Law firm blogging is a popular topic, and for good reason: When it’s done well, it can help you develop your reputation as a thought leader, capitalize on the discussion surrounding current events, and drive more traffic to your law firm’s website.
However, blogs generally only work well if you take a strategic approach with them.
Here are three common mistakes we’ve seen with law firm blogging.
Law firm blogging mistake: Infrequent blogging
An unattended law firm blog won’t help you improve your content marketing. Worse, a dormant blog will likely look bad to a potential client who stumbles across it.
New content on your law firm’s blog can signal to search engines that your website continues to offer fresh information — it also gives search engines more reason to return to your site to add new pages to its index.
Fresh content is good for your readership, too — blogging is an opportunity to develop your online persona and become a thought leader (more on that when we discuss value-added analysis below).
But what message does infrequent blogging send to someone who finds your website?
When a potential client or referral source visits your blog and sees that the content has a recent date, it looks good. It means that the blog is being tended to and that it’s likely covering relevant topics.
If a potential client or referral source sees that the most recent post is from last year or even earlier, they may think that this blog is out of date and unattended. It may make them think it’s not useful, and it can send a message that the website — as a whole — may be less well attended.
It’s possible that the reason why your blog hasn’t been recently updated is that you’re busy, but that’s not always the message that it sends to clients who don’t know you well.
Law firm blogging mistake: Lack of value-added analysis
Blogs are meant to add to the online conversation. You should use your law firm’s blog to develop your online voice and your reputation as a thought leader.
Unfortunately, many times we see blog posts that fail to add any meaningful analysis to a topic or are little more than recaps of a news story, for example.
In some cases — these posts describe a news story in a way that is likely to be a turn-off to potential clients. (Criminal defense blogs are where we see this problem most frequently because news stories about DUI arrests, domestic violence, and sex crimes are not usually written with a sympathetic angle toward the accused.)
Keep in mind that your potential clients or referral sources can find news stories almost anywhere, especially in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. What they’ll want to see on your blog is your in-depth, unique take on a particular topic.
For more on this topic, see: “Attorneys, Are You Blogging Against Your Best Interest?”
If you decide to write a blog post that analyzes a recent news story, don’t feel confined to writing about news in your jurisdiction alone — you can basically write about news happening anywhere, so long as it’s relevant to your practice area(s), you’re able to connect it back to the jurisdiction where you practice, and it provides information that would be valuable to a potential client who could potentially hire you.
For example, maybe another state recently passed ‘Ban the Box’ legislation. You might write a story about that. If your state doesn’t have a ‘Ban the Box’ law, let your readers know this and explain what someone with a criminal history has to disclose in your state.
As another example, in the past few years, Utah made changes to their DUI laws — Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law that lowers the DUI limit from a BAC of 0.08 to 0.05.
When this news was more recent, a DUI attorney in another state could easily write a piece explaining the recent changes and discuss the potential consequences of these changes — as well as discussing the changes in the context of the current laws in your practice location.
Let’s say you’re in Washington State — try answering a question like “What do you think this would mean for Seattleites if Washington State were to pass a similar law?”
Law firm blogging mistake: Failure to publish blogs in a strategic way
Blogging can be a powerful tool for your law firm, but it needs to be approached in a strategic fashion.
When your law firm’s website is brand new, it generally makes sense to develop your evergreen pages (practice area pages and detailed law pages) first prior to switching gears into an aggressive blogging strategy.
It usually makes sense to focus on developing a sizable number of evergreen pages that you can link between, as well as linking back to these pages on your blogs. As a rule of thumb, we often suggest that if you’re blogging about a topic, it’s a good idea to have at least one relevant and related evergreen page that you can link back to. That way, you’re providing your readers with additional information that can keep them on your website longer and give them more options for how to engage with your firm.
For more on the relationship between evergreen pages and blog posts, listen to our podcast episode: “Strategies For Writing Law Firm Evergreen Pages & Blog Posts.”
Learn more about law firm blogging the right way
For more information on how blogging can heighten your online profile and drive more traffic to your law firm’s website, see the following blog posts: