This is the next post in my Blogging Basics for Lawyers series. In my previous post I discussed that attorneys can improve their blog traffic by writing posts as a series. A series, however, is of little use if it provides no benefit to your readers. That’s why this article describes “adding value” to the topics you discuss in your posts. This is something I struggled with when I began blogging. As I found my groove the quality of my articles increased and the traffic to my blog increased. This led to the best part – my law firm’s business increased.
Attorneys must add their own take on issues when writing blog posts
When I first began blogging in 2008 I did not understand the nature of the blogosphere. My posts often consisted of reporting decisions from Nevada’s Supreme Court or generalized summaries of different areas related to family law. A typical post might have been something titled “Nevada Allows for Uncontested Divorces” with a brief and bland summary of how the process worked. The problem with this style of writing was that it did little more than give a legal definition that the reader could get anywhere. Over time I learned how to find appropriate topics and, importantly, to discuss those topics in a way that gave readers an actual reason to visit my blog. This approach will make your writing livelier and, in turn, will improve the value of your blog in the eyes of search engines such as Google.
When writing your law blog it is critical that you add value to the topic you are discussing. A great example is when a new case is decided by your State Supreme Court. Often attorneys will read a local news report on a Supreme Court decision and essentially summarize the news report into a blog post. For reasons explained below, to do so means one is going about blogging all wrong. When discussing such a case it is important that you quickly get through the high points and devote the bulk of your writing to a real-world discussion of how your clients are impacted. This is how you add value to your article and make it worth reading.
You are defeating the purpose of blogging if you don’t add value to the subject you are discussing. Assuming you’re blogging to get more clients, you need search engines to return your blog posts in response to a searcher’s query. This is where you must remember that, as I discussed in my article on why SEO matters to attorneys, search engines will always provide their users with the most relevant information. If all you are doing is summarizing an article reported on the news, then the most relevant source of that information is the original news article and not your blog post. In such a situation the search engines won’t show your blog article (or all the articles written by attorneys doing the exact same thing) in the search results. This is why it is crucial to your blogging and SEO efforts that you add your own unique spin to the discussion and give Google or Bing a reason to consider your post relevant. The good news is that setting your blog apart with unique content is not overly difficult; if you do a quick review of local law blogs in your niche you’ll see that a large majority of your competitors fail to add value to topics they discuss. Doing so will put you ahead of the competition and help you earn more clients.
A legal blog only provides value to a client if the attorney considers his or her audience
You make your blog posts relevant in the eyes of a search engine by providing value to your readers. To provide this value you must determine who your target audience is and what type of information they are seeking. If your goal is to get more auto accident clients then you need to publish information relevant to people who have recently been in an auto accident. This means providing them with the information they are looking for with your own take added to it. A potential client may have taken to Google to get tips on how to deal with an insurance adjuster. An article from an attorney providing these tips is likely to come up. You can make your article relevant to the search engines in this situation by providing real world experiences you have had with adjusters. Your experience dealing with the adjusters will be unique to you and not something that appears on every other PI lawyer’s blog. Adding value to your posts is much easier than it seems – just use the experience at your disposal (just like I told you about my personal blogging experience earlier in the wonderfully well-written article you are reading right now). There is no reason for you to struggle with adding value to your content.
Adding value to your blog will put you light years ahead of your competition. It’s true that there are way more legal blogs now than when I started in 2008 but if you take a look at the competition you’ll see that most attorneys do little more than offer summaries of issues or cases. Why do you think that attorneys often struggle to add additional value to their blogs? Please add to this discussion through the comment form below.