I’ve been creating content on various platforms since 1997 my first website launched.
Back then, all I did was write a few paragraphs to describe each portion of my law practice – not tricky at all. But things kicked into high gear in 2004 when I started blogging and podcasting.
In 2005, creating content was easy because there were massive changes in the bankruptcy laws that everyone was trying to understand. The news was spouting a constant stream of headlines, and my colleagues and I were poring over the new bankruptcy laws in an effort to get a handle on how we were going to keep helping people once things changed.
In the years following, various news cycles have provided fodder for my blogging and podcasting efforts. And though student loan issues now consume so much of our time, there’s always a need to create content that matters to the real world.
Reddit, in case you’ve never visited, is an odd little world. Founded some years ago, it’s the most rudimentary of social networks in some ways yet fascinatingly complex on other levels.
Users submit stories, ask questions, or make a statement – just like other social networks. The difference, however, is that other users not only comment on the status update but also vote the submission up or down, giving it more or less prominence on the home page of Reddit.
Then there’s the home page it. Reddit, unlike other social networks, doesn’t have a single home page. Instead, there are hundreds of subreddits; these are separate areas of Reddit that focus on particular topics of interest.
The User Is The Key
Before looking at the Subreddits, it’s important to let you know about the users of Reddit.
Most of them are anonymous. That’s what sets Reddit apart from other social networks or even Q&A sites like Avvo (which you know I love).
When you’re anonymous, your true thoughts come out more freely. You’re not afraid of recrimination, and can speak your mind without worrying that someone else will find out your dirty little secrets (this, by the way, is one of the reasons why sites such as Whisper and apps like Secret are so popular).
In the context of content creation for your law firm, this is gold.
People are using the words they use in real life to describe their problems, and seeking honest advice from other people. Nobody has to reveal their name, age or background. They share information and commiserate with one another, all without social constraints.
Create Content Based On Questions
As I write this, the following questions and discussions are on a student loan Subreddit:
- My parents are trying to convince me that 100k-200k of debt is ok for an architecture major. I want to transfer abroad to a cheaper school.
- Do only payments made to FedLoan count towards PSLF?
- Student loan cosigner filed bankruptcy. Now my credit is trashed.
One of the reasons why people put these sorts of questions on Reddit is that they’re looking for unfiltered answers and haven’t had much success elsewhere.
And if one person has the question, like so do thousands of others.
If you go out and create a blog post, podcast, or video clip dealing with these questions you’ll be the one who answers the question, and the one who gets the traffic to your site.
A Note Of Caution Before Responding On Reddit
Reddit users are notoriously “no bullshit” sorts of folks. That means your legal answers may not be well received if your decide to respond on the site.
No promotion, no backpedalling, no “lawyer talk”, and no disclaimers are going to be taken lightly. The Reddit community is historically made of tech-aware 20-something males, which is a population that takes no prisoners and suffers no fools.
Feel like dropping a link to your website on Reddit as a way to get new visitors? Unless you’re a trusted member of the community with a long track record of being helpful and useful, don’t bother- you’ll get mocked, downvoted, possibly even thrown out of the community.
Handle With Care
Reddit can be a powerful platform as well as a fountain of blog and podcast fodder for your content creation efforts.
Used wisely, it’s an incredible tool. But if you misuse Reddit, you’ll find yourself facing the pointy end of a very sharp virtual stick.
Be careful, but don’t ignore it.