There are approximately 3,500 law blogs in the U.S.
Many are struggling. Many are not worth reading — even by folks with a keen interest in the industry or area of the law being covered by the blogs.
These blogs lack emotion. They’re milquetoast.
Those of you as old as me may remember Joan Armatrading’s hit song, Show Some Emotion.
Show some emotion
Put expression in your eyes
Light up if you’re feeling happy
But if it’s bad then let those tears roll down
Perhaps not tears, but any lawyer who wants their blog read ought be ready to blog with some emotion—and passion.
If you’re not passionate about the area in which you blog, start over….
Imagine the area of law or industry you’d love to be working in. Imagine the type of clients you’d love to be working with. Make it happen — through blogging. Throw your heart over the bar and let your body follow.
Once you’re blogging with passion, you’ll follow news and information you enjoy reading. Through your blog you’ll engage thought leaders and people you’d love to meet. You’ll get love from people with similar interests via comments, citations, and social media shares. And you’ll bring in business you enjoy doing.
Your emotion will bring out your personality. Your emotion will draw readers in and make you indispensable.
Look at Seth Godin’s book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (affiliate link). The basis to becoming indispensable is putting emotion into your work.
- Be creative and you will become indispensable. Being creative means going above and beyond what is required and putting emotional effort into what you do. Become an artist.
- You will have to fight “the resistance” — the part of your brain that tells you not to do this and is related to your internal “fight or flight.”
- As part of becoming an emotional artist, you will need to give away your work — eventually this will be its own reward.
There is nothing more droll than summaries of cases, statutes, or regulations without any insight or commentary to let readers know why they should care.
Imagine a sports columnist solely reporting facts of shots and misses and the score for each quarter. Imagine a Hollywood reporter just telling us that a star got out of their car, walked down the red carpet, and walked in the door. Boring.
You have to bring emotion to be a successful blogger.
- Show personality
- Tell me a story
- Write in a conversational style
- Share an opinion
- Express insight
- Engage other bloggers (even competitors) and the media by citing them
- Disagree with others
- Answer questions
- Give away far more than you could ever expect in return
- Experiment in ways you haven’t before
You might hear: Our firm doesn’t allow blogging like that. Or, ethical constraints prevent such blogging. Or, if we offer insight, a partner, client, or opposing party will hold it against us.
Certainly these items need to be taken into account. None are insurmountable.
Look at these law blogs. The lawyers from small, mid-size, and large law firms bring it with emotion.
- Trademarkology published by Stites & Harbison. These guys are living the world of trademarks and constantly seek out interesting topics they’re passionate about.
- Energy and the Law published by Charles Sartain of Gray Reed & McGraw. Sartain, who is staunchly pro-energy, wears his emotions on his sleeve and is not afraid of offending some people.
- Former NSA General Counsel, Stewart Baker, of Steptoe & Johnson shares a wealth of expertise accompanied with biases and beliefs on Steptoe Cyerblog.
- The blogging style of Jim Walker of Cruise Law News has turned him into an industry watchdog.
- Robin Shea of Constangy brings personality to complex employment issues for employers on her Employment & Labor Insider.
- Karen Kohler of the The Velvet Hammer is a trial lawyer’s trial lawyer. Her blogging is based more on who she is more than the content itself. Blogging on the challenges of life and being a lawyer, she wears it all out there.
Blogs are the best medium for showing personality. They’re not legal alerts, email newsletters, articles, nor case studies. Writing for this unique medium requires emotion to be successful.
You want to grow readership, develop relationships, enhance your reputation, and develop business? Give of yourself in a real and meaningful way. Perhaps like you never have before.
Blog with some emotion.
Kevin O’Keefe is the CEO and founder of LexBlog, which empowers lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate business relationships online. With LexBlog’s help legal professionals use their subject matter expertise to drive powerful business development through blogging and social media. Visit LexBlog.com.
LexBlog also hosts LXBN, the world’s largest network of professional blogs. With more than a million visitors monthly and 8,000 authors, LXBN is the only media source featuring the latest lawyer-generated commentary on news and issues from around the globe. Visit lxbn.com now.