There are few things about the legal field that are easy or simple. Potential lawyers need almost a decade’s worth of education just to become qualified, but then they still need to pass one of the more grueling, challenging exams in the professional world to begin practicing. Then there will be more years of learning on the job– trial and error with the very highest of stakes, but it is the only way to gain experience. And none of this takes into account the difficulty of building a reputation and a practice.
Independent practitioners or those who begin their own firms must also face all of the countless challenges that come with running a small business. One of the many elements included in this is the branding and marketing of the firm, and in the modern world, much of this will be done digitally. This means a professional website, social media management, digital outreach and an effective, engaging law blog.
Benefits of Blogging
If you are looking to create your very first law blog, you may have already discovered that it will involve a decent amount of work. But once you have seen the many benefits and immediate advantages an effective blog will have for your firm, you will realize that the effort and time have been well-spent. A legal blog can be a marketing tool, an informative tool, a networking device and even a helpful educational resource, all in one.
If you are still uncertain, just a few of the important benefits of a good law blog include:
– Branding for your firm
– Increased recognition
– Improved reputation in the legal community
– Networking opportunities with other legal professionals and bloggers
– Partnering opportunities with other local businesses
– Growing client list through effective content marketing
– And more depending on your individual blogging skills
So if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and enter the wonderful world of legal blogging, read ahead for the initial steps of developing your blog.
Define your goals
If you have decided to start a blog for your firm, you probably already have some abstract goals in mind. You likely want to increase web traffic, gain better recognition, grow your client list and improve your business overall. But when you are first starting out, you will need to sit down and define your goals more quickly. Think specifically about exactly what you hope your blog will achieve within the first three months and define the key metrics that will determine success.
Choose your platform
While there are a large number of potential options for a blogging platform, WordPress is the most popular and the most common by far. It is also the most beginner-friendly platform, filled with useful tools and helpful information specifically for new bloggers. However, you should know there are actually two different WordPresses, and it is important to understand the differences when making your choice.
– WordPress.com provides hosted blogs that are simpler to set up at first but allow for much less control.
– WordPress.org provides self-hosted blogs that may be slightly more complex and slightly more expensive at first, but this will usually prove to be worth it in the long run.
Before you dive into writing, you need to take a thorough overview of all of the resources, people and weekly time that you can dedicate to building and managing your blog. The most helpful tool in this will be a good editorial calendar, designed to help you plan your content, delegate assignments, maintain deadlines and communicate with your team.
Assuming you are going to be relatively hands-on, at least in the early stages of your blog, you will likely want to write the first few articles yourself. For SEO and relevance, it is recommended to post at least once a week, and special care should be taken in the first few weeks to provide meaningful, helpful, intriguing and informative content.
Promote your blog
Once you get some content up on your new site, you need to get the word out. Social media is the most obvious tool for this, but you should take advantage of any opportunity to promote your new law blog.