I get a lot of blogging clients and as usual I ask them a lot of questions to get a feel for their style. In most cases, they have no problem answering my long list of prying questions. Yet, I always manage to stump them with one. "What is the purpose of this blog?" It's the one that seems to draw the most blank stares, awkward silences, and stuttered phrases. Or I get some variation of, "Everyone else has one so we should to." If this is your reasoning, you are heading for disaster. 

Yes, it's good to keep up with competition. However, you need to have a better reason than "everyone else is doing it". It's necessary to know what you are trying to achieve with your blog, otherwise you will be working aimlessly and head straight for destruction. Trust me -  a blog with no direction is easily detectable. 

So how do you get a direction? You consider your target audience, your service/product and what you hope to accomplish. Once you decide what your end goal is, it will be much easier for you to understand your blog's purpose and write in a way to reflect that.  The purpose directly relates to the way it's written. For example, if your purpose is to interact with more prospects, you may want to write your blog in a conversational tone and ask lots of questions. If your purpose is to establish yourself as an expert, you'll want to include how-to posts and lists. If you're still not sure, hold off on starting a blog until you can come up a plan of attack. After all, starting a blog without a plan (or a purpose) is like shooting a gun with a blindfold on. You'll only end up hurt and disappointed.


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