Does your firm have a blog? Why not? Perhaps you don’t know how to start a blog. To help with that, I’ve created a simple guide that covers the steps involved. Whether you do this yourself or have a consultant do it, it’s all pretty easy.
The mere setup of a blog is quite simple. You need a host and a blogging platform. There are many options here.
You could get a quick free setup from Blogger or WordPress. These are both decent, but they lack the professional image of a custom domain name. Your blog’s address would be something like MyFirm.wordpress.com.
A much better choice is to get a custom domain name and hosting package. This puts you in complete control of the blog. I personally use and recommend Total Choice Hosting, since they have reliable and cheap plans.
If you do custom hosting, WordPress is a great blogging platform. Total Choice Hosting has a handy one-click installer for it. You can do just about anything you want with it, and it’s easy to maintain.
Once your blog is physically setup, it’s time to write content. You shouldn’t publicize it without having a handful of good posts online, plus a few more in the hopper.
There are lots of great resources out there on writing (even tailored toward blogs), but here are my tips:
Keep it on topic. Your blog needs a focus, and your writing should stick with it. Vary a little, but try to maintain a theme.
Find your voice. You’ll want to find a tone and writing method that works for you. Hone it over time, but try to be consistent.
Pace your posts. Readers like reliability. If you only write an article per week, that’s fine. But keep writing that article every week. Better yet, try to write something every day. But don’t write one article a week, then flood your readers with 15 posts in one day.
What good is a blog if nobody knows it exists? While some traffic will come from search engines, you want more exposure than that.
Claim. Technorati is the premier blog directory. Claim your legal blog there. Here’s how.
Sign. Put your blog’s URL in your email signature. Then every email you send will let people know that you’re blogging.
Blogging is a community effort. Reading and commenting on other blogs is key. You’ll get to know people and foster relationships. Another part of this is linking to other blogs. Links and comments give value to the original blog. That helps out the blogger, who will in turn help you out.
Submit posts to others. You can easily email your posts to people who might be interested in them. Another easy way to submit posts is with Blog Carnivals. I’ve written about them before. Just submit your post, and the host will likely give you a link.
One of the best legal networking things you can do is to host an edition of Blawg Review. This is the carnival for law bloggers. The next available date appears to be September 30. The wait is well worth it.
I’m sure I’ve left out a few things here and there. But hopefully this is a good starting point. Do you readers have any basic thoughts to add?
[tags]blawg review, blog carnival, technorati[/tags]
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