At the recent Sociable Lawyer Meetup at The House of Shields in San Francisco, an attorney I met asked me: “Should I start a blog?” Of course, my answer was “Yes.” As you may recall, in my second ever blog post for The Sociable Lawyer I recommended that attorneys consider blogging in order to grow their professional network, enhance their professional reputation, better market their practice, enhance their knowledge as a professional, and simply because it can be fun and rewarding to start a blog. Having blogged about both legal and non-legal topics for the past several years, I’ve never questioned the value of blogging.
I recently asked a series of attorneys in a Solo Practitioner group on LinkedIn whether they blogged, and if they did, how has their blog affected their practice. Across the board, the attorneys who indicated that they blogged or contributed to other blogs indicated that they felt that their blog provided real benefits to their practice.
Chicago-based attorney Stephen Hoffman, who specializes in Personal Injury & Worker’s Compensation Law, said that he has blogged for several years now and found “it to be a great way to stay in touch with clients, past clients, referral sources, and the like.” Hoffman also added that blogging and other forms of social media are “therapeutic for the writer, and a means to an end for the reader, in that it is one way of many that they can find out information about you and learn what it is you do.” In my opinion, Mr. Hoffman is right on point too. Blogging not only provides a creative outlet for attorneys, but it also allows you to remind your network about the specific types of law you practice.
In response to a question from another attorney, Mr. Hoffman also added another benefit of maintaining a blog related to your practice: improved SEO for your firm’s website. As Stephen put it: “a blog is content rich” and therefore helps people find your site when performing Internet searches for “words involved in your practice.” Clearly, most anything you can do to help potential clients find you is useful.
Other attorneys also shared their insights and experiences. Arlington, Virginia-based attorney Joshua Erlich, who founded his own practice providing litigation, tax and benefits solutions to clients, noted that: “From a marketing perspective, it’s been a really useful tool to keep in touch with current contacts and make new ones. Personally, it’s been a really good way to work through ideas. I enjoy writing my posts.”
Similarly, San Francisco-attorney C. Zadik Shapiro, who practices criminal law, also noted that in additional to the enjoyment he receives from blogging, it has other practical benefits for his practice: “It keeps me up to date on the law. It certainly is great publicity.”
Other attorneys noted the difficulty in keeping a blog up to date (an issue I presume nearly every blogger wrestles with from time to time). NYC Labor, Employment, and Immigration attorney Shaun Reid, who maintains two different blogs, provided some advice in that regard as well, noting that he programs regular reminders into his calendar in order to keep his sites up to date.
Uniformly, every one of the attorneys who joined the discussion agreed that they enjoyed blogging. But aside form that, they also noted numerous tangible (additional clients) and intangible (increased knowledge and an opportunity to work through ideas) benefits as a result of blogging. If you’re interested in getting your feet wet, but don’t want to commit to the responsibility of regularly updating a blog, remember that The Sociable Lawyer is always interested in contributors. Remember, though, that submissions should be written for an attorney audience.