Blogging is the easiest way to stay relevant on the web. Topical articles and news updates about your firm keep your website fresh and help you rank higher in search results. We know from working with clients that the biggest hurdle is blog maintenance.
It’s easy to be excited about the blog immediately following the launch of your new website, but what about after? Organizing an internal blog writing team with existing firm resources is easier than you think.
Designate a Publisher
The first step in getting your firm to write regularly for your blog is to elect a publisher. Most attorneys will not want to write on a monthly basis. You need an internal champion who likes to write, loves to edit, and does not mind being the “gentle reminder” to pull content out of busy team members.
- Creates a publishing plan that brings organization to posts based on content needs, gaps/holes, news, and events.
- Maintains organization and motivates the team with contests, awards for top posts, themes of the month and new ideas.
- Edits everything, reviews all drafts and provides timely feedback.
- Posts the articles on the website/blog.
It is important to make sure this person likes and wants to do the job. Depending on the amount of posts, this can range from a few hours per week to a few hours per month. If you’re the boss, make sure you have allotted this person the appropriate time to get the job done.
Find a Hammer
Everyone is busy . . . always. Being busy is not an excuse not to write. Posting content is important for success online – there is no way around it.
Depending on the culture of your firm, you may also (will likely) need a “hammer” – someone with authority in the firm who makes it a job requirement to post monthly. At some point in the year your publisher will simply run out of patience. It is not easy month after month asking people to do something they don’t want to do. The hammer is needed to politely remind everyone that writing is in their best interests – and job description.
The person appointed to this job can also offer incentives to post. This is especially a good approach if having a hammer is not conducive to your firm culture. At PaperStreet we often offer contests with free days off work to a winner for the most traffic, gift reward cards, free lunches, and simply kudos to the top posters.
Generate Topic Ideas Early
The attorney at your firm should blog about (1) what people want to read (2) what you know.
Check out these blog post ideas for lawyers and start brainstorming ideas with your team. Once you have a list, make it easy to find so when an attorney does sit down to write they don’t give up at the topic generation stage. There is no rule for sharing topic ideas within the firm. You should encourage the exchange of information and ideas.
There is also no rule against making blogging fun. Try hosting theme months to get everyone excited. For example, one month everyone writes an article related to Motorcycle Accidents, or everyone has to write a post that starts with “10 Things…”
After organizing your topics for the month, schedule a team meeting / whiteboard session to discuss or create a Google Doc to share with your team. Use this time to discuss plans for the next month (to keep everyone involved). The goal is to keep blogging on their to-do list.
Also consider having a kick-off meeting to inform everyone of the new blogging initiative and answer any questions about what each person is responsible for and how they will be held accountable.
Ready to Start Writing? Keep these Tips in Mind
You need to make your article the most comprehensive resource on the subject. In order to do that successfully keep these things in mind:
- The ideal page length is 500 – 750 words.
- Post weekly, ideally daily. We personally like to kick out a minimum of three articles a week on our blog. We do this with the support of about 20 potential writers who can publish regularly.
- Add your post to your website, blog and social media accounts.
One of the easiest ways to write is to turn client questions into posts. You simply take an existing client communication and strip out all identifying information. Your client has asked a question. Other clients probably want to know the same thing. You have already written the answer, or at least shared it in person or the phone. Just take that same advice and turn it into an article. Often, this takes another 15 minutes of editing and you’re done. In fact, this specific blog post was created based on a client conversation. Fun!
When generating topics ideas don’t forget to do research via Adwords Keyword Suggestion. This tool is a great resource for figuring out what people are searching for online related to your practice areas. Simply login via your Google account and conduct research into topic ideas and get the number of queries per month. You can also go to Google search itself and start querying for ideas. Start typing in the search box, but do not hit enter. Google will auto-suggest related topics in the drop-down search field (and at the end of the search too once you complete the search). Use those topics! People are searching for that information and want those questions answered.
- Part 1: Video Blogging Basics – Best Practices & Topic Ideas
- Webinar: Blogging Best Practices for Lawyers
- Ten Blogging Practices To Avoid
- Blog Post Ideas You Can Steal Right Now