What is a Legal Blog? The Basics of Blogging for Lawyers
First things first: what exactly is a legal blog? If you have a law firm in 2023, you should have a law firm website. Furthermore, that law firm website should have a blog page that you can regularly update with legal blog posts about various topics. A successful blog can increase organic traffic and help you connect with potential clients.
Read on to learn exactly why a legal blog is important to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and how Lexicon Legal Content can help you get started.
- What is a Legal Blog? The Basics of Blogging for Lawyers
- Why is Legal Blogging Important in Digital Marketing?
- Blogging Provides You a Platform to Connect with Potential Clients – AND Google
- How to Start Your Law Firm’s Blog
- Identify Your Niche
- Generate Specific Blog Post Topics
- Need Ideas? Listen to Your Clients
- Think about Pillar and Cluster Content
- Create Compelling Headlines
- Do Keyword Research
- Document Your Content Strategy
- Write Your Content
- Post and Optimize Your Content
- Add an Image
- Share Your Blog Posts on Social Media Platforms
- Monitor Your Blog’s Performance
- Look Into Guest Posting
- What about Outsourcing Your Blog Content to Other Legal Professionals?
- A Team of Professional Legal Blog Writers
- Need Help Finding a Legal Blogger? Call Us Today
Why is Legal Blogging Important in Digital Marketing?
Regularly adding content is an integral part of law firm marketing – and regularly posting on your law firm’s blog is most effective way to do so without resulting in too much content on your practice area pages.
Blogging Provides You a Platform to Connect with Potential Clients – AND Google
Legal blogging is a way for lawyers and law firms to showcase legal expertise and thought leadership – to both the legal community and prospective clients. In addition, it can significantly increase your search engine rankings for relevant search terms by providing a way to regularly add fresh content to your site. The better your search engine rankings, the better your chances are of connecting with prospective clients online.
Additionally, regularly updating your legal blog content can show that you are a skilled and capable lawyer and up on the latest legal developments in your practice area. It doesn’t matter whether you are in personal injury, environmental law, or family law; regularly updating your legal blog can help you stand out from other law firms and get you more clients
How to Start Your Law Firm’s Blog
Now that you know why you should have a legal blog, the question is how you start and how best to reach your target audience. It’s not as easy as just getting your ideas on the page and creating a blog post.
Instead, you should have a plan that addresses issues like who you are writing for, how often you should post, what you should post about, and how you will promote your content.
While it may be tempting to simply start writing a blog post, there are some things you should consider first to maximize the chances of your blog posts ranking well by the search engines – and actually resulting in new clients.
Identify Your Niche
For example, if you have a personal injury law firm, you may want to focus on truck accidents or malpractice cases. Similarly, it’s better for legal blogs to address specific legal topics. For example, focus your blog content on divorce law or child custody specifically rather than on family law generally. Think about the legal services you provide to your clients on a day-to-day basis, and you should have a good idea of the niche you should focus on.
Generate Specific Blog Post Topics
Next, you should come up with specific topics to write blog posts on. This is actually a place where generative AI like ChatGPT can be of great help, especially if you are feeling stuck. In fact, we have created a free GPT-powered AI Legal Blog Topic Generator that can help give you some ideas and get you started. That said, one of the best places to start finding blog topics is thinking back on the conversations you have with your new clients.
Need Ideas? Listen to Your Clients
What do they ask over and over again? Perhaps they want to know what to look for in a personal injury lawyer or more specifics about the divorce process. Maybe they just have questions about the legal system generally. These questions can inform your legal blogging efforts by providing content ideas that ensure that you are connecting with your target audience.
Think about Pillar and Cluster Content
Another issue to consider when generating keywords is the pillar and cluster method. A pillar page is a robust page about one of your main practice areas. You then create a cluster of keywords around this pillar in order to generate topics and link back to the pillar.
Let’s suppose you wanted to focus on car accidents. Your car accident practice area page would function as your pillar, and you could generate a variety of topics that will link back to that page. Some pillar and cluster topics might include:
- What to do after a car accident?
- Who pays in a multi-car crash?
- Why you need a car accident lawyer
- 4 steps to take to protect your rights after wreck
These blog posts would then link back to your car accident page, making your site easily navigable – something Google loves and rewards with better rankings.
Law Firm News
Law blogs are a great place for you to discuss any law firm news that may come up. For example, if you won a big case (and your state’s advertising rules allow it), write a blog post about it. Similarly, if you bring on a new associate or partner, that is certainly blog-worthy. Keeping actual and potential clients in the know about what is going on at your law firm can drive engagement – and better rankings in the search engine results.
Current events in your city or relevant to your practice area are also great topics for a blog post. In fact, in many cases, Google will rank news stories higher than the organic results. In fact, often, creating a legal blog about a current, newsworthy event can get you temporarily to the top of the page – a practice known in the legal marketing industry as newsjacking.
Legal news like case decisions, new laws, or issues affecting legal practice or the legal industry can make for good blog topics. Doing so can build trust between you and your readers as well as other legal professionals and law firms that may refer you cases.
Create Compelling Headlines
Next, you should come up with compelling headlines that your clients will be interested in. This is closely related to the concept of topic ideation – and while they are not exactly the same thing, the topic ideation process can help inform your blog post headlines.
Client Questions Can Be Turned into Blog Titles
For example, if you practice in personal injury and your prospective clients regularly ask you things like “will my case go to court” or “will I have to show up in court,” you may want to use the headline “Do I Have to Go to Court for a Personal Injury Case?” If they are asking you when they talk to you, there is a good chance that they also asked Google. By matching your headline exactly to their query, you have a good chance of showing up first – and turning a website visitor nto a new client.
Do Keyword Research
Next, you should do some basic keyword research. While Google has made it clear that you should write for humans, it’s still a good idea to know what keywords your ideal client may be searching for. There are many ways to conduct effective keyword research, from using Google’s Keyword Planner, paid tools like Ahrefs, or seeing what autocompletes in the Google search bar after a relevant keyword.
Document Your Content Strategy
While it may seem like an unnecessary step, documenting your content strategy is a critical step in creating an effective legal blog. As the old adage goes, what gets measured gets managed. Some of the things you should include in your content strategy include:
- Your target audience
- Keywords you are targeting
- Your posting schedule
- The types of content you will create
Not only will this keep you on track, but it will also allow you to scale up your content creation and seamlessly outsource it.
Write Your Content
Once you have a clear idea of why you are writing, what you are writing about, and what your overall goals are, it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). Writing legal blogs is much different than writing legal pleadings – remember that you are writing to potential clients, other lawyers and judges. Avoid legalese and assume that your readership is starting from zero when it comes to the knowledge of the law. One of the hardest parts of blogging for lawyers is explaining complicated legal concepts in a reader-friendly way.
In addition, make your content readable. People tend to scan online content rather than read every word. Some ways you can optimize your law firm’s website content for scanning include:
- Starting with the conclusion
- Short sentences
- Clear and meaningful subheadings
- Bulleted lists
- Bolded relevant keywords
Finally, you should look for any opportunities to link to other pages in your site. These internal links help make your site more navigable and are great for SEO.
Can You Use AI to Write Content?
At this point, you may be wondering whether you can use generative AI like ChatGPT to create blog content. Google has made it clear that it cares more about the quality of the content you are publishing rather than the way it is produced. As a result, AI certainly has a place in the content creation process, but the last thing you should do is take AI content and post it directly to your site. AI can often make false statements, and the content it creates may not be incompliance with the advertising rules in your state. In addition, it’s important to format any content to make it easily scannable for people reading online. You can learn more about best practices for using AI to create law firm content here.
Post and Optimize Your Content
Now that you’ve written your blog post, it’s time to take it live. Depending on your blogging platform, the next steps will vary, but we’ll assume you are using WordPress as it’s the most common:
- Go to your website’s dashboard
- Hover over “new”
- Click “post”
You should get to a screen that looks something like this (it may look different based on your version of WordPress):
At this point, you copy and paste your text into the text box – and while you may be thinking that it’s time to hit “publish,” you’d unfortunately be very wrong. You still need to optimize your blog post.
Check Your Formatting
First of all, you need to make sure that the formatting stayed consistent from wherever you were working and WordPress. WordPress has a tendency to add or remove spaces between paragraphs and bulleted lists, making for awkward spacing.
Categorize and Tag Your Post
Next, you should categorize and tag your blog post. This makes it easier for users (and search engines to find your content.
Add an Image
But wait – there’s more! You should also add an image to your post to make it visually appealing, and then you should add an alt-attribute to specify what text should appear if the image cannot be loaded or what text should be read if a visually-impaired person visits your site with a screen reader.
Write a Unique Meta Description
Finally, you should write a meta description so that Google can and your readers can easily find out what your blog is about. If you leave the meta description field blank, Google will pull a snippet of text from your blog and display it under the link. Writing your own gives you an opportunity to personalize what your readers (and Google) think your blog is about.
Here’s what a live meta description looks like in the Google results:
Now, your blog should be ready to go and have the best chance of ranking for your target keywords – and you can finally click “publish.”
Share Your Blog Posts on Social Media Platforms
Now that your blog is live, you should share it on all of you social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Sharing your blog on social media will extend its reach, promote engagement, and drive additional traffic to your site.
Monitor Your Blog’s Performance
Finally, you should be sure to monitor the performance of your law firm blog to make sure prospective clients can actually find your legal blog. Using tools like Google Analytics or SEMRush can give you valuable information about your search engine ranking and relevant keywords to target.
Look Into Guest Posting
While regularly posting on your own website is great for law firm marketing, you should also consider writing content for other websites. Posting as a guest on a reputable site can position you as an authority and person to know in your field and get backlinks to your site – one of the most important ranking signals for search engines.
Typically, people who write blogs for other sites do not receive compensation for their content; the quid pro quo is the exposure (and the backlink) in return for free content. In order to find posting opportunities, go to a website relevant to your practice or where your potential clients may hang out and click around for a “contribute” or “contact us” button. Many publications publish their guest blog post submission guidelines online.
What about Outsourcing Your Blog Content to Other Legal Professionals?
As an attorney with a busy law practice, finding time to blog can be difficult. Between providing legal services for your clients, going to court, and trying to find some work-life balance, maintaining a high quality blog can easily fall by the wayside.
The obvious move is to outsource your blog posts, but blogging for lawyers is different from blogging for people in other industries. There are ethical duties involved, and a mistake could result in adverse action from the bar – or even a malpractice lawsuit.
At Lexicon, we are committed to getting your law firm to the top of the search engine results pages through law firm marketing and content. We work with large multi-state firms as well as small law firms and can handle your legal blogging and market your legal services in a way that connects you with more clients and gets your site higher in the search engines.
Some of the specific services we provide include:
- Blogging for lawyers
- Law firm blogging
- Providing content ideas
- Writing legal content for static practice area pages
- Google analytics reporting
- Legal blogs
A Team of Professional Legal Blog Writers
Finding a great legal blogger can be hard work. Fortunately, the team at Lexicon has already taken care of that for you. We thoroughly vet all of our writers and ensure that they know SEO Best practices and the law. Most of our writers have earned a law degree, and we work with clients across all practice areas in every state. We are happy to create content on topics you provide or come up with them ourselves based on your target practice areas, and can even post them on whatever blogging platform you use.
Need Help Finding a Legal Blogger? Call Us Today
In 2023, having a robust and regularly updated blog for your law firm is non-negotiable – fortunately, blogging for lawyers is what we do.
If you need help with content for your law firm’s website, you are in the right place. We have been helping large and small law firms with their law firm blogs for more than a decade. While blogging for lawyers is a big part of what we do, we also provide a wide variety of other content services, including practice area pages, press releases, white papers, and infographics. Call us today or contact us online to learn more!