Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Secret to Writing a Lawyer Blog

Someone on a social networking site asked a question about writing a lawyer blog, and about writing posts that will generate traffic versus posts that will appeal to a niche. I think I have the secret, and it's not really a secret.

To paraphrase Crash Davis from Bull Durham: Don't think meat. Just write.

I've written blog posts about all kinds of things. Some are highly focused on what my law firm does, but some are all over the map. I have never written a blog post just to generate traffic for its own sake. I'm certainly aware of keywords in some of my posts, but I rarely worry about that.

Write good content. Write in your own words, but at the same time in a way that is understandable for your target audience. If you're writing to regular people, you have to explain the Latin or the abbreviations (or leave them out). A huge challenge here is to remember what you didn't understand when you weren't a lawyer, and then figure out how to explain it to the person you were then.

Write about something you think is interesting, and explain why you think so.

Don't listen to people who say you should write a blog post every day, or twice a week. Write when you have something to say. Take your time saying it so you make it good. I have long gaps in my blogging and am confident that has not been a problem.

One of my most "successful" blog posts was about a play in the 2008 Superbowl. It had nothing to do with law. By successful I mean mainly a post that had a lot of views. But also, I really enjoyed writing it and the research that went with it. If you're blogging just for traffic or link value, etc., then you won't enjoy blogging. In the long run that means you won't do it well and you'll probably quit.

Finally, take all of my advice with a grain of salt. On the one hand, this lawyer blog is successful. It ranks well on searches, gets substantial traffic, and generates revenue for my firm. On the other hand, I don't really know why it works. I'm only guessing.

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