Starting a law blog (or blawg*) can be an exciting experience for any lawyer. A new shiny site, some great posts ready to go, an ‘at-a-boy from your firm for great initiative, and the desire to show the world you are the go-to-lawyer in your niche. Yet, like many blogging neophytes, there inevitably comes a point when the excitement fades and you can’t seem to figure out why you can’t grow your readership. What to do? Of course, there are the standard tips that have been well covered: use search engine keywords, share across social media platforms, enable RSS and email subscriptions. However, here are some additional tips to take your efforts to the next level:
1) Write well. Really well. Sure, loading up on keywords and using a catchy title are great ways to drive traffic to your blog, but if there is no substance once the reader arrives, what’s the point. And that reader probably won’t be fooled again. Focus on interesting, useful and well thought-out posts. While you aren’t writing a legal brief, a blog may be the first thing that a potential client reads from you (see survey below) – make the right impression.
2) Write with personality. Blogs are a great way to really convey your personality (remember people hire lawyers they know and like) and make people want to come back and read more. Plus, it can lay a nice foundation for that first face-to-face meeting. Resist the urge to write like a lawyer – In Smith v. Jones, the court applied a three-part test…. Instead focus on the take-a-ways and succinctly convey why the case is important to the client and its business.
3) Don’t let great posts die in your blog archives. When you meet with clients and potential clients and learn more about their businesses and their concerns, always keep a mental list of your blog posts handy. You may already have a blog post on point. Shortly after the meeting, follow up with the link, or repurpose in an email. It will demonstrate you know and follow their industry and were listening to their needs.
4) Get your posts in front of the right audience. Of course, the ABA Blawg Directory and Justia Blawgsearch are useful legal blog directories. Alltop is also a great option – you can submit to a variety of topic based directories (i.e., health or sports) where potential clients might be reading. Additionally, do some research and find the industry specific directories for your target readers. Finally, if you have joined RFPattorney, you can integrate your blog seamlessly into your Presence – the niche based network on RFPattorney ensures the right readers reach your blog.
If you haven’t started a law blog yet, you should give it serious consideration. It is an effective way to build your reputation online and enhance your relationships with clients and other attorneys (a/k/a referral sources). If you need more convincing, check out the “2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey” released yesterday by Greentarget, which contained the following information:
Seventy-six percent of respondents say they attribute some level of importance to a lawyer’s blog when deciding which firms to retain. Additionally, the percentage of respondents who say a law firm’s blog can influence hiring decisions went up slightly, from 50 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2012.
And, if you need even more convincing, follow Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs – ample support for blogging over there.
* as an aside, is there a reason the legal industry needs to continue using the term “blawg” – a blog is a blog – sounds like a celebrity powercouple (I actually discovered there is a term for this – “portmanteau”). In fact, there are many blogs that are great legal and industry resources. Comments welcome…
Founder of RFPattorney.com and author of the RFPattorney Blog. Over 8 years of experience practicing law, including past experience at an international law firm, a national law firm, and a small firm. Currently GC and VP Operations for large mechanical construction company. Midwesterner, home renovator, golden retriever wrangler, new dad, Wolverine, & avid hockey fan.
What is RFPattorney?RFPattorney provides cloud legal RFPs for businesses and legal departments and a cloud legal marketing platform for lawyers. Our blog provides useful and interesting posts for lawyers, in-house counsel and those in need of legal services. You will also find news, updates and tips for effective use RFPattorney.com.
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