In my business I work and network with many attorneys. When the topic of marketing surfaces, lawyers often sheepishly tell me “I know I should be blogging, but I just don’t have the time.” While blogging might not make sense for all law practices, it is a valuable tool to showcase one’s expertise and educate your target market on the basics of the law in your niche. The time factor may no longer be an issue for the busy practitioner, thanks to a local attorney who has taken up “ghost blogging” for attorneys. Attorney Riya Schmidt created a company called the “Legal Linguist” to provide affordable blogging solutions for the busy lawyer.
Riya has been writing, and enjoying it, since her high school days. Her undergraduate degree was in creative writing, and she still enjoys writing novels and short stories in her spare time these days. Lisa found a way to incorporate her love of writing into her law practice, by blogging about legal issues in her niche of family law and criminal defense. ”I believe blogging is one of the best forms of marketing because you can provide content and value to the reader while also making yourself more visible through search engine optimization (SEO),” notes Riya.
As a fairly new attorney herself, Riya asked her more experienced colleagues how they attract and maintain clients. Most of them said that they invested a lot of money in a professional looking website, but that it was only moderately successful. They weren’t blogging because of time constraints, but felt blogging was something they should be doing. Riya was puzzled by this trend. ”To me, having a website without a blog is like hiring a videographer to record a great commercial, yet not finding TV spots to air it. I want to make those lawyers’ websites work for them by giving them regularly updated, content-driven SEO to attract more quality clients to their websites and offices.”
According to Riya, here are some keys to effective blogging
Whenever you start any business, the first few days are often spent finding the right name. Finding right name is probably the most crucial step of blogging. Obviously, you want your blog name to be catchy, easy to remember and extremely relevant to what you have to offer. But most of the .com one word domains are already booked. So the next step is to go specific. Say you are providing a service in India, you can look for your desired name and if it is going to expire soon, you can just backorder it using some .in or .co.in drop catch backordering tool. But again, never compromise when it comes to the blog name as this is something that stays with you forever.
Lawyers and other professionals can make the mistake of using technical terms or “legalese”, but this alienates the lay person who may be reading your blog. You will write one way for a Judge or law journal, but your reader will quickly get bored and confused if you don’t write at their level. The artful blogger can make a complex topic understandable for the lay person. They need to be able to relate to it in order to take action or refer you to a friend who may be facing the problem you write about.
People are looking for help, often for something really important in their lives. Yet, it can be intimidating to call a lawyer. If your blog makes you sound too technical or unapproachable, you’ve lost that client in the first paragraph. Legal blogs should give them a taste of the answer they need and encourage them to call the host lawyer for more information.
A picture is worth thousand words
Many people are visual learners. In order to capitalize on that, it’s a good idea to integrate images, charts, graphs, and the occasional infographic to get people reading and bring the point home.
Frequency is a necessity
If you are trying to drive traffic to your website, new content is a must. Riya offers other lawyers a package which includes one blog article per week. In some cases she’ll write 2 articles per month if the lawyer has a limited budget, but Riya cautions that blogging less than once a week drastically reduces how effective a website will be.
The ideal blog is updated with short articles two to three times per week, especially if the blog covers more than one content area.
Timing is important
It is important to think about how your audience will find your blog. If you are going to rely on SEO, then frequency is more important than timing, but if you pair SEO with social media, timing becomes essential. Most people visit their social media pages first thing in the morning and then again after work. To show up near the top of the news feed, you need to anticipate the schedule of your readers. One blog article can be the source for multiple tweets or Facebook posts too, as long as you have other content in between.