How Do I Find Readers for My Blog?

How Do I Find Readers for My Blog?

Clear & Convincing Feature Article

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"How do I find readers for my blog?" is a question I get asked frequently—most recently standing in line at Starbucks by an attorney pondering the vastness of the Internet and the smallness of his 400-word blog. It is a good question. It does little good to write a series of well-written blogs only to have them languish on the shelf of unopened posts.

The first step is to know your audience.

To know your reader, you need to decide the goal for your blog. It can't be all things to all people; you must narrow its focus. For example, you're a personal injury lawyer focusing on car accidents. Your topics could include research into the cause of accidents, dangerous stretches of highway in your area, or buying a used car after the accident.

Who would want to know about car accident topics?

Start with the best possible source of readers—the firm's current clients. With the caveat that the firm should only send to those clients who have indicated on the client intake form their willingness to receive e-mails. Don't have a client intake list? Today is a good day to start collecting e-mails.

Other ways to find readers:

  1. Join a forum, association, group, or listserv where you can find your readers; be active in the group.
  2. Respond to every comment. Initiating a conversation will keep them coming back to read more.
  3. Use social media—include links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and e-mail—so the reader can quickly and easily notify followers of your brilliant blog post.
  4. Add a link to subscribe to your blog. By subscribing, your readers will get a notice every time there's a new post.
  5. Get listed. Find an online directory of the best examples of your kind of blog. Add your blog to that list.
  6. Partner with organizations that your readers belong to—offer to trade guest posts to reach a larger audience.
  7. Be sure to use the blog feature in your SBM online Member Directory profile in addition to any other blog software you might be using.

Now that you've found readers for your blog post, remember it's important to keep those readers and have them refer your blog to others. Readers will return to blogs that give them new information, are written in a language they understand, and include video, charts, or pictures to break up all those words.

Write like a real person. Leave the legalese at the courthouse door. Readers want to hear your everyday voice. They want conversational prose. They want short sentences, short paragraphs, and ordinary words. Adding bullet points, numbered lists, and bolded subheadings or words makes the blog less intimidating and easier to understand.

Establishing a blog that is read takes time and consistency, but don't give up. The results may not be immediately apparent, but, over time, your readership and practice will grow.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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