Sometimes I wake in the night screaming having dreamt that what I am doing here is “content marketing”.

But it is not. My intent is different. I write to work out what I think. To respond to what I see happening in the world around me, to work out what it means, to consider what to do about it. I do this on a blog to share this thinking and offer it to others. I do this to trigger conversations, which in turn help me think more and often better. I also do it in the hope that I might help others to understand their worlds better, act differently, and make a difference.

It would be disingenuous to pretend that my blog doesn’t help me get work. By touching on issues that people are grappling with, and hopefully having some insights that help, it gives them reason to reach out and ask me to work with them. But it is not my primary intent.

Conventional wisdom would have it that you have to work out a reason for blogging before you start. You’re meant to focus on a particular outcome, target an audience, “drive traffic” to your blog etc.. Even inside businesses it is seen as a channel to improve “employee engagement”, a means to an end, a way to steer people to particular outcomes.

But people aren’t stupid. They sense the difference. They feel manipulated. Your intent becomes obvious. Your intent matters