In-house legal marketing professionals know that legal blogging is important, and they are frustrated. Why you ask? There’s no easy way to get lawyers to blog. Yes, marketers can provide content ideas, ghostwrite and create editorial calendars. Yes, they can provide articles that prove that legal blogging works, but almost every lawyer will choose billable work over legal blogging – and why wouldn’t they? With billable targets and demanding clients, legal blogging is the furthest thing from their minds.
Anyone that knows me well will tell you that I love a good debate. In fact, my eyes light up when I hear a frustrated sigh regarding legal blogging. Here are some tips and information relating to legal blogging that just might inspire you:
1. A blog is a website with frequently updated content regarding one subject (practice area). For example, my blog is all about social media for law firms. You should only be writing content about your practice area. This makes it easier as your topics are narrowed down for you.
2. A blog post is 300 – 500 words and should include headlines and bulleted lists. These are not legal briefs. They are simple opinions and facts summarized in one article.
3. Blog posts are not legal briefs and you don’t need to spend a lot of time writing them. They don’t need to be perfect. Most in-house legal marketing staff would jump at the chance to correct grammar and proofread blog posts if the lawyers would just write them.
4. All you need to do is sit down and start. The perfect time will never arrive. It’s sort of like having a baby (okay a bit far fetched), there’s never really the perfect time to have one but once you get them, you don’t regret it – hopefully. When I started this blog three years ago, I was incredibly nervous about hitting publish but once I did, I never looked back.
5. Legal blogging is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from other lawyers. Let’s say Lawyer “A” is a family lawyer without a blog and “Lawyer B” has an informative blog all about Family Law, the pitfalls, how-to manuals, blog posts that relate to the reader, etc. When “Client XYZ” searches the Internet for a Family Lawyer, who will he or she pick? I still agree that referrals and word-of-mouth are number one, but come on, we Google everyone.
6. Numbers don’t lie. Law firms with legal blogs get more website traffic. It’s a simple fact. Google likes fresh, updated, relevant content. There is no reason not to blog; however, if you do start blogging, you must commit to doing it routinely.
I’m putting it all on the table. Check your Google Analytics for the past month and jot down your website hits. Start a blog and write a post each week. Share those posts on social media. In six months, check your traffic again. Record how many new clients you get and ask them how they found out about you. You’ll thank me!