Yes, I know this subject has been done to death but I am convinced that there are many people in the legal profession who know next to nothing about blogging, let alone have any inclination to start a blog.
I hope that whoever gets to read this post will think carefully about the process and why all lawyers should immediately start a blog.
If, having read the post, you think there are other reasons, then I would very much like to hear from you in the comments section.
- It gives you the best possible opportunity of being found in your target market. If you do a search for your name or your specialist area on Google or Bing (or even YouTube) you will be surprised how little, ordinarily, there is about you. Your profile on your firm’s website might appear or you LinkedIn profile (if you are doing something with it) but very often it will be like searching for a needle in Haystack. If you want to go a bit deeper use the Google Adwords Keywords tool which will show you how many searches have been made against your name in the last month both domestically and internationally. Of course, if you have a common name it may not in fact be you that comes up. Just imagine a situation where, by writing a blog on a fairly regular basis, you might just find someone finding you or something about you.
- It is free. Yes it is. I don’t buy the time argument. You have the ability, even if you firm doesn’t have a CMS behind its site to support a WordPress blog or the like, to start your own blog on TypePad, WordPress, Blogger or Posterous.
- It provides you with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). How many lawyers can say that they maintain their own free publishing platform where a client or referrer can check you out? If you use video then so much the better.
- It is easy(ish). If you are disciplined enough to bill then blogging once a week, as a minimum, should be no different. You just need to make time for it over the course of the week. There is always something going on in the legal world or your life to provide you with the material to feed your blogging engine.
- It will, over time, make you a better lawyer. There is no doubt that having to apply the mental discipline to create original content will force you to understand your audience and what makes them tick in instructing you.
- It gets results. What sort of results is entirely a matter for you. If need inspiration then there is no shortage of material out there. I would start with a search on Technorati or Google blogs in your chosen area. I would also consider your competitor websites and see if they have a blog, how often they blog and the sort of comments (if any) they get.
- It is your legacy. Subject to your backing up the material or saving it to disc, what you write will be no different to creating a book. You will have something you can look back on with pride.
- It gives you a platform to grow your practice and create another stream of income. If you want to there is no reason why you could not consider creating a members only site, producing content that has to be paid for or using the platform to sell a book of yours. Just think of it like a website.
- It gives more meaning to what you are doing. When all you do all day long is slog it out with someone on the other side, it is easy to forget why you went into law. As I have said repeatedly, you become numbed by the process and if you were anything like me, you felt, in the end, that you were working on a production line. Blogging gives you an outlet to distil you best thinking.
- It keeps you from going mad. Law is stressful, and you need to understand it and why you decided to commit such a large part of your life to becoming, I assume, a partner. Absent meaning you might as well have pursued you real calling whatever that was. For a lot of people they won’t be comfortable pouring out their soul to an undeserving audience, but, as a process, even if you don’t decide to publish the blog post, you will be able to provide an outlet to your frustration.
For me, had I known what I know now, then I would have been leading the charge at my last 2 firms for every partner, associate and lawyer to go grab a blog and have a go. Of course, very few people would have taken up the cudgels and engaged, but for those few that did engage they would have found something quite spiritual about the process.
~ Julian Summerhayes ~