5 considerations to review before starting a law firm blog

A Black male lawyer smiles while looking at his tablet; he is starting a law firm blog.

From doctor’s visits to grocery shopping – consumers are heading online to accomplish all sorts of things. And, increasingly, this includes finding an attorney. Today, legal consumers routinely turn to the internet to learn more about the legal issues they face and discover who may be able to help them. To meet this growing digital demand, many small law firms are investing in building and cultivating their online presence and brand. And for a growing number of firms, this includes having a blog.  

If your firm is considering starting a legal blog, it’s important to develop a blogging strategy and have a plan in place. But where do you start?   

Questions to answer before starting a blog  

Great content doesn’t just happen. Let’s take a look at five things your firm will want to think through and account for before starting your blog.  

1. Who is your audience?

Before you can decide what to write about, you need to understand who you’re writing to. You need to clearly define your target audience. How old are they? What’s their income? Where do they live? Are they married? What about kids? What do they care about and what are their main concerns? Answering these types of questions up front for each of your practice areas provides the framework and context you’ll need to craft compelling blog posts that resonate with your audience.  

2. Who will be doing the writing?

Let’s be honest, not every attorney likes to write. If writing isn’t something you enjoy or want to devote time and energy to, it’s time to look to others within your firm who may be able to take on the lion’s share of writing. Maybe your paralegal moonlights as a budding author in their free time. Or maybe that junior attorney you recently hired just happens to have a travel blog. It may also be worth it to consider hiring a freelance writer. To be effective, you’ll want to get into a regular cadence with your posts so it’s a good idea to share writing duties with at least one other person at your firm and develop an editorial calendar with firm due and publish dates.  

3. What should you write about?

After you’ve done the work to identify your target audience and resident blogger(s), it’s time to explore potential blog topics. When deciding what to write about, don’t just select a topic you know a lot about and think is interesting. Always keep your target audience in mind and write to them. What topics do they care about? What tone and style will resonate with them? What questions do they have that you can help answer? Centering blog topics around your audience and their needs allow you to connect with legal consumers in a meaningful way. 

4. What about having contributing writers on your blog?

An alternative to sharing writing duties with people within your law firm is to ask other attorneys or experts within adjacent fields to be guest bloggers. Maybe you are a personal injury attorney who has a referral relationship with an attorney who practices medical malpractice. Or maybe you’re a divorce attorney who often refers parents going through custody disputes to a respected child psychologist you know. If you believe that a guest blogger will share information and a point of view that is helpful to your target audience, it makes sense to incorporate these posts into your blogging strategy and plan. To make sure topics stay relevant and on-point, take time to provide guest bloggers with some direction and guidelines. A short outline can be helpful.  

5. How do you get people to read your blog?

When it comes to a blog, the adage “if you build it – they will come,” doesn’t apply. And it’s unlikely that someone is going to come to your blog and read every post. What’s far more likely, is that a legal consumer finds your blog post on how to establish a special needs trust, reads it, and then takes steps to learn more about you, your firm, and how you may be able to help them. The key to getting people to read your blog is to write on topics that are interesting to your audience and relevant to your practice areas. Search engines are smart and if your content ticks the right boxes and you’re publishing on a regular basis, you’ll start to get traction. Read up on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to include in your writing to get a leg up on your competition. Plus, you can always promote blog posts via your firm’s social media channels and include a link to recent posts in your email signature.  

Are you ready to blog?

Blogging provides an avenue for attorneys to connect with legal consumers in an authentic and real way. But blogging also takes planning, time, and commitment. Need help devising a blogging strategy? The legal marketing experts at FindLaw can help. 

To learn more on the ins and outs of creating and maintaining a law firm blog reserve a spot at our upcoming October 12th webcast, How to make your law firm’s blog worth reading

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