As I’ve discussed in previous posts, lawyers who blog for their law firm will have the upper hand when it comes to building their business.
But even if you recognize how important blogging is to your law firm’s success, you may be wondering:
- How often do I need to produce content for my blog?
- Is just having a blog enough?
- Does the frequency of my posting really matter?
- What kind of content do I need to be posting?
In this post, I’ll discuss the purpose of blogging for your law firm and how that factors into how often you should be contributing content.
Legal Blogging The Right Way
You can find blogs all over the place…but what’s the point of a blog, anyway? If you had to answer that question on the spot, what might your answer be?
- To write pieces that advertise and promote your firm.
- To attract as much traffic as possible to your website.
- To post some content sprinkled with a few keywords that will be picked up by search engines.
The point of blogging isn’t any of these things; at least, not where legal blogging is concerned. However, it’s easy to see why the purpose of blogging can confuse people — lawyers, especially. After all, blogging isn’t exactly the thing that gets your job done. Nonetheless, blogging the right way — and often — can open up myriad opportunities for you to do your job more often, and on a much grander scale. Blogging can solidify the credibility and reputation of your firm, all while increasing your visibility on the web and attracting the right kind of traffic. Done correctly, blogging can help boost your business.
Blogs that speak for themselves: That’s to say, blogging isn’t about writing overt advertisements — but well-written, educational blogs become indirect advertisements for your firm. They’re pieces that establish your authority as a lawyer. Furthermore, by posting original, creative content, your site not only gets indexed by search engines but also creates an opportunity to for others to post your content on social media, which again increases your firm’s exposure.
Not a numbers game: The business your blog pulls in doesn’t vary directly with how much traffic that blog receives. However, blogging more often does mean that you’ll have an opportunity to improve your search rankings and attract more traffic in general. As a lawyer, blogging isn’t about attracting as much traffic as you can, but rather, attracting the right kind of traffic — potential clients that are in need of your legal counsel.
“Where’s the beef?” The content you produce should be neither mediocre nor there for the purpose of adding keywords haphazardly or excessively to increase your search engine ranking. While you might attract traffic that way, people will feel as irritated as the lady in that 1984 Wendy’s commercial when they realize there’s no meat to your blog.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal injury lawyer. Someone who’s been injured in an accident is curious about how to collect lost wages after an accident. If they come upon your site because you’ve led them there under false pretenses — and they discover the information they’re looking for is nowhere to be found — you’ve missed an opportunity to educate a potential client and create an inbound lead (that is, a potential client that contacts your law firm after visiting your website.)
If you can’t think of anything to say… Don’t lift content from another blog. Using ideas and content from other legal websites and showcasing it as your own is bad news. If you have a similar idea to another blog and write your own content with your own ideas, that’s one thing. But whether you’re short on time or ideas, don’t copy and paste someone else’s work as your own. Even if you don’t copy their work word for word, you run the risk of being considered a plagiarist — and that puts you in a position where your credibility is at stake.
Knowing how often you should blog comes down to understanding why you should be blogging in the first place. To recap, the purpose of your blog is to:
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the law and your skills as a writer through meaningful blog posts
- Develop and improve your reputation and credibility as an excellent lawyer by providing readers with educational content
- Encourage your readers to engage with the content you provide them, as well as to engage with your law firm
Now, with these concepts in mind, let’s move on to how often you should be adding new content.
How Often Do Lawyers Need To Blog?
Blogging has a direct effect on law firm website traffic.
99% of all private practice law firms have between 1 and 10 lawyers. According to one study, companies of this size that publish 11 or more blog entries per month do much better than companies that publish fewer posts. In fact, they did 3 times better than companies that posted 1 or fewer times per month, and 2 times better than companies posting up to 5 times a month. That data is very much supported by my observations and experiences.
The study found a steep increase in number of inbound leads (leads that contact the business). The more blog posts, the more leads. My experience is that this is also directly translatable to law firms.
The bottom line, and something that we have seen proven tree repeatedly, is that the more lawyers blog the better they do in terms of generating new business. In fact, being an active and thoughtful blogger is the best thing that a lawyer can do for his or her law firm.
One of the most common questions we get here at LawLytics is directly related to the header just above this sentence.
“Why isn’t my SEO strategy working?”
One of the best answers to that question is this:
Infrequent blogging. (And/or infrequent publishing of substantive content.)
Honestly, there are no magic solutions or tricks here. One of the best ways to improve your search engine ranking is to put good content on your blog, and to publish that content on a regular basis. Whether it’s one or two posts every day, or posting several times a week, you’ll need to provide content habitually. If it seems a little daunting right now, just remember: as with any new skill, the more you participate in your blog, the more it will become a habit and the more you’ll enjoy contributing to it.
If you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of blogging, you’ll want to do two things:
- Find a place to keep your blog ideas (It doesn’t have to be fancy; I often use scratch paper, Post-It notes, old receipts if I’m in a pinch…)
- Make yourself a regular blogging schedule.
Attorneys who take the time to put out educational, relevant content on a routine schedule — and stick with it — see results that transfer back to their law firm. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean one blog a month.
I know — the thought of adding one more thing to your plate seems absolutely crazy. Exactly how much time are you going to have to commit to this thing? Who in the world has time to write blog posts when you have a mountain of papers on your desk you can’t even see over?
If you can commit to fifteen minutes a day, you can keep a blog. Here’s a couple quick tips to get you started.
Blogging Tips For Attorneys
Write your schedule and stick to it. If you’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution to go to the gym three times a week, but found yourself making excuses when it came time to throw on your running shoes, then you know that two things happened: You didn’t keep to your schedule, and therefore, you likely didn’t see any improvement in your physical fitness. Blogging works the same way in terms of commitment and in terms of exercise — for your brain, that is. Ever feel exhausted when you go for a run after a long exercise hiatus? Yet, if you commit to just a couple of those runs, they get easier and easier each time you do them. By regularly committing to your blog, writing posts — and coming up with ideas — will get easier each time. All of those small acts add up to a big difference for your business.
Make small commitments, first. Promise yourself that, several times a week, you’ll pick a blog post idea, sit down at your computer, and write for fifteen minutes. That’s it. By doing this, you’ll discover a few things. A) You can write a blog post faster than you think and B) By making a small, manageable time commitment, you’ll take the pressure off yourself and find that you may want to sit down and write for longer! And even if you don’t, guess what? You’ve still put in work on your blog today.
A side note: When people commit to a gym schedule, they generally don’t try to do ten other things while they’re running on the treadmill or lifting weights. Same goes for your blogging time. When you commit to fifteen minutes, really commit. Make sure your workspace is distraction-free. Whether you need to close the door to your office, turn off your phone, or have the kids play in the yard while you get your work done, make sure that time is focused solely on blog production.
When you have ideas, write them down. Ideas for blog posts strike me at all sorts of times — at the office, while I’m folding laundry, or even while I’m brushing my teeth before bed. Don’t promise yourself that you’ll write that idea down later. Do it now, because something will inevitably distract you and you’ll forget it. That’s the reason it’s so vital to keep a safe place for your ideas; you’ll have them at the ready when it comes time to blog, which means you won’t be cutting into your fifteen blog-appointed minutes trying to remember what you’d thought up earlier. Furthermore, you’ll be able to compare those ideas to new blog posts to ensure that you’re not repeating any content.
Feeling like you’re not sure what to write about? Check out my post on law firm blog topics that clients will read.
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