Blogging for Lawyers: 5 Tips To Get Started
How many times have you heard from “the experts” that you need to start blogging? And how many times have you thought to yourself “Yeah right. Like I have time for that.”
Or perhaps you think to yourself, “Who on earth wants to listen to what I have to say?”
The problem is, “the experts” are kinda right. According to online marketing firm Hubspot, B2C firms that blog earn 88% more leads per month than those who don’t. In the B2B space, the blogging firms score 67% more leads than their non-blogging counterparts.
Here’s why: Google loves blogs. People love blogs. We all love blogs. Blogs are good. So get started blogging and do your part to contribute to the online information firehose.
People typically find you via searching on the web or by sharing your content – through links to your posts or by putting them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
But there’s a problem here: you kind of need to look at blogging like adopting a pet or changing your diet. This is something that is hopefully going to stick around for a while. So let’s assume that you’re staring at this blogging train charging by and you’re asking yourself, how do I get onboard?
Get Started Blogging Tip #1: Choose a Subject That Won’t Bore You
Of all of our blogging tips for lawyers, this is probably the most important. For blogs to be successful, you need to post regularly. Ideally, three times a week, at a minimum, once a week. You’re committing to a decent amount of time, so you need to enjoy what you’re writing about, and there’s plenty of ways to do that.
Are you a devotee of a productivity system, like GTD or 7 Habits? Perhaps you’re a Droid junkie. Maybe you practice a specific area of law, or your jurisdiction has funny wrinkles in it. Maybe you love references to the law in books or movies. Perhaps you collect anecdotes from trials or interesting ethics violations.
Typically, if you find something interesting, odds are someone else will find it interesting as well. The beauty of the Internet is its breadth and humungous-ness in scope, allowing like-minded people to find each other.
Get Started Blogging Tip #2: Employ Timeblocking to Reserve Blogging Time on Your Calendar
You’re a busy attorney. Odds are, your time is literally money. So how do I spend time writing? Quite simply: reserve it on your calendar.
For me, there are a couple of good times to write: early in the morning before the rest of the world wakes up and on my lunch break. But you need to reserve the time on your calendar and stick to it, a technique known as time-blocking. On the Friday or Sunday before your next week, take a look at your calendar and see when you have time to devote to blogging.
Look: some things take time. But the more you write, the faster you’ll be. So it might take you 50 minutes to write your initial blog posts, and eventually you’ll knock ’em out in 25 minutes.
Get Started Blogging Tip #3: Understand The Anatomy of a Good Blog Post
Stick to around 400 words of content length. Your title should try to capture people’s attention. There’s entire articles, probably even books, written on the subject of titles. For now, try to keep the titles obvious, not cutesy, and titles that start with numbers or “How To” tend to get a lot of readership. Each blog post should have an image (Fotolia is a good inexpensive source for stock images).
Get Started Blogging #4: Anchor Your Blog with Regularly Recurring Segments
Generating ideas for blog posts is very tiring, which is true for content of any nature. That’s why every program you watch has regularly recurring segments, from Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live to The Puzzler on Car Talk. It eases creation.
For example, we feature an App of the Week post every friday. Our Rocket Matter blog features a regular “Wednesday Wisdom” column, offering up helpful tips for our law practice management software. Consider what could help you regularly pound out useful content.
Get Started Blogging #5: Look to the Masters
There’s a couple of people who regularly impress us at Rocket Matter. Take a look at Carolyn Elefant’s blog on solo and small firm issues, MyShingle. Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse is an awesome, enlightened blog on the business of family law. Scott Greenfield’s opinionated Simple Justice blog has some of the most entertaining, best writing around. It’s from the masters of the trade that you can really learn.
12-Point Blog Post Checklist
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