hat’s a question I get everyday. No question lawyers see the value of publishing a blog for professional and business development. Lawyers and law firms want to get started, they’re just afraid of the time commitment.
The answer is not as much time as you think. Consider the following:
- Publishing a law blog does not have to be an everyday activity. About 47% of the blogs on The LexBlog Network have been updated in the last week. About 70% within the last two weeks. I’d suggest publishing at least every two weeks, if not more often, when you get started. Blogging takes longer when you’re new to it. As you get the hang of it, I’d suggest two to four times per month.
- It does not reflect badly on a lawyer or law firm if there has not been a blog post in a period of time. Blogs are not something that people return to in order to see if there’s been an update. Blogs stream insight and commentary to people via email updates and RSS feeds. If you haven’t said anything in the last week, that’s okay. Of course I’m not suggesting you go months at a time without posting to your blog.
- Comments are not something that requires moderation on a daily basis. A popular law blog generates few comments (2 to 3 a month) so comment moderation is not time consuming.
- Blog posts should be short and cover one point at a time. A good blog post can take as little as 30 minutes.
- Good lawyers stay up to speed by reading. Many lawyers find their blog an excellent place to share what they’ve read providing their insight and commentary as a follow on. Such posts, which do not take much time, become part of what would be their routine as a good lawyer regardless of whether they published a blog.
Is it worth putting in the time to blog? Consider the following:
- Seattle Attorney, Dan Harris, publisher of the China Law Blog, one of the most popular law blogs, told me over lunch yesterday that his posts take him from 15 to 45 minutes, with 25 minutes being the average. Dan, who tries to post six times a week (well above the typical blogger), has found his blog to be very successful for business development.
- New York City Attorney, Peter Mahler, publisher of New York Business Divorce on business dissolution matters, takes one to three hours writing a single blog post per week that he publishes on Monday morning. When with him in New York this last Winter, Peter, who has always gotten his work by referral and word of mouth, told me his blog was generating over one-half of his work. He recently shared he’s averaging one new client a month as a result of his blog.
- Toronto Attorney, Chris Jaglowitz, the principal writer on the Ontario Condo Law Blog, published by Gardiner Miller Arnold, told me over a beer in Toronto last week that their blog was generating 20 ‘one hour paid consultations’ per month, with well over 50% of those one hour consultations leading to be retained on a significant matter. Chris’ blog, with relatively short posts, was updated four times in September and five times in October. Two of October’s posts were a list of helpful links Chris had shared on Twitter.
No question publishing a blog takes time. All good things do. Lawyers who are meeting with success in blogging routinely tell me they’re surprised by two things. One, that they learn a lot through blogging — they’re becoming a better lawyer. And two, that blogging does take a fair amount of time.
How much time do you spend as a lawyer blogging? Drop me an email or leave a comment here.