Blogging is not easy -- those of us here who do it for a living can attest to this, all day and every day. But, the truth is, it can be both a powerful marketing and personal tool for your firm, should you decide to have one and maintain it the right way.
Making the decision to start up a blog for your firm shouldn't be a light one. Before you do, it's best to determine whether a blog actually suits both your and your firm's needs. With that said, here are five questions you should ask yourself before starting a blog.
Do you have a niche? Make sure you have a set theme or specialty that you want to highlight consistently on your blog once you launch it. If there's nothing that sets your blog apart from any other general law firm's blog out there, what incentive does your readership have to continue visiting yours? Develop your niche and share this with others.
Do you want to read your own blog? While there may be many benefits to starting up a blog, it's still crucial that it's one that you yourself would want to read. If you're not posting content that you personally and professionally connect to, what's to say that others will? Also, the more set you are on being proud of your content, the less posting in one will feel like one big chore to mark off the to do list.
Do you have a voice (of your own)? Blogging is not for everyone -- it's a special skill. Make sure that you have your own voice that's developed and that reflects in your writing, and that you ensure it is maintained at all times. Think personal, accessible, representative (of you and your practice).
Do you have time? It may not seem like it, but blogging is time consuming. In fact, you should ensure that you post as frequently as you can, and if you can't make a little bit of time often enough for it, you might as well not even think about starting one. Frequent posts will bring in new visitors and show you have something to say, as opposed to just blogging to serve some mystical SEO purpose.
Do you even want to? Are you only considering starting a blog because everyone else is? Attitude is everything, and, again, if maintaining a blog for you sounds like a chore, it may be best not to pile on another pesky "to-do" in your already packed itinerary. A blog is not the end all and be all, and while it can help your firm, the wrong attitude could do more harm in the end.
Remember -- just like with any big decision, you should think it through first. Good luck!
Editor's note, December 13, 2016: This article was first published in October, 2013. It has since been updated.