Today, legal blogging is a competitive world. Many law firms have turned to blogging to reach potential clients and keep their brand relevant during Covid-19. The pandemic may have limited how businesses pursue client outreach, but it’s also created a competitive content market online.
While it may look easy, there’s actually a lot to running a successful legal blog. From creating strong content to building your website, you’ll have to figure out how to balance your personal brand with blogging mechanics.
Read on for everything you need to know and the advice you can’t find by just scrolling through your competition.
Why do Law Firms Blog?
Legal blogging isn’t just about giving the best advice. In fact, it’s barely about that at all. Law firms have turned to blogging because of a concept called “content marketing,” which today essentially fuels all online markets.
Through “content marketing,” businesses choose to create relevant, interesting, and clickable content. That way, when a potential customer searches for information online, they find your article, read it, and are more likely to give you their business.
Consequently, creating strong content is partially about anticipating those searches as well as branding your relevant answer. “Branding,” in this case, can mean showing your company’s personality in your article through the language you use or customer testimonials. It can also mean providing your company’s specific answer to a problem — i.e., the step by step process by which you would fight a common charge.
What Kind of Content Should I Create?
Luckily, it shouldn’t be too hard for your law firm to figure out what to blog about. You know what issues are most important to your community through your work and can present a clear rundown on what to expect on popular charges. Think back to the issues that were the most common or tedious for your clients.
Anticipating and addressing their concerns will allow you to create important, relevant content that could entirely change their approach to their issue. Moreover, because you provided those crucial, insider tips, your client will be more likely to choose you over another firm that just presented a definition of their issue.
Who Are You Writing For?
As you review the relevant issues to your community, try to choose language they can understand. Complicated legal jargon may be your go-to, but it will only turn readers off and push them towards another source. Because your content is competing side-by-side with that of other firms, it’s imperative to make sure your articles are clear, concise, and easy to read.
Make sure your information is accessible for any reader, and try not to link to other firms. Where you can, embed links to other legislative sources in your state. These click through articles can increase your user traffic and present you as a more authoritative source on search engines.
SEO and Clickability
“Clickability” is one part, short eye-catching titles, and another part web design. Think about the articles you’re drawn to. When you open up a page that looks like a long-form essay, you’re probably not as enticed to read the entire piece. Dividing your work up into sections with charts or infographics will make your work look all the more appealing to an entry-level reader.
From there, you’ll also need to look into Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are aspects of this that anyone can do, like writing a short meta description and slug. Your meta description is what will appear beneath your piece’s title and should anticipate your user’s search. Your slug is simply the tail end of your URL after your domain name and will help search engines decide whether your article is a good piece for readers. There are a few other SEO basics any blogger should get familiar with.
From there, you may have to look into hiring an SEO specialist, but don’t fret. This is a common step for anyone in content marketing and something you really shouldn’t leave up to your legal team.
Building a Website
Today, there are so many blogging platforms and website builders online that there are web pages dedicated to just helping you choose the right one. Building a website from scratch can seem nearly impossible. If your focus is just on getting your legal blog setup, building a full website from scratch isn’t necessary. It will be all the more difficult to update daily, and you should try to go with a platform you feel comfortable on. If you purchase your domain name, you can eventually transfer it to another website builder or upgrade your plan to include new features that you come to decide your blog needs.
Choosing a blogging platform may mean sacrificing aspects of customization, but it will be an easy avenue that anyone on your team can access, and you can always link to your actual blog from your website. That way, if you decide to hire someone to build your actual website, you don’t have to worry about paying them to optimize and upload an article every time you write one.
Once you have your website in place, you may look into online advertising. This may be a good way to generate a little extra revenue for your firm, but it’s not necessarily a great idea for your team to advertise online.
First, through content marketing, you’re already getting your brand out there, and over time, as your articles get more views, they will move up in search engine results. Hopefully, you can become a leading source of legal advice in your area and become your community’s go-to for online and in-person consultations.
That being said, if you choose to advertise online, there’s no way of knowing where your ads will hit. A banner or clickable post that appears to readers in your state could technically hit users who are hours away and not likely to follow up for a consultation. Instead, it’s better to choose hyper-local targeting where you can. This means advertising in the places your clients already live, work, and play.
With the pandemic closing the doors of so many advertising venues, many people are turning to grocery store advertising. A supermarket advertisement is sure to receive thousands of impressions, with 20,000 customers visiting grocery stores every week.
Of these, the majority will see your ad by using a Cartvertising campaign and printing your firm’s ad on supermarket carts. Customers spend 45 minutes on average in a grocery store, which means 45 minutes in front of your supermarket advertisement. That timeframe is unheard of in online and print advertising, and part of why grocery store advertising is such a big deal right now.
If you print your website URL on your ad, you can combine the hard work you’ve put into your legal blog with the in-person advertising users crave right now and stay ahead of the curve.