How to Build a Legal Blog from the Ground Up
Blogging is one of the most straightforward ways to share your legal expertise, strengthen your reputation amongst peers and potential clients, and become a valuable resource to your community. Once you know basic SEO principles and have a writing schedule that you stick to, it can be fairly simple. You already have the expertise. Now, learn how to share it by creating an engaging, educational, and helpful legal blog.
Before All Else, Know Your Law Firm’s Target Market
Being an expert in your area of practice is one thing; effectively sharing that knowledge with your target market is another. One issue that legal professionals run into while blogging is failing to write to their audience. When writing to non-lawyers, avoid using legal language that lay people do not understand, cite sources in a way that does not interrupt the flow of your writing, and avoid an overly formal tone.
You already know who your target market is: your clients and potential referral sources. If your goal is to connect better with potential clients, write in a way that appeals to their needs and is easily readable. It is easy to write about complex, multifaceted issues in a technical and legally accurate manner, but it is an art form to write about those same topics in a way that a person with no legal background can digest.
If your target market is lawyers—as is the case when you rely primarily on other attorneys for referrals—feel free to write in a way that connects with other attorneys. Still, avoid jargon and make sure that your work is clear and concise, as unnecessary “filler” bogs down your writing and can lose readers.
Regardless of who you are marketing your blog to, make sure that your tone matches your branding as well as your intended audience. If you are not writing in a way that connects with your audience, the time you put into your blog will not pay off.
Top SEO Tips for Law Firm Blogs
Knowing just a handful of common SEO tricks and techniques is enough to get you started. As you expand your legal blog and spend more time using it as a marketing tool, you may wish to invest in marketing services that allow you to expand your reach. To begin, use these techniques in your writing:
Make the first 50 words pop. The first lines of your blog post are important for catching both readers’ and search engine robots’ attention. Increase your SEO score by including key terms in these first 50 words including your location and specialty area as well as the keywords for your article.
Take advantage of location-based keywords. Instead of targeting a phrase like “bankruptcy lawyer,” which is nearly impossible to rank for organically, use your city name and the names of neighboring cities to find people who are looking for specific local advice in your area of law.
Choose a handful of supporting keywords for each post. These are terms that have lower search volume than your main keywords, but are relevant to the main keywords. This casts a wider net with your piece.
Check the readability of your piece with online tools like WebFX. If your average visitors reads at a ninth grade level and your piece is written at a 12th grade level, you are losing potential readers.
Make use of links. Linking out to authority sources increases the authority of your blog post, and getting your post linked to by others boosts its trustworthiness. Be sure to link back to pages on your own website as well if you can.
Diversify Your Law Firm Blog Posts
This is a tough balance to strike. You want to be narrow enough that people know what type of topics to expect every time they visit your blog, but you also want to be diverse enough that people do not get bored. Mix up your content between evergreen topics and trending topics. Articles that are not contingent on timely topics bring in readers over years, while trending topics can bring big boosts of readers as they are relevant to current events. Both are necessary to maintain high traffic and get new eyes on your website.
In addition, consider diversifying blog post lengths. Data from HubSpot indicates that long-form posts perform best, with the target range being around 2,000 words. Still, if 200, 500, or 1000 words will suffice, padding it out to 2,000 words is a waste of your readers’ time. What this does mean is that you should spend considerable time crafting in-depth posts that answer questions and offer clear value to readers. The shorter posts can also be helpful when the point is clear and they are meant to be quickly read through.
Make Law Firm Blog Posts Engaging and Attractive
No one clicks on a blog post and wants to be hit with a wall of text. There are many ways you can make your posts easy to digest, attractive, and welcoming. Make use of subheadings and bold text within your posts, which not only break up your information, but signal important key topics to search robots. White space through paragraph breaks is a great way to increase readability of longer posts.
In addition, posts with relevant images get 94% more views than those without images. To avoid copyright issues, use royalty-free image sources like:
You can also create or commission infographics that sum up the main points of your post into an easy-to-share format.
The Power of Consistent Action
When you commit to blogging, commit fully with a realistic schedule. When lawyers begin blogs, they often plan on posting whenever their schedule allows. Unfortunately, this often translates into occasional posts or an empty blog. A blog that has not been updated for weeks or months tells potential clients that you may not be active, that you may be too busy for new clients, and that you may not even be in business anymore. By creating a consistent blog schedule, you can get into the habit of producing high-quality content and steadily increasing your readership each week.
Your legal blog could help you reach an entire new audience. From new professional connections to new clients, the benefits of a legal blog are endless.