Bloggers forget that blogging is about listening first, content second.

Blogging is a conversation. You listen to the conversation and then express yourself via your blog post.

A post from the inventor of blogging, Dave Winer, today, drove the point home.

I find the blogroll on the home page of my blog to be an incredible wayto catch up on what people I follow are posting to their blogs and news sites. It’s more like a feed reader than a blogroll because when a site updates it moves to the top of the list and when you click the wedge next to the title you get the five most recent posts with links to the full story.

A blogroll, if you are not familiar, is a list of blogs that you follow in the margin of your blog. Winer has taken the concept of a blogroll a step up by pushing to the top of the list the blog that most recently posted with a link to its most recent post.

Winer is listening to sources he respects. Doing so allows him to engage the source and the topic in his blog and on his social media. Winder does so by citing the source, their point and his take.

The source and others see his comments and carry on the discussion. This is how ideas advance and those participating establish themselves as knowledgeable in the filed – and in time, authorities. .

Legal bloggers and their blogs are just the same as Winer and his blog and use of social media. You need not have a blogroll. Listen to discussion in your niche via mainstream media, subscribing to blogs, following trade media, following the law, following key words and phrases via a Google search, and more.

I use a new sreader/feed reader by the name of Feedly to follow all of the above. Easy to have my sources all in one place.

Enter the conversation in your niche. You’ll grow relationships and a reputation far greater than you will by “writing content.”