Monday, April 11, 2005

Write a mission statement for your blog

Many of my friends and readers seem to face the same online problem - they're excited about blogs, and want to maintain one themselves, but quickly into it get stymied over what to actually write. Wayne Hurlbert of "Blog Business World" offers an interesting suggestion - try writing a mission statement for your blog, just like any company would do before opening for business. If I was to write a mission statement for this blog, for example, it would probably be along the lines of, "To point my audience to interesting things that already exist on the web, and to sometimes include my own editorial comments concerning those things." That would explain why I've only put up two pieces of original content to this site in the entire time it's been open (an interview with lexicologist Steve Kleinedler, and a review of Yahoo 360), and why my focus is much more on simply finding new and interesting sources of information. On the other hand, the mission statement for my main journal would be more along the lines of, "To talk about my personal life in great detail, and to drum up support for my various artistic projects," which of course then changes the priorities and even writing style quite profoundly from the ones found here.

Maybe the main point of your blog is to share knowledge from the industry in which you work. Maybe it's to disseminate the latest information concerning your family to your relatives and friends. Perhaps it's to promote your creative work, whether visual or literary in nature. Perhaps it's simply to generate an audience by any means necessary, in order to sell online advertisements. Writing a mission statement can help you decide just what it is that you want to do with your blog - and once you do that, I'm willing to bet that ideas for future entries will come more easily as well.