Do I Need A Content Calendar?

This blog, honestly, is a little self-indulgent.

It’s me. To use the words of Donald Miller in the great book Building a StoryBrand, I’m making myself the hero. The center. I’m the protagonist, and that makes me cringe.

Particularly because I just read this little gem from Epictetus:

In public avoid talking often and excessively about your accomplishments and dangers, for however much you enjoy recounting your dangers, it’s not so pleasant for others to hear about your affairs.

Harsh, old dead philosopher guy. Really harsh.

And yet, I believe in documenting your progress. I constantly tell lawyers to Be Yourself, Loudly. This journey I’m taking will be helpful to some, and one day I can use it to craft a more in-depth story in a format like a book. For now, it’s blog-as-journal, and that has value.

My law firm blog, however, I’m not so sure.

I’m leaning toward a different approach, based on creating a robust content calendar with fewer large writing projects. And I don’t know if it will work.

The Blog Authority Says…

Kevin O’Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs is obviously the authority on this sort of thing. Somehow he’s made a career out of telling lawyers to write stuff, because he’s still getting resistance. Decades after the internet took over the world, Kevin still has to tell us to create.

So I went to his blog for advice on how to ensure I create quality content. Here’s his take:

I am not sure that an editorial calendar is helpful for a law blog. In many cases an editorial calendar can even be counterproductive.

In short, he says creating constraints like a calendar can dampen a writer’s passion, and that passion is what keeps a blog alive and relevant.

Definitely read Kevin’s post. He lists a bunch of points to consider on this issue, and they’re worth a read.

Here’s My Take…

I posted thoughts about this on Twitter earlier, so let me repeat myself here.

I’m inclined to write whatever moves me on a given day, as Kevin mentioned in his post. Inasmuch as blogging requires passion, I think he’s right that we shouldn’t build too many constraints, esp w a team that’s not made up of passionate bloggers.

However, a content calendar might keep me from rambling out a bunch of words just to say that I am writing. I’m battling the old blog-as-journal approach, thinking readers may prefer that I spend more time on big writing projects. Especially because my law blog is not about a journey I am on, but the journey my client is on.

My law blog must have my client at the center, and I don’t think they’re too interesting in my daily thoughts. If they are, Twitter would be the better landing place. It might scare them off of ever hiring me (money and politics and basketball, oh my), but that’s where I ramble.

Words And Meaning, Both

Here’s a possible middle solution I’m working on today: use a Feedly/Zapier/Wordpress integration to get current events out with a little bit of commentary. Feedly will give me an article that sparks my brain, then put a post draft onto WordPress. All I then have to do is read the article and put a few lines of commentary on.

Without the pressure to write a passion-driven post, I can then spend the bulk of my time on planned, larger content pieces. The “Ultimate Guide To X” pieces that clients land on. I’m thinking that might better check both boxes.

Balance The Purposes

I do think a words-focused blog is helpful, because clients come in through whatever Q&A piece they’re seeking, but I’m thinking authority and empathy are better communicated through bigger projects.

Don’t feel too guilty about hiring out for words you don’t want to write, but make sure your site actively answers the questions of prospective clients.

Once the prospective client is there, however, your task is to communicate empathy and authority. Ask yourself how best to accomplish that. Your answer will form the basis of a quality content calendar, if that is helpful to keep you on track.

I think it’ll help me.

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