Not all blogs are made equal, as each has a unique purpose for a particular audience. Our legal systems are the foundation of civilization, being the core of law in order in each country.
According to the American Bar Association, the regulatory body in one of the most powerful nations in the world, thirty-seven percent of law firms have their own blogs.
The number hikes up to sixty percent amongst firms with over one hundred lawyers.
What’s more, one out of every three clients claimed to have chosen their law practitioner directly because of their firm’s blogging efforts.
What about law blogs make them particularly fruitful in an online world that feels massively bloated and competitive? Let’s take a look at the ideal process for starting a legal blog before I give you the answer.
- Steps to Start a Legal Blog
- 1. Define Your Goals
- 2. Narrow Down Your Niche
- 3. Understand Your Audience
- 4. Learn From The Competition
- 5. Get Ready To Start Writing Consistently
- 6. Maximise Your Reach
- How To Do SEO For A Legal Blog (Basics)
- I. Keyword Research:
- II. Content Plan:
- III. Building Authority
- IV. Link Building
- Should You Start A Legal Blog Today?
- In Conclusion
Steps to Start a Legal Blog
There are countless pieces of advice you can find out there about starting a new blog or website.
I’m sure you are a busy person, so I’ve condensed it into six simple points you can start immediately.
Open up a notebook and have a pen ready to write down any ideas you get while you read this, and you can get the ball rolling on your project today.
This is how I think you should start a blog, with some additional things you can consider afterward.
1. Define Your Goals
As you know, there are all kinds of blogs out there, and most of them never see the light of day. That’s why defining your objective from the get-go will help you by starting with the right mindset.
So consider this: Why are you starting a new blog about the law? What do you want to get out of it? Having the end goal clearly laid out will also give you direction in turbulent times.
Making a blog that’s worth reading and building an audience are challenging undertakings, so write down your objectives to answer these questions now.
Perhaps you have a private law practice or are part of a firm? Blogging serves as an effective and affordable digital marketing strategy that helps you build credibility with your potential clients.
In this case, your blog’s main purpose is the generate leads, make conversions and land clients. Such a blog will require a very serious commitment with a regular publishing schedule compared to a personal blog, where you can post once a month.
2. Narrow Down Your Niche
When it comes to things like law, there is no niche that’s too small. In fact, a good rule of thumb says the smaller, the better! If you have a small area of expertise, it’s much more likely for you to be able to gain authority on a subject.
This is especially crucial in a competitive online landscape with thousands of other law firms. It’s much harder to write anything meaningful in a blog article about contract or divorce law.
Proper information in such cases would require a medium-sized book. Alternatively, you could make a killer article on something like, “Is it illegal in Pennsylvania to customize your license late?”
Do you see my point? So write down in your notebook answers to the following: What is my area of expertise? Is there something that I am interested in enough to do in-depth research about? What skills and experiences do I have to offer?
This should help you ascertain your area of focus.
3. Understand Your Audience
While personal branding is important, it is also important to know your clients. The former allows you to know what you can offer, and the latter tells you what people actually require.
Closing the gap between the two is what marketing is all about.
Think about your target audience in terms of priority. Who are you writing for? What kind of problems do you want to solve? Who do you want to read your articles first?
Geography would be a very important aspect for practitioners looking to advertise their services. Laws differ from state to state, and so do interests. Maybe you’d like to write about the legalities regarding exotic pets in Texas. You get the idea.
Think about the psychology of your target audience; put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to search on Google for that you can answer better than most people? That’s what you should focus on.
4. Learn From The Competition
Here’s an exercise for you: look up the biggest law firm in your vicinity and see if they have a blog on their own website. If it is a successful one, What are they writing about?
Experienced players that are your competition can serve as a great guiding light for you when you are just starting out. Don’t be intimidated by them.
Instead, take some time initially to see what they are doing. There’s a common saying we love to use in the marketing world: “Don’t reinvent the wheel.”
Rather than learning from your own failures, just take the frameworks from other folks out there that are tried and tested to serve as a solid foundation on which you can build something better.
5. Get Ready To Start Writing Consistently
You will find various different business models and types of blogs during your research, and by now, you should have some excellent references and some idea of what you want to do.
Now it’s time to set the whole thing up. Buy a domain or install a WordPress plug-in to your existing website.
Alternatively, you can also choose a platform like Substack, Medium, or Blogger.
Although I’m pretty sure you should pick a dedicated legal blogging platform like LexBlog. Now here’s the most important thing: Have a publishing schedule that’s appropriate to your goals and then stick to it.
You can’t be mad at the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do. Creating content and putting it out there is the minimum level of work you need to put in to get any kind of real returns.
Here’s what I suggest: Make a content plan and set up a system that automates your articles. You don’t want to start from scratch with every article.
Pick a few clusters of content from the start that you want to write about and have a bunch of topics always ready.
Have a system like “One human rights article on Monday, A news story on Wednesday, An interview on Friday,” or something like that.
6. Maximise Your Reach
If you are into law, there is a good chance that you already have a network of people online. Everyone has various different circles where they can reach out to different people.
Once you’ve figured out and decided what your content looks like, you need to put it to good use and get as many eyeballs on it as possible. So the next step involves setting up a system for that.
First, you need to choose your traffic sources: Do you want to write to a small community of people online through your social media, or do you want to scale the operation and build your brand?
It’s important to note that you can have varying degrees of success with time after committing to any strategy, but your plan has to be as organized as possible.
I want you to consider the idea that every platform has its own unique audience, and if you’re looking to market your business, the wider your reach, the better.
Here are a few tips:
- Learn to utilize your content optimally. If you’ve written a unique article that highlights your own experiences, try to upload it under your name on multiple platforms.
- Get the most out of each piece of content as you possibly can. Analyze the different potential sources of traffic and choose which ones are the best for you.
- Reach out to colleagues with your writings on relevant subjects, and join conversations online on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also find topics to write about on these websites’ trending pages.
Due to its viability as a source of traffic, I want to elaborate just a little about how you can leverage Google even more, using some basic SEO.
How To Do SEO For A Legal Blog (Basics)
More people are using Google today than ever before, and so SEO is also rapidly gaining importance in the digital marketing world.
Instead of overwhelming you with details and new words, I want to focus on the overall strategy behind using Google to generate more traffic for your online presence.
This way, you can get an overview of the process and know what you are in for.
While these practices can really help you get some results, the quality of the content always comes first. Think of good SEO, like packaging in a store.
A good, well-presented product that speaks to the customer will definitely make the initial sale, but if it just isn’t a good product, the person will never buy it again.
So have acceptable SEO; just don’t forget to write well while doing it.
Let’s get right into it.
I. Keyword Research:
The most important thing you need to consider before starting a blog for digital marketing is very straightforward: What are people actually searching for?
So you need to think about the sales process in your niche. What is it that your target audience is actively searching for that you can gain their trust by using well-written articles?
Use your creativity and then type in ideas in the search bar to see if anything else pops up.
You can also use Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to get an idea of how many people are searching for any particular topic.
You can take it even further using tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs that are specifically made for this purpose. They are paid tools, so you do need to invest in them.
II. Content Plan:
A great way to organize the process is to have all your topics laid out for a month and then have your articles on the content calendar.
This way, you can set yourself up for success, and you don’t have to come up with a topic every time it’s a designated publishing day.
Here’s what you need to look out for when choosing topics:
- How many people are searching for it?
- How many articles are already written on the subject?
- Can you write something better and still rank well with a newer and lesser-known website?
Have a few different kinds of topics to keep things interesting and cover everything you can related to the topic. This brings me to my next point.
III. Building Authority
The more you write about a topic, the more of an expert you become on it. Similarly, Google gives a better “trust rating” to a website if they’ve fully covered any topic.
As you publish more and more articles, your website will gain more authority which will increase its ranking on the search results page. The key is always good quality content, so if all this is new to you, don’t worry about it.
Keep your eyes on the ball and keep going. If you keep writing, publishing, and sharing, your website can also become number one with time and patience.
IV. Link Building
The final piece of the puzzle is having links from other websites that point to your articles. This is a piece of cake if you’ve been earnest from the beginning.
What I mean is: if you’ve been focusing on what the people want and if you’ve been writing valuable, unique, and digestible content, people will always be sharing your work.
You will have mentions across platforms, and other people in the field will cite your articles. If you’ve been too focused on optimizing for Google, though, it can be a real nightmare.
Links are the difference between a reputable website and an up-and-coming one, and for the most part, the hardest thing to achieve.
If you have all four, you have your articles on the first page of the search results, if not at #1.
Should You Start A Legal Blog Today?
After having read all that, you must be feeling a little overwhelmed. Perhaps all you had thought about was writing a few articles.
Well, let me tell you, if you have some ideas, you definitely need to execute them.
You never know what might happen. You can start off with a personal blog on Blogger and transfer things to your own website one day as well. That is always an option.
But If you get overwhelmed by your options and never try to write anything in the first place, that will be the ultimate waste of time and energy.
As long as something comes out of an idea, it is well worth it.
Just to tie a neat bow over the whole thing, ranking #1 on Google with a new website can take anywhere from six to eight months to over two to three years.
If you are a legal SaaS company with a global target audience, that is definitely the way to go.
But if you are a private legal practitioner looking for clients in your vicinity, a good online presence, and a personal blog can work wonders for you as well.
Countless law firms have done it, and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. The thing is, the intellectual nature of Law makes it perfect for the written word.
It’s also closely tied to journalism and current affairs, where articles range from highly commoditized to wildly opinionated. Your written words are your adversaries. They are your representatives.
A lawyer is, by default, associated with logic, debate, and articulation. This is why a well-written blog with relevant articles can work wonders in terms of gaining the trust of potential clients.
Long story short, if you are a lawyer, you really should consider the benefits that blogging has for you as a low-cost, zero-investment, and highly effective digital marketing opportunity.