Attorney bloggingMy last several posts have dealt with why lawyers need to make their blog posts useful to their potential clients. I’ve discussed how attorneys benefit from blogging with the public in mind. I’ve also taken a look at how attorneys can build meaningful backlinks through blogging. While the need to make blog posts useful to potential clients may sound like a “no sh#t Mr. Obvious” issue, many attorneys fail to do so and some go as far as disagreeing with this proposition.

If you look at a lot of law firm blogs you’ll see that many attorneys blog about things that people don’t care about. People don’t care about broader discussions of recent legal decisions or your firm’s manifesto treatise on a particular legal topic. Your potential clients are looking for very specific information that answers their very specific legal question and nothing more. In spite of what clients are looking for, many attorneys blog about a variety of other topics and wonder why they get no traffic. A lot of this comes from lawyers feeling they don’t know what to write about.

A lack of useful content for your firm’s blog can be traced to a few sources. First, don’t just sit down at your computer and say “what should I blog about today?” I’ve discussed previously how lawyers benefit from blogging in the form of a series. Utilizing the series format helps in terms of “content block” by allowing you to take one topic and get several posts, rather than a single one, from the subject. You can’t just sit down at your computer, however, and say that you’re going to start a series today. Like with any other form of writing, starting out without a plan and brainstorming on potential topics will allow you to turn one idea into numerous posts.

The biggest source of your blog material should be the local news and societal developments rather than court decisions, legislative changes, etc. Again, people care about what is going on in their lives today. You are seeing a wealth of quality law blog topics when you watch the news and you may not be realizing it. Consider the following:

  • Many parts of the country have had a run-up in housing prices in the last few years. How does this impact property division/support issues in a divorce?
  • How does the run-up in housing prices impact those considering bankruptcy?
  • CNBC recently reported that an increasing number of people are taking out high interest rate “subprime” auto loans. How does this impact divorce, bankruptcy, etc.?
  • Marijuana legalization is in today’s news regularly. Many people are searching for understandable discussions of marijuana laws in their state/city.

These are topics people actually consider before making the decision to even call a lawyer. A spouse may be wondering “what will happen to my house and the equity if I file for divorce?” This person will then research the topic and is more likely to call the lawyer who provides the information in an easy to understand, and digestible, way.

Attorneys are notoriously bad at relating to the public. Understanding real-world situations, and providing people with helpful information, helps you relate to the public through your blogging and makes you relevant in the eyes of a search engine. The attorneys who understand that providing useful insight is what is going to make a firm successful in the “new practice of law.”

Why do you feel that so many attorneys fail to relay truly useful information through their blogging? Please chime in on the comment form below.