Low on billable hours? 5 reasons blogging may be the answer.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to have a whole day in the office with nothing to do? I shudder to think about what that feels like. It happened to me many times early on in my legal career. The year was 2009 and deal flow had ground to a screeching halt due to the economic downturn. As a young corporate associate on the bottom wrung of the ladder, I was powerless to change it, or so I thought. I started blogging. I figured out Twitter. That decision changed my life. If things are slow for you at your firm, blogging and writing quality content could get you out of the rut. Here are just five reasons why blogging may be the best activity you can possibly do with your extra time:

1. Blogging helps you upgrade your skills and knowledge

From a purely academic standpoint, when you start reading articles and researching for a blog post, you put yourself in a position to learn and improve your skills as a professional. By writing a blog post and diving into an issue, the author of the post will always learn far more than the people reading the post. It gives you an opportunity to learn and study what you want at your own pace.

2. Blogging gets you noticed (and not just by potential clients)

Blogging done right provides practical solutions and answers to pressing questions for potential clients, but this is only one of many ways your blog gets you noticed. Each time you blog and share your blog post to your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook network, you refresh existing relationships and remind your peers of who you are, what you do, and how you can help them and their friends. It amps up your potential for referrals. Finally, blogging helps you brand yourself internally within your own firm or company. Many of your peers many know generally what you do, but your blog gives them an opportunity to learn about what you know and gives them a ready vehicle to pass on for purposes of cross-selling.

3. Blogging gives you a 10X return on your time

Professionals often complain, “there is no ROI to writing” or “I can’t imagine ever getting business from a blog post.” Let me start by stating the obvious, there is a clear ROI to writing compelling blog content and it is dramatically larger than sitting reading the daily news on your computer. When you write content, it can market for you while you sleep. Each hour you bill, you can only charge for a single hour, but your content lives on and continues to be found through Google searches and social media shares for years to come.

4. Blogging regularly has a cumulative effect

Have you ever made a snowman? Remember how with each revolution the snowball you are rolling gets exponentially larger? Blogging is kind of like that. Your first blog post is unlikely to make an impact on your reputation or on your book of business, but as you continue to blog regularly you not only start to attract regular readers but your blog posts begin to be indexed for more and more search terms. In practical terms, this means that there are more and more paths that potential clients can follow to find you. I’ve met a number of bloggers who have brought in large seven-figure matters through blogging, but I’ve never met someone who landed business of that nature in their first week or month. It takes time. So get started now.

5. Blogging keeps you in the game

Sharks are interesting creatures. Did you know that if they stop swimming, they sink? (Please forgive the shark analogy.) Lawyers and other professionals need to keep moving to stay relevant. Even if you aren’t working a major deal right now, you can still be visible and gain recognition for your insights so that when the time comes, you are top of mind with your potential clients and referrals sources. Will people think work is slow for you if you start blogging? NO! They have to think of you at all first. Most professionals don’t have a problem that people think poorly of them. The far bigger problem is that you aren’t top-of-mind in the first place. Blogging can help you get there and stay there.

For me, blogging helped me bring in my first client as a lawyer. Your results may vary, but if you’ve never blogged before, take a chance. What do you have to lose? If you don’t have your own blog, write up an article using LinkedIn publishing. Writing your first article is as simple as going to the homepage of LinkedIn, and in the top middle box click on “Write a Post.” It’s that easy. Just because work is slow, doesn’t mean you need to waste your days. You may be just a few posts away from your next big break, so get out thereĀ and start writing.

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