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Blog to inspire and inform–not to make money

20130705-164435.jpg Claudio Gandelman (@cgandelman), Founder and CEO of Teckler, writes “Your blog won’t make money — but write anyway.” Look at the potential to teach, inspire, inform and influence the world.

Gandelman shares four tips that are spot on for lawyers looking to realize their business development goals without focusing on money and attention.

Normally I synthesize others’ insight, heavily weaving in my own commentary. But Gandelman’s so good, here’s his four tips near verbatim.

1. Develop a Niche

Excessive generality is the death of a blog.

Would-be creators must write about their passions and create posts that will entertain, educate and inform readers conditioned to approach blogs with a critical eye. Only bloggers who really know their space can earn their trust.

You do not have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to add a new spoke or two.

2. Do Not Write for Money

In kyudo (Japanese archery), the archer does not focus on hitting the target — he or she focuses on the ‘true shooting.’

Money is a consequence of outstanding content creation, not its objective. Marketing departments produce content that is designed to drive revenue. Bloggers create content that is designed to help readers.

Put money first and you will end up spending more time on SEO, ad networks and website development than content creation.

3. Share Your Content

If you blog but don’t share, you may as well write in a physical diary.

Blogs — and indeed all public internet content — are connective and social in nature. You may write for yourself but ultimately you publish for other people.

Get your posts to the people who will care about your content rather than the fact that you wrote it.

Also, share content that is not yours. Enlightened bloggers do not snub each other and they do not write in a silo. Instead, they seek to generate traffic both for themselves and other members of their segment because that is how they can be most helpful to readers.

Do not blog from a deserted island. Blog in a community.

4. Credit others

Do not pretend to be the fountainhead of all your content.

Honor those who have groomed the path for you and have given you ideas.

If you’re writing about a development or matter that another blog covered first, credit that blog and author for the discovery. Link to them, acknowledge their insight. They in turn will (hopefully) honor your unique insight and commentary.

Scholars in their ivory towers all meticulously credit each other, referencing both their source and the fellow academician who created it. That is one reason we trust their research and entrust them with teaching at our best universities.

Link unto others as you would have them link unto you.

Rather than looking at blogs as means to draw attention through content, lawyers and law firms would do well to understand that blogging is truly a discussion between thought leaders and influencers in an area of the law or industry.

Enter this discussion focusing first on what you can contribute for the greater good of the community in a collegial way, and only then see, or better yet, realize, how you may benefit.

As American author, salesman and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, always said, “You can have anything in the world you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

Or as Mendelman puts it, “true creation, certain monetization.”

Image courtesy of Flickr by Nina Matthews

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