When Melissa Lyon worked with client development coach Cordell Parvin this year, he gave her what she considers a key piece of advice: use her own interest as a starting point.
Lyon, no stranger to the blogging game, already had a lot of good insights as to how to run her blog, Energy Law Today.
“I used to write just willy-nilly and see what was interesting, but now it’s more focused; I use what clients are asking me as a platform, what people are asking in happy hours, and talking about just socially. It’s a good indicator of what’s on people’s mind,” said Lyon.
She started the blog in September of 2014 with a former partner at her firm, Fox Rothschild, where she’d found the marketing department really supportive of blogs in general. She found that the blogging style was a better fit for what she wanted to impart clients with—narratives beyond just the latest decisions coming down the pipe.
“Blogging seems to be where I get a) the most traffic, and b) the best return on my investment. You can talk about such a wide variety of things, and it really broadens your target audience,” said Lyon, who blogs from Denver. “Client alert feedback showed that people only really want to see case updates; a quick little primer that hits all the highpoints. On a blog you can use it for that, but it doesn’t have to just be that. The platform allows you to talk about not just the case but the news in the industry, and agency [issues]. You’re not just tied to litigation.”
When her blogging partner left, she took the helm solo, and really started using analytics from her firm to help her understand what landed and what didn’t. After all, Energy Law Today still covers a wide variety of topics to help show the public that they understand more than just oil and gas; Lyon blogs on everything from natural resources, renewables, solar, wind, and mining issues. The energy and natural resource industry is very transitional; important topics are constantly coming and going. Thanks to the firm’s feedback reports and her insights to shares from LinkedIn, she knows which topics land home with her audience.
She knows that these days her audience may be a little over saturated with sage grouse news, and that stories on the price of oil might do a bit better on social media than something on mining.
But when Parvin suggested she marry her own interests with those of her practice, she started seeing even more engagement.
“His guide was to use what interests me as a starting point, since the readers want to know what I’m passionate about,” said Lyon, who ended up starting a new subtopic called “Recipe Box.” “Baking is one of my primary hobbies, and so I tie in oil and gas concepts into baking topics and actually get a ton of hits off of that.”
Here she’s been able to write about how using what you have is a concept shared by both pumpkin bread and energy resources, or how patience serves both her great-grandma’s bread recipe and those interested in OPEC production cuts. The result is that she’s able to present an angle no one else has, and she’s gotten some of her favorite feedback from her readers.
“These posts are really fun for me to write and I get a lot of really positive feedback,” said Lyon. “It’s kind of weird to make these parallels like ‘you don’t have enough cooks in the kitchen’ and fraud in the market. But it’s the most fun for me, having a CEO or industry executive comment on my kind of silly blog on baking and energy, because people are reading it. Everytime I get feedback from people that it’s insightful or a great correlation I really value that.”
If you ask Lyon what her advice to other bloggers would be to make sure you’re blogging frequently, and as consistently as possible. After all, it’s all about giving the readers what they want, all while finding your own voice.
“Help people start to see you as a source, not just ‘here’s a one-off piece about this case,’” said Lyon, who’s found blogging has helped her connect beyond that. “It’s really enjoyable to see readers enjoy getting to know you as a person, and also valuing the information you’re passing along too…People like to see industry updates, but they also like to see that personal touch from you as a lawyer.”