A law blogger publishes an awful lot of content. They put in a lot of time. But is anyone listening? Is the insight you’re sharing helpful?
Until someone walks up to you at a conference and says they really liked a post of yours, often a post from a while ago, you don’t really know. And man it feels good to get a request to connect on LinkedIn along with a personal note letting you know the person asking to connect reads your blog all the time.
Allison Volk, who specializes in creating authority and visibility for businesses, suggests, in a piece in The Huffington Post, to slow down and listen to your audience:
[I]f someone mentions your blog or comments to you in person, pay attention. We’re generally so overwhelmed with prompts to comment, like and share that we shut it off after a while. How many times have you trolled through your Facebook feed without liking, sharing or commenting? You might even see something you like that gets you thinking and not participate—but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t made an impact on you.
The bottom line is that we all have an impact on our world. We do influence the people around us, and people are listening, especially if we’re truly sharing something authentic.
If you want to find out whether anyone is listening and to find out from those who are listening how you’re doing, just ask. Talk with your audience.
Ask clients if they find your blog of interest. Let them know that you didn’t build the blog for you, you built it for them and others like them. To share insight and information you thought would be helpful to them. To share developments and news you stay abreast of in your course of professional development.
Ask clients what they like about your blog and what more they’d like to see from it.
Ask other bloggers in your niche what they think. Select the most influential bloggers and drop them a note after you’ve been blogging for six months. Let them know you’re impressed with their blog and that you’re still very new to law blogging. Ask them if they have a few minutes to take a look at your blog, you’d sure appreciate a little feedback from someone like them.
Go into the list of email subscribers to your blog and cherry-pick a few, maybe those from influential companies or organizations, and ask a few of those folks what they think.
There’s probably a number of other folks from whom to get feedback. This is just a start.
Afraid to ask? Afraid of what you’re going to hear? Afraid that folks are going to say they never heard of your blog? Well, it’s better to know than not know—at least if you value your time and want to improve what you’re doing.
I receive countless emails asking that I read this or that. Their email comes with the implication that what they’re publishing is wonderful, I just need to look at it to know this. Worse yet, law firms add my email to their blog’s subscription list, making me opt out if I don’t want to receive any more updates.
No one asks what I think of their blog. Is what they are publishing insightful or helpful?
Do you know what a breath of fresh air it would be for someone to be a bit vulnerable and ask, “What do you think? Does my blogging suck? How could I make it suck less?” Maybe not that blunt, but you get the point.
How and where to ask? Pick up the phone, it won’t hurt you. Write a few personal notes. Include a note with your billing—making sure you lead with building your blog for them, not you. Ask face-to-face at conferences.
Ultimately, good law blogging will build relationships and a strong word-of-mouth reputation—things that will dramatically affect the financial bottom line. In the interim, and even after years of blogging, ask your audience what they think.