Is blogging something your firm spends a good amount of time and energy on? Or is it something you do, as you have time, and check off your to-do list? The fact is, in this digital world where content marketing gets more bang for your buck than most methods, blogging is important. That doesn’t mean that just throwing up whatever is on your mind is going to be enough though. There are certain characteristics of effective, impactful blog posts that legal marketers should keep in mind. Here’s our breakdown.
- Start with why. Every post you write should have a purpose – just like your blog overall. Before you put pen to paper, consider your end goal and work backwards. Is it to inform on a specific topic? To drive traffic to a certain landing page? Know what you are hoping to accomplish and work from there.
- Understand your audience – and what they want to read. Once in a while, talking about what’s going on in your company can be interesting. But generally, your audience is going to be looking for legal information, checklists for complicated legal processes, or updates on cases. In general, it’s a smart marketing practice to build out personas of who your target audience is. Then, build out a section on their interests and what they’d like to read – and create posts based on that.
- Write what you know. If your firm specializes in certain areas, write about those. Write about what you are an expert in and have significant experience in whether it be energy law or divorce law. This positions you as a thought leader, and builds credibility and loyalty. If you try to fake it with other topics, people will see through that and you’ll lose their interest and their trust.
- Use evidence. This is something lawyers should be comfortable with! The best blogs have strong research backing them up, and the citations to prove it. This is a big reason Google favors content with several links and citations. The more research you perform on your topic, the more credible your information will be, and the more likely it is to rank in search engines.
- Take a fresh approach. As you perform your research, you are going to find no shortage of posts that share the sort of information you’re writing about. It’s important to avoid “herd content”. That is, content that others have written about extensively, or are trendy right now. It’s certainly smart to write about subjects that are trending – but take your own approach and add a unique perspective. Don’t just replicate what someone else has already said.
- Be helpful.This might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many corporate blogs do not do this. When people are searching online, typically they’re looking for answers to a question or help with a certain scenario. Provide the information they’re looking for. Answer their questions. Offer solutions.
- Don’t focus on length. Though some studies show that articles with 2,000 words or more tend to rank better, that doesn’t mean you need to meet that number all the time. New information says you should focus on saying what you need to, without filler or fluff. If that means that your blog is only 500 words, that’s ok. If it’s a complex topic that takes 3,000 words to explain – that’s fine too. Make your blog as long as it needs to be to get your point across.
- Watch your tone. This one relates to point number two – know who you’re writing for. You don’t use the same tone with your boss as you do with your kids, right? Same goes for blogging. If you’ve completed your personas correctly, you’ll have a good idea about the tone that will resonate with readers.
- Avoid walls of text. Especially with longer content, this can be hard to do. However, it’s critical to keep the reader interested and visually stimulated. Be sure to include images, headlines, graphics, and bullets with your text. Break up paragraphs into only a few sentences. Keep bullets short. The new standard in content is visually interesting pieces with a variety of media formats.
- Keep content evergreen. Evergreen content is key for marketing and lead generation purposes. However, to keep content evergreen you’ll need to review and update it periodically. Make a point to go through your blog every quarter and update compelling pieces that are still relevant.
Blogging is important – but if no one reads your blog, you’re wasting valuable resources that could be applied elsewhere. Keep these 10 tips in mind for more compelling content – but if you need extra help, let us know! Ramping up law firms’ blog presence is our specialty.