This is the format of an ideal blog post. The most important part of writing an ideal blog post is to, you know, actually write it. Your thoughts are brilliant, I’m sure, but when you keep them within your head you miss out on the discussions that your ideas could generate, that could subsequently help shape your own thoughts further.

The topic can be anything – if you look at our Top 10 in Law Blogs posts you’ll see the subject matter ranges from cryptocurrency regulation to a monkey selfie lawsuit. Sometimes, if you’re having trouble narrowing down a focus, or want to generate more attention with your post, it can help to write about something current in the news.

Well-written blogs are clear, concise, and don’t take too long to get to the point. The cool thing about blog posts is that they can be as long as you want them to be, or as short as you want them to be; an amuse-bouche of insight, or an entree analysis . If your blog is on the LexBlog network, and you want it to be on the front page, it may be good to write at least 250 words for your posts. We’ll put shorter posts on the front page, too though, especially if they’re covering breaking news.

Other tips for creating an ideal blog post:

  • If you’re having trouble getting all your ideas to flow, go ahead and use some bullet points!
  • Always include some sort of title image – it will show up when you share your post on social media, and a number of social media studies have shown that you get better engagement when you include images.
  • Read over your draft before you publish – typos, or other minor grammatical errors take away from your good writing and ideas.

Last but not least, the biggest key to writing good blog posts? Be consistent. Writing blog posts, much like anything else, can become habitual, but at the beginning you’re going to need to make a concentrated effort to push yourself to write with regularity. That consistency is worth it, though, because it’s key in building up your blog and your personal brand.

Nowadays marketing professionals have countless tools to communicate with their audience. Everything from YouTube videos to podcasts to Facebook Live interviews and the list keeps growing. The ability to leverage this content into written form is quite valuable but historically has been a painfully slow and expensive process.

First, you send your files in. Then, you wait for a quote. After approving the price, you wait. Again. And after a few more days of waiting, your transcription finally arrives. This timeline is not always compatible with the need to share information quickly after an event. I’ve been waiting for a better solution.

Today, I heard about Temi. Temi claimed to take a high quality, low background noise audio files and transcribe them for you in less than 5 minutes… for $.10/minute. I couldn’t believe it. Any other tool I explored online was at least 10x the price of Temi and 144x slower on the turnaround. But they offered a free trial, so I gave it a spin.

And… wow!

In less than 2 minutes my 4-minute long audio clip was delivered to me with accuracy that was spot on. In the case that it wasn’t, they offer a simple tool to clean up any issues before exporting your files. Once again, technology is helping us to achieve things we once thought were not possible. Sure, this is a rather small achievement in the grand scheme of things. But to me, it makes all the difference in the world.

If there’s one strong takeaway from Patrick Fuller‘s presentation today, it’s that Artificial Intelligence is already disrupting the legal world. It’s up to legal marketers to make AI an opportunity. The most startling number Fuller shared was 360,000— that’s the number of hours of annual lawyer work saved by JP Morgan Chase’s software, “COIN.”

Fuller, Sr. Director of Legal Intelligence at ALM Intelligence, presented how AI is shaking things up during his west coast speaking tour with the Legal Marketing Association. However, rather than looking at AI as a threat, he showed how it could improve the quality of services provided to clients:

  • Use software to match up clients with the best-suited attorneys.
  • Understand what your clients want. From there, identify software that can automate certain production and deliver greater value to the client.
  • Find solutions that will free up lawyers from drudgery and allow them to focus on the work that matters most— solving complex problems and creating solutions for their clients.
  • Use software that will identify potential clients who will bring the most value to the firm. Hint: It’s not always the “obvious” choice.

It’s always an eye-opening experience to see things from our customers perspective. To understand what challenges they are facing and what opportunities we can help create for them. More than ever, that is through technology.

I’d say I’m pretty tech savvy (for a marketer), but from time to time I get stumped. Like the time I tried to install a fancy wifi system in my home. Tech support was summoned. So when I ran into an issue with our Live Chat widget yesterday, I figured it was me. Again.

We just rolled out a new feature for our customers on the Premier Managed Platform. Customers on Premier are managing multiple blogs with many email subscribers. In the past, a site administrator would have to visit each blog dashboard to receive their email subscriber lists. With this update, they can download all subscriber lists at once, saving a lot of time and effort.

I was excited to get the word out and used our Live Chat widget to pop up and alert users to the update while they were working on the dashboard. This form of communication can be great— the first time. The second, third and fourth time, however, is just annoying. We discovered quickly that the widget was popping up every time a user logged in, pretty much ruining my intent of communication.

When I reached out to tech support, I figured the problem had a simple solution. I was missing some step in setting up a proper trigger. But what we discovered was…a bug! And they’re still troubleshooting. Admittedly, I am kind of proud we discovered it.

I’m still waiting to hear if LexBlog will get our bug bounty. In the meantime, I am enjoying this moment until I inevitably cause a problem for myself that only tech support can solve.

Our Product Development team is always busy baking donuts, aka creating new products. Many of these products are feature enhancements to our digital publishing platform known as Apple Fritter. With all the effort that goes into creating some of these new features, sometimes customer adoption can be the biggest challenge.

When developing and then marketing a new feature, we often make assumptions about the best way to use a product and how it will best benefit our customers. But after a number of conversations, I learned that simply talking to them— hearing their daily challenges, individual strategies, how blogging fits into their big picture— that alone was one of the most valuable tools for understanding what our customers need next. Seth Godin famously said:

You don’t find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.

Last month, along with the help of our Director of Product, Jared Sulzdorf, we got on the phone and started asking our customers lots of questions. The fact that they took the time to offer their opinion alone was great. But the little nuggets of insight we received was even better. What did we hear consistently from customers?

  • Lawyers who make blogging a daily practice saw consistent, positive results.
  • Larger firms report on blog performance regularly, so having useful reporting tools is critical. Guides on making the most of the reporting tools are also very helpful.
  • There is value in networking among LexBlog authors— new bloggers are looking for mentors and seasoned bloggers are always willing to share their experiences and best practices.
  • Law firms are very busy (surprise!), so offering just 15 minutes to demonstrate a new tool in addition to support documents can go a long way to help out. For some folks, a quick demo is preferred over reading through a document.
  • Blog posts are often leveraged beyond the initial post— finding ways to give your article more legs is a value-add for writing.
  • Blogging shows its success in many ways beyond revenue. Firms reported referral work, media interviews, relationship building with clients, and positioning themselves as practice area experts among colleagues.

Now that we have received all this feedback, we can begin to implement new practices and communication to support the needs of our current customers and help new ones be better set up for success. Most importantly, I learned that this type of flow of communication should never stop.