Old generation geeks remember a time when you had to type in website addresses exactly in order to reach a website. No one found this tedious, because in those days, it was also necessary to memorize phone numbers and enter them one digit at a time in order to make a phone call. The only way people could reach the website of Walter Bloggins, Esq. was to type in its URL as it appeared on the business card. If the website was www.walterblogginsesq.com, and you types www.walterbloggins.com, you would get an error message. Gimmicky web addresses like www.getoutofjailfreewithwalterb.com did little to solve this problem, because they still depended on prospective clients having reasonably accurate keyboarding skills.
Enter the search engine. Over time, these wondrous inventions have gotten better and better at guessing what information you are looking for, even based on vague and misspelled search terms. As search engines get better at helping consumers find what they want, businesses with an online presence compete for the attention of the search engines. The process of getting Google to consider your business the most appropriate, reliable, or important response to a user’s search term is called search engine optimization (SEO), and keywords are an essential part of SEO. Just how many keywords is enough, though, to convince Google that your website is a genuine article?
What Is a Keyword?
SEO keywords are words and phrases that you think that users will type into Google when trying to find your site or other sites like it. For example, “Florida DUI defense,” “Modify alimony agreement,” and “establish an LLC” are all search terms that users who need the services of a lawyer might enter. The keywords relevant to your law firm include your practice area and your geographic area, as well as other phrases related to the types of cases you accept. Some law firms try to include keywords on their sites that will respond to search terms by users who have not yet decided to hire a lawyer. These search terms include things like “Michigan alimony laws” and “how to write a will.”
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is how frequently a keyword appears on a page. For example, if the keyword “alimony” occurs ten times in a 500-word blog post, that is a keyword density of two percent. The formula is a little more complicated for “keywords” that are more than one word long. How often should you use keywords in a blog post, though? Too infrequently, and Google will not give your site enough importance. Too frequently, and Google will determine that your post smacks of charlatanism. The conventional wisdom is that the ideal keyword density is 3-5 percent. That means using the word “alimony” five times in a 500-word post or the phrase “estate planning” three times in a 600-word post, for example.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
You didn’t go to law school just to obsess about keyword density. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, original content with just the right number of keywords.
It is virtually impossible to survive law school unless you enjoy writing at least to some extent. Lawyers write for a living more than most people outside the legal profession appreciate; the opening scene of Roman J. Israel, Esq. does a great job of dramatizing this. Even without Denzel Washington’s narration, Roman’s unique voice as a writer would come through, despite that he is following the strict formulaic style of a document intended, at least in theory, to be read in court.
Lawyers write so many documents to be read by judges and by other lawyers that it is easy to forget that you are writing for a different audience when writing a blog on your law firm’s website. How can you establish the most effective tone in your blog posts? In other words, who is your audience, and how should you address them?
If You Imagined That Your Undergraduate Thesis Was a Letter to Your Mother
Imagine that the clients you met with today are the ones you will read your blog; it helps to imagine a real person, with facial features you have seen and a laugh you have heard in real life. What did they know about the laws related to your practice area when you met them for the first time? What are their pet peeves? Which pop culture references do they understand? Details about your clients that seem irrelevant when you argue their cases in court or file documents on their behalf can help you connect with them, and with other prospective clients like them, by writing a blog. Even the things that annoy you about your clients can help you identify blog post topics that will interest them or a writing style that will engage them or alienate them. Consider the following examples.
· You are a workers’ compensation lawyer. Most of your clients, who suffered serious injuries at physically dangerous and demanding jobs, do not have a college education and do not know things about the law, history, civics, and such that you consider common knowledge. Use what they do and don’t know as a guide to help you write posts that will make them feel empowered to consult you and find out more about their legal rights.
· You are a business lawyer in a community that values individualism and where grumbling about taxes and regulations is a part of everyday conversation. Use your blog to highlight ways that your clients, who are small business owners and pride themselves on being law-abiding citizens, can meet legal requirements in the most frugal way possible.
· You are a divorce lawyer whose clients are bitter about love. Your blog can lighten the mood with pop culture references about breakups and moving on after divorce; choose your pop culture references based on the time period most likely to resonate with your clients.
Contact Law Blog Writers
Of course, you can also hire professional writers to write a blog that your target audience will enjoy. You can count on Law Blog Writers to draft well-researched, engaging blog posts to connect with your website’s readership.
Outside of rap battles and in-game banter, bragging is almost always an undesirable quality. If you doubt this, just count the times you avoided entering your co-worker’s office just so he wouldn’t brag to you about his children’s most recent accomplishments. Think about how often the bragging on social media (often in the guise of self-deprecation, the dreaded humblebrag) ruins your mood so much that you have to click on law journals to cheer yourself up.
The obvious solution to this problem is “don’t brag,” but then, how do you convince people you have never met of what an awesome lawyer you are? What is a blog, if not a place for bragging and self-promotion? How can you make your law firm’s blog brag without wearing out its welcome with prospective clients?
If It Feels Disingenuous, It Probably Is
Just as an experiment, write a paragraph talking about how great you are. Once you get past the easily measurable accomplishments already listed on your resume, such as your law school GPA or articles you have published, it probably makes you cringe to write self-aggrandizing copy, even if you are not an especially self-critical person. Sentences like “Mortimer G. Blogwright, Esq. is an excellent lawyer who shows extraordinary dedication to his profession” grate on the ears, and they should.
Now, as another experiment, write a paragraph about a colleague, perhaps a former classmate from law school, and what makes him or her a good lawyer. You can probably name specific things the person has done that, while they are not listed on the person’s resume, make him or her stand out. Perhaps your classmate found an important piece of information for a case, not by consulting the Law Library but rather a different department of the Library of Congress. When describing your friend, you tell the entire story, instead of trying to summarize it in platitudes like “Lillian Blogsworth, Esq. thinks outside the box.” It’s just easier to write about other people.
Let Other People Brag About You
Perhaps, then, the solution is to let other people talk up your law firm. The best way to leverage this indirect bragging strategy for your blog is to link to content that mentions your law firm or any of its employees in a positive or neutral way. (Cynics call this “link bait,” but it works.) For example, if a partner at your firm spoke about the legal profession at the Career Day event at a local elementary school, link to the newsletter on the school’s website that mentions this, even if the partner is only mentioned by name in a long list of participants.
Then write a post entitled “Mortimer Blogwright of Blogwright, Blogsworth, and Bloggerson Participates in Career Day at Snail Run Elementary.” Write a paragraph about the school’s event and your colleague’s role in it; then include a link to the original content. Linking to other people’s sites is a great way to promote your site and the site to which you have linked.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Still feeling creeped out by writing what feels like self-aggrandizing copy? You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original content that strikes just the right tone.
As a lawyer, you have probably gotten so used to writing certain types of documents that you can turn out a nearly flawless draft on the first try. A big part of what makes you more productive than your younger self, the self that used to write for fun, before time was money and before you constantly operated under the assumption that anything you say can and will be used against you, is that you don’t experiment with your writing anymore.
If, as it has been said, law school takes the fun out of reading, imagine how much life after the bar exam takes the fun out of writing. In a recent post on Copyblogger, Stefanie Flaxman reminds us of how the true gems of our writing often come encrusted in what she so eloquently calls a “necessary mess.”
Let the Mess Shine In
In Flaxman’s post, even the phrase “necessary mess” is itself a second draft; she originally called this indispensable aspect of writing “the ugly draft.” Your baby boomer English teachers probably called it a “sloppy copy.” Many writers use this phase of writing to help themselves overcome writer’s block; they write the first thing that comes to their minds.
Flaxman says that she sometimes just writes the word “something” again and again until her mind starts producing other words. In the age of instantly visible word counts, you can set yourself the goal of writing a certain number of words and resolve to call it a day even if you have written 1,000 words of gibberish, as long as you met your word count. Many times, if you keep writing “something something something,” you end up with something brilliant by the time you reach your word count goal. Then you make the brilliant part the starting point for your much better organized second draft.
What About Blogs?
Much of the blog posts on the Internet deserve their reputation for being poorly thought out. Some writers just write gibberish until they reach their word count goal and then click “post.” Sadly, this even includes professional writers, especially those who work for low-paying content mills. If you are only getting paid a dollar for every 200 words, typing a slightly more grammatically complex form of “something something something” until you reach your target length is all you can afford to do. When you read the blog on a business website, you can usually tell whether the blog content is the result of several drafts or was simply outsourced to the lowest bidder. If you are writing your own blog on a law firm’s website, though, your blog is an opportunity to publish some of your best thought-out writing.
Legal Content Writers
In a perfect world, lawyers would have time to spend writing and revising blog posts, but the reality is that most don’t. The next best thing is to entrust your blog content to experienced writers knowledgeable about the law. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, accurate content for your law firm’s blog.
Depending on how long you have been in the legal profession, lawyer jokes either make you cringe or laugh out loud. No matter how you feel about them, they point to the fact that distrust of lawyers, however unjustified, is widespread in society. Many websites about content marketing for law firms, sometimes even including this very blog, will tell you that the best way to win new clients with your blog is to write in your authoritative lawyer voice.
That may be sound advice, but it can also be effective to use your blog to give non-lawyers a platform to write about issues that are important to your clients and which relate to your practice area. Here are some ways to make your law firm’s blog express more than one perspective.
How to Get Other Voices on Your Blog
The two fastest ways to get other voices on your blog are to link to other content and to invite other writers to write guest posts. When you link to content that others have created, everyone wins. The creator of the content will be happy to have their content shared, and the link between the two websites will give both your law firm’s website and the site from which you sourced the content a boost in SEO rankings. These are some types of content related to your practice area that might interest your clients.
· Articles or videos from your local news station
· Posts on other blogs
· The YouTube channel of a person who makes videos about his or her personal experience with an issue related to your blog (for example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, it could be someone whose videos are about living with a disability resulting from an accidental injury)
Almost anyone would be honored if you ask them to write a guest post for your blog, but not everyone would write a post without asking you to pay, especially if the people you ask are professional writers. Some writers may agree to trade guest posts. For example, if you are a family lawyer, you might trade guest posts with the website of your county’s guardian ad litem program. Another group of people that might be interested in writing guest posts for your blog includes activists who work on issues related to your practice area.
For example, if you are a family lawyer, you might request a guest post from a blogger who writes about fathers’ rights. If you are a criminal defense lawyer, you might seek blog posts from criminal justice reform activists or for groups seeking to reduce legal restrictions on medical cannabis. By asking these writers to contribute guest posts to your blog, you are also indirectly inviting their readership to visit your site. You may find many new readers, who may recommend you to a client who can use your services.
Get Legal Writing Help
Besides guest posts and curated content, custom-written posts by professional writers are also a sound strategy. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create an informative, professionally written website for your law firm, regardless of practice area.