I have a paranormal mystery novel at the submission stage - thoroughly critiqued, polished to the best I can get it, and quite original IMO. Of course, agents and publishers may see it differently, but that's another subject.
I am thinking about starting a blog on the subject matter of the story: the paranormal and the divide between those who believe and those who don't. (Not quite, but close enough. I'm trying to be a little cagey about the core issues, as I think the idea is original enough to consider it in my best interests to keep it close to my chest.)
On the issue of blogging writers you have said:
"Do I look for writers by reading their blogs? No I find writers the old fashioned way: they fall into my mailbox with nice letters. However, if someone queries me and says "Dearest Miss Snark, I have a blog that gets 1000 unique hits a day" and "my blog is about my writing" of course I'd pay attention."
Does this apply to subject matter not directly related to writing or publishing? I think, if done properly, the blog could attract some attention and get some good traffic. But is it really a useful tool when the writer is unpublished to try and sway the prospective agent/publisher that the subject matter generates a lot of interest?
There are many good writers blogs out there and I'm sure the world doesn't need another. But if you had one that dealt with intriguing core issues covered in your story, and it was interesting enough to attract a lot of, well, interest, is it a good marketijng tool?
Key phrase: interesting and done well
In case you're wondering, it's not all that easy to keep a good blog. I see a lot of crappy ones out there and a few that are downright damaging to an author's public face.
I also don't troll the blogosphere for writers but when I google hot prospects, you bet I look at their websites or blogs.
Here are the things I think make a blog work well for a writer building an online presence:
4. slice of life outside the usual
5. very very focused
And really almost all of those blogs are all of those things and they're well written.
Starting a blog just cause you've heard it's a good idea is the wrong starting point. The right starting point is do you have anything to say, and do you have enough of it to say one new thing every day for a year.
And just cause you have a blog doesn't mean anyone will ever read it. I'm stunned by the number of people who read this blog now, but when I started there were about six of us and three of them were poodles. I was very fortunate to receive mentions by GalleyCat and Publisher's Lunch within several weeks of launching but that was almost two years ago when blogging was still relatively new. I think I was one of fewer than ten publishing professionals keeping a blog at that time. Now there are hundreds.
A dead blog isn't a plus.