In many ways, a humble blog bears little resemblance to a more traditional business. While you may do the majority of your blogging work out of a home office, for instance, you don’t really have a brick-and-mortar location in the same way that a coffee shop does. Most blogs don’t have staff (there are obviously many exceptions), and as a result, they don’t have a payroll department or human resources either.

But if you have any aspirations whatsoever to make money blogging, if you have any ambitions for your blog to generate income, then you need to stop treating it like a hobby and start treating it like a business. This means you need to be diligent about tracking your revenue and expenses. This means you should be keeping tabs on your traffic and tracking your social media performance.

A Legitimate Business Like Any Other

As a business, your blog requires much more than just writing. You need to spend time dealing with the logistics of web hosting and domain registration. You need to spend time on sales and marketing, seeking out new opportunities and networking with other like-minded bloggers to grow your respective businesses. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say.

True, there are absolutely certain aspects to running a traditional business that do not really apply to the world of professional blogging. As mentioned, unless you employ writers and designers on an ongoing basis, you probably don’t have to deal with payroll. Chances are that you don’t have to worry about getting certain certifications and you don’t need to maintain membership in certain professional associations. But that doesn’t make your blog any less of a business.

And when you look at some of the most successful businesses in the world, particularly multinational corporations, they all have a mission statement. A mission statement is meant to be a formal, written declaration of a company’s core purpose, summarizing its main goals and values.

Here’s Amazon’s:

Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Should your blog have one too?

What About Beyond the Rhetoric?

I’ve been blogging for a while, having published north of 3,500 posts in this space (and counting) alone. Since the beginning, this site has never been about any one thing in particular. In the early days, I wrote a lot more about video games and movies, but I also discussed my life as a freelance writer and how I dealt with the stresses of running my own small business.

Beyond the Rhetoric continues to change as I get older and reach different stages in both my personal and professional life. Becoming a dad was a pretty big deal, as you might imagine, and that has been reflected in the kind of content I’ve been writing these last three years.

Partly because this blog has never been about any one thing in particular, it’s also never had an official mission statement. I’ll need to give it some thought, but here’s a little something I’ve come up with in the meantime.

To explore the worlds of freelancing, fatherhood and philosophy, inspiring readers to think critically for themselves.

What do you think? Accurate? Am I boldly going where no blogger has gone before? What’s the core purpose of your blog?