Ideally, your law firm blog should attract new business so that you can open new files. By using the five kinds of revenue-generating topics listed below, your law blog can be an effective business development vehicle.
The Key to Topic Selection
Whether you want to write blog posts yourself or designate them to a professional law blogging company, topic selection for law firm blog posts is the key to getting new business and generating revenue with your blog. Lawyers don't think they have time to develop ideas for a blog. Sure it's easy to write when inspiration strikes,
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but firing from the hip can actually hurt your law firm blog more than help it. These flashes of inspiration often appear underdeveloped and sometimes clash with the content strategy of the site. So where can a busy lawyer find strategic, relevant and revenue-generating topics to actively write a blog? The following ideas should help set your topic selection process in motion. You do not need to use all of them – select what works for you and develop an effective process.
Start by considering your client's biggest concerns and write posts based on what you would tell them:
- What do potential clients ask about during initial consultations?
- What do clients ask about in emails?
- You may even have some of these saved – cut and paste your answers, edit them for anonymity and you've got a post!
- What questions should clients ask but often do not?
Similar to an FAQ, these questions will be the same for many clients and that gives you a universally appealing topic to write about. Also, there are going to be differences in your answers depending on certain key facts, and presenting these variations can give you even more to write about.
What's happening in the news makes for great law firm blog fodder, from celebrity legal issues to consumer news, legal developments and politics – use the news to explain legal issues and how your firm handles them:
- What are the “hot button” issues for your clients?
- Are there any need-to-know legal developments?
- Headlines (local and national) – what are people reading about that involves legal issues that need clarification?
- Social media comments – anything trending on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter can give you plenty to talk about, as well as, ready to use quotes and sources (if publicly posted)
A word of caution: just because it's news doesn't mean it's relevant. That being said, with a little creativity you may be able to link something that everyone is talking about to what you do – just make sure whatever you are writing about is helpful to your potential and existing clients.
Five Kinds of Revenue-Generating Topics
The best blogs use formulaic approaches to presenting content that allows them “re-purpose” information and capture reader attention – here are some of the most effective “format” style posts:
- Prediction Posts – these work well in December when considering the coming calendar year, but can also work for events like the impact of election outcomes (local and national) on legal issues or what kinds of lawsuits a new product might experience – any predictions should be used as a starting point to discuss legal issues in a context interesting to your target clients
- Top Seven Lists - write about the seven issues, points, tips, etc. your client needs to know about (top seven and top three lists seem to work better than top ten for blogging and it means less things you need to write in your post!)
- Regular Features – this is like Ask the Lawyer or Weekly Police Blotter Digest (discussing the arrests in the newspaper for that week) – people come to expect these and look forward to them if you can put a good spin on the column
- Comment Responses – if your blog gets a lively discussion going on a post you wrote that in itself may provide you with a new piece of content (summarizing the discussion, quoting users, responding to the issues raised, etc.)
- Guest Posts – invite another lawyer or expert onto your blog to write a post – this gives variety to the blog and can alleviate some of the pressure on you to write everything
Regardless of your practice area, clients need a “Reader's Digest” version of what's happening in the law, how that affects their interests and, most importantly, how YOUR law firm handles their issues.
Demonstrate Expertise Through Proper Topic Selection
Outstanding law firm blogs both write about interesting topics and demonstrate how their law firm handles these issues. You want to give the flavor of your firm without stuffing it into the readers' mouth: don't become a car salesman at this point.
Simply talk about the approach used at the firm to handle legal issues X, Y and Z. Use examples and representative cases with links to portfolio pages about those cases, where appropriate. The key is not to waste the opportunity of the blog post, by being just another law blog writing about the same topics as everyone else. Your experience is unique and this is where you can differentiate.
We know the best advice in the world can't buy you the extra time needed to consistently write an engaging blog. You will find that one of our law firm blogging packages fits your needs better than the do-it-yourself approach.