I hate blogging. Don’t ask me to blog, because I never will.” That’s how the first conversation started with a new client of mine back in 2014. My response to her was: “You don’t have to blog if you don’t want to. There are many other ways you can market your practice.” I then wrote and published a blog about several other ways to market a practice besides blogging. True to her words, she never did write a blog, nor did I ask her to.
Blogging—writing an article and publishing it on your website—is not for everyone. But, if you love to write, and if you understand how to write for your audience, to break down complex legal concepts into terms a lay person can easily understand, blogging could be an excellent choice for your marketing mix.
Blogging helps you accomplish several marketing objectives at once. First, if you blog consistently and post these blogs on your website, you’ll create a content-rich website potential clients will love. Prospective clients visiting your site should be able to find answers to many of their general questions. You want to give them enough so they feel you are a credible expert in your practice area and a trusted advisor with whom they can feel comfortable discussing the particulars of their case.
Search engines like Google will love it, too, when you blog frequently and consistently, because when you do, you’ll repeatedly and naturally use top keywords and phrases within your firm’s areas of expertise. Search engines tend to give higher ranking to sites with your preferred keywords when the sites are organically populated with them (as opposed to “stuffing” keywords into a site just to get it to rank).
Also, Google and other search engines tend to favor sites that 1) have a significant amount of content on the topic about which the site authors purport to be experts, 2) publish new content frequently, and 3) publish new content in a consistent, predictable
manner. All these factors tell the search engine algorithm the site is legitimate, authoritative, and likely to be around for a long time.
In addition to serving as a rich resource for prospective clients who find your content through searches, and as a determining factor in high page rank, blogs, when shared on social media sites or sent out to your email list, also help attract traffic back to your site.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: You write a blog and publish it to your website.
Step 2: You write a status update on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or other social sites, with a link to your blog on your website.
Step 3: You share the first part of the blog in an e-mail to your past and current clients, with enough content to entice them to read the entire article and a link to the full article on your website.
Step 4: You republish the blog on other authority websites (where permitted) as a guest blogger with a bio that links back to your website.
Step 5: You repurpose the blog content into other formats (think: video) and share that liberally as well.
You could even take it further by turning your most popular blogs into sponsored (paid) content on various social media sites. This, theoretically at least, will boost your blog’s exposure thereby driving even more traffic back to your website.
Pair well-written blogs shared in multiple places and attracting traffic back to your website with a lead-generating website designed to make it easy for prospective clients to call you when they need help, and you have a winning marketing mix.
There are, however, some drawbacks to blogging for lawyers. Here are a few:
1. Blogging for marketing purposes is different from blogging as a form of personal expression. Lawyers who do not understand the difference could wind up in hot water with the Bar rather quickly. Know your state Bar’s rules on advertising, solicitation and what you can and can’t do with regard to blogging.
2. The most effective blogging strategies start with a content plan, which includes the topics you’ll write about, when they’ll be published, who will write them, how long they’ll be, and where, how and how frequently they’ll be shared.
3. Blog writing must be straightforward, without jargon and legalese. Many attorneys write as though they are writing to other lawyers and judges instead of writing for their prospective clients. Just because you are a good legal writer, does not mean you will be a good blog writer. It’s important to understand that writing a blog is as different from writing a legal brief as it is from writing a short fiction story.
4. Legal blogging is not easily outsourced to non-lawyers. Attorney clients who have hired me in the past to write their blogs have done so because I am an attorney as well. They do not need to explain to me legal ethics and rules, nor do they need to explain the law. Some have told me about hiring non-lawyer writers and made statements like, “By the time I explained the law to them, I could have just written it myself.” I no longer write blogs for other lawyers, but there are many, many lawyers who do. Seek and ye shall find them.
5. Consistency is key to blogging, and that can be difficult for busy attorneys who may start blogging when they have “down time,” but then can’t keep it up as their schedules get more hectic. One of the best solutions for this is to create a blogging bank where you write several articles at once and then set up an automated system to trickle them out over time.
If you love writing, you are good at it, or you have other people in your firm who are good at it, then blogging may be for you. Better yet, as soon as you can, outsource it to a qualified, experienced legal blog writer. The benefits are worth the effort to explore this as an option for your marketing mix.
SHOULD I ADD BLOGGING TO MY MARKETING MIX? KEY CONSIDERATIONS:
* Do I like to write?
* Am I a good writer and can I learn the blog-writing style?
* Am I willing to create and implement a blogging plan?
* Do I have a plan for continuing to implement the blogging plan when I get busy?
* Are there other people in my firm who can help with blogging?
* Can I outsource blog writing and posting to a qualified legal blog writer?
* Am I willing to commit to this process for an extended period of time?
* Do I understand how to implement and automate blog publishing and sharing?
* Do I have time to supervise and monitor the process if I do outsource it?
I want to help you create a powerful, life-changing plan for 2019 and beyond. Let’s chat about your goals and how I can support you. Click here to schedule the first available time to speak with me.