Suggestions for a New Contracts Blogger

Blog writing online on the internet blue computer keyboard But I want Contract Nerds to have a long and happy life, so I permit myself to offer some suggestions, from the perspective of someone who has been blogging for more than 14 years.

First, accept that blogs are nothing special. Occasionally you hear people wax lyrical about “the golden age” of law blogs. That refers to a period 15 or 20 years ago when blogging was rare enough that law bloggers visited each other’s blogs. Now, there are so many blogs that blogs are now just another source of information. I don’t visit other blogs unless I learn of a post that’s relevant to what I do.

Second, don’t expect much from comments. My blog posts used to prompt in-depth discussion. Now, I get comments only sporadically. My comments system has stopped alerting me when someone has commented, and I haven’t even bothered to fix it yet. Most of the action is now on Twitter and LinkedIn and, I gather, on Instagram and Facebook (I don’t frequent either of them): people prefer to speak up where their connections can see what they’re saying. But as a result, conversation has been dumbed-down—part of the decidedly mixed blessing that is social media.

Third, one shouldn’t expect to derive anything from blogging other than the opportunities it affords to develop your expertise. Don’t expect it to bring business. And don’t expect your readers to thank you, or do anything other than lurk. During what I call “the bathrobe-blogging years,” it often felt like I was throwing blog posts into the void.

Fourth, aim to post regularly. And the more you post, the more attention your blog will get. It was easy enough for me to keep cranking stuff out, as my main focus—how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract—involves countless details. Since my first post on 23 May 2006, I’ve averaged one blog post every five days—2,385 posts in total. In retrospect, that’s a little scary.

Fifth, decide what you want to blog about, and stick with that plan. As regards contracts, in addition to my subject, you could write about contract substance—what to say in a contract. I would have thought that would require picking particular kinds of deals to write about. You could also write about the negotiation and other parts of the contracts process. You could write about applying tech to contracts. You could write from the perspective of different organizations, or from the perspective of the different roles people play. You could write about career, education, and training. In short, there’s a lot to write about. I gather Nada plans to offer posts about all these subjects, through a mix of her own posts and guest posts.

And sixth, try to have fun. I still feel a little embarrassed that my idea of excitement is coming up with a new analysis of a bit of contract language or a new take on an issue facing the contracts community.

So I wish you all the best, Nada!

Author:
Ken Adams specializes in the building-blocks of contract language. Among other things, he’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (4th ed. 2017) and chief content officer of LegalSifter, an artificial intelligence company developing software to help with review of draft contracts. He blogs at www.adamsdrafting.com, where you can find information about him and his activities.
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