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New York Times reporter exageragating effort required for good blog

December 28, 2007

Marci Alboher followed her Times article today on the marketing value of blogs to consulting professionals with a blog post on her own Times’ Shifting Careers blog.

Despite learning in writing the article that blogging works to reinforce your brand, communicate with clients or customers, identify yourself with a certain community, show your expertise, and get clients, Alboher felt she needed to warn professionals who may blog to achieve success that they may not want to.

…[A]s I know from first-hand experience, blogging is hard, and not every entrepreneur or small business is suited to it. For blogs to attract a regular readership and to be picked up by search engines, they need to be updated often and promoted. That means that the person doing the blogging for the company has to have a certain amount of time as well as commitment to the project and, of course, writing ability……I also discovered a few small businesses that successfully used blogging as part of a focused marketing strategy, in some cases dedicating an employee (or team of employees) or outside contractors to create blogs that would generate significant traffic.

I let Marci know I liked her article, but that she is making too much out of the work required to maintain a good blog. An effective blog published by a professional services person so as to further enhance their reputation and grow their business can be done in much less than the time required for other marketing/networking efforts.

A Harvard Business School newsletter talked of one post a week for a business blog. I preach that with LexBlog’s hundreds of lawyer clients who are blogging. I also tell them to try get their blog posts down to half hour or so. Many spend more time, but that’s because they are enjoying the process and growing their network and business as a result of their blogging.

In addition, blogging is not supposed to be a ‘Woe is me, what am I supposed to write to my blog.’ The best professional services bloggers listen to targeted RSS feeds from particular blogs and news websites as well as keyword/key phrase searches from Google Blog Search. A good blog post comes from, ‘Boy this is great stuff I just found in my feeds, I need to share it with my readers’ – adding one’s commentary of course.

Blogs are a conversation, not a publishing expedition. It’s easier to talk socially than it is to publish.

And blogging knowing it’s all about a conversation solves the problem of growing your blog’s readership. By referencing what others are writing in their blogs and reporters are writing in online news stories, such bloggers and reporters take notice of your blog. They’ll often subscribe to your niche focused blog and share with their readers something you blog about.

Not everyone is trying to be an A-list blogger like Guy Kawasaki, who Alboher quotes as saying “”If you’re blogging and no one is reading you, are you really even blogging?” Guy may see 500 unique visitors a month as total failure. Not the case for a 30 year old lawyer whose 500 unique visitors after a month of blogging are members of the California biotech community she is looking to reach.

I’ve got skin in this blog game, but working with hundreds of wonderful law bloggers around the world I have rarely heard that this blogging is too hard or takes too much time.

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