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Lawyers, Blog Brilliantly

November 6, 2009

Dancing LightbulbOne of my favorite themes on PluggedInLawyer is to demonstrate how easy social media can be.  I completely believe that concept, especially if you can land yourself a roadmap or two.

The cornerstone to a successful social media campaign is your blog, which I fondly call “base camp.”  That is the place where you can strut your expertise and organize it in a way that interested people can easily access.

So how do you come up with content ideas for your blog?  How do you keep those ideas interesting to your readers?  You’ve got all this great information in your head, but where do you start and how do you keep the content flowing in a way that is interesting?  And what the heck do you do when your brain freezes and not one idea surfaces for a post?

Chris Brogan answered these questions yesterday in his post How To Think Of Blog Posts.  Using Chris’ roadmap for ideas will not only give you great ideas for your posts, but if you use a cross-section of his list, your blog will showcase your expertise from several different angles.  I know from personal experience that it’s all too easy to get busy and end up with a series of one-dimensional posts.

These are Chris’ 9 recommendations for blogging brilliance (with a few interpretive comments thrown in by me):

  1. Answer questions. What do you think or know for a fact (from email or past requests) that your clients or potential clients want to know.  This isn’t about a big “topic.”  It’s a specific question that needs to be answered.  For PluggedInLawyer, it might be “5 Steps To Setting Up A Twitter Account,” rather than the broader topic of “Why You Should Twitter.”
  2. Take pictures of strange things when you’re out and about. The subjects of your photos might seem random at the time, but they struck your fancy and presumably your readers are your “peeps.”  These photos might be interesting to your readers for reasons you haven’t figured out yet.  Take the picture and figure it out later.  Or not.  Worse case scenario, you end up with a collection of photos that amuse you.
  3. Read blogs way outside the scope of what you write about. Chris, a social media thought leader, cites the utility of the occasional fishing blog for his own writing.  Your readers read your material because of your take on the subject.  If you are clever enough to create an analogy between fishing and social media, you end up demonstrating your personality and what makes you different and interesting.
  4. Think about what’s next and work backward.
  5. Mash two ideas together and explain them in your own words.
  6. Write about ways to improve your industry or space.
  7. Write speeches that you haven’t yet given. Your blog can be a great place to “try on” your topics “for size” and get reader feedback.
  8. Rant. This is a touchy way to write, but controversy can bring new readers and spark them to comment and interact.  Chris recommends Justin Kownacki as a master to study for ranting-style posts.
  9. Point out people doing good stuff.

Keep this list handy and refer to it often.  Make sure that you’re mixing it up with your posts.  I personally am a big fan of the #9 style post, but how many of those do my readers really want to see?  Hat tip posts are interesting, but only as part of a bigger mix of information.  Get out there and be multi-dimensional!

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