By now, you should know how well blogs can work for lawyers. It should also be fairly obvious that “how well they work” depends on how “good they are.” You’ve probably heard the, “if you write, they will come” crowd preaching online publishing for years now.
Honestly, this is pretty crappy advice.
Not because it’s completely wrong, but because it’s not very useful.
So, here’s some advice that you might be able to actually use.
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One of the best ways to become a better
blogger writer human is to read more. But what you read matters. If you read more effective blogging, you’ll begin to pick up on similar characteristics that the better lawyer bloggers share.
Reading more legal blogs will also provide you with limitless new “stuff” to consider writing about. Not because it provides more post ideas to regurgitate, but instead, because you’ll find yourself disagreeing or having something more to say on a topic.
When you read more legal blog posts, you’ll also inevitably have conversations with with other legal bloggers. Maybe you’ll contribute to discussions by commenting on their blogs. Maybe you’ll have a back and forth on Twitter.
A big part of the better blogging equation is having conversations with new people. And conversations require listening.
Lawyers tend to prefer to hold their cards close to their vests. There are many completely valid reasons why lawyers need to be extremely thoughtful about what they say and write. However, being thoughtful doesn’t mean being silent or sterile.
The best legal bloggers stand for something. They use imagination and creativity. They inspire.
Posting canned legalese isn’t really blogging at all. It’s canned legalese. You get to do that enough in real life…
The best legal blogging is authentic. You can tell that the lawyer-author knows what she’s talking about because she is living it.
Her posts are useful, informative and, sometimes, even enjoyable to read.
They reflect her personality.
Unless the sole intention of your blog is to provide some therapeutic release, you may actually want other people to find and read your posts.
And despite what the “Field of Bloggers” folks claim, simply clicking publish is often not sufficient for others to find your posts.
While publicizing your posts isn’t a per se blogging sin, being obnoxious about how you do it is.
One of the most obvious groups of people who you should want to find your posts are those who are actively searching for information related to the topics you post about.
This means that search engine optimization matters.
This doesn’t mean you should cram your blog posts with keywords for which you want to rank.
It does mean considering how the people who might be interested in your posts might use search engines to find information that you write about.
Of course, this starts with writing something worth reading.
However, it also means ensuring that your posts are getting properly crawled and index by search engines.
It also means sharing your posts with people who you know are likely to be interested in them. Even better, it means sharing them with people who are likely to be interested in them, likely to share them and link to them.
Good writing is necessary, but often not sufficient, for effective blogging.