4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies

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successful law blog11 4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies

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Are you willing to pay the price to have a great law blog?

Most lawyers aren’t.

They want the accolades, the new clients, TV interviews and Wall Street Journal mentions- but they aren’t willing to put in the work.  Let me be clear, creating a substantial law blog that will make a difference in your practice will take a lot of work.  Just like when I bought my first home, it was a foreclosed property that needed a lot of TLC.  People told me, “it is going to take twice as much time and money as you think to get the house fixed up.”  They were right.

To achieve anything meaningful in life you must sacrifice, and blogging is no different.  This post will focus on four attorneys who have had dramatic success with their law blog, and how much time and effort was really required to make their blogs pay off.

Case Study #1: Connecticut Employment Law Blog

First, let’s start with Daniel Schwartz, Connecticut Employment lawyer and author of the Connecticut Employment Law Blog.  When I asked him if all the time and energy spent on his blog was worth it, here was his reply:
schwartz1 bigger11 4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies

Yes. It has led to dozens of interviews, new relationships, recognition from my peers (and adversaries) and yes, clients. My profile in Connecticut is as high as its ever been and that has led to new opportunities that I didn’t even think existed.  I can’t imagine my practice without it.  In short, it has made me a better lawyer.

Most attorneys would love that result, but are they willing to do the work?  Daniel reported that he spends 2-3 hours per week plus time spent reading other blogs and interacting on Twitter.   He has kept this up constantly for almost 3 years, but he was pleased to report to me that he is approaching 1,000,000 page views on his law blog.

Case Study #2: Chicago IP Litigation Blog

Second, check out Holland & Knight Partner and law blogger David Donoghue.  Donoghue followers IP litigation as it goes through the Northern District of Illinois in his Chicago IP Litigation Blog.  He has been blogging for 4 years, and when I asked him how much time he spends he replied:
donoghue d bigger11 4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies

It varies depending on what else I have going on and whether there are things that I need to blog about quickly.  I usually write posts one to three weeks ahead to avoid missing posts because of a hectic litigation schedule.  On an average week, I try to spend no more than 3-10 hours blogging.

Notice that David has a high of 10 hours per week spent blogging, in my experience having weeks with that much blogging aren’t unusual.

David’s blog has won an award for the best law blog in Chicago, has been named to the ABA’s top 100 law blogs and he has landed substantial litigation business as a result of his efforts.  The first two year’s were slow though, it took a long time for him to bring in his first client through the blog.

Case Study #3: Quirky Employment Questions Blog

Third, look at Dorsey & Whitney Partner Roy Ginsburg and his blog Quirky Employment Questions.Ginsburg Roy97x11911 4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies  Roy’s format is a little bit different.  He asks an employment question each week, and his readers try to answer the questions correctly.  It is a great model because it encourages participation- part of why it has been so successful.   It is currently bringing in 10,000 unique visitors each month and even helped Roy bring in a 6 figure client. Roy has been blogging for about 3 years and he spends on average 5 hours each week blogging.

The point is, blogging is hard work.  It takes a lot of time and it requires a large number of posts to really take off.  In a recent blog post I highlighted the recent Hubspot study that showed it takes 52 posts for a blog to really start bringing in business.  If you blog once a month, do the math, it will take 4 years to get there.  The successful law bloggers all have in common a weekly commitment to blogging and a track record of continuity.  These are key elements for a successful blog.

Case Study #4: China Law Blog

Finally, look at Dan Harris who had the bright idea of creating the China Law Blog.  Here was his response when I asked him if it has been worth the time:
Dan bigger11 4 Successful Law Blog Case Studies

Absolutely yes.  We have received countless clients directly from the blog.  We have received countless major media interviews directly from the blog.  The blog has allowed us to establish relationships with countless key people in China business and law. We receive countless updates from our readers which put us right on the pulse of what is going on in China, which in turn allows us to better serve our clients. The blog has given us massive standing and publicity.

Dan spends about 5 hours each week blogging, not including the time he spends doing legal research that he would most likely do anyway.

Anybody can have a successful law blog, the only barriers to entry are personal ones.  Are you willing to be dedicated?  Are you willing to sacrifice the time needed?  Are you willing to pay the price to have a great blog?  If the answer is yes, you better get started.

Legal Marketing, Legal Technology

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  • http://www.lawmarketingmonitor.com Gyi Tsakalakis

    Is it a coincidence that 3 out of 4 are LexBlogs? Check out LexBlog and decide for yourself (full disclosure, I’m a LexBlog client).

  • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

    I don’t have anything against LexBlog, I just don’t understand why anyone would pay for it. Blogging technology is dead simple, and blogging is just writing good content, regularly.

    I’m suspicious of anyone and anything that doesn’t publish its prices, but I understand LexBlog is a couple hundred dollars per month. For what?

    Is it just that people need to pay a lot of money for something to feel like it has value?

  • http://adriandayton.com Adrian Dayton

    I think the quality of the writting and the hard work of building up a great body of work is a far more important indicator of success than the blog platform, but Lexblog does create fine blogs.

  • http://www.chinalawblog.com Dan

    @Sam Glover,

    You are right, it is easy to set up your own blog and just get going with it and that is exactly what we did for China Law Blog and we did that for years and we were thriving.

    We nonetheless decided to switch to LexBlog precisely because we were thriving. We had built up the blog and we were tired of focusing on the technical side and we simply felt it worth the money to offsource all that. We are paying more with LexBlog (though not all that much more), but it has been more than worth it and in ways I never expected.

    For example, the number of people contacting us directly off the blog almost immediately doubled. I attribute that to nothing more than a better and more obvious design. I found this amazing because our previous design had been done by a professional and it wasn’t at all shabby.

    Just being a part of the LexBlog network has given it greater exposure, particularly to other lawyers.

    I really could go on and on, but suffice it to say LexBlog is well worth it.

  • http://constructionlawnc.com/ Melissa Brumback

    Adrian–

    Very interesting piece, and one which gives me hope. I’m enjoying my relatively new blog (6 months now) and finding a steady pace and loyal readership. But sometimes it feels like a second job; I guess it is, really!

  • Francis Q.

    I checked out all four of these blogs and what they all share is that they actually “speak” to their readers as equals, rather than from above. Congrats to all four!

  • http://adriandayton.com Adrian Dayton

    Melissa,

    Good for you! Keep at it, and remember it takes time to build a blog. Only a small percentage of those lawyers who start blogs keep stick with it, so you are already setting yourself apart.

    Francis,

    All four of these authors are very approachable and engaging- that is a key in building a successful blog presence. Thanks for commenting on the article, and for clicking through to the blogs.

  • http://www.valanduseconstructionlaw.com Timothy R. Hughes

    Great profiles of some great blogs.

    We are on LexBlog as well and would also state that their platform and support are tremendous and appreciated. It is a nice network to connect from and I have engaged with a bunch of other folks (including Daniel Schwartz who really does have a great blog).

    It definitely is not a threshhold though – we are also following Melissa’s blog too!

  • http://mnconsumerattorneyblog.com/ Anne M. Hansen

    Your timing couldn’t be better — Although I signed up for a wordpress.com account last month, I finally stopped procrastinating and launched mnconsumerattorneyblog.com yesterday. I added several articles right away, and another one today. Chipping away at 52 posts will definitely help keep me on track. Thanks for the tips!

  • http://adriandayton.com Adrian Dayton

    Anne,

    Good luck on your new blog, and congratulations. I think one of the biggest problems with attorney attitudes towards law blogs is that if they blog for a few months and don’t see business coming in the door- they figure that its a waste. Blogs take time to develop. So keep at it!

  • http://www.ctemploymentlawblog.com Dan Schwartz

    Thanks for all the shoutouts.

    Is Lexblog worth it? It depends on what your needs are. But I view it as a way for a lawyer to concentrate exclusively on building content. No technical worries and they are built-in experts with design and all things blog-related.

    Could you do it yourself? Sure. Just like you don’t really “need” a paralegal or secretary in a law office. You could file, type, prepare bills, and answer the phones. But is that the best use of your time and resources? That’s what I think Lexblog adds for attorneys.

  • http://www.lawmarketingmonitor.com Gyi Tsakalakis

    Dan is right, whether LexBlog is right for you depends on your needs, as well as, your goals.

    However, there are many more benefits to LexBlog than just the technical aspects (i.e. strategy, exposure, training, and access).

    When you couple what LexBlog has to offer with various other web-based networking tools, there is a lot of value in terms reputation recognition, growing your professional network, and yes, search engine visibility.