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When it comes to blogging for lawyers, most attorneys I know have LOTS of questions:
Does my law firm need a blog?
Should I be blogging every day?
What if I don’t have time to write?
The list goes on and on. I know, because whenever we onboard a new law firm or attorney for marketing services those questions always pop up.
Well, you’re in luck. Below you’ll find the answer to all these questions and more, including:
- Why your law firm needs a blog
- How your law firm can increase leads and new clients with blogging
- Law firm blogging tips and trade secrets from the pros
- Where to find law firm blog ideas on your own
- What to do if you just don’t have the time and energy to put into a blog
Does My Law Firm Need a Blog?
Yes, if you have a law firm, you need a blog, for three reasons:
- A blog increases leads and new clients
- A blog helps you retain existing clients
- A blog helps differentiate you from your competitors
How Writing Legal Blogs Helps Increase Leads and New Clients
Blogging for lawyers is a great way to increase new clients. Not only does it highlight your prowess and authority, but it increases the chances that people will find your firm (and hire you for your services).
Websites with blogs are 434% more likely to rank on the first page of Google‐however, Google and other search engines don’t rank websites, they rank web pages. Each blog is another opportunity for you to catch the attention of someone in need of legal services.
When people have legal issues, they have nothing but questions. Where do people go when they have questions they need answered?
Online search engines. In fact, 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. Take a look at the images below. In the United States, here are more than 85,000 searches per month just for the two questions, “do I need a lawyer?” and “how much is a lawyer?” according to Google.
People ask Google and other search engines everything, from where to find a lawyer to how long it takes to get a settlement:
If these searchers aren’t getting the answers from your blog, they’re getting the answer from a competitor’s.
How Legal Advice Blogs Help You Retain Clients
Every client wants to know that their lawyer is the best one out there, and if they have the means, many won’t hesitate to switch mid-case if they feel they can get someone better.
A blog is one way to prevent that:
- It’s proof that an attorney is active in learning and sharing updated and new information
- It’s proof an attorney knows a lot about their field of law
- It’s proof the attorney cares enough about people to give away free advice and help others in any way they can
- It provides extra resources for clients throughout and after their cases—for example, someone in the middle of a divorce might benefit from a blog called “How to Handle School Drop-Offs During a Divorce”
How a Legal Blog Helps Differentiate You from Your Competitors
The final reason your law firm needs a blog is that it helps differentiate you from your competitors—if you can find your voice.
If you can get to the point in your writing where your blogs reflect your personality, it will go a long way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. A really good legal blog will be an extra way for potential clients to get to know you—without ever talking to you.
With a legal blog, website visitors will be able to get your take on legal issues, see how well you explain things to the average Jill, and see how passionate you are about your work.
Most people see lawyers as a bunch of sharks in suits—you know it, I know it; we all know it.
Having a blog is a way for you to break that stereotype and really put some personality into your practice. There is a flip side to this, though—if you write stiff, non-personalized blogs full of legal jargon it’s going to have the opposite effect. Many lawyers struggle writing for the average person, but there are ways to help make sure you’re writing in a way that will really connect with potential clients. Below, I’ll get more into how to find your voice and write in plain language.
How Often Should I be Blogging?
No, you don’t have to blog every day. Once a week should be fine for medium-sized law firms and once a month should be fine for small law firms, but remember—you get out what you put in.
What If I don’t have time to write my own Legal blogs?
If you don’t have time to write legal blogs, I’m not surprised, for two reasons:
- Most lawyers run at 120 mph, 25 hours a day, eight days a week. They barely have time to eat, let alone write a blog
- Most lawyers are used to writing legal documents or legal articles—a style of writing that is the complete opposite of blogging for the average Jill. Unless they’re in high-level federal, international, or corporate law, most lawyers will struggle to write content that their clients can easily understand and act on without putting in hours and hours of editing.
If that sounds like you, you need to hire a professional legal content writer or invest in legal content marketing services. Trust me—it will pay off in the long run.
A word of caution: if you go the freelancer route, vet your writers carefully. One wrong piece of advice can get you disbarred.
Law Firm Blogging Tips
1. Make Sure Your Legal Blog Can Be Found in Search Engines like Google
If you make a spectacular closing argument in an empty courtroom, does it have an impact on the outcome of the trial?
Similarly, if you write a spectacular law blog and nobody reads it, it won’t make a dent in your client acquisition and retention strategy.
To be sure people can find, read, and act on your blog, it needs to be found in search engines. Here’s an entire blog on law firm SEO that will tell you how to do it. Want someone to do it for you? We have lawyer SEO services that do just that.
2. Write your legal blogs in plain language
Chances are, you’ve read the Above the Law blog (oh, you haven’t? You’re welcome.).
I LOVE it. One reason is that I can clearly understand everything that’s going on. I’ll admit it—I have years of law firm writing and editing experience and it still takes me twice the time to read an ABA Litigation Magazine article.
Above the Law has NAILED the whole “writing in plain language” thing, and is a master at writing blogs and stories people want to read—regardless if they need legal services or not.
I’ll give you an example. Here’s an article on the blog I HAD to click and read:
I don’t care who you are, if you see that headline, you’re reading that article. Take a similar approach to your own field and your own practice.
Look, here’s a no-fail way to write a legal blog: pretend like you’re speaking to a jury or someone’s mom and literally write down what you would say.
3. on quality over quantity
Would you rather argue five cases and lose or argue one case and win?
That’s the attitude you need to have with your blogs. Google values quality over pretty much everything else, and they’ve gotten really, really good at picking out what constitutes as quality.
To learn more, we have an entire blog about quality content and how to create it.
4. The biggest law firm blogging tip? Have a purpose and a personality
You need to have a purpose for your blog. A big law firm blogging mistake is acting like a legal reporter—tacking up hasty blog posts about recent car accidents or legal cases in the area.
I hate to break it to you, but if someone is looking for advice or services for a DUI, they aren’t going to care about a health code statute the state just passed.
Think of your blog as a tree. The roots are your general field of law, and the trunk is your specialization. From there, you’ve got branches that serve as more detailed topics, getting more and more detailed the further out you go.
Think you want to write about something? Start at the roots. Is the topic you want to write about related to your general field of law? If so, move up to the trunk and ask if it’s related to your specialization and if it can fit on one of your branches. If so, Great! You’ve got the green light to write the blog. If not, it doesn’t belong on your tree.
Legal Blog Topics and Ideas (and Where to Find them On Your Own)
- Answer Legal FAQs
How long did it take you to learn as much as you know now about the law? Your clients are trying to learn the same things in a fraction of that time. Identify the frequently asked questions your clients want the answers to, and turn each one into multiple blog posts.
- Go Into Detail
While no two cases will ever be identical, there are many systems in place to streamline legal proceedings. You as an experienced lawyer know all the ins and out the system—so you can outline what the average person needs to know going into a case. Expand upon details about specific practice areas over multiple blog posts, effectively communicating the need-to-know details while maximizing your online real estate.
For example, create a series on how wrongful termination proceedings are conducted or how child custody is determined. Outlining this information will help your client understand what to expect and make them feel more comfortable from the get-go.
- Address Current Events
When a statute or law related to your field changes, people need to understand how it affects them. Stay on top of current events and update your blog with the latest news that might affect your clients. Please don’t go reporting on every new car crash if you’re a DUI lawyer. Your time is valuable and that would be a great way to waste it.
- Showcase Your Expertise
Anybody I’ve ever talked to that hired a lawyer have said they want the best representation possible. Prove you know what you’re doing by writing blogs in the form of case studies.
Case studies are a great way to establish trust with your site visitors. They enable you to showcase your success and explain your individual approach to your cases. They are a great deliverable to offer potential leads and can be capitalized upon for keywords as well. Site visitors can gain insight into your breadth of experience and create familiarity with the relevant legal proceedings, which in turn leads to a great foundation of trust.
- Make Yourself a Trusted Resource
Forget the complications of legal procedures; many people don’t know how to start when it comes to finding a lawyer. Outlining the process of finding a lawyer (or how to avoid hiring bad counsel!) shows site visitors that you want to help them before they even decide to hire you.
Where to Find Good Law Firm Blogging Topics and Keywords/Key Phrases (for Free)
There are multiple places to find good law firm blogging topics, but to make it easier for you I’ll distill it down to my three favorites:
- Keywords Everywhere
- Answer the Public
Keywords Everywhere is a free browser plugin that helps you find keywords related to specific searches. It’s a great tool to discover new law firm blogging topics because it also includes “people also search for” key phrases—which include related questions—as well as how many average monthly searches there are for each one. Here—I’ll show you:
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a favorite idea hub of most legal content writers I know. After landing on the website, you plug in a keyword, press Go, and on the wizard returns all the most commonly asked questions and phrases related to that keyword (provided by Bing and Google).
BuzzSumo is great to find those shareable topics that can get you attention online. It provides the top most-shared blogs in a specific time frame. It’s free, but to get an unlimited amount of suggestions and blogs you need to purchase the paid subscription.
Need Help with Blogging For Lawyers? We Got This.
Now that you’re armed with a plethora of ways to harness your legal blog lawyer, get to it! There is no bad time to start blogging to beef up your online presence. And if you don’t have time to do it yourself, consider outsourcing your blogs to a company that specializes in SEO for lawyers—like Blue Corona. Contact us today to learn more about a content marketing and SEO strategy for lawyers.
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About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's Digital Content Manager. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod