If you’ve done business in China, with China, through China, or touching China, no doubt you’ve found the China Law Blog from Harris Bricken to be an absolute must read. If you haven’t, then you haven’t done any international business near there.
As part of our ongoing series covering LXBN members in the Blawg 100 and the 10th anniversary of the ABA Journal’s competition, we talked with Dan Harris about how the blog earned its place in the Hall of Fame three years ago, and what keeps them going.
Tell us your most successful/exciting blogging story.
Not sure if it was the most successful or the most exciting but the most controversial post we’ve ever done and the one that got the most comments, was one I did on what I was hearing from University of Washington students regarding the Chinese students there. The post quoted those viewpoints and highlighted the problem and asked for help in finding a solution, but some people were of the view that the post should never have run at all.
What kinds of things do you do to engage your readership?
We have a Facebook page and a Linkedin Group and these two help feed the blog and vice-versa. Those of us who blog for the China Law Blog are also frequently on the road speaking about China as well.
Why do you think you made it on the Blawg 100? What sets you apart?
What sets us apart is that our sole focus is to be relevant, interesting and helpful to our readers. The readers are our entire focus, not us, not our business, and certainly not business generation. We assume nobody cares about us or our law firm; they care about China and what they are doing in or with China, and we write accordingly. Our goal is readers, not clients, but with readers come clients.
What are the challenges of blogging for so long?
I hate to say this, but I cannot think of any. People sometimes ask if we worry about repeating ourselves but for every time we have been asked that, there have been 20 times where someone will ask us to write about XYZ and I will think, but we’ve already written about XYZ and it will turn out that we wrote about XYZ in 2012 and there are a half dozen new things we can say about it now.
Do you have advice to bloggers starting out?
Stick with it. I have seen far too many really good blogs cease because their writers felt that they were not getting traction, but they would have had they stuck it out. If you post good relevant content 4-5 times a week, you will develop a large readership, but it will take a lot longer than most expect. Figure on it taking at least a year.