Since I started blogging nearly 1 1/2 years ago, I've been repeatedly contacted by other lawyers who are considering starting (or have just recently launched) a blawg or legal blog. Many of them have been interested in pointers for new blawgers.
I figured it was high time that I share my absolute wealth of knowledge in this area with readers of my own humble blog. I learned much of this by trial and error. Hopefully this post will help some of you get off to a smoother start, so that you avoid some of the bumps that I encountered along the way.
- Decide why you're starting a legal blog--Is it to generate new business, establish your expertise in a particular area of practice, provide you with a web presence and/or more visibility, or is it simply an outlet that allows you to express yourself? For many bloggers, the answer is "all of the above."
- Determine who your target readers are--Are they potential clients, lawyers who practice in the same area of law as you do, lawyers located in the same geographic area as you or some other type of professional? Once you've figured this out, you'll have better idea of what you your content will include.
- Create a blogroll--Your blogroll should serve two purposes: it should assist your readers in locating interesting content and it should alert other bloggers to your newfound blog's existence. Once you've created a blogroll, send an email to all of the bloggers whose blogs are on it and let them know that because you enjoy their blog, you've added it to your blogroll--and a reciprocal link would be greatly appreciated, but is certainly not necessary. You'll be surprised how many will add your blog to their blogrolls. This will help your blog by increasing your search engine ranking and will also send traffic your way from blogs that have included your blog in their blogrolls.
- Consider adding a link to Evan Shaeffer's Legal Underground--This blog is a high traffic blog and he regularly acknowledges those blogs that have linked to his own. I do the same thing, so a link to my blog will result in a post that lists your blog, along with a few others that have recently linked to Sui Generis.
- Make sure that Tom Mighell is aware of your blog--Drop him an email so that he knows that your blog exists. His well known blog, Inter Alia, regularly features new legal blogs, and by letting him know about yours, he may mention your new blog more quickly. The end result--more traffic and visibility.
- Add your blog to blawg directories--Submit your blog to all of the blawg directories listed in my left hand sidebar. This is yet another way to get your blog "out there" and drive traffic to it.
- Submit blog posts to Blawg Review--Each week Blawg Review features blawg content from the past week, and it's always a good idea to make sure that a post from your blog is included. You might even want to consider signing up to host a Blawg Review at your blog.
- Read Lexblog--Kevin O'Keefe's business is law blogs, and his blog always provides helpful tips for both new and experienced bloggers.
- Regularly link to other blogs in your posts--Other bloggers will notice and appreciate it, and may reciprocate in kind.
- Submit comments to law blogs somewhat similar to your own--Make sure that the comment is substantive and relevant and if possible, make sure that your name is linked to your blog, so that anyone who clicks on it will be directed to your blog. If relevant, you may even want to include a link to a post on the same topic at your own blog. Be careful about this though. Not all bloggers appreciate comments that they feel are submitted solely to drive traffic to another blog. As an example, I've occasionally commented and mentioned posts on my blog at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog when the NY lawyer advertising rules are discussed. I've gotten the distinct impression that the lead writer, Peter Lattman, is not particularly enamored with me as a result of my posts. Certainly not my intention, but the end result nevertheless.
That's it for now. I hope that this post has been helpful and interesting for some of my readers.
See you around the blogosphere!