One third of American consumers search for local businesses online. When it comes to legal advice, 17% of Americans look for lawyers through online searches with 70% of Americans preferring online legal services over engaging an attorney.
What does this mean for your law practice? While many people would opt for self-help online, many legal issues still require engaging a lawyer. Besides, with the limitations of legal procedures, many prospective clients will still need a lawyer at some point. Like any business, you can easily capture your client base by providing helpful legal information upfront and online to establish your credibility and promote your services. One way to do this is through a legal blog.
What is legal blogging?
A blog (short for “weblog”) is an online journal that contains entertaining, informational, or engaging written material. People who write blogs, also known as bloggers, tailor their content and topics to their specific audience depending on their expertise.
For lawyers, their specific target audience comprises their potential clients, and the specific topics of focus for their written blogs will include their legal area of expertise. Through legal blogging, lawyers and law firms can reach audiences that may not have previously heard about their services but are looking for helpful content about their legal concerns.
Why lawyers should be blogging
There are many reasons why lawyers should start and maintain a legal blog. Here are three major reasons to get started:
1. A legal blog helps to establish your expertise and credibility.
By discussing your topics of expertise in a clear, concise, and organized manner, you can show your potential client base that you know what you are doing. With good content, your audience will also share your blogs with their networks and give you free publicity.
2. A legal blog can attract potential clients.
Clients who need legal services will first search for information online before engaging an attorney. Once you have established your credibility and expertise, clients will be more likely to trust your ability to defend them in court or help them with their legal issues. One way to do this is by writing case studies for your blog. In a case study blog, you can either analyze current or recent landmark decisions or share recent cases that you have won. If you choose to profile your own cases, make sure to keep your clients’ identities anonymous or ask for their consent so that you will not be breaching attorney-client privilege.
3. A legal blog is an opportunity to serve your community.
Not everyone with a legal dilemma will need a lawyer. Some people simply do not know a lot about their legal rights and need some additional knowledge to their scenario. For instance, someone with a labor law problem may merely need to assert their rights to an employer who is taking advantage of them for not knowing their rights. This way, blogging for lawyers is a great opportunity to share your thoughts, tell about yourself and be useful to many people. Even if these readers do not convert into actual clients, you can rest assured knowing that you’ve helped someone in need.
What blogs do lawyers read?
Lawyers have hectic schedules, so they prefer to read legal blogs that offer concise yet accurate information, especially for the latest updates on law and jurisprudence. To attract fellow lawyers to your blog, aim to provide timely and accurate information in a manner that is easy to read and digest. You may also consider providing commentaries on the latest legal developments. This type of content sparks lively conversations that help you build your network and establish your firm’s credibility, expertise, and prestige.
How can you create a legal blog?
Always begin with the end in mind. If your primary goal is to get more clients, you must first understand your target audience and develop your content strategy with the following marketing tips.
- Identify your key areas of expertise.
Your expertise will determine what topics you will write about in your legal blog. Organize these topics into a sitemap, which will help you to determine how you will organize them into your blog. Doing this early on will keep your legal blog focused, making it easier to develop content ideas. Your key areas of expertise will also determine what keywords to use in each blog post.
- Identify what kind of clients you want to attract.
For each general field of expertise you will write about, create a different audience persona, known as the “visualization and profile of your ideal audience.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting your content to be accessible to everyone. But you can better reach your audience and get your message across by identifying your ideal audience’s specific needs, educational and financial profile, lifestyle, likes, and dislikes.
The above marketing tips will determine the tone and approach to take when you start writing. For example, if you want to attract businesses, then you need to speak their language and stay up-to-date on their industries. However, if you will engage with individuals, try to keep your tone and writing style as down-to-earth and straightforward as possible.
Once you have profiled your different audience segments, you can start developing your content calendar. This should include what topics you’ll write about, what tone to adopt, what keywords to use, and how often you need to post new content.
Key steps to start your legal blog
When you have a content plan on hand, it’s time to put it out there and show it to the world. The steps you should seriously consider to get your blog up and running.
1. Find a web host or blog platform.
Think of this step as setting up a “space” for your legal blog. A blog can be an add-on to your own website, or if you don’t have a website yet, you will need to sign up for a blog hosting service. Some of the popular platforms lawyers can use for blogging are WordPress, Wix, Tumblr, and Hubspot CMS among others. Try to explore different platforms before signing up to find out which one is most user-friendly to use.
2. Research SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
You can either do this yourself or hire an external firm to do this. Check out your main competitors and find out what keywords or search terms drive traffic to their blogs. To help your blog to rank among the top results in search engines, you can also look for keywords or key phrases on topics or questions that few blogs or websites have written about.
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3. Write your content.
Many law firms hire ghostwriters to write their legal blogs, while others delegate this task to associates. If possible, it’s better to write your legal blog in your unique voice to make it stand out from the rest. Lawyers are blogging about different things, including current events, case studies, features, how-to’s, listicles, among others. Make sure to link to reliable sources and as well as related articles within your blog. Always include a call to action or a “Contact Us” button at the end of each piece, so readers can quickly contact you if they decide to pursue an engagement with you.
4. Drive traffic to your blog.
Aside from SEO, you can also use other strategies to drive more traffic to your blog. For instance, you can increase your social media presence and give your readers the option to subscribe to your newsletter. That way, you can reach more audiences who may not even know that they need legal help.
5. Explore other platforms and content types.
You do not need to stick to pure text blogs. Another option is using infographics to explain legal concepts and processes clearly. Not everyone enjoys reading, so explore creating full-length YouTube videos or bite-sized informational videos on YouTube or Instagram stories.
A legal blog is an excellent opportunity for lawyers and law firms to share trustworthy, credible, accurate legal information. There is a high chance that your prospective clients will find you through the blog. By following the tips and advice shared in this article, you can create a successful blog that many people will look forward to reading.