If you made a resolution to add a blog to your law firm’s website and you have kept that resolution all the way to February, then congratulations, you have made it farther than many resolution-makers have. You have probably also realized how hard it is to keep thinking of ideas for blog posts. Whether you decide to hire a legal content writing firm to add content to your blog or to keep writing your own, it is worthwhile to heed the warnings about mistakes that so many law firms make on their legal blogs.
Failing to Know Your Audience
“Know your audience” is the golden rule of writing, but too often, law firm blogs aim for the wrong audience, or even aim for no one in particular, except perhaps Google’s latest search result ranking algorithm. Writing about current news stories is great, but don’t just paraphrase what you read on your local news channel’s website. Instead, highlight the parts of the story that will appear to your client base. For example, if a drunk driver causes an accident and injures someone, the way you deal with the story should depend on your practice area.
If you are a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs, you should focus on how much the injured person’s medical treatment will cost. You should also mention your state’s laws on how fault for the accident affects the amount a plaintiff can collect in damages. If you are a criminal defense lawyer, focus on the DUI case. Highlight that the defendant could face a shorter sentence if he gets a plea deal and how, by talking to police after the accident, he avoided the more serious crime of leaving the scene of an injury accident.
Blogging is important for SEO because it keeps your site registering as recently updated according to Google’s algorithms. It is important to build the core content of your site before you start posting on a blog, though. First write the main content pages of your blog. Put time and thought into them; they are your pillar pages, which will keep attracting visitors even when they are no longer new. If you don’t have pillar pages, blogging can wait until after your pillar pages are in place.
Getting Bogged Down in Case Law Details
Landmark cases in your practice area make great blog posts, but when you summarize a 12-page court decision in a 500-word post, you have to stick to the parts that interest your client base. Don’t go into detail about every case the judge cited as precedent. Identify the parties (even if you don’t use their names, you can just call them “the patient” and “the hospital,” for example) and the court’s decision. In understandable terms, explain how the court reached its decision; for example, if the court rejected a piece of evidence because of the Daubert standard, include a sentence or two describing what the Daubert standard is.
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