With the explosion of blogging and social media in recent years, many businesses are taking up writing their own blogs. What once was deemed an activity reserved for moms who wanted to post recipes or anyone who just wanted to muse about life in general has now become the cornerstone of a business’ online presence.
Blogging guru Neil Patel hones in on why blogging is so important. He writes that 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read, 60% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading its blog, and 70% of consumers learn about a company through its blog versus ads. Attorneys who have applied this principle to their own website and post to their law blogs on a consistent basis can testify that not only does their legal blog boost their search engine rankings and their overall traffic, but it consistently gets new clients in the door.
So You’ve Started a Legal Blog. Great! But Are You Doing It Right?
Blogging itself isn’t complicated. Once it’s all set up, you simply log into a WordPress platform or similar blogging platform to post your content. But what you write in your legal blog plays a significant role in how your potential clients view your firm.
Finding Topics to Post About
For many attorneys, coming up with topics to write about on their law blogs is the most challenging aspect of blogging. While you may be tempted to post about the latest award you’ve been given or the multi-million dollar settlement your firm just won, these types of blog posts should be secondary to posts that include rich content focused on the needs of your reader. We’re not saying to never include them, because you absolutely should. Your blog is a great place for you to show off your accomplishments.
But in reality, potential clients don’t gravitate to blogs that showcase an attorney’s abilities or accolades. Those are nice to have in the background, but it is far more important to speak to potential clients about topics they really care about.
The Key to Writing Killer Law Blogs
The single most important thing writers of law blogs can do is to consider their audience, or who they are writing to.
The Georgia Bankruptcy Law Network posted a recent blog that was named a top blog by Kevin at Lexblog. The topic? How important it is to file tax returns on time.
If you’re a bankruptcy attorney, you likely deal with significantly more complex situations on a daily basis than just encouraging people to file their taxes on time. You want to share with them the difficult things you’re working on, the things that really showcase your skills as a formidable attorney in your area. But is that what your potential clients want to read on a legal blog?
This particular blog was conceivably successful because it addresses the basic needs of people who are most likely to be seeking the services of a bankruptcy lawyer — the average Joe who may be in financial trouble.
If you take a look at some of the other blogs on the Georgia Bankruptcy Law Network website, you’ll notice that all of them appear to be written to specific people.
These blogs target everyday individuals dealing with everyday problems — people who are behind on child support, people who have credit cards, and anyone experiencing financial challenges.
This is the type of content that people want to read.
They want to go to an attorney’s legal blog and feel like the attorney is talking right to them. When it appears as though a lawyer understands what they’re going through and has answers to the problems they’re facing in their own life, they are more likely to pick up the phone and book a consultation.
How to Identify Your Target Audience
Entreprenuer discusses ten questions to ask yourself when determining who your target market is. Understanding who you’re blogging for is key to coming up with topic ideas designed to reach them. Let’s look at a few of the questions Entrepreneur suggests are crucial in honing in on your target audience:
Who would pay for my service?
As an attorney, you must identify who pays for your service. Are you a personal injury lawyer? Are your clients mostly people who have been injured in car accidents or at work? Or are you an estate planning attorney? Are your clients older people who want to plan for their future?
Am I overestimating my reach?
If you’re a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s easy to believe that anyone in financial trouble would need your services. But this may not be the case. Of people who are experiencing financial trouble, are college students and other young people likely to seek out the services of a lawyer? Perhaps not. Your target audience may be middle aged individuals and couples whose college financial troubles have finally caught up with them. If you’re a family lawyer, will older couples who have been married for fifty years be needing your services? Or are you more likely to find a solid customer base with young, single parents, or younger couples getting divorced?
How did my competitors get started?
Let’s morph this question a little to fit legal blogging a little better. Think about what your competitors are posting on their law blogs. Is the bankruptcy lawyer down the street writing real life, meaningful content that is usable by their target market? Is the accident lawyer in the next town over publishing posts that appeal to the emotional side of people who have been injured unfairly due to negligence? Think about how you might adapt some of the principles your competitors are using to dial into your own target audience.
How to Actually Write Law Blogs for Your Target Audience
A crucial thing to remember as you sit down to write for your legal blog is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients. If you’re a divorce lawyer, avoid the temptation of looking at divorce law from the complex perspective that you’re required to look at as an attorney. Instead, imagine you’re a single parent who isn’t being paid court ordered child support. Or imagine you’re a husband or wife and are thinking about getting a divorce but aren’t sure where to start. What would you want to know if you were your potential client?
When writing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this topic relevant to my target audience?
- Is this topic easy for my target audience to understand?
- If this topic is more difficult for my target audience to grasp, can I break it down into smaller sections or possibly multiple blogs?
- Does this blog contain information that is meaningful to my target audience?
- Does this blog contain information that is usable by my target audience?
- Does this content speak to my target audience as though they were in my office and I were speaking directly to them about the matter at hand?
- Does this content appeal to the emotions that my target audience may be feeling in their current situation?
- Does this content compel my target audience to reach out to book a consultation with me?
Your Legal Blog Can Be Successful — You Only Need to Wear Your Clients’ Shoes
Writing law blogs can be an extremely successful endeavor for attorneys who use it as a platform to speak directly to the very people who would most benefit from their services. Take the time to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients and find out what they want to know most. If you’re a bankruptcy lawyer, it may be something as basic as why it’s important to file your taxes on time or explaining what the means test is in a way that is easy to understand. Or, if you’re a business attorney, you may be posting more complex articles about employment law, business formation, or disputes and dissolutions.
Know your audience and write for them and to them. Use your blog to connect with them and reap the benefits of what law blogs can do for your firm.