Road sign saying complicated and simpleYou’ve just read the title to this post and you’re probably saying “duh” right about now. The thing is, most attorney blog posts aren’t useful to potential clients in any way, shape, or form. Yesterday I discussed why an attorney’s blog must be useful to clients. In this article I’ll take a look at two of the biggest benefits that come from using your blog to relay helpful information to clients in a way they can digest.

The first thing is to understand what information is useful to a potential client. They are looking for very specific discussion, addressing their particular situation, in a way they can digest. In other words, potential clients don’t care about the following:

  • A summary or analysis of the latest legal issue a celebrity is facing
  • Your opinion about the broader implications of a recent Supreme Court decision; people looking for legal services care about their own issues and not broader implications
  • Your general discussion about broader policy issues

When I was in practice I regularly wrote about issues which would impact a large number of people in my potential client base. I also employed the ideas I previously discussed in my post on how attorneys can make their blog content valuable. I started my firm out of my living room in August of ’06 and by 2010 I was generating seven figures of revenue. My blog, which focused on being useful to clients, was one of the big reasons for that. This brings us to the benefits of making your blog useful.

Attorneys who make their blog posts useful to potential clients will receive meaningful back links

It amazes me that so many attorneys will spend extensive time trying to get back links to their site for the purposes of improving search performance. Here’s the thing – none of the efforts to “game the system” are helping. Even if you do gain some link juice you can expect it to be wiped away by the next algorithm update Google applies; those updates after all are meant to weed out the abuse. So don’t play games to get links or else Google will think you’re this guy:

Internet spammer wearing a mask

The best way to get links is to generate meaningful content.

If you blog on topics that are usable and digestible to potential clients then you will receive the meaningful back links that help your site and withstand any algorithm updates. I’ll give you three examples:

  • When the Nevada Supreme Court greatly altered my state’s child custody law in ’08 I wrote an extensive series of posts, geared towards potential clients, on how this impacted issues such as changing custody, relocating, child support, etc. This series was soon linked to by the State Bar as a resource on the recent court decision.
  • A robust series I wrote on fathers’ rights in Nevada was linked to by several “fathers’ rights” resource websites because the information was useful to their readers.
  • Several of our clients have gained meaningful back links by blogging in a way that is useful to the public.

These links help your site in search and, in turn, net you more clients. Last time I checked that was a good thing.

Attorneys who blog with the public in mind will be seen as more relatable

I’ve seen a lot of attorneys who blog in legalese or attempt to show how smart they are in their blogging. The general public has no use for information they don’t understand and they certainly don’t care about one’s convoluted manifesto on a legal topic. If you want potential clients to pick up the phone then you need your content to make them feel like they can relate to you.

It’s no secret that attorneys often do a poor job of relating to people. The first step of bridging this gap, and getting the clients your competitors are missing out on, is to talk to people in a way that doesn’t confuse or intimidate them. I was often told by my clients that talking to me “was like talking to a person and not a lawyer” and that I made them feel comfortable. The first part of that was that people could read my blog and relate to it before they even called my office.

While many attorneys continue to suggest that a lawyer’s blog is about networking with other attorneys, the simple truth is that the legal profession is rapidly changing and those who understand the need to relate to clients are going to succeed. Those who don’t will fail.

What are your thoughts on why so many attorneys don’t try to relate better through their blogs? Feel free to chime in through the comment form below.