Blogs are dead, so they tell me. The blog-o-sphere is no longer relevant. I suppose it depends on what your aim is. From a marketing stand point, blogs may not be the engine they used to be. (I'll come back to this). But for the aspiring writer, they still serve a purpose. And if your name has yet to appear on the NY Times list or the USA Today list and you don't consider yourself a hobbyist, you're still an aspiring writer.
How is a dead marketing engine helpful to a wanna be writer? It's fairly simple. Blogs must be written, usually in less than 500 words. If you write a 250 word blog post every day for a year, at the end of the year you have written 16,250 words. Like most things in life, the more you write the better you get. You will have written 365 first lines and 365 last lines. The only way to gain writing experience is to write. And your blog is a space to reflect on what you've read and your writing journey. This self reflection is so crucial to writers that it's a required part of most MFA programs. Sure, you could accomplish the same thing in a journal and if that is more comfortable for you go for it.
But you're missing out on one key benefit. Other writers. It's a supportive community full of people willing to teach you. From my blog, I've learned the three act structure, how to write a query, and grammar. I've built relationships. And this is where we come back to that dead marketing engine. The keyword is social marketing is social. The relationships you build from the blog-o-sphere can be paramount. You pick up readers but you also meet other people willing to promote you. So keep on blogging. Get those words down. Most of us have days where we cannot work on a novel and even a short story seems daunting. Open a blank post, and say "Working on a novel or even a short story seems daunting today." At least you wrote that sentence.
I've been blogging six years and it's still the best choice I made as an adult.
Do you blog? Leave me a link. I'll drop by.