- Tatia Gordon-Troy
Blogging for Lawyers: Not for the Faint of Heart
Did you know that most people Google a legal issue before calling an attorney? That’s because people want to educate themselves first. They read articles, blogs, white papers, social media posts, and view videos looking for answers to their legal questions. And when they come across a particular attorney who seems to know what he or she is talking about and has provided content that relates to the readers’ problem, that’s when the phone calls come in.
Once you understand this cycle, you’ll know it is imperative that your law firm offer relevant content to quench the readers’ educational thirst and bring them one step closer to becoming a client.
Blogging is an instrumental part of providing educational, informative, and timely content to your would-be clients. But blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. It is not a quick-fix marketing strategy; in fact, there’s nothing quick about it. It can be tedious.
Many lawyers start off feeling energized with lots of topics to cover only to end up with writer’s block, falling behind on their postings, or simply tossing in the towel several weeks later.
No matter what area of law you practice, a blog can be beneficial when planned properly. It needs to reach the right audience at the right time. Here’s a crash course on things to consider before you start a blog:
Frequency. Blogs are expected to remain fresh, so posting a new article weekly is the minimum frequency for which you should aim.
Length. Good blog posts are at least 500 words and capture the reader’s attention by providing relevant advice or information.
Thought leadership. Blogs are your opportunity to display your expertise in a casual, unintimidating way. Use it to communicate changes in the law or expound on legal news topics to educate and inform.
Content. Leave out your latest speaking gig, attendance at a local event, or receipt of an award. These are great, but save them for the news and announcements section of your website.
Crosslinks. Include links in your blog articles to other content on your website to entice a visitor to explore your website and learn more about your firm.
Requests. Always include a request or call to action in your blog post, such as “contact us at [number or e-mail] to discuss your matter,” or “for more information, download our white paper on [said topic].”
Keywords and phrases. Include keywords and phrases that people are known to use when searching on Google to improve your page ranking and move you up the long list of search results. Although Google Keyword Planner isn’t free to use, try alternatives such as Google Trends and Google Suggest for some insight.
Social media. You will want as many eyes on your 500-word article as possible. A blog’s success is only as good as its social media distribution strategy. Blog posts to LinkedIn, Facebook, even Instagram, can reach your ideal client, or provide passive referrals from those who might provide your information to someone in need of your services.
Visibility. Bear in mind that although you are not blogging, other attorneys in your field are. A blog can help raise your visibility online from which you may derive many of your clients over time. It is an opportunity to remain competitive.
Burden. Don’t shoulder the burden alone. Recruit fellow practitioners or others in the legal field who can act as guest bloggers. Even consider outsourcing the task to a skilled freelancer to keep your blog fresh by ghost-writing articles for you.
Remember that blogs can become stale quickly. If you take the leap, be committed.