Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Article: 15 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Blogging

By: Dustin Ruge Seo Consultant Firm
May, 2009

So what exactly is a blog anyway? You would be surprised how many times lawyers ask this question. The simple answer is that a blog is special kind of website that allows you to easily and efficiently publish ideas to the web and receive feedback with practically no website design experience needed. In short, it is a very simple website that practically anybody can create in a matter of minutes.

So how popular are blogs these days? A new blog is created around every second of every day. There are around 70 million blogs in existence today with over 30% of Americans actively reading them. Over 25% of AMLaw 200 firms now have one or more blogs and growing and some of the more popular blogs online today have larger readerships than many of the major new papers in circulation! People find value in blogging and so can you.

So here are the top 15 things you should know about lawyer blogging:

1.) Blogs only work if you are passionate about your practice. Blogs require that you actively and consistently write about your practice area for others to see and even provide feedback on. If you do not like your area of practice, then you will not likely be motivated enough to want to blog about it with others.

2.) Every Blog should have a goal. Far too many lawyers have websites and blogs with no real goal in mind. If you are like most lawyers, your blog is there to help grow your practice so make sure that your blog strategy helps to support that.

3.) Blogs are not for every lawyer. Blogs should be used to support the goals of your practice. In assessing your goals, you need to determine if you want to actively write about your practice in a blog and work at getting the word out. Not everybody likes to write and not everybody has the discipline to do it day in and day out. If you don’t, then blogging is not for you. As a general rule of thumb, you should be actively participating in your blog at least once a week.

4.) Good Blogs were not built in a day. Actually, creating a new blog can literally take minutes but building an active blog with good traffic and participants can take time. Creating an effective blog is a long-term process and can take months and even years to grow - much like a potted plant, you need to water it consistently and watch it grow over time.

5.) Don’t confuse having a blog with having a blogging strategy. Far too many lawyers will start a blog, post a few comments and never come back. The blog then gets old and since the comments include a date, nobody will want to add to that blog if nobody is home. In some cases, having an inactive blog can do more damage than having no blog at all. Blogs are a lot like a news page on a website. People will look at them and if there has been no activity for an extended period of time, people will begin to wonder what might be wrong with your practice – not exactly the message you want to be sending prospective clients now is it?

6.) Every blog should be optimized. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also applies to blogs. You will want to start by incorporating keywords into the name of your blog and get it right the first time – once your blog is active, changing your URL name will be out of the question. You will also want to title your blog with your primary practice area keywords and make sure to include your targeted geography as well. Finally, use words that your customers use, not legal jargon. Words like “litigation” and “personal injury” commonly mean next to nothing to somebody who has never been to law school and just got ran over by an eighteen wheeler. Finally, make sure to create links in the content of your blogs to pages on your website. Not only can this help support your blogs and convert customers, but it can also provide link value to your website thereby increasing its ranking in the search engines. Just make sure that your blog allows these links to be followed and counted in the search engines.

7.) Set guidelines for blogging. If your firm allows multiple attorneys to blog, make sure that your corporate communication policies also apply to your blog. If they don’t, simply amend them to include it. In most cases, a separate policy just for blogging is not necessary. Some firms also include disclaimers that their opinions expressed in the blog are personal and do not reflect those of the organization and do not constitute legal advice. Sounds familiar?

8.) Lawyer Blogs should be targeted. Unlike many other advertising mediums, the web tends to reward those who master a niche and stay highly focused. The more practice areas you discuss on a single blog, the more likely you are to dilute the message to the readers and the focus to the search engines. Much like websites, the best performing blogs typically are those that stick to one specific practice area. If you have many practice areas, simply create a separate blog for each.

9.) You don’t need a blog to blog. Did you know that Blogs have their own search engines? Go to, type in your practice area and see what comes up. You can also find a good list of lawyer blogs at: at the ABA Jounal ( Chances are there could be thousands of blogs in your practice areas alone – many of which could be talking about your area of expertise. So what can you learn from them? Is this information that could also help your own practice? And if the blog has a large following, what else can you contribute to that blog that will help create awareness to you and your blog/website? Once you have a blog, make sure to include your blog address in your signature lines when you are on other blogs, writing emails, and on your website to help drive people to your blog. You need to create awareness for your blog and where better to start than with other blogs.

10.) RSS feeds the world. RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is nothing more than a standard delivery format of content from a blog/website to another destination. If you have a blog, make sure it supports RSS so other people can “subscribe to your blog” keep tabs on your blog without having to visit it on a regular basis. For example, a participant (or journalist) may want to monitor a number of blogs (including yours) and by having RSS feeds from each of them; he/she can now easily do this from one place. The good news is that most major blogging system providers now support RSS.

11.) Blogs work with websites. Most blogs are not a substitute for website marketing but rather a compliment to it. The reality is that most lawyers can’t write in HTML and therefore many quick changes to a website can be both time consuming and difficult. Blogs allow you to help solve this problem by providing added content to the web and thereby creating a larger net to fish with. Since your net may involve direct traffic to your website, you will want to make sure that both are actively linked together for better conversions yet both reside at separate website addresses (URL’s).

12.) Blogs are part of an overall PR strategy. If you publish press releases, blogs are another great place to publish them as well. Unlike online press releases that may expire in a year or two, the press releases on your blog can remain there forever. Blogs also tend to be personalized and can become a great place for you to not only gain credibility, but to have other experts and even reporters find you. Remember, with the advent of the web, public relations now allow you to go directly to your customers without media filters and large PR spends. Moreover, since 75% of reporters now use blogs to find experts and do research for their own work, your blog can now potentially provide media visibility that never existed before!

13.) Blogs can bring you new cases. A properly managed blog and blogging strategy can help you grow your practice. Just ask Grant D. Griffiths who practices family & divorce law in Kansas. Grant started his blog ( ) in 2005 and now estimates that he gets two to three cases a week from his blog and stopped all of his yellow pages advertising as a result.

14.) Search Engines love blogs. If they didn’t, Google wouldn’t have bought – which is one of the world’s largest blog providers. When search engines send out spiders to crawl and index the content on the web, they tend to love blogs because the content is fresh.

15.) Creating a new Blog is easy! There are literally hundreds of blogging systems in existence today to choose from. Some can be hosted on your website while others are hosting by the blogging system providers. The most popular blogging systems in use today include: Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, and LiveJournal. Other blogging tools may be available by other providers depending on your needs as well. The main point to remember is that many popular blogging tools are free, easy-to-use, and can be setup and ready to go by the average internet user in a matter of minutes. Once your blog is active, make sure to "ping" the blog search engines to let them know you are there at: and submit the blog at:

Source: Lawyer Blogging

SEO Consultant Firm - Law Firm Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


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