"As an author, I've always seen my blog as much more than an online diary. It's about keeping in regular contact with your readers and giving them something extra. Ultimately, it's a brilliant and beneficial marketing tool... I'd go as far as saying that in today's marketplace, a blog is a necessity for any writer, and the very nature of being published means you're already one step ahead of the game. In order to get published in the first place there's a requirement for your book to be a little bit different from the rest, and if you can capture some of this uniqueness in the blog, it can only help to raise awareness of you and your work."
I think it's a good article, but it does seem to have a tone of "if you don't blog, you'll fail", which isn't completely true. I think it's particularly useful in genre circles, due to the nature of fandom—and I suppose those who read this are already converted to that school of thought. And we're all fan boys in the Solaris office, and are frequently tuning into see what our favourite writers are up to.
But I often wonder what new writers think of the requirement to be seen to blog. Also, are readers beginning to think the effect is diluted if every writer wants to have a blog? What do people think of writers who don't blog? Are they less likely to buy books if a new writer doesn't have much of an online presence?