Myrtle Beach South Carolina injury lawyer David Swanner and his South Carolina Trial Law Blog are the subject of a nice article in the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
Dave, a LexBlog client, posted his email interview with the reporter. The interview is full of practical information for those new to blogs. As Dave says, the last answer is the shortest and the most important.
What is blogging?
A weblog is a Web site that can be easily updated. A weblog also has a newsfeed where a reader can ‘subscribe’ to the feed and be automatically notified when the weblog is updated. Blogging is slang for writing a weblog. Some people even go as far as calling legal weblogs ‘blawgs.’
How did you get started with it?
I started off reading political blogs, then discovered legal weblogs. A year ago, most legal blogs were written by lawyers in the technical field, such as intellectual properties or computer contracts. I believe that after Evan Schaeffer in Illinois, I had the second weblog on trial issues in the country. Now, more and more trial lawyers are starting to blog.
Why were you interested in your own blog?
I give presentations and classes on technology issues for lawyers and I spend a lot of time reading on the Internet, so it was a natural fit for me. It also gives me a place where I can keep notes and organize my thoughts from things I read on the Internet, books I read, and seminars I go to. Instead of keeping the notes in a notebook, I keep them on the Internet, where they are full-text searchable. The great thing is, that other people can benefit from them too.
Do you need to be ‘computer savvy’ to set up a blog?
No. There are a number of services where you can set them up from standard templates. I have hired a service to do it for me, because I don’t want to worry about the technical end. My wife created her own ‘mommy blog’ without any technical knowledge at all.
How often do you update it?
About three times a week. I started off with doing five updates a week, but have slowed down since the first six months. It depends on how busy I am and how much I have to say.
How do you pick topics?
I write about trial techniques, practice management and technology that helps in the courtroom and the office. The tagline is ‘Using Technology to Be a Better Trial Lawyer.’ I picked those topics because that’s what interests me. While my blog has a broader focus, niche topics tend to work the best.
How much time does it take to update it?
About 15 minutes a day. I also read about 125 other weblogs in my news aggregator. A news aggregator allows you to automatically receive the newsfeeds from a weblog. I read legal, medical and healthcare, business and marketing weblogs. The other blogs help keep me up-to-date.
How many hits do you get?
I get about 300 readers a day and about 4,000 unique readers a month. Over 800 attorneys have visited the site more than 200 times.
Do you get much feedback from readers?
Yes. I’ve met a lot of people through the blog. Plus, a number of readers that have been interested in the same topics have written to me. The contacts and people I’ve met have been the best part of the blog.
Has it generated any business or clients?