Any experienced blogger will tell you how much there is to learn from blogging. Author of Original Jurisdiction on Substack, David Lat sat down with Bob Ambrogi on LexBlog’s This Week in Legal Blogging to discuss—among other things—the important lessons about blogging that his experience has taught him.
Create differentiated content
David prioritizes creating unique material for his blogging so that he stands out from the crowd.
“If I’m going to ask people to pay $5 a month or whatever for my writing, I have to be giving them stuff they can’t get elsewhere,” he reasoned.
David explained that he does this by focusing on specific corners of the legal sector that are receiving less coverage.
“I find these little niches; I cover Supreme Court law clerk hiring, I cover a lot of business of law stuff…I have a new feature I’m covering today where I’m covering a different legal book.”
After elaborating on the type of work he pursues, David sums up that he’s “trying to come up with things that are different and unique because if I’m just the guy talking about a Supreme Court decision, people can find that elsewhere.”
Be passionate, not agenda-driven
On This Week in Legal Blogging, it’s really common to hear that passion is key to blogging. Bob asked David his thoughts on this, and he agreed with past guests.
“It’s why you get into this in the first place really,” he said.
However, David made a distinction that we hear less commonly.
“Passionate doesn’t necessarily mean having an agenda. I’m not terribly ideological in my own writing,” David explained. “Passion means that I’m really excited. It doesn’t mean I hate Donald Trump, or whatever else. I’m just excited to do this. That’s what I bring to the table.”
This objective approach to blogging prioritizes the enthusiasm for the blogging process itself over the desire to convince your readers to agree with everything you’re saying.
Be early to the party
Once you understand why you need to effectively blog and how it’s going to help your goals, jump right into things.
“Get in soon. I don’t think I’m necessarily the best writer or the best thinker, but I was always early to the party,” David said.
As one of the first American lawyers on Substack, David knows all about being ahead of the game. As far as he’s concerned, the earlier you can jump on the blogging train, Substack or not, the better.
“You’re not going to have people endlessly paying $5 a month for 20 writers. They’re going to pick a few. Move soon if you want to get in on this gold rush.”
We couldn’t agree more; the quicker you take advantage of the opportunity to blog on a specific niche, the better chance you have of becoming recognized as the go-to authority in that area. Seize the opportunity, and get going.
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For more information on blogging fundamentals, blogging strategy and social media, check out the LexBlog Resource Center.