Before talking with a larger law firm this morning, I made a few notes on what I’d be thinking about as a larger firm when starting a first blog. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

One, Pick a winner. It’s not time to launch a blog for a group of lawyers for the heck of it, because they just want to blog or because they just saw a blog in a competing law firm and thought they should have one too.

You need to pick a winning area of the law and a winning lawyer or group of lawyers. Lawyers who are passionate about blogging and the area of the law that will be covered.

This blog is going to be your role model for blogging lawyers to come.

Blogging has to work in developing millions of dollars in new revenue, per blogging lawyer, per year. Killing off this new revenue generator for any number of lawyers in your firm who may express a future interest in blogging by dismissing blogs as an effective business development tool because this first blog didn’t work would be a major loss.

If you’re in marketing, business development or communications and leading or coordinating this blog initiative, you need to make it an enjoyable and rewarding experience. You don’t want to be pushing a rope.

Two, choose a niche. Niche law blogs have generally proven to do much better than blogs focused on general areas of the law. Such blogs can become must have insight and commentary for a targeted audience. They’ll bring early success, something you want on a first blog.

Rather than immigration law, how about immigration law for the pharmaceutical industry.

Three, choose a growth area, look to the future. Lawyers tend to focus on what they’re doing now or have done in the past.

Hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, said he experienced so much success because he was taught: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Look for areas of the law and niches in an industry that are predicted to grow.

Blogging lawyers who focused on fashion law before fashion law was even a thing and the cannabis industry before marijuana was legalized did very, very well for themselves.

Such blogs can demonstrate to the firm how networking through the net, via blogging, can help the firm grow new business.

Three, find and empower passionate bloggers. Passion is what you’ll find behind any successful law blog.

Do the lawyers love the area of the law, love representing the clients in the area, are they excited about building a name and relationships in the area? If not the leading lawyer(s) in the group, look for passion in associate lawyers – and empower them.

You’ll need blog champions for this blog and future blogs. Such role models arise out of passion.

Four, look for business development acumen in the blogging lawyers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

Some lawyers aren’t wired for business development. Blogging is networking through the Internet, not just writing legal copy.

Though every blogger need not get business development, you’re going to need to have one or two who do.

Connecting the dots in an engaging and authentic fashion is important. So is seeing how ancillary social media fits in.

Business development in the law is about building a strong name and relationships. Blogging and the net didn’t change that.

Five, establish a clear goal. A goal is more than having a blog and a goal is not met by traffic and web stats.

A goal may be:

  • Learning the power of blogging as a business development tool within a year.
  • Understanding how blogging fits in the culture of our firm.
  • Using the blog to serve existing clients. “We built this blog for you as way to keep you abreast of developments and to share our insight.” Good clients are hard to get, this is one way to keep them.
  • Business development – building relationships and a reputation with a very targeted audience.
  • Revenue. Individual blogging lawyers are generating seven figures a year in new revenue from relationships they’ve built from blogging. Even a deadline to start accruing such revenue after two years is not bad as compared to other business development channels.

Six, and having little fun here, get a sound blog partner for a platform and strategy. If you choose someone other than LexBlog and don’t succeed, don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😊