There is a camp of purists on the web who argue that attorneys should always, and under all circumstances, write their own content for their law firm websites and blogs. In an ideal world, we agree. But in the real world, where balancing a practice with the business side of the law, while trying to maintain a quality of life… well, you see where I’m going with this.
Those who argue against proxy writing of online content point out that, if the attorney does not write their own website content, it lacks authenticity or that the content misleads readers into believing that content came directly from the attorney. Some argue that it’s unethical, and some assert that all lawyers are natural writers, or love writing, and should not only provide the content for their websites but should also enjoy doing so.
Each of these arguments contains logical and practical fallacies.
We’ve gone into greater detail about the ethics of ghostwriting in other pieces on our blog, so we won’t go into it here. But if you’re comfortable delegating the creation of a brief, proofreading it, and then signing your name onto it and submitting it to the court, the analogy is exactly the same when a ghostwriter is writing content for you.
In order to use a ghostwriter successfully, it comes down to:
- Delegating wisely
- Empowering people that will abide by the necessary ethics; and
- Keeping a level of editorial control that makes you feel comfortable saying that, as the attorney who’s responsible for the content on your website, you know what’s been published.
Why Attorneys Should Delegate Content To Ghostwriters
While you can always write your content yourself — and we encourage attorneys to do so when possible — there are also plenty of good reasons to delegate your content to a ghostwriter. Here are a few reasons worth considering.
Let the pros handle it
Professional content creators spend their time writing (at least they do here in our content department). With the time and experience available to them, a professional can do it better. If you’re in a situation where you don’t think that you’ll write content to the best of your ability, you may want to delegate that assignment to a professional. Any attorney can write content well if they put their mind to it and educate themselves — but if you don’t want to, or don’t have the time, or your time is better spent elsewhere, then a professional is a safe and sensible alternative.
Be aware of the opportunity costs of writing your own content
Writing your own content has an opportunity cost.
To illustrate this point, let’s look at how our content creation department evolved. When LawLytics first started, our early adopters were very excited about writing content. For the first time they had access a system that would not only allow them to easily publish optimized content to their own websites and blogs, but they had a support system to make sure they were doing it well.
Attorneys who use LawLytics to write their own content are remarkably successful and achieve astonishing results. As a byproduct of this success, they become busier in their practices with money-making activities. This presents a catch-22 for attorneys who want to sleep and have a work-life balance. They know that the content they are writing using LawLytics is fueling their success, but their success is preventing them from continuing to write.
In order to keep up the rewards cycle of writing content, many of our early adopters at LawLytics realized that in order to sustain the edge they got through content writing using LawLytics, they’d need to delegate that task to someone else. Our content creation department evolved out of that need.
Our CEO, Attorney Dan Jaffe, is a big proponent of attorneys who write their own content. “We love it when attorneys write their own content for as long as they possibly can. It ensures that they will succeed online, and helps them develop their online voice and persona. It also helps them understand the true value of content, so that they don’t overpay, or err on the side of buying cheap and ineffective content if they eventually decide to delegate.”
But the opportunity cost math should be carefully considered. If you are a new attorney, or just starting your practice, and you have more time than money, you should write your own content. If you are only billing 20 hours per week, you should be able to spend at least another 20 hours a week working on building your business. Content is a huge part of that, and, like it or not, in that situation, you are actually your least expensive option when it comes to content.
At LawLytics, we help attorneys understand the dynamics of self-generated versus delegated content so that our members can deploy the most efficient strategy at the appropriate times.
Hiring a pro can help you maintain a consistent publishing schedule
By choosing a professional writer that you can hold accountable, you maintain a consistent publishing schedule which ensures your website and blog won’t be neglected. We’ve seen plenty of law firm websites that have large bursts of content creation, especially on the blog — ten posts in a month, then the blog goes dormant for months or years. Content marketing isn’t optimally effective when you simply put some content on your blog and then quit. It works best with the consistent publication of posts that answer your clients’ questions in detail.
It’s easy to get enthusiastic about blogging for short periods of time, but it’s harder to sustain that enthusiasm over the long term. Persistence with blogging (and other forms of content creation on your law firm’s website) on a regular basis is what will get you ahead. If you pause your blogging efforts, your competition who isn’t pausing — a well-funded firm delegating their content to writers or an attorney fresh out of law school with all the time in the world to blog — will get ahead of you if you’re not adding content to your law firm’s website and blog regularly.
How LawLytics helps with content creation
At LawLytics, we work with attorneys to create content that will improve your web presence, answer your clients’ questions, and help you generate revenue for your firm. We can help you with substantive “evergreen” pages, blog content, and digital marketing collateral such as ebooks and email newsletters. We know that some attorneys love writing content, others don’t, and some simply don’t have the time. That’s why we allow you to participate in the process as much or as little as you’d like. To learn more about our content creation offerings, or discuss whether delegating content is a wise investment for your firm, schedule an appointment online, or give us a call.