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November 26, 2006

Be a Blogging Virgin No More

After months of lurking....I've finally entered the blogosphere.  If my blog is a little awkward or incomplete, well, there is a method to my madness.

Since I teach and consult solos on how to open their own law practice, I have to practice what I preach.  Blogging is a necessity in today's practice of law for many reasons.  This post is not about the philosophy of blogging...but the actual "doing."

Before I started my blog, I researched the tools available to me for blogging.  I went at it with the awkwardness and breathlessness of an adolescent girl anticipating her first kiss.  I had no idea what it would feel like to create an on line journal for the world to see...to have my "voice" amplified into cyberspace. 

The upshot:  I wanted to go through the process as my students and clients would when venturing forth into the blogosphere.  This is what I learned.

First, you can create a blog yourself for free at Blogger.com.  There is minimal, if any, assistance.  Or you can create your own blog with on-line direction and customer service at Typepad.com.  They offer a thirty day free trial and minimal monthly carrying costs after the trial is over.  You get a full month to tinker with your site before you make your commitment. They also have numerous features which makes this choice a great value and you don't have to compromise your blogging needs.

Another option is to do some of the creative work and then hire the BlogSquad to do the rest.  The BlogSquad site offers great blogging tips and the women of the BlogSquad will work with what you have created, even offering a " blog makeover."  Or they will just work on the parts you are uncomfortable with, don't understand or have no desire to understand. 

If you appreciate the value blogging has for your business but are uninterested in creating your own blog or you can't commit the time neeeded to create your own blog, you can step up to a service like Lexblog.  Lexblog markets itself as a custom designer of blogs for lawyers.  They will create, market, and maintain your blog for a substantially higher monthly carrying cost in finitum. All you have to do is write your posts.

There are other companies in each category as this is the a hot area and many entrepreneurs are jumping on board.  These three seem to have established a decent reputation and are a good start for your individual research.

All three styles of blogging have their benefits.  Your choice turns on your skill set, time constraints and pocketbook.

I chose Typepad because I have the time and the inclination. I like what I get for the price.  It serves my purpose which is to "walk the walk"  while still creating a quality product. There is a learning curve but I'm choosing to invest the time. If there are issues that are beyond my skill set I will probably go with the women at BlogSquad.  They are savvy ladies.

A great site to give you tips on how to blog to attract readers is Problogger.  They even have a section for novices which is quite good.

For an excellent resource blog with jampacked archives on solo practice as well as a a great example of a successful blog, I refer you to the site operated by the undisputed Queen of Blogging (in the legal arena), Carolyn Elefant.

If you have information on other blogging services or blogging tips for the solo or small firm, please let me know and I will gladly review and post. 

Happy Blogging!


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Kevin OKeefe

Welcome to the blogosphere Susan. Looks like you are going to create a heck of a resource for those looking to grow their practice. Your passion and positive attitude that anything is possible will serve both you and your readers well.

And thanks for mentioning us as one blog solution for lawyers.

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