Blogging is an excellent way to boost your website’s search engine rankings and to create thought leadership on a particular practice area or topic, solidifying your personal brand and establishing you as a known expert. While many lawyers are familiar with the benefits of blogging, it’s challenging to regularly come up with topics readers are going to be interested in.
Create an editorial calendar
One of the best ways to eliminate the dread often associated with blogging is to think of topics ahead of time. An editorial calendar will list the deadlines you want to have the articles completed by as well as your topics. This takes the stress out of writing the articles and ensures you’ll be putting out content on a consistent schedule, which for a busy lawyer can be difficult to do without clear deadlines. For more information on how to create your editorial calendar and for a ready-to-use template, check out Hubspot’s article.
If creating a calendar is too time-consuming for you, consider an alternative way to keep track of blog topics so you’re not searching for ideas whenever you sit down to write. It’s important to choose whatever works for you so you’ll do consistently. Some other ways to track topics include:
- Use a note in your phone to keep a running list
- Track topics in a Word or Google doc
- Email ideas to yourself with the subject line: “Potential Blog Topics”. When you sit down to write just search your inbox for the subject line to generate a list
Once you have your editorial calendar set up (or at the very least an ongoing list of topics), you’ll be ready to start writing. To come up with a list of ideas, consider the following as inspiration.
1. Frequently asked questions
Think about the questions you get asked on a regular basis. It’s likely clients are repeating many of the same questions, making them the perfect topic for a blog post. If your clients have these questions, it’s likely many others do as well and are searching online for answers.
2. Google alerts
Google offers a fantastic tool that allows you to set up an email alert every time a specific word or phrase mentioned in the news or on websites. These alerts can be set up as daily or weekly digests to avoid overwhelming your inbox, but they offer an easy way to get updates on the latest legal news without having to scour the internet. These emails can provide you with endless topics to write about.
3. Legal updates
Summarize recent legal rulings, case outcomes, and law or rule changes. Make it easy for someone to grasp what impact this legal update will have, providing your own commentary and perspective. This is a prime opportunity to show your expertise.
These types of news pieces are a great way to keep your blog fresh and providing value, so don’t hesitate to rearrange your editorial calendar as needed to fit these topics in.
4. High-profile news
Big-name cases and verdicts catch the attention of readers. These topics tend to be more time-sensitive to take advantage of the current interest, so this is another instance where you may have to change your editorial calendar if a potential topic comes up. For example, if you’re an estate attorney, Aretha Franklin passing away without a will and the ensuing issues would make a worthy article.
5. Dispel common myths about your practice area.
Unless you’re involved in the legal community, people often have misconceptions about what lawyers can and cannot do, what the typical case looks like and how their lawyer should behave. Compare some common television or movie examples of lawyers and law firms to their actual real-life counterparts or simply set the story straight about how the legal world really operates.
6. Create a list.
In your time as a lawyer, you’ve gained a lot of experience. From that, you’ve probably learned common mistakes clients make, what issues should be avoided during litigation, what items clients will need going into a case and so on. Take these items and turn them into a numbered list. Here are some possible topic ideas to get you started:
- 5 Common Pitfalls During a Medical Malpractice Suit
- 3 Things to Watch Out for in a Merger Contract
- 11 Documents You’ll Want to Have Before You File for Divorce
7. Recaps or Perspectives
Lawyers are constantly attending events and CLE seminars, hearing speakers on a variety of topics. Write a short recap of one of the events, adding valuable information and supplemental details. If there was one particular part of the presentation that stood out to you or highlighted an impactful point you can focus the entire article on that. Take advantage of the knowledge of speakers to help you develop future topics.
Blogging is hard and coming up with blog topics is usually far from the top of the priority list for lawyers. Take the stress out of figuring out a topic that’s going to generate traffic and thought leadership by creating an editorial calendar or list. Using the above tips to fill in the calendar or list means you’ll be set to produce hit blogging content for months to come.