It seems like almost every day, another law firm fires up the blog rockets and launches into the blogosphere.
For some it serves as a virtual soap box. For others, it’s just another form of expression. And for yet others, it’s an instrumental tool in building new professional relationships.
No matter what the purpose, writing effective posts is a large part of having success with your legal blog. However, growing your blog audience goes far beyond posting alone.
Elizabeth Ferris, of Authentic Law Markeing, reminds us that writing is only one part of the equation:
Effective blogging requires awareness, engagement and conversation. The basics of blogging include:
As you will see, reading, commenting, participating, citing, and of course, writing are all important ingredients to successful law blogging.
Reading other relevant blogs is a big piece of the blogging puzzle. Reading helps you listen. It’s how we consume ideas online. If you don’t read, you’re likely just “talking at”, which is a recipe for a blogging fail.
Listen more than you talk, read more than you write.
Commenting is to posting as crawling is to walking. Commenting on other blogs demonstrates your willingness to participate and shows that you’re not just online to tell. Commenting shows that you have listened.
While both reading and commenting are ways of participating, I include participating here because participating includes more. There are so many ways to participate and interact with others online. Don’t be myopic about your activities online. Contribute to discussions. Anwswer questions. Participate.
Citing and/or linking to other authritative sources on a subject is suboridnate in importance only to reading and writing. Citing ties your blog to other blogs. It’ the very fabric of the web. If you’re not citing and linking to others, you’re missing a lot of opportunity.
Ok, there’s not denying it. Writing is very important. But without these other ingredients, even the best writing goes unnoticed. I always try to describe blogging as part public email thread, part editorial column, and part news article. Blogging is a hybrid. It’s flexible, conversational, powerful, and, in my humble opinion, should be the cornerstone or headquarters of your professional reputation on the web.
Side note: Don’t be afraid to put your own personal voice into your posts. Figure out what kind of blogger you are.
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Download AttorneySync’s Free Guide: Guest Blogging For Lawyers.