01Pick a Niche Legal 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? For ideas, you may choose to focus your blog on a geographical region (i.e., Chicago lawyer), (i.e., intellectual property advice), niche subject (i.e., , , ) or another more narrowly-defined topic.
02Focus on Quality and Relevant Content
Content may be king but low quality content will turn readers away. On the other hand, professional, , expertly researched blog posts on relevant legal topics will help you build your platform as an expert in your niche area and grow your readership.
As part of your focus, decide who your readers are, and how you need to write for them. Are they lawyers practicing in your same field? Are they potential clients?
Your content must serve your readers. If they 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.
Regular blog 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 and give readers something to look forward to each time they return.
Failing to update your blog regularly will not only turn readers off but will lower your blog in search engine rankings. You can blog about current events in the legal world if you're running dry of other topics to cover.
04Engage Your Readers
Engage readers in 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.
You could add a question-and-answer section on your blog to post your answers to commonly-asked questions or common legal mistakes, for example.
05Examine Website Metrics
Utilize website metrics to measure traffic and page views. Metrics can help you gauge your growth and learn what legal 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. Metrics can also tell you specifics such as which pages readers spend the most time on, which keywords have the best conversion rates, and where your readers are coming from—how they're finding your blog.
06Promote Your Blog
Once you start a blog, you will need to actively promote it to build a substantial following. These are a great way to garner readers, increase your audience and get your name out there.
Posting on other relevant blogs with links back to your blog, and adding your website address to printed and promotional materials are just a few of the many ways to get exposure for your blog.
The majority of your readers will find your blog through a search using Google, Yahoo, Bing or another search engine. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your pages so they rank high in search engines.
Free Web tools like Wordtracker, Google AdWords, Google Trends and the Yahoo! Buzz Index can help you choose keywords that will draw the most people to your site.
Use relevant keywords in everything you post on your site, from the text in articles, to the titles and links, to names of posted pictures and videos, but also be aware of what constitutes keyword stuffing, or overuse.
If you defend reckless driving charges, for example, keywords that would bring up your blog in search engine results might include "reckless driving laws, "penalties for reckless driving," or "effective defenses for reckless driving."
08Include 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.
As an addition to your "About" page or posted as individual articles, leverage your experience with certain types of cases. You can also write about good outcomes you've had with specific clients (while keeping personal details confidential, of course).
09Incorporate 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.
Many people like blog posts that are also presented in video format, so that they can listen while doing other activities or listen to the information with others more easily.
10Steer 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.
Add the appropriate disclaimer on your website, and you can insert it into the bottom "footer" portion of your site so that it automatically shows on every page.
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, making it harder and harder to get your blog discovered, much less get repeat visitors . The biggest question many legal bloggers have is, how can you invest time in creating a successful blog that stands out from the others?
Today's web tools make creating and maintaining a blog easier than ever. You don't need advanced web design skills, HTML knowledge or a lot of money to start your own blog. Here are a few tips for launching a blog and building a loyal readership.