Blogging seems so easy, right? When compared to complicated briefs and other legal documents, churning out law blog posts should be a simple task. Except, it isn’t. There are multiple pitfalls that you can fall into when attempting to write quality blog posts. When you make mistakes, your blog isn’t as effective as it could be at generating new leads.
Are you making these mistakes with your law firm website’s blog?
Why Do Lawyers Fail at Blogging?
As a lawyer, you know that hours of research and preparation go into effectively representing your clients. This includes everything from researching influential cases, strategizing your arguments in preparation for the other side’s approach, to understanding who the judge is overseeing the case. By the time game time comes, you are ready for anything and have thought of all possible issues.
Why are you not taking this approach with your legal marketing? Lawyers fail at managing a blog because it takes research, time, and effort. Stop delegating your social media, podcast, webinars, and blogging to your law students.
Just like researching who the jury will be for a criminal trial, you need to know who your audience is for your intended blog post. Just like meeting deadlines outlined in the rules of civil procedure, your blogging should also follow a set schedule. There should be consistency in your posting. The documents you produce should follow best practices to ensure they are clear, concise, and enforceable. The best legal blogs follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to ensure your blog posts perform the way you want them to. Finally, you need to promote your content.
Avoid these mistakes when writing blog posts for your law practice’s content marketing strategy.
Only Writing About What Interests you
Are you your target audience? No, you aren’t. Neither are the other legal professionals that you interact with within the legal industry. Your current and potential clients should be your target audience. For the majority of lawyers, the target audience is the average American. About 54% of American adults read at a 6th-grade reading level. So, if you are writing about complicated legal information within your practice area, you are speaking way above your audience. This makes you unrelatable and useless to the reader. They will move on to a lawyer who is able to explain the law on a level they can understand.
Additionally, your blog topics should be something that your audience wants to read about. For example, the ABA Journal, BigLaw, Law.com, and LexBlog produce high quality content that directly relates to lawyers and their practice management. This could include legal news, the latest rulings handed down by the Supreme Court, or legal ethics. It could also include best practices to stay compliant with the laws and regulations, because your firm isn’t above the law. For example, legal technology to maintain data privacy for clients.
These are topics that your readers probably don’t care about. Someone who is looking to hire a law practice to prepare their estate planning documents wants to read about the will preparation process. Someone needing law advice for a real estate transaction could want more information about easements and how they work.
Forgetting Your Audience’s Pain Points
Additionally, visitors to your website are likely searching for legal advice. While you can’t give specific legal recommendations, you can talk about the services that your legal practice offers. Explain how the process works for those legal services and what clients can expect when they hire you. These are topics someone going to a lawyer’s website wants to read about. While including posts about the latest development in the law helps establish credibility, these aren’t going to convince someone to hire your firm.
Your Writing Is Too Stiff
We all know the reputation legal writing has, right? It’s so stiff and convoluted that you have to hire a lawyer to understand what even the simplest of sentences mean. You’ve lost your readers if you are writing your blog posts with this same approach that you’re using to address legal issues. People hire lawyers to decipher their legal documents. They don’t want to hire you to explain your blog posts too.
This doesn’t mean you have to be overly casual and mimic the tone of travel, fashion, or mommy bloggers. Create a personality for your law firm and stick to it. The voice of your blog post should be friendly and approachable. This does not mean you need to give up professionalism or formalism. It just means you need to write in a way that gives the reader a positive first impression of your firm. One of the biggest complaints clients have about their lawyer is a lack of communication. If you can’t effectively communicate through your blog, clients will assume that you won’t communicate well when representing them.
Your Topics Are Too Broad
Writing a single article about a legal topic is a futile effort. Think back to the hefty size of your books in law school. Now imagine asking your clients to read those books. It wouldn’t go over well, right? The same thing happens with blog topics that are too broad. There are so many details and nuances to include that the reader gets lost and confused.
Break down topics into smaller, digestible lessons. Aim to write about topics that you can effectively explain in about 1,000-2,000 words. Then link your articles together. This does two things. It gets to the point of the information that the reader wants. It also encourages the reader to go on to another article and stay on your website. The longer they are on your site, the more likely they are to hire your firm.
You’re Brain Dumping
When preparing legal briefs and documents, you don’t sit down, and brain dump everything. This would lead to a disorganized paper and forgotten points. So then, why are you sitting down to write a blog post without an outline? You end up going off on tangents that don’t need to be included in the blog post.
Start every blog post with a template or an outline. Create a structure that includes your main headers and any subheaders you need. You could even bullet point the main points under each header.
You’re Not Using Examples
This can be a challenge with attorney-client privilege rules to work around. However, you need to give context to what you’re talking about. Examples help the reader apply the legal topics you’re talking about into real-world situations. Sometimes it’s helpful to include data-driven examples. This provides validity to your statements. It also helps to include visual aids. Some people understand information better when it’s presented visually. For example, instead of just listing out the elements of crime in criminal law, a healthcare personal injury claim, or intellectual property claim, use a chart or diagram.
Improve Your Legal Blog Posts
If you are making these mistakes with your legal blog posts, it’s time to make some changes. Assess your approach to writing by ensuring you are writing for your audience by doing the necessary preparation and writing in a relatable voice. Stick to narrow, easily digestible topics. Taking this approach will help small law firms stay competitive in the search engine rankings against larger lawsites by treating the marketing like a small business.
Improve your blog posts by hiring a professional writer who is skilled in writing blog posts for law firms.