Digital marketing success depends largely on the quality of your content marketing. Blogging regularly and consistently is extremely important, yet many of our clients have a laundry list of reasons why they can’t focus on a blog right now. Most times, it’s because they don’t know how to take the first step. So, here’s our guide on how to start a law firm blog.
Blogging positions you as an expert in your practice, helps with your SEO, gives you items to promote, and creates an avenue for gaining new leads. For all of those reasons, blogging is critical for your law firm’s online presence. The reason many lawyers avoid it? The time and effort it takes may not feel worthwhile compared to billable client hours. And aside from the actual writing, lawyers need to come up with digestible and interesting topics, catchy titles, pay attention to keywords – not to mention understand a blog content management system and the technical side of posting. It can feel overwhelming, but we are going to break it down for you in this blog post.
1. Research your audience
Ideally, you already have a buyer “client” persona created, so you have some idea of who your ideal targets are. You should also understand how they obtain information, and what they are interested in. This is going to help you create blogs that your audience is actually interested in, versus guessing or being too general.
2. Create your blog
First you’ll need to choose a place to host this (and every other) blog post. The two parts involved are a CMS (content management system) and a website domain hosting service.
- The most popular option for CMS tends to be a self-hosted WordPress site. Their website has plenty of tutorials and guidance to get you started.
- For SEO purposes, it’s best to create a subdomain for your blog. Your blog subdomain should look like this: www.yourblog.yourfirm.com or www.yourfirm.com/blogs/uniqueblogpost. What exists between the periods is your choice, as long as it doesn’t already exist in the online world. Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, and the blog will live on your CMS rather than on your current firm’s website. In order to create a subdomain that belongs to your firm’s website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.
3. Choose your blog’s theme
Once you have your blog technically up and running, you need to decide how you’d like it to look. If you already have a website, it makes sense to keep the visuals consistent with what you already have. Items that you absolutely need to have present from day one are a logo and an “About Us” page.
4. Identify blog topics
Start with one. Before you can put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you need to know what you want to write about. Hopefully you have some ideas based on step number one. Consider trending topics, such as an important court case or recent change to legislation. Then, decide what type of post you are comfortable writing, and that makes sense for the subject. From there, you can narrow down the topic into a compelling one within a particular niche. The most popular types of blog posts are:
- List-based posts (5 Ways to Monitor Cybersecurity in Your Company)
- Curated collection posts (The Year’s 10 Biggest Cybersecurity Breaches Explained)
- SlideShare Presentation (How to Avoid Cyber Security Pitfalls)
- These perform particularly well when shared on LinkedIn
- News and current event posts (Our Take on XYZ’s Recent Cybersecurity Lawsuit)
5. Choose a compelling title.
You’ll start a blog first by coming up with a working (ie, evolving) title. Write out a few options that make sense for the topic you’ve chosen, and narrow down as the blog takes shape. You might intend to create a blog that moves in another direction. For example, maybe you began by drafting “Our Take on XYZ’s Recent Cybersecurity Lawsuit”, but as the post took shape you gave a lot of advice. Then a more appropriate title might be “How to Avoid Cybersecurity Problems like XYZ’s Recent Snafu”. Be open-minded about a title because as you write it could change.
We hope this guide has answered any questions you may have on getting started with your law firm blog. Contact us today if you would like assistance developing your blog strategy, creating the content itself or promoting it on your firm’s channels. Our team has years of experience helping law firms of all practice areas develop and execute cohesive content marketing strategies that generate real leads.