Every month we have a networking lunch at a lovely spot in Maryland. A bunch of solo and small firm attorneys come to eat salad and salmon, have coffee and pass around business cards. We sit in a big square and the young’uns ask questions of the more ahem, experiened, attorneys. Ironically enough, the big topic of discussion yesterday was blogging – does blogging actually get you clients? I had just checked my iphone (my dear thing is never far from my side) and saw Mr. Bennett’s comment, and after many false starts (its a room full of lawyers who have no one to talk to during the day, you think about how it might have been to get a word in edgewise) I finally got a chance to read the comment out loud to the group of about 20 or so lawyers.
The lawyer who had originally put forth the question said that Mr. Bennett was completely incorrect, that the ONLY reason to blog was to market yourself and to get clients. The discussion went on for a while, and it seemed that I was in the minority — people who write just to write without concern for profit generation or client credibility. One of the longest running and most highly acclaimed legal blogs has a still anonymous writer. In fact, the PD blogs, the ones that are not written for any reason other than to get it out there, are some of the most interesting around. They aren’t getting clients, or even referrals, because of their blogs. But, they are clever and informative. And, most importantly (to me anyway) they are inspiring.
I don’t read the other kind of blog. You know the ones – the ones that cite specific laws or analyze cases, unless they are witty and say something unusual. I can read and analyze laws and cases myself (in fact, I am once again, paid to do so) Most of them are dry and, well, boring. In the olden days you’d write an article after doing months of research and submit it to your local law journal, or try to get it into an ABA publication or a law review. Now, all you have to do is cut and paste from open source information, add a few lame lines, and call yourself published. Yawn. If that is getting you clients, awesome for you. I don’t know if I believe that its your blog that is drawing them there, as opposed to the SEO generated by your blog (which really isn’t the same thing as writing things that people want to read).
This conversation is very different from ones we had in 2004 when there were just a few criminal defense bloggers out there. Well, we actually never talked about doing this as a marketing tool. It didn’t even cross our pea-brains. Regardless, I’m very proud of the fact that this blog has been in existence for six years (with a brief hiatus) Six years. That’s longer than just about any other committment I’ve ever had.
In other news, I just did a google search on this blog. One site, Bust.com, labeled me this way: Ramblings of a currently unemployed criminal defense attorney. See, I was right. Even if no one is paying you to do it, you ARE it.Share on Facebook
How could I forget? I’ve also got a great mention from one of my early blogger friends, Mark Draughn of Windy Pundit fame. I feel loved.Share on Facebook
The blogosphere has changed since I started writing. In 2004, this was my private (for the whole world to see) journal. I was anonymous and it was easy to write what I thought and felt and how things were for me. I didn’t realize how funny I was until I read this post by Jamison Koehler. I read it and thought “Ha! That’s funny. Who wrote that?” Drue read it and said “you know that first post is all me, right? I am the one who said those funny things” Sure Drue, you get all the credit. I think Jamison is too kind, though. My grammar is frequently poor and I spell things wrong on occasion. I haven’t been all that great at keeping up my blogroll or paying it forward. My blog was just for me, but I’m glad that at least 6 people have gotten a kick out of it over the years. My issue now is how to turn the blog into a marketing tool, or even if that’s something I should do. I feel like not guilty is me, that should be enough of a marketing tool, right?
But more about me. Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice also including me in a little list of new and not so new, but maybe noteworthy, blogs. He has a caveat that states that not all of the blogs he lists are his ‘cup of tea’, which makes me a little nervous. It’s like saying “those pants make your ass look small” – but otherwise you have a huge ass. Maybe I am his cup of tea. Now I can stay up nights wondering if maybe Mr. Greenfield is my seventh reader.
If I get into double digit readership I’ll feel the pressure that Jamison is talking about. I’ll have to watch my grammar, and maybe my language. I’ll feel the need to be wittier and to make all sorts of deep remarks, maybe even write about THE LAW every once in a while. We’ll see.
For now, I’m happy that some people are happy with what I’ve been doing, just cause I like doing it.Share on Facebook
I am on the Hill, with a capital H, talking and listening and getting a bit frustrated with what we are hearing about comprehensive immigration reform. There is much political hand wringing on one side (mine) and gnashing of teeth on the other. We are listening to Representatives talk about the pros of immigration reform but with the republicans refusing to cooperate, it looks like no amount of logic or reason will work since the republicans are taking their toys and going home.
Btw, this is my first post using mobile blogger. I hope it works.Share on Facebook