I was born skeptical and have perfected the art of doubt over the years. So I was naturally leery about "blogging" as a marketing tool. At first, I saw a blog as merely a narcissistic, on-line version of a private diary. And why, oh why would the world want to read that?
But I pried my mind open enough to dig deeper into blogging. And discovered that a blog holds great promise as a communications tool. But only if you use it correctly.
First rule: Keep the personal "diary" materials out. If you must share your innermost thoughts with the world, do it in a separate blog. Or self-publish your memoirs.
Second rule: Don't try to sell anything. If you are pushing a product or service, you are advertising, not blogging, and any audience you may attract will quickly disappear.
Big rule: Make sure what you blog about is interesting, helpful, curiosity arousing, insightful and worth reading. Controversial is OK, too. Think about the newspaper columnists you read on a regular basis and try to emulate them. There is almost always something in their regular column that makes you glad you took the time to read it.
Other big rule: Invite response. Feedback on your ideas makes them better. And it shows that somebody, somewhere is reading. The term is "interactivity" and it is the new face of marketing.
Now, go blog.