A blogger's tale: the origins of the Free Movement blog
Free Movement A Bloggers Tale A Bloggers Tale
Statistics• 722,000 page views (c. 2,000 page views per day)• 356,000 visitors• 2 min 46 sec average visit duration, 2 pages viewed per visit on average• 21,500 unique visitors per month• 33,608 clicks to BAILII in 2012 alone• 1,560 email subscribers and 1,770 Twitter followers
Blogging beginnings• Pupilbog• Online therapy• Primitive software• Gained a following• Landed me in trouble...
All you need to know about me is that I’m a UK-basedimmigration lawyer.This blog is aimed at both lawyers and those with a morepersonal interest in immigration and asylum. I am aware at theoutset that these are two quite different audiences, and it may bethat I have to be more focussed in the future.My intention is that this blog will include a mix of news,immigration law gossip (it’s a small world, appropriately enough),commentary and signposts to events, resources, other websitesor developments. I also plan to include some advice andresource pages. The commentary will be written with an agenda: Ihaven’t got a perfectly formed world view or consistent ideologyon the subject of immigration and immigration control, but I dobelieve in minimum immigration controls and a liberal,progressive approach. One of my hopes for the blog is that it willhelp me reach a more coherent view.
Automation• Yahoo! Pipes• Google Feedburner• Twitter as content links• IFTTT
Clear aims• to help the editor and other contributors think through new developments and also• to provide updates, pointers and links for the benefit of other immigration lawyers• and for migrants researching their own position.
Authentic voice• Not necessarily your normal one• Humanises and engages• Provides interest to readers
Medium• Language, grammar, sentence structure, post length is all crucial• Style matters• Use of links and sources• Internet is a visual medium• Humour or at least humanity important
Building an audience• Write for your intended audience• Write regularly - at least twice a week• Comment on other peoples blogs• Be generous with your praise and links• Improve your offering
Dont do it unless...• You can write well and clearly• You have time and will continue to have time• Willingness to learn a bit about technical side• You are a weirdo / nerd / geek / suffer OCD / all of above
What did my blog ever do for me?• Original aims still being met• Platform• Profile• Cold, hard cash - not a lot!