Top 10 Tips for a Law Blog to Generate New Business

Legal tech new york 2012Following are the points I made at Legal Tech New York today on the program "Growing and Retaining Your Client Base through Technology & New Media."

LegalTech had 12,000 participants, almost 200 presenters and nearly 40 industry sponsors -- a record on all counts. 

Research has shown repeatedly that blogs are the most effective, lowest-cost form of online marketing for lawyers. Companies that blog have far better marketing results. Specifically, the average company that blogs has:

  • 55% more visitors
  • 97% more inbound links
  • 434% more indexed pages
There are 6,400 lawyer blogs, according to Blawgsearch, and blogs really do generate new business, if you follow these 10 techniques.
1. Post Often, or at least on a regular schedule. Businesses that blog at least 20 times per month generate more than five times more traffic than those that blog fewer than four times per month. And businesses the blog at least 20 times per month generate nearly four times more leads than those that don't blog, according Hubspot research.
2. Write about the challenges facing your clients and potential clients. It is a classic business development technique to focus not on yourself, but on the concerns and business problems of the people who read your blog. You need to ask, "what keeps them up at night?" If your readers are bankers, write about the Dodd-Frank Law. If they are consumers write about foreclosure and divorce.
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4. Put in a call to action. In order to generate a response and new business, it is essential to include a call to action in your blog posts. After you've discussed your point of law, invite readers to get a white paper, download a book, come to your speech, subscribe to your blog or sign up for your newsletter. Be sure to emphasize the benefits of doing so.
5. Speak in your own voice.  To generate business, your blog can't sound like it was written by a detached, disinterested observer.  This has no passion to stir readers' souls. It must make a difference that you are writing about the topic. Write the same way you speak. Explain why your blog post is important to clients. Give your own perspective, insight and analysis.
6. Allow comments. This is a bugaboo at many law firms, but allowing comments is a key to the success of your blog. A blog is an interactive entity that should engage readers and allow them to give feedback. You can moderate the comments to avoid junk messages from being published. And the possibility that you'll collected unwanted clients is very remote.
7. Drive traffic to your blog. Publishing your blog entry alone doesn't mean new readers will find out about it. To achieve this you must repeat your headline with a link on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Include new blog entries in your updates on LinkedIn as well. Upload a copy of the blog entry on free PR and content distribution sites, like JDSupra. These efforts are designed to make your blog easy to find.
8. Use images, not just text.  Nobody likes reading a wall of text. People like illustrations, and you can find free ones by searching for images with Google, by conducting searches on Flickr, and by purchasing great pictures on iStockphoto.  Be sophisticated and embed a YouTube video in your blog entry to improve your SEO and create a compelling blog entry.
9. Enhance your blog. Be sure to allow readers to subscribe to your blog via email and RSS. Have your IT person make your blog display your latest tweets, feature a Search box, and include icons to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Enter blogging competitions and collect some awards, which you should display on your blog.
10. Come up with great topics. This is easier than you think. I have a folder of blog ideas and am never short of content. Simply subscribe to enewsletters and RSS feeds on your topic, set up Google Alerts as well, and you'll have plenty to write about. Publish new statistics, book reviews, "how to" posts, live posts from a conference, answer a question on LinkedIn and of course, write Top Ten Lists.
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