Are Law Blogs a Marketing Miracle or a Nonbillable Nightmare?
The ABA Journal recently published an article
exploring the benefits that lawyers can achieve through blogging. The lawyers quoted in the article have seen direct marketing and referral results from their blogs, and state that starting a law blog, or "blawg," is one of the cheapest things a lawyer can do do market their practice.
But are blogs really so cheap? As the article mentions, it costs virtually nothing to set up a blog or a series of blogs. The real cost comes in time spent writing updates and monitoring user interaction with the blog.
The lawyers mentioned in the article thing that the nonbillable hours spent blogging have paid off, but for many lawyers, a blog's benefits might not outweigh its costs.
There's no question that a well-maintained blog will result in traffic, and possibly even new clients. But blogging takes a lot of time, especially when writing about substantive areas of the law.
One lawyer from the article mentioned that he can spend up to two hours a day working on his firms' blogs. Of course, the firm does maintain 10 blogs, which get 8,000 to 10,000 hits per day - numbers that are difficult to argue with.
Robert Ambrogi, author of several widely-read blogs including Media Law
also argues in the article that there are intangible benefits to blogging. Ambrogi sees a blog as a great way to keep on top of developments within a particular area of the law.
And, of course, there's always Ann Althouse
, who received - and accepted - a marriage proposal
from a commenter on her blog. Not everyone can expect that kind of success from a blog, however.
It basically comes down to this: If you enjoy blogging, have the time to dedicate to it, and are prepared to reap only intangible rewards, then a blog can form a great supplement to your practice. If you go into it half-hearted, however, the blog might end up being just another administrative headache that takes away from time you could be billing for.
In the end, only you can decide whether a blog is right for you.