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How to Start a Legal Blog Now and Why You Need to

Written by Erik J. Olson on . Posted in , .
Home > Blog > How to Start a Legal Blog Now and Why You Need to

According to a 2022 ABA TechReport, 94 percent of law firms have a website, but only 37 percent have a blog. That means that if your firm doesn’t have a legal blog yet, you’re in good company. However, a blog is an indispensable tool if you want to stand out from the majority and bring in a steady stream of clients. Learn what a legal blog is, how law firms benefit from blogging, and how you can get started on your law firm blog today.

What is a legal blog?

legal blog statistic

A legal blog provides informative and comprehensive knowledge about the legal industry. Legal experts writing these share their knowledge to educate the public and their target audience about valuable topics related to their legal practice. Blogs are updated regularly with new articles and with updates to old pieces to keep them relevant to current legal matters. Blogs are not legal advice, which should be clearly indicated in the content provided, but they offer valuable general advice and insight that can help people decide to get legal guidance from an attorney.

What is E-E-A-T?

An attorney blog should focus on meeting Google’s criteria regarding value. Google grades content on sites like this based on the E-E-A-T strategy. Here’s what that means:

  • Experience: An expert with first-hand experience in the industry writes the content.
  • Expertise: The blog’s content is written by someone with industry knowledge  at a professional level, such as an attorney.
  • Authoritativeness: The blog shows the authoritativeness or reputation of the writer, which means that the attorney’s standing in the legal industry influences their content’s ranking.
  • Trustworthiness: The information is factual and accurate, doesn’t hide content behind ads, and does not mislead the reader.

E-E-A-T helps Google see the value of a blog. When they see that value to the searcher, they may rank the blog higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs), allowing more potential clients to find you online. Before we dive into that, let’s consider why you need a legal blog as an attorney.

It’s also important to note that Google holds attorney blogs to a higher standard because they are categorized as YMYL (Your Money Your Life). YMYL standards mean that the topics in your blog content could impact a person’s life or finances, such as important legal matters. As a result, high-quality content in your blog will significantly impact your rankings.

The benefits of having a legal blog

A law firm blog can help you to get potential clients and improve your rankings on search engines. So why does that matter for your law firm?

Appear in Google search results

A blog can help your law firm to appear in Google’s search engine rankings. That means when someone searches for a topic you’re covering in your blog, they may find your business. However, this only happens if you invest in search engine optimization (SEO). Your law blog can improve your SEO, especially when working with a legal marketing team to help meld high-quality content with SEO strategies.

Generate qualified leads

High-quality content allows people with relevant legal issues to find you. When they read what you’ve written, they understand that you could help them. That means they may fill out a form or call you to set up a consultation. Quality blogs generate quality leads.

Raise brand awareness for your law firm

Another benefit to having a law blog is that it helps your firm to build its brand through its online presence. It makes it possible for new clients to find your firm and gives them insight into who your firm is, what legal services you offer, and who the legal professionals they’ll be working with are. That helps to pique their interest and encourages them to reach out.

Establish yourself as an authority in your field

As a component of your legal marketing strategy, your blog helps you to stand out in your field. The content created here lets you showcase your experience in specific topics related to your practice areas. Potential clients want to know that you have the insight and expertise to help them, and the content here helps to show them they can trust you — that you know your stuff!

Establish yourself as a thought leader among your colleagues

The content you publish can discuss important legal industry topics. These legal issues impact the community you serve and even showcase your opinions through thought leadership content, which could help you become more recognized within your field locally and within the industry. It also allows you to gain some pull with other legal professionals. As you network with other legal professionals and get to know them, they may offer a referral to clients they cannot help, but you can.

Build relationships with other industry professionals

Digital marketing through a blog can help your firm to become more well-known and respected. Over time, that can mean that people in other industries know to turn to you when they have questions or need guidance. Publishing your content on sites like LinkedIn, for example, allows you to build relationships through your network and your connections’ network, thanks in part to their sharing of your content.

How to start your law firm blog

All of that sounds like a good thing, but how do you get started with this form of law firm marketing? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the logistics and technical aspects of this process, which is why many people turn to a digital marketing firm to help them establish their blog, much like you would any other component of your business development. Here’s what you can expect.

Choose a platform

There are multiple blogging platforms, which is the framework that will serve as the starting point for your blog. While there are numerous options like Blogger, Array Digital recommends WordPress for several reasons. It has a powerful design that creates an efficient way of blogging. The blogging platform is easy to use and learn. It’s very customizable to fit your specific needs and goals. The software is also free to use, which can be an excellent reason to start here.

Choose a domain name

The domain name for your blog is what people type into the search bar to get to your site. Often, you’ll want this to include some information about your law firm, such as your law firm’s name, but it can also include a more quirky name if it fits your firm’s branding. Your domain name must be available, meaning no one else is using it.

Set up hosting

Once the basic framework is in place, it’s time for your site to go live online. That’s where hosting comes in. Hosting is the service that helps you to keep the site live online, so you should select your host service carefully. You need domain hosting that’s reliable, secure, and easy to use. This is not a place to cut corners.

Create a design theme

Customizing your website’s blog to incorporate your branding is important. Blogs can be more informal and conversational than your other law firm website content, but that doesn’t mean that they should be any less professional. You want prospective clients to feel like they are in the right place. By incorporating your branding into your blog, you connect the information visually to your firm and maintain a consistent level of polish and professionalism in your online presence.

Create a strategy

Your blog should incorporate a strategy. There are various factors to consider for this, including your ultimate goal for your blog.

  • What will your blog cover?
  • What types of content will you use?
  • What common client questions can you answer?
  • Do you want to focus solely on a specific topic that your law firm offers, like estate planning or car accident law?
  • Do you hope to use your blog solely as a tool for SEO?

Write

Now it’s time to start writing. You have a few options based on the time, effort, and budget you are willing to invest. You can hire a professional blogger and use a service like Array Digital to handle all the writing, saving you valuable time while adhering to SEO best practices. Alternatively, you can write the content yourself and then use an SEO professional to help you tailor it better to your audience if you have the time to dedicate.

Post

Once you have your content, the next step is to post it! Posting means inputting the content into the blogging platform and making it live. Much more goes into it from a technical perspective, but that’s the basic process.

Types of blog posts

A law firm blog post can incorporate a wide range of information and data. As we discuss the following factors about blog topics, remember that your blog may contain content you wish to share. However, it should always focus on what your target audience (your most likely prospective clients) wants and needs.

Current events

Current event topics are perfect for thought leadership. For example, you may want to talk to your estate planning clients about how new digital currency is valued and distributed in probate. If you practice car accident law, you may wish to cover local laws regarding mobile phone use.

Evergreen content

Evergreen content is information that remains relevant over time. For example, most family law information will not change significantly over time, so family law content will continue to be factually accurate for years. Topics such as understanding divorce or how to structure a parental agreement will remain mostly the same.

Structuring your legal blog

Most often, you’ll want to include current events and evergreen content, but how do you make it all easy to navigate? A good starting point for this is to use pillar content. The pillar and cluster method of structuring content allows you to build out valuable information for your prospective clients in a way that is easy to follow. The pillars are your main services, such as divorce for a family law attorney. Then, the cluster topics can include related subtopics like uncontested divorce or alimony.

Tips for picking blog topics

how to pick a legal blog topic

You may have dozens of blog topics you want to talk about, perhaps common questions that your clients ask you or important bits of information you want your prospective clients to know. Yet, you also have to have some strategy for building out content. To do that, consider these techniques for developing blog topics.

Research

Find out what people are searching. To do that, start with keyword research. Keywords are the phrases that users type into search engines. Keyword research is the process of gathering insight into the keywords that people looking for your services use. Keyword research should be practice-area specific.

Competitor research

Learn more about what your competitors are discussing in their blogs. You don’t want to copy them, but you want to learn what works for them. Which of their pages get traffic? Which of your competitors has a successful blog, and why?

Answer questions

Use your blog to provide your readers with answers to their questions. Many people type legal inquiries into search engines to find the necessary information. You can learn more about people’s questions by using the following forums.

  • r/LegalAdvice on Reddit
  • Quora

These are real people asking authentic questions. You can also answer the questions your clients and prospective clients often ask you.

Comment on current events

There’s always something happening in the legal world that you may wish to share insight and opinion on, including:

  • Legal trends
  • Case studies and case analyses
  • New legislation that impacts your practice area

Showcase your firm’s successes

Use your blog to talk about what you’ve done for your clients. For example, personal injury lawyers can emphasize how they have previously helped victims secure large settlements. Provide full case studies that showcase what happened, your legal strategies, and the outcome.

Feature testimonials on your site, too. Testimonials are key indicators consumers rely on when deciding who to turn to for their legal needs.

How to write blog articles that people will actually read

Once you have some ideas, the next step is writing. Here are some strategies that can make a huge difference in your results.

Write to your audience, not the algorithm

When creating a blog, focus on your audience, the people you want to be reading it. What do they want and need to know? Don’t make the mistake of writing to the search engines. Your blog will naturally rank for the search engines when using high-quality content optimized for SEO. However, if you try to manipulate the algorithm, you risk penalties to your site and your rankings.

Insert keywords where they make sense

In addition to writing to your audience, use, but do not overuse, keywords in your content. These are the terms people are looking for when searching for information about the topic. Again, you build good content marketing for your audience. Avoid placing too many words into the content to attract Google’s attention. This tactic is known as keyword stuffing and is considered “blackhat” or unethical SEO. Use keywords where they make sense organically within your writing. Less is more here.

Answer questions your potential clients are asking

The content you create should directly answer the questions your clients ask based on your research and experience. When a client contacts you for the first time, what are their priorities, biggest concerns, and questions? Write about topics like that.

Write clearly and concisely

You’re a highly educated attorney used to writing highly technical documents for other attorneys, the legal industry, and publications. Your blogs should be the opposite: concise, to the point, and with as little legal jargon as possible. You don’t want to frustrate people who may not understand legal concepts or language, but give them just enough information that they want to call you.

To help with an easy-to-flow blog, create an outline that begins with a thesis statement — what this blog will be about. Then touch on the main points you wish to communicate.

Ask questions to engage your readers

Within the content, use questions to engage readers. You want them to think, “This really is my situation.” Then, at the end of the blog, ask questions that get them to respond. Consider ending with a question like, “What’s your experience with the probate process? What was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome and were not expecting?”

Cite credible sources

Always include links to government and legal websites, perhaps to research or news articles from reliable sources. These links will help you with SEO over time but also help give your content credibility and authority.

Break up walls of text with pictures and videos

A big block of long paragraphs is hard to read. To help people continue to scroll through your content, incorporate photos, videos, bullet points, and headings throughout. Breaking up your text makes it easier for readers to locate the exact information they want to learn.

Proofread carefully

You may not believe you made a mistake, but small errors can tarnish the professionalism you want to build for your blog. Tools like Grammarly and Microsoft Word can help you locate and correct errors. 

Crosslink points with related topics

Remember the pillar and cluster structure we discussed? As you build it out, include links between blog posts with related content. Then, include links to practice area pages, your contact page, and your about page. By adding internal links to other pages, you encourage users to stay on your site, increasing their chance of converting to leads.

Promoting your legal blog

Your blog is polished and looks great. Now what? 

After posting it to your website, here are some tips to help people to find and use it.

Share your post on social media

Get your post out on social media. Most law firm social media marketing includes sites like:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

You should include a few sentences that work as a teaser and then a link to your post. Use questions to get people to engage with the post and click the link.

Submit your posts to relevant websites for cross-publishing

Many attorneys can build up their audience and traffic by cross-publishing on other sites, whether that’s Forbes for your business-focused content or another well-respected site appropriate for your practice areas.

Guest blog on other sites

Creating a blog post to publish on another website instead of your own blog sounds counterintuitive, but it can help you to get more traffic and links back to your website. For example, if you are a car accident attorney, look for national and local agencies that may benefit from a drunk driving post. You can reach a new audience and gain quality backlinks to your site that can improve your domain rating and keyword ranks.

Network with other industry professionals

Look for other professionals in your community that may be in complementary legal services or perhaps just in the community. Network with nationwide professionals, too. You can do this through the following:

  • Attending events related to your practice areas
  • Participating in or hosting a podcast
  • Building out a webinar or participating in one designed by another party

Create email newsletters for subscribers

Your email list is a great place to send an update about your most recent blog post. These are people who are already interested in what you have to offer. Give them more reason to come back to your site.

Five tips to make your blog stand out in a crowd

Blogging is growing in the legal industry because of how impactful and valuable it is. Here’s how to help your blog stand out in a crowded field.

Video content

If you dislike writing all that information, create a few video blogs instead. Video content with excellent sound quality and lighting stands out in a world where users are likelier to watch a video than read a 1,000-word article. You don’t have to hire a video production company, either. Cell phones can record high-quality video and audio.

Post regularly

Create a regular blog posting schedule. How aggressive you are depends on your time availability to write and create good quality content. Aim for one or more posts every week.

Include calls to action

At least once at the end but also throughout, create a few calls to action in your content. These brief statements encourage people to contact you, such as “Contact us now for a free consultation” or “Ask us your question through our contact form.”

Make local connections and link them to your blog

Work to develop relationships with people, professional organizations, schools, and others within your service area. Networking like this is great for a new business but also for brand-building. You can reach new audiences and gain valuable backlinks and professional connections.

Hire a digital marketing agency to manage your blog and website

Thus far, we have outlined the basics of creating and building a successful law firm blog. If your timeline doesn’t allow for this amount of time commitment, and you don’t have the time to learn each area’s specific steps and strategies, hire a professional to design and manage your blog.

That will also ensure you get the best SEO results from your content and still hit reader objectives and needs.

how to make your legal blog stand out infographic

Measuring the success of your legal blog

The process is more than just throwing up some content and hoping it works. We want to measure success, determine what’s working, and eliminate what’s not to ensure your investment goes as far as possible. Here are some basic metrics that can help us to evaluate a legal blog’s success.

Site traffic

How many people are coming to your blog? Is there an increase in the number of people getting there? Site traffic lets us see the number of clicks getting to your site. Ultimately, we want to see this grow at a steady pace.

Traffic source

Where are people coming from? Are they clicking through from a social media website? Perhaps they are coming from Google search (that means your SEO game is on track!). Knowing where your traffic comes from lets you refine your efforts to meet people where they are.

Page views

Page views can help you to see what people are specifically interested in when they land on your site. Overall, blog views can help you to see how many people your blog has reached, but you also want to look at top-viewed posts. These may be hot, valuable topics, or they may be exceptionally optimized content. Learn from them and promote them well. We also want to look at the average views per page to understand what content may benefit from an update or which areas may benefit from refining. If a high-performing page has started to decline in views, it may be time for an update.

New users

This metric measures new people who have never learned about your law firm. New users are the ultimate goal of building traffic to your site, especially if they are targeted audience members and prospective new clients.

Time on page

Once those people get to your website, what are they doing? We want to understand  how long they spend on your page to get an idea of whether the content is actually interesting and valuable to them.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate tells us how many people leave your blog without interacting. That is, how many people get to the page, see what it’s about, and then leave? Sometimes this can indicate problems with the headings, content, or navigation. Other times, you’re attracting the wrong audience and need to reevaluate your strategy.

Conversation rate

This is your ultimate goal. This is the number of people who get to your website and then take action by calling you or filling out a form. As you consider conversion rate, also focus on what type of content is driving it. What’s pulling in the most leads for you? That’s where you’ll want to focus.

Be the answer to the internet’s legal questions

A legal blog can create significant opportunities for your practice and the community in general. Ready to get started creating your own valuable, engaging blog?

Array Digital can help every step of the way. Set up a free consultation to learn how. Call us at 757-333-3021 or fill out our contact form now.

Written By Erik J. Olson
Founder & CEO
Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.

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