The task of turning a newsletter into a blog was not as easy as one would think, posts Lorelle VanFossen at the The Blog Herhald.

The first challenge was to determine which of these would become posts, article information published on the blog in chronological order, and which of these would become pages, pseudo-static web pages with the information most commonly needed by members and visitors.

Wrong way to go about it. Don’t focus on the features of an email newsletter and try to develop a blog that includes each of those features.

Blogs are different animals than newsletters. Having various constituents at the law firm (marketing, lawyers etc.) who know little about blogs and how they work force a square peg in a round whole is an effort in futility.

Focus on the underlying mission of the email newsletter and make sure the blog accomplishes that mission and more.

Law firms send out email newsletters, many by practice groups, to maintain face-time, share legal information, and showcase the expertise of the lawyers writing the content. Blogs can do the same – and more. So relax, though your blog may not have the same features, you’ll be okay.

LexBlog has ‘converted’ law firm practice group email newsletters into blogs for email lists with as many has 2,800 recipients. In addition to client face-time, sharing legal information, and showcasing legal expertise, the results:

  • Cost savings in reduced time and non recurring graphic & formating expense.
  • Brief content made it easy and enjoyable for lawyers creating content.
  • Content was distributed when done, rather than at monthly or quarterly intervals.
  • Reduced marketing department time with lawyers posting content directly to blog.
  • Content is indexed on search engines so content is now seen by broader audience than with newsletter.
  • Content distributed by RSS and email, with users selecting their preference.
  • RSS distribution gets content into Google Blog Search and Technorati so that Internet users monitoring content by keywords and key phrases will receive your relevant blog posts; especially key for media who regularly do this.
  • Index by topic of archived content that’s fully searchable.

Newsletters may still have their role, but conversion to a blog is possible so long as you appreciate the advantages of blogs and do not try to force the blog to include every feature of your old newsletter.