When I suggest that a law blog could transform a small law firm or sole practitioner's ENTIRE practice, I typically hear 3 objections:
1) A law blog won't help me compete with the Big Firms that are forcing me to do more with less.
2) I'm too busy - who has time for a law blog?
3) Been there and done that - I tried blogging for a month, and it didn't work.
Today, I would like to speak directly to the attorney that has "been there, and tried that".
The typical attorney’s experience with blogging goes something like my friend Tony (Tony isn't his real name).
In a city like Dallas, competition among family law attorneys is cut-throat. Unless you have a big name or reputation, you are going to be spending your time cutting your teeth on some really hard cases.
Hopefully, if you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd, you can carve out a niche and make a name for yourself. If not, you're going to get very sick of the same difficult - heartbreaking - cases with a type of clients you can't build a firm with.
This was where Tony found himself when he opened up his own firm.
He left a big (ish) law firm to make a name for himself in Family Law, and tried everything he could think of to carve out a niche. He blogged....for a couple months. That became tedious, and he wasn't seeing any traffic to his site. So he took a different path - he purchased gh0st-written content that - nobody told him - was being sold to many other family law firms in and out of his market.
You see where this story is going. It didn't work. Tony's website traffic never picked up. He never got the clients he was looking for.
After a couple of years struggling to build a paying client base, and do work that he found personally and professionally fulfilling, Tony hung up his shingle, and went back to another big (ish) law firm.
First, Tony only blogged for a few weeks. Imagine if you gave up a "few weeks" into Law School because you weren't learning the law quick enough.
Second, he posted every other day for a little over a month. Although he shared his insights on key court rulings, talked about his firm’s wins on a couple cases, there was no Vision that tied everything together. So nobody came to his website. Nobody commented on his posts. Nobody shared his information.
Third, when results didn't come immediately, he began to think that this blog thing was a flop.
Fourth, he hired someone else to do his blogging for him - a big mistake if you ask me.
(Your Firm is your Brand, and your Brand is your Voice - write your own material. I will show you some techniques in later posts.)
Some attorneys will go out and start spending a small fortune to buy Google Ads to send traffic to their site.
(Another huge mistake for a law blog, if you ask me. Look to the right of this post - what do you see? A Google Ad. Instead of buying traffic to my website, Google is paying ME to send traffic elsewhere. Better to take the time to build your Vision - organically...later, it might just create a passive revenue stream or your law firm.)
In a nutshell, he sought a miracle instead of expecting success. He was a good writer, and could have built a heavily trafficked blog with a unique take on family law issues which generated many consultation requests from his "ideal client". But he expected that success would come - without a Vision, and overnight.
If Tony's experience describes your experience with the law blog - in the past or in the present - let me offer you a different perspective.
When starting your law blog, don't shoot for huge volumes of traffic. Commit to regular posting, and work to build a community. Fulfill your Vision.
A friend of mine - well, a blog-o-sphere friend - writes several blogs on a variety of topics.
I was drawn to one of his blogs - a very young one at the time - which focused on the special-needs parenting community. When he had about 2 dozen posts on the site, he wrote a eulogy for a family member that had recently passed away.
He didn't expect it, but that post got really big, really quick.
It was picked up by a national and widely known parenting blog. Two National Celebrities with massive followings started linking to it and talking about it. My friend's blog went from having BARELY 500 readers in a month...to having 1,000 readers per day. Not a huge readership, to be clear, but big enough.
Here’s the problem - people that came to read the “viral post” had nothing else to do or read on my friend's blog when they were done. There were a few other posts, some of which were really close to being interesting.
There was no product or service to purchase or consider, nothing to engage the visitors beyond a few posts on a niche topic.
There was no theme or Vision to tie everything together - it was just a new blog with nothing more than a few posts.
Within weeks, my friend's readership dropped back to having less than 500 readers per month. In short, he hadn't done nearly enough work to build his blog...and the burst of energy from a single post doused his flame, instead of enlarging it.
Tony - my attorney friend - was in a very similar situation.
His posts were good - but nothing tied them together.
He posted regularly, but he did nothing to build a community.
When he quit, his blog amounted to a few well-written posts on interesting topcis. Nothing more.
It could have been a LOT more.
Define your Vision. Commit to regular posting.
It's that simple.
What makes you different from every other family lawyer out there? Or every bankruptcy attorney? Even in my small niche of Veterans advocacy, there is very little to differentiate one law firm from the rest. To our community - to the Veterans that seek us out - we are all the same.
Your Vision is what will set you apart. But a Vision is just half an enchilada. The other half is equally important.
In the past, I've talked about Leonardo DaVinci. What made his name a household name - centuries after he died - was not a single painting. It was the whole body of his work.
The secret to a law blog is not a viral post or two. It is depth of content.
Depth of content is what brings new long-term readership and followings, new clients, new friends, and new opportunities.
Depth of content is what helps you stand out as a unique, 21st Century Brand.
Depth of content helps you leverage your blog to sky-high levels of readership.
So, if you have tried the law blog before, and it didn't work, I want to encourage you to try again. But this time, start a little different. Follow these 2 steps:
Step #1: Define a Vision that shows YOUR unique skills or practice as a lawyer. Use your Voice - on your law blog - to SHOW them your unique skills, practice, or brand.
Step #2: Decide how often you want to blog - once a week is more than enough for a beginning blogger - and stick to it for 6 months. A Year is better.
So, if you want to start building the law firm of your dreams...start defining your Vision, today.
Having trouble doing this? Tell me where you are having trouble defining your Vision
Chris Attig, an Accredited Veterans Benefits attorney and Founder of the Attig Law Firm, PLLC is responsible for the content of the site. The principal office of Attig Law Firm, PLLC, is located in Dallas, Texas. Chris Attig is NOT Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. - Please view our website disclaimer.
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