Friday, September 28, 2007

Why Lightbulb Works - a case study in business blogging

Photo: Noric Dilanchian.

Ndarala member practice, Dilanchian Lawyers & Consultants of Sydney, has used it general web site and especially its blog to great effect. Noric Dilanchian supplied Des Walsh with a brief statement on the role of the Dilanchian blog. I am repeating it here because it is an interesting case study.

The Post

The Lightbulb blog on our website is 12 months old. That makes it a new born. Our website is five years old, which makes it ready for primary school. As for some of the writing in the Library section of our blog, it's about 18 years old, which means it is now adult content.

Making the baby blog a success among its siblings has required passionate stories, research notes, investigative reports and other types of writing. In shorthand, we call them posts, like everyone else. The rare post which works to generate client enquiries is heart-felt, has a logical structure, has an edge or smarts or even humour, provides practical advice and keeps it real for the specific audience we have in mind when we select the post's topic, title, style and positioning.

Being topical, controversial and prolific are not necessarily virtues when it comes to generating client enquiries from our Lightbulb blog. The effect of the rare post that works is to both capture and communicate our insights and capability as lawyers and consultants with decades of experience. Those posts engage prospects to explore our blog further. They make them go beyond one page. They make them check out the blog's siblings and read or scan between say 5 to 30 pages of our extensive website.

At a certain point, typically after browsing between 5 to 30 pages, some of our visitors turn into prospective clients when they are moved to call or email us with an enquiry. How we then respond to serve some as new clients, or refer them to others, is an important part of how we benefit from our blog.

Our broader web site content clearly helps our blog greatly. There are many lessons here.

Also essential is our consistent use of all the usual search engine optimisation habits and our regular monthly enewsletter. While digital media has made publishing and communication faster, easier and cheaper, to get to the best form of communication (which I believe to be theatre and conversation, that's particularly because both are interactive) you have to have something worth saying and a voice, ie an ability to communicate in an engaging way.

You have to add to all this your dedicated time, commitment, devotion to maintaining first rate publishing standards, energy and good karma. It's not something you can do on your own. Like all authors, it helps to have colleagues and friends who can help you in research, check your assumptions, and give you regular leads, feedback, technology ideas and editing suggestions.

Despite the huge effort it involves, I have found having a blog a very special experience. As intellectual property and business law specialists, we consider it a vital service to our clients to regularly scan or go over the horizon and report back to our clients to give them advanced guidance, all in language they can understand and media that engages them. A blog has added to the ways we achieve this.

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