Yes, you can create killer blog posts that generate more traffic, leads and new business -- year after year. Instead of producing a flurry of short-lasting blog posts whose readership declines quickly, the smarter approach is to write durable blog posts that keep getting readers now, next month and next year.
I've been writing blog posts for more than 10 years, attracting more than 1 million visits over time. By simply adopting the blogging techniques I use, you too can create a law firm blog that generates new business over time.
As you can see in the chart, durable posts or "compounding" posts get many times more visits than "decaying" posts. While only 10% of all blog posts are durable, they account for 38% of total blog traffic. One durable blog post generates as much traffic as 6 regular posts combined.
All it takes to write a durable post is a shift in your approach, and the application of specific tactics.
Think evergreen, not topical
The go-to subject for most attorney bloggers is something topical -- "An appellate court yesterday upheld the lower court's ruling" or "A federal agency just released new statistics" or "DUI Checkpoint Locations for the Weekend." Posts that focus on current events are hot today but forgotten tomorrow. For example, can you remember the top story in Google News yesterday? Probably not.
Successful bloggers shift to writing about broad, evergreen topics that address a common issued faced by many potential clients. Examples include, "I Think I Signed a Waiver, But I Got Injured. Now What?" or "Tips For Qualifying For Chapter 13" or "4 Common Myths About Assault Charges."
To find these topics, visit your LawLytics Reports page or Google Analytics to see what posts visitors are already reading. Smart bloggers recycle earlier blog posts that got a lot of page views. Then go to the Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) and visit the Performance tab to see what search queries visitors are using to find your blog.
Use magic words and numbers
Hubspot research found that durable blog posts have titles that suggest certainty and utility, and include words like "How to" and "Your" -- addressing the reader directly. Other magic words for titles are "What," "Why" and "Best." Use these terms as titles for sure-fire blog posts that:
- Answer a question that clients ask you during an office appointment.
- Break down a person's options, such as "Prenuptial Agreement Pros And Cons."
- Tell readers on how to accomplish something: "How Do I Get An Order Of Protection Dismissed"
- Point out elements to consider when making a choice: "4 Steps to Take to Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy Again."
Another practical tip is to create a list and use a number in the headline. For example, my #1 top blog post is "The 10 Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Techniques." I wrote that 5 years ago, and it still keeps drawing readers.
Keep titles short. Eight or fewer words in the title work best. Avoid titles of 14 words or longer.
How long should a blog post be? Research shows that longer, in-depth blog posts generate 9 times more leads than short ones. A typical blog posts length is 1,050 words. However, the word count for top-ranked content in Google is between 1,140 and 1,285 words.
Be sure to include a picture with your blog post. People are visual learners and images catch the eyes. I get royalty-free stock pictures from Shutterstock. Better yet, find an infographic online that illustrates your point. A search on Google Images or Pinterest will turn up many infographics, and the creators will be thrilled that you used theirs and gave them credit. The demand and use of infographics have increased 800% in the last year.
Be strategic and prepare an editorial calendar -- pick the date when you will write about specific topics. See How to Create an Effective Content Plan For Your Law Firm’s Website. Planning ahead, writing the plan down and marking it on a calendar really makes a difference.
"It's more efficient for content marketers to create “compounding” posts that generate accretive traffic. The signature characteristic of compounding posts is that they eventually surpass the initial traffic that they generate at publication," writes Hubspot blogger Mimi An. "Based on our analysis, if you publish a compounding blog post in January, you can expect it to receive 2.5 times as many visits per month by July."