A certain literary agent Tweeted a checklist of items querying authors should include in their website. This list notably didn't include *Blog* as one of the items. If you scroll through the thread and comments, he shared (paraphrased) that while having a blog on a website won't hurt an author, it's also very *last-decade* and useless.I've never thought a blog was essential for a querying writer. A website, or an electronic location with info on where to find or contact you, absolutely, but that's the least of what a blog is.
Do you agree with this? Asking for a friend.
Back in the day when dinosaurs blogged the earth, blogging was a very easy way to establish a web presence. Blogspot.com was easy to learn to use and update; no website designer required. And for a while, it was about the only way to have conversations on the web.
Then the social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook et al) took over. Now there's Instagram and Pinterest and probably a lot more I haven't seen or used. Those made it a lot easier to connect with people and the entire platform is searchable for people whereas blogs are not.
Blogs were no longer the only way to establish and maintain a web presence, nor the only way to talk to readers.
And the disadvanges of a blog became increasingly clear when more and more people started blogging.
One big disadvantage is the need for fresh content, regular updates, and most important: reader interaction. A blog without readers who comment is like a cat without someone to pet it. Present, but a shocking waste of fine fur.
The demand for fresh content meant finding ongoing interesting topics; topics that drew readers and comments. Bloggers found this increasingly daunting. A lot of blogs fell by the wayside. (The death of Google Reader didn't help either.) Blogs soon got a bad name for platform building. Thus an agent might advise writers that blogs are useless even though there are clear examples of blogs that are NOT useless (for example: this one.)
Putting your blog ON your website has always been a sore spot. Blogs require grooming, just like cats, and I'll be glad to tell you how fun it is to keep spam at bay, fix broken links, and otherwise maintain a spiffy blog. (And I get a lot of very valuable help on finding/fixing typos which other bloggers do not.) A website with a scruffy blog is a like a cat in a brown paper bag: you know there's fine fur in there somewhere but it's not really visible.
I actually posted about this before in a different context.
To answer the question you asked: blogs in and of themselves aren't useless, but they might not be the most effective deployment of your limited resources of time and creativity, or provide the most return on investment of those scarce resources. And sure they're last decade, but hell Agatha Christie's books are last century, (The Secret of Chimneys is 93 years old!) but I still love and value them.
To answer the question you didn't ask: if you have a blog on your website, and it's nice and tidy, with regular updates, no spam, and has reader interaction (ie comments), a prospective agent will not think less of you: that you're surely out-of-step with the times; a supporter unto death of two spaces after a period; most likely some hooligan who writes bodice rippers, penny dreadfuls, and lesser forms of The Bard's Art; and quite probably a devotee of that pickpocket advocate Charles Dickens.
|You seem to be blogging. Such a pity.|