We have built successful lawyer blogs. However, before we will start creating the blog, we question the attorney about what he or she expects from the blog. Is the blog expected to generate revenue? Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader? Is the blog meant to drive traffic to your website? Are the goals, all of the above? The answers to these questions are important.
Know your expectations
There is no reason to start a blog if the expectations are not clear going into it. Also, having an effective blog will take some effort in keeping it up to date and relevant. You should know what to expect before investing your time and energy.
To add a bit of context to the above comments, when we explain to how a blog can bring in revenue to a client, right away the client wants to do it. For example, one lawyer with a high-end bankruptcy practice, wanted to start a blog to “get clients.” We analyzed from where his business came. His book grew from referrals from other lawyers, accountants and business consultants. Clearly a blog would not drive revenue to this kind of practice. In fact, a blog may be counterproductive in this instance. He was not interested in representing individuals in bankruptcy matters. He was also not interested in using a blog to become a thought leader. In the end, he passed. We were able to save him time and money.
Know your audience
So, if the above questions are answered and expectations are understood, what’s next? We say, identify your audience. Who are you writing for? This is an important consideration because it will help you determine what kind of content that you want to produce. It will also dictate how the content should be written. There is an art to writing content that is relevant and will also rank high on Google search results. The later could be a week-long symposium.
So, we will forgo that discussion for now. As far as your content being relevant, you really need to know your audience. The best and most using blogs are those that will answer a specific question that your audience may have. Another good blog will offer solutions to some problem. A long-winded legal essay is not a good blog. Nor, is one to simply show how smart you are. Shameless plug, we spend much time making blogs both relevant and SEO friendly.
As far as knowing your audience, we recommend that your blog have as narrow focus as possible. For example, a legal blog on health care law seems very broad to us. A blog to doctors or hospital staff is more focused and be more relevant to that audience. Make sense? Think about what industry niche you will focus on. Or, what legal specialty do you want to promote. The narrower, the better. Just make sure that there if enough things to write about.
Know your local rules for Professional Conduct. In some jurisdictions, they must be labeled as “attorney advertising” and require other disclaimers. Also, do not divulge confidential information in your lawyer blogs. Lastly, while your lawyer blogs should answer questions and offer solutions, be careful not to provide specific legal advice. That is a major no-no.
Ready to blog? If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.