As an attorney who is active on the web, you may notice that some of your colleagues are actively blogging on their websites and social media profiles. We often hear the question: “It seems like everyone else is blogging. Do I need to do it too?” To that question, we often respond: “Yes, but only if you have something to say.”
Today’s web is a sea of content, and quite a bit of it is just clutter. If you are unmotivated, too busy, or do not have an opinion you’d like to share, then the content you produce will likely reflect this and go unread. If you have a message for your clients, potential clients, and an opinion about how the law should be practiced or how important stories are developing in the news, then blogging may be a useful method of developing and communicating with your audience. The following are a few reasons why blogging can work for you:
Reason #1: Develop your voice and give your practice a personality. A well-crafted blog post can offer your clients an insight into your philosophy or firm’s mission statement and can provide them with a sense of who you are as a person. Keep in mind that blogging on behalf of your practice should still maintain a certain level of professionalism. Also, while you want to give your audience an honest perception of you and your personality so that they can identify with you and connect with your brand, abrasive or obnoxious personality traits can harm you and may turn away prospective clients. It is important to be genuine, informative, and entertaining, but not at the expense of your reputation. Consider having a trusted colleague or partner edit your posts before you publish them, just to get a second opinion and some editing assistance. Choose someone who is not afraid to challenge you and make sure you take any criticism with an open mind.
Reason #2: Connect with prospective clients in avenues you might not have before. Because a blog post can be pushed out to all of your social media accounts and can be reposted and republished elsewhere, there is a chance that a well-written post can gain traction online and expose your firm to an audience of potential clients that you would have otherwise never reached. This can be achieved by creating insightful and informative blogs about current events, upcoming trends, and any topic that can quickly generate interest among the vast population of readers online. You may find that your audience covers a wide range of general interests, or you may have more success reaching people who are interested in a particular niche. If you are passionate about a topic and can write compelling content about it, you may find that there are others who share your interest and want to hear your take on it!
Reason #3: Share your expertise. Your prospective clients likely have many options to select when choosing a lawyer. So, how do you go about standing out from the pack and making sure that you are the one they choose? By utilizing your blog as an extension of your practice, you can demonstrate thought-leadership in your particular practice area. Your blog can showcase your experience, successes, and your passion for your clients. What’s more, your blog can speak to clients who are afraid to contact you and would prefer to learn more about you and your practice before reaching out. Your blog is a great method of reaching these “passive shoppers” who want to gather as much knowledge about you and your competition as they can before they make their final decision.
Reason #4: Optimize your content for SEO. One of the most important reasons to blog as an attorney is to help boost your website in the search engines, so that you can be found by the prospective clients who are searching for you. By actively publishing fresh and informative content, using the right relevant keywords, and tagging your posts correctly, you may find that your posts (and your site) may achieve desirable rankings in the search engines, and may drive valuable traffic to your site. You may want to start by focusing on highly-specific types of cases or keywords (known as “long-tail” keywords) which are typically a bit easier to rank for than the most commonly searched keywords,
If you feel that you have something to say about a specific topic or your practice, then blogging can be an incredibly useful way to tell your story and connect with others. Best of all, you can often track the effectiveness of your blogs by monitoring visits to the posts, social shares, and comments on your posts, so you can monitor how your audience feels about specific topics you cover, and you can tailor your efforts to match their interests. For many lawyers, blogging is an enjoyable and productive method of expressing themselves, promoting their practice, optimizing their website in the search engines, and connecting with current and potential clients online.