Though Luke is encouraging non-lawyers to continue blogging, I thought her reasons were spot on for lawyers. With a lot of annotating by me, here’s the seven..
1. You’re Building Something Unique
Being a lawyer can be great, but there are an awful lot of lawyers who wonder if they’re making a real impact on the world arpound them. I know I longed for something more on more than one occasion during my 17 years of practicing.
With each blog post you publish, you’re creating something unique. Assuming you’re writing on an area you’re passionate about and based on your personal experience, you are probably the most qualified person in the world to write that post.
You’re making a positive contribution to the world in that hour or two it took you to write that post. I don’t care if you’re talking to general counsel or victims of domestic abuse in your blogging, you are making a difference.
2. You’re Enjoying Yourself – Or At Least Could Be
Blogging is (or can be) great fun. You get to write about topics that you’re interested in. You get to sort through your thoughts and set them down on paper in a coherent way. And you get to hear from readers who liked your posts (if that hasn’t happened to you yet, it will soon).
Most people blog for the fun of it. They’re not worried about making money, getting attention, or growing traffic. They want to express themselves and have a little fun doing so.
Though that’s the case with some lawyers, most lawyers are blogging to learn, grow their network, and build a strong word of mouth reputation as trusted and reliable authority. Rather than advertising and marketing, these blogging lawyers blog to become a lawyer’s lawyer and get plenty of new business as a result.
If your blogging is no longer fun, find ways to get back to your roots. What got you started blogging? Are you passionate about what you’re blogging about? If not, find something you’re passionate about in the law.
When you were having fun with blogging, how were you blogging then? Are you being yourself, speaking with candor and passion? Being authentic and being vulnerable can bring great joy.
I’ve worked with all too many blogging lawyers over the last 10 years to think blogging cannot be fun. The most surprising thing lawyers find in blogging is that it’s fun.
3. You’re Learning
Learning never stops for a lawyer. A huge part of blogging is following what others are writing in your niche. It can even be case law and regulatory updates.
Digesting what you’re reading, sharing it with others (in a teaching mode), and getting feedback from the professionals you are meeting through blogging cannot be beat as a way to learn.
Stephen Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, told us there was no better way to learn something than to teach it to others.
4. You’re Meeting New People
Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz used to say the only thing that’ll change you from the person you are today and the person you’ll be five years from now are the books you’ll read and the people you’ll meet.
It feels like it’s the info you read online, not the books today, but you’ll never meet more people with similar interests, including new clients, than you will through blogging and ancillary social media such as Twitter.
Blogs are a social media — social in the sense that you’ll meet people in your town, across the country, and around the world. People you’d have never met otherwise and whom you’ll enjoy and learn from.
Just meeting these people alone is rewarding
5. You’re Helping People
Don’t underestimate how much of a difference you’re making. Lots of readers won’t ever comment or email you – but they may still be very grateful for you and your blog. Some will come up to at conferences you are speaking at (invited because of blogging) and let you know they’ve been following your blog for some time.
If you are offering real value, beyond just legal summaries, just one post may help someone with in an issue, saving them hours of time.
Rather than focusing on helping yourself through blogging, focus on how you can help others. Even if it’s on;y 10 people reading your blog when you start, make a difference in their lives. Maybe you inspired them. Maybe you just made them smile.
Also don’t underestimate the impact on you of knowing you are helping people. We all strive to help.
6. You’re (Close to) Making Money
Lawyers make money from blogging, lots of it in many cases. What’s a lot? Additional revenues in excess of $1 million a year.
Whether a lawyer working with corporations or a lawyer working with injured chlidren. Whether a lawyer in a small firm or a lawyer in one of the largest firms in the country. It’s happening. Ask around.
These blogging lawyers don’t crave money. Money is the byproduct of their doing good things (like blogging).
7. You’re on an Exciting Journey
You will never know what blogging will lead to. If I sat down with you in your living room and told you where your blogging was going to take you, you probably wouldn’t believe me. It’s a leap of faith.
It’ll be ten years next month since I started blogging. My goal was to build a national reputation as a trusted authority on Internet marketing so I could help lawyers.
Not in one my wildest dreams did I think I’d be blessed to have a company helping so many lawyers around the world. I have met so many wonderful people from whom I have learned so much.
Best of all I know I am making an impact in the world. Even on the toughest of days, I know I’m making a difference.
And their ain’t no way that could have happened without blogging.
Hang in there. It’s not easy. Blogging takes time. It’ll take a while before you get the hang of blogging. It’ll take time before you start to get positive feedback, meet people, and ultimately get work.
But it’ll happen. And if you’re like many lawyers, deciding to blog — and continuing to blog — will be the best decision you’ll have ever made.