10 Blogging Tips for Your Law Firm
These days, that sweet grandma down the street probably blogs.
With so many voices chiming in on the Web, how can yours stand out?
More to the point, how can your blog pique the interest of your target audience? You can accomplish this by simply providing unique content that answers your prospective clients’ questions and builds up your firm as an authority.
Attracting interest in your law firm by offering useful information is the essence of inbound marketing; making it easy for people to find you and making your marketing appealing enough for them to convert. Content development is a prime inbound marketing component and there is no better place to test out the effectiveness of content than through a blog.
Here are ten blogging tips for your law firm:
1) Be You
Just as your law firm’s website design reflects your practice, so should your blog. If your brand is that of a serious litigator, you would not want to share humorous or carefree content on your blog. If your firm’s goal is to provide a listening ear to personal injury victims, you should steer away from hardball posts. Embody your personality and keep your blog content consistent with your brand. Perhaps you want to be an authority on court opinions from your state appellate courts. If so, you’ll want to post about the latest appellate rulings, as Millar & Mixon does.
2) Develop a Writing Voice
Since your blog is driven by the written word, it is through your words that you will make the strongest impression. Try to echo the way you talk, using phrases that are unique to you or language that reflects your education in your writing. A simple way to pinpoint your writing voice would be to write a mock blog post or a few paragraphs about why you are a lawyer. Then, get someone who knows you well to read the piece and ask them if the content “sounds” like you. If the answer is no, keep working at it. If yes, then congratulations! You’ve just discovered your writing voice.
3) Be Interesting
It goes without saying, but your posts should be worth reading! Your blog should not be a dry repetition of facts or, worse, a carbon copy of another post. Rather than simply reporting on a new law or verdict, write on the implications of that legislation or decision for your readers. Maybe you have a unique opinion on a legal trend, a knack for explaining legal matters or you have the opportunity to interview a mover and shaker in the field. Leverage such strengths and your blog will quickly become bookmark-worthy. Here’s an example from Texas lawyer Kevin Krist, who explored the dangers posed by kids operating personal watercraft.
4) Think Outside the Box
The struggle to find compelling material is a challenge all writers face sooner or later. If you find yourself in a downward spiral, it’s time to get more creative. Grab a few people in your practice and have a five-minute, intentional brainstorming session. You will be delighted with the results a quick, focused chat can bring. Also consider using tools such as Google Alerts to prompt ideas for upcoming posts.
5) Use, Don’t Abuse, Keywords
While you should thoughtfully employ targeted keywords in your blog posts, don’t overuse them. Unnaturally using keywords in your content, a black hat SEO tactic called keyword stuffing, is seen as manipulative and spammy by search engines. Research the keywords that are competitive for your practice area and use them naturally.
6) Stay in Your Niche
Don’t blog about everything. Not only will you be drained by trying to keep up too many industry changes, your readers will become confused and not certain of what they should expect from your blog. It is in your best interest to choose specific topics that are connected to your firm’s practice areas. There may be opportunities to blog outside of your niche, but you should choose those moments wisely.
7) Don’t Duplicate Content
Not only is copy and pasting someone else’s thoughts an act of plagiarism, it is duplicating content. Duplicate content will be penalized by search engines and can eventually cause your site to fall in rankings. Quoting portions of other blog posts (with appropriate links back to their site) is perfectly fine, when done in moderation. When in doubt, use your own wording.
8) Track Results
The devil may be in the details, but the profits are in the data. Use Google Analytics to track which of your posts are gaining the most traction. With this information, you will know exactly what kinds of material your readers prefer.
9) Feature Guest Posts
Do you have a mentor who has taught you much of what you know about being a lawyer? Or maybe you know someone who is an expert in matters concerning your practice area. Reach out to these industry connections for guest blogging opportunities.
10) Don’t Force It
If writing just does not come naturally to you, don’t force it. Play to your strengths. If you are an excellent litigator but a mediocre blogger, don’t feel as if you have to be someone you are not to succeed online. Honestly assess your abilities and your time obligations.