Is Blogging Dying or Are You Just Dying From Blogging?

cemeteryThe other day I got a lovely LinkedIn message from a reader:

In a private reply to the moderator of another group, I caught myself explaining how much I look forward to reading original posts by you.  What you post that is written by others (thank you for that) is always interesting,  but I really like what you have to say. Especially about where you see the profession going.

So I would urge you to post more of your own thoughts!

Urge me?  I appreciate the kind words but I must have dozens of ‘original’ posts in draft that never make it to publication because of the time it takes to create a worthwhile, cogent post which someone will actually take the time to read and derive a benefit. In addition, while I’m not currently running a law practice, I am running Solo Practice University so the claim on my time is as great as is your law practice’s claim on your time. And the actual practice of law should always comes first. Does this internal dialogue sound like the record playing in your head?

So, is blogging dying?  Absolutely not.  But let’s face it.  Isn’t it so much easier just to retweet someone else’s hard work and well written piece than take the time to write your own?  Probably.  But guess what?  That author is getting the rewards of their hard work, not you.

content-is-king-bill-gates-300x161Today, content creation is more important than ever when it comes to marketing your practice, sharing your expertise, being heard in the ever-crowded world of competitive voices.

Content marketing is really about providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment. A successful content marketing campaign establishes you as an expert in your field, and that sets the groundwork for a long-term business relationship. Simply put, its primary focus is on building the relationship, not the hard sell.

But bloggers are dying when it comes to consistently producing quality content worthy of publication and your potential clients’ time.

What’s a lawyer to do?  If you’ve never blogged and have no intention of blogging, this post may not make as much sense to you. (I’ve been blogging for over six years). If you’ve blogged for a while what I’m about to say may make more sense. But if you’ve never blogged and want a creative way to get started, this may give you ideas.

The Solo Practice University blog has, by necessity, become a collection of voices in the solo/small firm practice space.  We do it for reasons beyond my simply not being able to put out three or four quality blog posts each week.  There is a business strategy behind it.

You have to ask yourself, ‘what is your business strategy for the content you are producing?’  You might say, ‘to be seen as an expert in my practice area.’ Bully for you.  So is everyone else.  But it doesn’t address the original question of ‘HOW’ to keep producing quality content when you are burnt out.  We’re not going to rehash how to write blog posts, what to put in them, how frequently to post, how to rewrite and leverage older content making it fresh for today.  It’s easy enough to just google this and you’ll get countless posts on the topic.

What I’d like to discuss is a business and marketing strategy to produce quality content, not get burnt out, and build your business.  If I said content crowd-sourcing you’d probably be confused.  Others may say, ‘I’m trying to promote my business, not others’.

Let’s imagine for a minute that you are a trusts and estates lawyer.  That’s all you do.  However, you have many other attorneys and other professionals who refer you business who don’t do T & E.  They are Divorce Attorneys, Bankruptcy Attorneys, Landlord/Tenant Attorneys, CPAs, Licensed Family and Marriage Therapists, Mediators, Realtors.  Totally non-competitive and hyper-local.  Let’s take this a step further. What if you all came together and created a blog (with all the proper disclaimers that you don’t work together and all maintain individual businesses) in one online space for the sole purpose of creating a complete picture of issues facing an individual in their lifetime? Each person blogs on their respective topic areas on a set schedule.  The collective body of work becomes a total resource for potential clients. Note: this is very different from providing an isolated guest post (or series of guest posts) on someone else’s blogging platform.

Here would be a hypothetical series of articles:

  • Your Spouse Has Asked For a Divorce. Now What? (written by divorce attorney)
  • You’re Life Has Just Been Turned Upside Down. After Twenty Years I’m Going To Be Single, Again? (written by licensed family and marriage therapist).
  • My Wife Stuck Me With All the Debt. Do I Declare Bankruptcy? (written by bankruptcy Attorney)
  • Can I Deduct The Cost of My Divorce on My Taxes? (written by CPA)
  • He’s Left Me. It’s Time to Rewrite My Will, Right? (written by T & E Attorney).

Each has links to the other posts as appropriate.  Do you see where I’m going with this?

Of course, you’ll have to take all the proper precautions and provide the necessary disclaimers required of your jurisdiction to be sure potential clients understand you are all independent businesses and just come together on the blog simply for the purpose of sharing information to present a global perspective of issues faced when going through a divorce, not necessarily recommending one another

This is a business and marketing strategy and allows you breathing room when producing content.  It would also be exceptionally valuable to someone who has legal needs. This collective body of work could be THE one stop shopping internet destination in your market if done correctly.

The hypothetical I provided is just one of a series of blog posts which could be produced.  What about startup clients?  Imagine a series written by the appropriate professionals on establishing the entity, business planning, funding, taxes and more. A series such as this could then be turned into a pamphlet handed out to potential clients for each of the professionals.  The production costs shared accordingly.  The content could be the basis for podcasts between the authors.  It also gives you guidance when creating your content. If you know that your next column is on division of assets in a divorce and is due the third week in January, you’ll produce it.  If you have to just hit a self-imposed deadline for your own blog with no accountability and no topic, you’ll be more likely to blow it off.

What do you think?  Is this an idea you can wrap your head around? Do you know lawyers who are already doing some version of this?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.



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3 comments on “Is Blogging Dying or Are You Just Dying From Blogging?

  • These are great suggestions – but it seems very difficult for lawyers to form these groups to facilitate the project. Hopefully, necessity will force them to do it now.

    • Carolyn, does it have to be hard? So many people belong to networking groups where only one of each profession is permitted or they’ve created non-competitive mastermind groups. I think the hardest part would be to get the blog created and maintained. But once it is and the editorial calendar is created I’m not sure it would be that hard going forward. The benefits certainly outweigh the time commitment and the audience for each professional is multiplied dramatically.

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