What is wrong with the following statements? In my day, we used to listen to good music like the Temptations instead of garbage like “The Thong Song.” They say that Stanley Kubrick’s next movie will be about Napoleon. I followed The Rules, but he still acts like he doesn’t notice me; maybe I will try getting the Rachel haircut. The Internet is unanimous that Baby Sussex will be a girl; I wonder what Harry and Meghan will name her.
Despite the elegant use of semicolons in the latter two examples, all of the above statements are dated. Your content does not have to overflow with 90s pop culture references to be out of date; the predictions about the name and gender of Baby Sussex (now known as Archie) were trending as recently as last month. No matter where you click on the Internet, it is full of reminders that the world changes quickly, and your law firm’s website is no exception. Your choices are to follow the trends, which requires constant research, to rise above them by writing evergreen content, or to chart a middle course between the two.
Examples of Evergreen Content
Like its name suggests, evergreen content is blog content about subject matter that does not change quickly. When you write an evergreen blog post, statements you make in the present tense will still be accurate in a year or more. These are some examples of evergreen blog posts for a law firm blog:
· An explanation of basic concepts or terms in your practice area (for example, the types of alimony in your state, the Constitutional rights of defendants, or the concepts of negligence and duty of care in a personal injury lawsuit)
· Frequently asked questions about a sub-topic of your practice area
· Posts about Supreme Court cases that set important precedents in your practice area (such as the Daubert standard, based on a 1993 ruling)
Readers search for evergreen content the way they used to consult reference books in the pre-Internet age.
In Praise of Deciduous Content
Not all interesting and useful information is unchanging; in the old days, people got as much information from newspapers as from reference books. Publishing posts about current news related to your practice area is a sound blogging strategy. Crimes and criminal trials, celebrity divorce, and product liability frequently make the news headlines, so if your law firm deals with one of those practice areas (even if it is just regular people divorce, not celebrities), you might as well write about those news stories. If your blog posts contain insightful, readable analysis of the legal issues in the cases, people will still want to read them even when the news stories you reference are no longer current.
Legal Blog Writing
Whether or not your content is evergreen, readers will appreciate it if it is truthful and well-written. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, understandable content that will keep readers coming back for more.
When you boast, or when your relatives flatter you, that your skills as a lawyer are valuable, a big part of what they mean is that your writing skills are valuable. If you do not believe this, read a legal memorandum, letter, or other document you have recent written in your professional capacity, and then read dirt cheap web content on a similar subject.
Think about how much you got paid per hour or per word to write it, and then think about how much the authors of dirt-cheap web content get paid. The way you get paid may not simply be per hour of writing, and it almost certainly is not per word, but do some calculations. You will see that writing with the expertise of a lawyer is a specialized skill, and is rewarded as such. Therefore, if you put the effort into writing a blog, you will want to make sure that it is protected from copyright infringement. An article on Social Media Examiner discusses ways to protect your intellectual property on your blog.
Registering the Copyright for Blog Posts
Technically, one does not copyright a blog, since a blog is a place online, namely a page on your website, rather than a literary work. The posts do, however, fit the legal definition of literary works. The Library of Congress has new rules about registering the copyright for groups of creative works, including blog posts; you can now register up to ten posts with a single copyright application. Registering the copyright to your posts will give you more leverage if someone tries to republish your blog content without your permission.
If You Write It and Post It, You Own the Rights to It
According to U.S. copyright law, the rights to written works automatically belong to their authors; it begins as soon as you save the Word document with your post, before you even post the content online. If you plan to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you must register the copyright to your work before filing the lawsuit. The copyright application form includes a question about when the work was created.
You or Your Law Firm Can Still Own the Rights to Your Blog Content, Even If You Hire a Content Firm to Write It
“Works made for hire” are an exception to the “you write it, you own it” rule. Your agreement with the content marketing firm you hire to write your blog content contains a provision that the content it provides for you constitutes a work made for hire. Likewise, if employees of your law firm write the content in the context of your professional duties, the copyright can belong to your law firm.
Legal Content Writing
Whether you write your own blog content or hire a content marketing firm to write it, copyright law is on your side. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original, well-written, and well-researched content for which you will be proud to own the rights.
Even if you are a complete beginner in SEO, even if this blog is the result of your first ever Google search for how to optimize your law firm’s website for Google searches, you have probably already heard that links are an important part of SEO. This article by Benj Arriola on Search Engine Journal does an excellent job of describing the various types of links found on a website and why each one is important for SEO.
You are not just writing a blog for search engines, though, and you are also not adding links to your blog simply for the benefit of Google’s bots. Links are an important part of a law firm’s website, just as they are for any business website. Some links, however, really add value to your blog from a prospective client’s perspective. Here are some categories of sites to which you should link from your law firm’s blog. Readers will want to follow them, and the SEO boost you will get from Google is just a fringe benefit.
Applications and Other Official Forms
In some practice areas, help preparing and filing official forms is a major part of why clients hire a lawyer. If you link to these forms, then prospective clients might find your blog when looking for advice about how to file them that is more straightforward than the fine print on the instructions page to the forms. It’s best if you include the links in a post full of helpful advice about the forms. You will not lose clients by doing this; rather, they will feel empowered and appreciate that you respect their intelligence.
The ones who decide to contact you will do so knowing that they have already tried to navigate the process and realized that their situation is complex enough to require professional legal advice. For example, if you are a patent lawyer, you can link to the official patent application form. If you are a family lawyer, you can link to your state’s parenting plan form for couples with shared custody of minor children.
Primary Sources, Within Reason
While it may help you generate good link vibes with your colleagues, linking to other law firms’ sites or to for-profit sites with general information about the law is counterproductive from a reader’s perspective. You should be the authority, and that means only linking to sources more authoritative than you. Explain the subject in understandable language, and then link to the real thing.
The real thing can include statutes, bills in the legislature, and court decisions. These texts are not easy reading, and perhaps not all readers will click on them, but they are the most authoritative sources you can get. The readers who do click on them will appreciate that you are not leading them on a wild goose chase through the over-commercialized Internet.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Does linking to other sites sound more tedious than reading through volumes of legal texts? You can count on Law Blog Writers to create user-friendly, original content with high quality links.