“Law blogs? They’re a fad like Bezos and the Segway. We’ll go broke.”
That was my son Colin’s response when I walked in from my desk in the garage and announced over the family dinner table what we’re going to do. We’re go to start a company doing blogs for lawyers.
That was almost sixteen years ago – and today officially makes sixteen years of blogging for me on ‘Real Lawyers Have Blogs.’
I was working out of my garage – literally – with an old door propped over a couple tin file cabinets under a hardware light. One night I saw a brief article in the magazine, Business 2.0, about a service, TypePad, that was anticipating 10,000 subscribers in 90 days.
It wasn’t that TypePad was a web based blogging platform that drew me to it (I had never heard of a blog). It was the AOL-like uptake of subscribers. People took money out of their pockets and put it in theirs. That was a good sign that folks saw value in what ever it was TypePad offered.
Off I went, paid my $4.95 a month, and found out TypePad was used for blogs – which appeared to be something you used for communication across the net. I did find out until later that one still used email even when they “had a blog.”
One of my goals during a running non-compete with LexisNexis, which bought my last company, was to learn to write better (stll learning). Maybe this blog thing would be a good way to practice.
I also wanted to tell lawyers how the Internet is used to communicate with people in a real and authenticate way – so as to build trust and a reputation. I knew then that websites, web ads and the like were not the vehicles for good lawyers to set themselves apart.
What I didn’t know then was that a blog was a good way to engage people in way that builds a reputation and relationships – the stuff that enables a lawyer to be a lawyer’s lawyer. That came later.
So scared out of my mind, I wrote and meticulously revised/edited a couple articles and pushed a button to send them to the Internet. I had no idea how how anyone would see what I wrote – and, if they did, why’d they care to read what I wrote.
But people did – and lawyers even called to ask me to help them.
I found a couple a books on blogs at the bookstore downtown Seattle (it’s gone now) which got my heart racing about blogs for lawyers. Of course blogs would work for business development for lawyers. Legal blogging was going to be huge.
Crazy as it sounds, and with no foundation other than a gut feeling and knowing how the net works for communication, I bet the family’s well being on blogs for lawyers.
No business plan, no funding, and no employees. LexBlog was started on a wing and a prayer – and a blog post published sixteen years ago today.