|Banner, Via Negativa|
DB: Well, for people who are withdrawn or misanthropic, I don't know what to suggest. But if you're an interesting writer and you're at least a little outgoing, it doesn't take too long to find a community of bloggers to link to and comment on. I fear a lot of people start blogs these days on the advice of editors or agents who neglect to tell them that the most important trait of a good blogger is generosity. If you want people to read you, you have to read them. You need to link to other bloggers and other websites, whether in your posts or in your sidebar (ideally both) — that's how the web grows. I actually border on being too withdrawn to be an effective blogger; I often link to a blog post I like in lieu of leaving a comment. But the thing about comments is, other people besides the blogger see them too, and if your comment is interesting, will click through to check out your own site. I've seen bloggers build up huge readerships due to an ability to leave witty comments on high-traffic blogs.
|Banner, Morning Porch|
Image from Clive Hicks Jenkins.
Every writer should have some kind of website — they're crazy not to. Whether it should be a blog, and if so, what kind of blog, depends on the writer. There's nothing wrong with maintaining an essentially static site with just occasional updates about readings or new publications. But finding and staying connected to readers and kindred spirits online involves a pretty big commitment in time and energy, which can severely cut into one's writing time. If you're all about the Romantic ideal of the lone writer building an edifice of unique, inspired work, you're best advised to avoid all contact with blogs and blogging to avoid contagion.