Lawyers have blogged since the dawn of the web – and it’s not hard to see why. Writing has always been an important part of the legal profession, and with the advent of the Internet, blogs have provided lawyers with an important way to use their writing to connect with clients and share expertise.
For attorneys who write memos and legal documents rather than clickbait-esque listicles, starting a lawyer blog can feel like an impossible challenge. However, blogging is not an inherently elusive art, but rather a skill that develops over time. If you take steps to improve your web writing expertise, you will become a skilled blogger in no time.
Ready to dive into the wonderful world of blogging for lawyers? Here’s what you need to know.
Why start a lawyer blog?
These days, it seems like almost every legal and illegitimate website you can find has its own blog. Why this? It all depends on a couple of main reasons:
Digital Marketing: Modern websites live or die from their search engine optimization (SEO). A regularly updated blog is an important tool for ranking high on Google and other search engines and driving more traffic to your business.
Audience loyalty: Your customers likely spend a majority of their day online. So building a solid digital presence with a lawyer blog can provide them with an easy way to keep in touch with you.
Make a name for yourself: Many law firms live or die because of their reputations in the field. Writing an authoritative blog can help position your law firm as a trusted member of the legal community.
These are just a few reasons why more and more lawyers are daring to write their own blogs. When you’re ready to join the crowd, keep these tips in mind.
Know your audience
Before you put the pen down on paper (or rather your fingers on the keyboard), ask yourself who you are writing for. Are you addressing fellow lawyers with a complex legal understanding or do you want to educate a wider audience? Are you planning to answer general questions or delve deep into complicated problems related to your particular area of expertise?
Knowing about your audience will impact every facet of writing and managing your blog. For example, if you’re hoping to appeal to a wide audience, your average reader will likely run for help relying on complicated legal texts. In the meantime, the more educated audience will get bored or frustrated if things are kept too simple. Identifying a specific demographic before starting your blog can help you focus your posts on success.
Understanding your readers will not only help you find an appropriate tone, it will also allow you to select topics that will resonate with your target audience. You may want to publish an in-depth analysis of an obscure case to interest other lawyers, but if you want to target uninformed readers, for example, you can choose to blog about general legal issues that people may have in certain scenarios.
Choose depth rather than width bread
If you’re trying to target the broadest possible audience, you might be tempted to post on as many different topics as possible to appeal to a broad readership. However, the reverse approach is far more reliable. Don’t scatter your blog topics; Instead, choose the most specific niche you can.
Instead of just blogging about business law, real estate law, or immigration law, focus on your specific region. Some of the most successful law firm blogs focus solely on topics related to their local communities, posting posts on real estate law in Arizona or family law in Harris County, Texas.
You may not attract that many global readers if you keep that regional focus with your blog, but the readers you attract are likely to be a lot more engaged with your content – which is ultimately the most important factor.
Keep it short
Legal professionals are no stranger to extensive writing projects. Fortunately, blogging doesn’t have to be one of them. Many powerful blogs are around 2,000 words long, but many are even shorter.
However, one fact remains the same for most digital audiences: web users don’t have long attention spans. Don’t be surprised if many readers hardly skim the headings and bullet points of your elaborately designed blog post. That’s why it’s always a good idea to strike a balance between scope and conciseness in your law firm blog: Write posts that are long enough to provide in-depth information without getting too long to overwhelm the reader .
Additionally, you can make your blogs reader-friendly by breaking them up into short sections and keeping paragraphs short. Don’t overwhelm your reader with walls of text; Instead, consider using lots of short, three- or four-sentence paragraphs, headings and bullets, or numbered lists to make things easy to digest.
Make a schedule and stick to it
While targeting a specific audience and writing engaging content are essential to creating successful posts, blogging for lawyers often boils down to one important ingredient: consistency. If you post two blogs in a week and then don’t update your page for two months, you will have a hard time getting a lot of readers.
While you don’t have to post blogs on the same exact schedule all year round, it’s good to stick to a general routine. For example, you can try to publish one article every two weeks, four articles a month, or a new post every Thursday. The exact schedule doesn’t matter – just make sure you have enough posts to keep your readers busy with your blog.
Think about SEO
Your focus should always be on your reader when writing a blog, but it’s still important to consider SEO. Simply sprinkling your target keywords into your text or encouraging other law firm blogs to link to your website can improve your search engine rankings and make your job easier to find.
As with the rest of your blog content, make sure your SEO strategy uses niche and specially tailored keywords that will help you rank high with your target audience. Also, consider using metric tools like Google Analytics to track traffic to your website and see if your current strategy is working.
Blogging for lawyers enables lawyers of all disciplines and experiences to share their knowledge and connect with their audiences on a deeper level. Take these tips into account and your law firm blog will be on the road to success.