Blogging helps you become established as an expert in your area(s) of practice. It provides useful information for those in need. And, as you become a trusted resource, potential clients and referral sources engage. But you already know that and the only thing holding you back is the time to write. Here’s some help.
First, you must be passionate about what you write. You will find the time to write and the words will flow. Next, use the proper tools. Here are a few to get you started.
Blog post ideas
Feedly – How many times have you come across an article on Facebook or Twitter or while researching something and wanted to read more from the author or site. You can with an RSS aggregator like Feedly. Sign up for an account and subscribe to blogs and other sites of interest and whenever a new piece is published it’ll automagically appear in your Feedly stream. It’s how I keep up with what’s happening in the legal profession and gives me lots of ideas for blog posts and presentations.
Pocket – Ever have 23 tabs open in Chrome and another 14 in Firefox? Sign up for a Pocket account, install the browser add-ons and save articles and web pages of interest. If you’re working on a few different ideas for blog posts, you can assign a tag to each page you save so when you’re ready to compile research materials for the post, you’re way ahead of the game.
Getting down to writing
Evernote – If you haven’t given Evernote a try, now’s the time to do so. It’s a note taking and information management application that sits on your desktop and syncs with browser and mobile versions. I have it open all day and am constantly in and out jotting ideas down, and storing and organizing information. Create a “Blog Posts” notebook and start adding notes. (Evernote is organized by Notebooks and Notes – hence the name). Each note can be a blog post title and contain links and text and images.
WordPress – Don’t waste time researching and testing blogging platforms. Use WordPress. It’s user friendly, extensible with thousands of plugins, and has a vibrant, helpful community of users and developers. Simply login to the application, click on “new post” and start typing. Or, if you’ve already started the post in Evernote, copy and paste, and finish up in WordPress.
SEO Yoast – Just because you compose beautiful prose and useful content doesn’t mean anyone will read it. Why? Because they can’t find it. You’ll need to do some very basic search engine optimization. Since you’re already using WordPress, add the SEO Yoast plugin and tinker with your keyword, title and meta description to increase the chances of being found when someone searches for the topic you just wrote about.
MailChimp – Email newsletter is an oldie but goodie. A compilation of your blog posts becomes a weekly or monthly email newsletter. This increases traffic to your blog and keeps your firm top of mind. Put a newsletter sign-up widget on your blog. Again, because you’re using WordPress, it’s a simple plugin configuration that feeds the email addresses directly into your MailChimp account.
Buffer / HootSuite – You’ll need to share your content on social media. This is a no brainer. And it won’t require that you waste hours on Facebook and Twitter. Buffer and HootSuite are social media management tools and they both have free versions. Schedule your posts in either app, and engage as time permits.
Measuring and refining strategy
Google Analytics – You only need one tool for measurement and analytics, and surprise, it’s a Google tool. Sign up for Google Analytics and use a WordPress plugin (yes, another one) to connect your blog to your analytics account. You will then be able to track which blog posts are being read, referral sources (who’s citing them), and a whole lot more. Start with just the top blog posts and referral sources metrics to build relationships and create content strategies. You can go deeper as you become more familiar with the platform.
These are just a few tools to help you get started on a productive and rewarding blogging journey.