talking to some really awesome people. (Yes, you count. ^^)

Thanks for the thoughtful post and all the effort you put into this blog every week!

Carmen said...

Mindy,
I love your blog! It's one of the few I make time for because it always--ALWAYS--makes me smile. So, you see, now you can't quit if you're making people smile. ;)

Plus, your blog is how I got to "know" you. That's what drove me to happily purchase your book--I wanted to support a cool author. Cut back a little if you must, but don't give up on us!

Kimber Leigh Wheaton said...

Meh. The people who say blogging is dead are just to lazy to blog. I love your blog. Perhaps numbers will go down a bit, but at least the people you keep are legitimate readers you can count on for repeat visits and book purchases.

I have noticed that Facebook drives most of the traffic to my blogs. I started one blog six months ago and the other two months ago. So far my readership has been slowly climbing.

Please don't give up on blogging. I'd miss you.

bethchristopher.com said...

I'm not a very good blogger. Between kids and working, I don't have much spare time, and I'm focusing mostly on writing the dang novel, not building an on-line presence. I'm lucky if I manage one post a month these days. I barely ever comment on your blog, but I want you to know that yours is one of my favorites. Especially the SHIT! It gives me hope. I'm glad you're still in this thing!

HeatherCRaglin said...

I love reading your blog. I often learn something (WOLF) or at the very least you make me smile. So thanks for continuing.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Oh don't worry guys, I'm not going anywhere. This blog is my blood and my brain and my guts and other body parts YA writers don't actually have in real life.

I'm not sure if the swing is so much due to consumerism vs. relationships so much as it is due to time constraints / attention span.

I think a lot of people truly are looking for the easy fix online - a funny picture, a cuddly kitty vid. I think the internet is very much a disposable thing, and is thought of that way. We hardwire our brains when we pick up a book to *focus* and say *I am doing something serious right now. This deserves time.*

But the internet is for bite size, quick profile update scans, snappy witticisms and checking in to see if anybody has RT'd the last cool thing we said.

It's called *cruising* the internet b/c that's what we do - we drive by it. Nobody says they're sitting down to *read and focus on the internet.*

:)

Anne Buzzini said...

I have mined the best information from blogs (including yours) and I would hate to see them go away. More than half of the best information I have gleaned about writing comes from blogs.

I have a Twitter account and ignore it. Same goes for Tumblr and Pinterest. Facebook is convenient, I can use it including posting (big asset), and I can find what I want (most of the time), but i still don't pay attention to it most days.

Thank you for your blogs and your work on AgentQuery.

Mindy McGinnis said...

No problem Anne... like I said, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon!

Yvonne Osborne said...

I like your blog and I always read it, even if I don't always comment. I don't think blogging is dead. Not even close. The idea is ridiculous.

Dana Edwards said...

I love your blog, especially the query critiques and when you talk about your parents' fat dog.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Thank you everyone for chiming in and letting me know that you don't think blogging is dead. I shall slog on, for now.

Dana - The dog continues to be fat. This has been an update.

Becky Mahoney said...

It means something, for sure!! I reread your Submission Hell series every time I feel like I'm starting to lose my mind. <3 Thank you so much for writing for us!

tollyfaye said...

"They" also say that books are dead. Prove "them" wrong. :)

whimsicalwerecat said...

I always enjoy reading your blogs, Mindy! Keep 'em coming! They are always read and appreciated. :)

Stephanie B said...

I love blogging too. It can be a lot of work (especially book blogging) but it's totally worth it. I love sharing my thoughts with people, especially since no one over at my place would want to hear me talk that much. And your blog is a lot of fun.

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