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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

Focus on engagement, not the title of your law blog, for blogging success

Seattle Media and Technology Attorney Venkat Balasubramani, who’s been blogging for almost 4 years, asked on his blog yesterday whether he should scrap his Spam Notes Blog and re-launch another one.

I’ve been blogging here for about 3.5 years. I have enjoyed it tremendously. I started the blog as a way to focus on spam-related legal issues, but over the years, my blogging interest has broadened to include all types of legal issues raised by online communities, UGC, and online businesses in general. This has coincided with the increased attention to legal issues that have arisen out of social networking. It’s also coincided with my practice, a chunk of which has focused in this direction. That said, there’s always been a tension for me about sticking with the original focus of this blog or broadening it a bit to deal with other legal issues that I regularly read about and have an opinion on (and once in a while, insight into).

In addition to the above items, Venkat mentioned wanting to get off a GoDaddy blog platform because of its limitations and the possibility of resurrecting a law firm website so he could have one spot where he could aggregate his professional online activities.

Though Venkat is not a LexBlog client, I am often providing counsel to lawyers on social media strategy for client development . So I thought you’d appreciate the below thoughts I shared with Venkat

Keep the blog, make it your leading Internet presence (web site would add zero), change your focus so not so lawyer to lawyer (listen to and engage others), and upgrade to another platform.

The importance of the name of a blog is overhyped. Listening to your target audience and engaging them in a strategic fashion is key. You’re then known by your name (the one your Mom and Dad gave you), not the name of a blog.

If I were to ask my most loyal readers what’s the name of my blog, 90% wouldn’t know. My blog readers, as well as the people who have come to know me by my word of mouth reputation (who don’t read my blog or follow me on Twitter), know me by my name. My name is my brand, not the name of my blog. That’s the case for any professional – especially lawyers.

If you feel the need to apologize for the name of the blog or explain what you’re doing, add a better tag line. But the focus of who you engage is really what defines you.

Focus on what’s important. If you’re looking to grow professionally and from a business development standpoint in certain areas and you feel its not happening, focus on that. Not pontificating about the name of your blog, that’s a waste of energy. The name of your blog is about number 33 in the top things that are important in a lawyers building a personal brand on the Internet and growing their book of business.

Lawyers get work by word of mouth based on their reputation. That’s done by engaging one’s target audience to build relationships. If you can figure out how to engage people and build relationships via a website you’ll be the first one.

The first thing to do is clearly identify, and it appears you have begun to do so, the type of clients you wish to represent and the type of work you want to do for them. Then engage them and their influencers through the blog. Listen to them first, then reference them in your blog.

With clients and prospective clients, that means listening to the questions they ask. Then answer them on your blog. With influencers such as bloggers, reporters, association leaders, conference coordinators, business leaders, and publishers, listen to what they are saying (writing) and engage them by referencing what they are saying while adding value to the discussion. That way you are starting to build relationships with people you need to help you create an excellent word of mouth reputation.

If you want to discuss further, give me a shout and we’ll meet for coffee. We’re both in Seattle.

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