I was struck reading Li Jin’s recent piece on the passion economy being the future of work by how much the concept applies to lawyers and blogging.
“The top-earning writer on the paid newsletter platform Substack earns more than $500,000 a year from reader subscriptions. The top content creator on Podia, a platform for video courses and digital memberships, makes more than $100,000 a month. And teachers across the US are bringing in thousands of dollars a month teaching live, virtual classes on Outschool and Juni Learning.
Though blogging lawyers are not monetizing their blogs directly in the form of subscriptions, lawyers are generating new business as a direct result of their blogging. In some cases, in excess of $1M a year.
Platforms, as in this case, blogging platforms, are democratizing opportunities for the passionate individual with a niche, says Lin.
“Whereas previously, the biggest online labor marketplaces flattened the individuality of workers, new platforms allow anyone to monetize unique skills.”
Jin may as well be writing about lawyers and blogging in her discussion of differentiating oneself and building relationships.
“New digital platforms enable people to earn a livelihood in a way that highlights their individuality. These platforms give providers greater ability to build customer relationships, increased support in growing their businesses, and better tools for differentiating themselves from the competition. In the process, they’re fueling a new model of internet-powered entrepreneurship”
These new platforms share a number of commonalities, per Lin, three of which are relevant to blogging today.
- They’re accessible to everyone, not only existing businesses and professionals
- They view individuality as a feature, not a bug
- They open doors to new forms of work
A lawyer in a small firm blogging on China law puts himself along side large firms in terms of visibility. Though not able to land some of the cases a larger firm may, he’s developed an international reputation and a large client base based on his passion.
A young partner in a large firm kickstart’s the firm’s publishing of a privacy law blog and is now widely considered as one of the nation’s top privacy and security lawyers. She had the passion other lawyers lacked.
A junior partner in a larger firm, with a passion founded in her family’s history in the textile industry, launches a fashion law blog publication. She now does business worldwide in fashion law with her law school hosting a fashion law symposium which she runs.
The list goes on and on. This relatively new platform enabling blog publishing is enabling any lawyer to monetize their unique skills and passion.
Andreessen Horowitz, which has bet on the likes of Facebook and Twitter and is managing over $4B in assets, and Lin, are predicting that the passion economy will only continue to grow.
“New integrated platforms empower entrepreneurs to monetize individuality and creativity. In the coming years, the passion economy will to continue to grow. We envision a future in which the value of unique skills and knowledge can be unlocked, augmented, and surfaced to consumers.”