The web is more and more becoming split into two very distinct halves:
Anything you buy, source, want, whether that is a new job, a service or a bar of soap sits in commerce. Anything you read, disseminate or communicate sits on the other side. Even straight forward news is no longer straight forward news - it has become part of the social mush that is the thread running through most of the Internet.
This is no great surprise really. It was fairly obvious to any one who saw the web start up that it was basically a telephone system gone nuts - and what do you do on the telephone? You talk rubbish, of course; that is what it is for.
Most things on the web sit in one or other of the above categories, sometimes sliding more towards the commerce side of life, at other times, sliding towards the social side.
Think of it as a shop with a restaurant. If you want to sit in the middle, you serve coffee to your customers and talk to them about the weather while they try and buy a new hat. Works for some, but a difficult balancing act. Or you have one large room that is full of hats and everything in there is dedicated to selling hats, and then you have a second room dedicated to selling coffee and it is set up to sell coffee really, really well with its own wallpaper and everything; very nice. Both rooms do their jobs perfectly, but, there is nothing to say that one room cannot mention that the other room is also worth a visit ...
The clever people make sure they have a very distinct presence in both camps, not just blur the edges between one and the other.
A blog is part of the tool set of the social, communication side of the Internet, but it is a very specific tool. A throwaway comment, a casual conversation, those are where Twitter, Facebook, Forums and Instant Messaging reign. A blog is the place where you can set out your stall, carefully and clearly, then sit back and see if anyone notices. Well, nothing is guaranteed in life!
If you are just another person on the web, then you would want to write your own. You have no guarantee that anyone will read it, other than your dog perhaps; what you write is for your own satisfaction and you can do it as little or as often as you wish. That is fine, and there are some fantastic blogs out there that are almost completely unread, totally self indulgent and quite wonderful - I have several!
But, if you are well known, or your product is being actively promoted, then people may well seek out what is being said about you or your product.
You have a choice - let everyone else talk for you (and hope they really, really like you) or get in there and start talking yourself.
What your blog should achieve
The easy bit - it should say what you want people to hear.
If you have a new blue box, it should say nice things about your new blue box, if you have a new policy, it should say nice things about that. If something has happened to you (you fell over on the steps of Parliament or someone ran over your new blue box), then you probably want to react to that.
As I said, that is the easy bit. It gets harder when you actually try and do it.
A blog should not be a bit of advertising copy and it should not sound like your lawyer or PR manager.
So many "professional" blogs out in the wild sound contrived or impersonal - they sound like they were written on the back of a meeting with a group of advertising specialists or lawyers. They have carefully written lines, a perfect length, an incredibly expensive graphic and, quite frankly, have absolutely nothing to do with being a blog at all. You see it all over Facebook - company profiles being updated by a copywriter that works for a PR company somewhere - ask them an awkward question and they have to run off and ask someone.
Blogs are PERSONAL - they are the communication between one person and a reader. They should be easy to read, feel conversational, wander happily around subjects and be a place where the reader actually rather likes to be. They should feel connected to the writer, share their opinions and generally forget the fact that the writer is hugely famous or trying to sell them something.
But of course, the PR people and the Lawyers and the agents are there for good reasons and that is why you might want a mad idiot to write for you.
If your blog sounds like you have just told all those backroom people to take a running jump, while at the same time managing to tick all the boxes that they require, then your blog has found its rightful voice.
And that is what I will try to do for you.