Start a Blog

Blogging Tips for Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Legal blogs, also known as “blawgs,” are proliferating on the Internet.  As of this writing, nearly 200 million blogs exist on the Web. In fact 21,458 blogs were launched in just the past 24 hours!  Many of these blogs are law-related.

So, how can you create a successful blog that stands out from the others? Today's web tools make creating a blog easier than ever.  You don't need advanced web design skills, HTML knowledge or a lot of money to start a blog. Here are a few tips for launching a blog and building a loyal readership.

Pick a Niche Topic

Choose a topic that strikes a balance between appealing to the largest possible audience and focusing on a niche area that you are knowledgeable about and that will draw traffic. For example, there are thousands of personal injury lawyer blogs – what makes yours unique? You may choose to focus your blog on a geographical region (i.e., Chicago lawyer), practice area (i.e., intellectual property advice), niche subject (i.e., legal newspractice tipsgetting into law school) or another topic.

Focus on Quality Content

Content may be king but low quality content will turn readers away. On the other hand, professional, well-written, expertly researched blog posts will help you build your platform as an expert in your niche area and grow your readership.  If readers like what they read, if they are informed, inspired or intrigued, they will return to your blog regularly and will link back to you from their blogs. More

Post Regularly

Regular posts will keep your content fresh and draw more readers to your blog.  Daily posts are ideal but hard to maintain when you are busy.  As a general rule, one to three blog posts a week will keep your blog fresh. Failing to update your blog regularly will not only turn readers off but will lower your search engine rankings.

Engage Readers

Engage your readers through comments and discussions to develop a loyal readership. Post content that is cutting-edge, controversial or informative, ask open-ended questions, start a dialogue and encourage readers to comment on specific blog posts.  Converting passive readers into active participants in the discussion will draw readers in and keep them coming back for more.  Tools such as polls and forums can help to engage readers as well.

Examine Web Metrics

Utilize web metrics to measure traffic and page views.  Metrics can help you gauge your growth and learn what topics interest your readers the most, allowing you to fine-tune your content to reader demand.  Likewise, metrics can reveal low-performing posts and help guide your overall content strategy.

Promote Your Blog

Once you start a blog, you will need to actively promote it to build a substantial following.  These 12 ways to promote your blog are a great way to garner readers, increase your audience and get your name out there. More

Utilize SEO

The majority of your readers will find your blog through a Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your pages so they rank high in the search engines. Free Web tools like Wordtracker, Google AdWords, Google Trends and the Yahoo! Buzz Index can help you choose key words that will draw the most people to your site.

Include Your Bio

Create an "About” section to highlight your skills and background and promote your law practice or business, if applicable. Include links to publications, your firm or business, work samples and other information. Here’s my bio as an example.  More

Incorporate Audio and Visuals

You can give your blog added dimension by including audio or visual components such as videos and photographs. This is a great way to recycle existing content and punch up your blog’s presentation.

Steer Clear of Giving Legal Advice

Stay away from giving legal advice, even if you are a lawyer, or from giving readers the impression that an attorney-client relationship was formed. See Formal Ethics Opinion 10-457 for details on what lawyers can and cannot include on their websites.