The Lazy Guy or Gal’s Guide to Writing Your First Dozen Articles
Regularly posting articles and blog content on your website is an excellent education-based marketing strategy that your law firm should be implementing. A piece of content doesn’t take a lot of time. And the best part is that you don’t even have to be the one to write it. You can (and should) divvy up website content responsibilities between employees.
Leveraging Knowledge as a Marketing Tool
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about what content is valuable and what’s not, creating a content schedule, etc. let’s talk about why regularly posting content is essential and how it will help your law firm. As the name suggests, education-based marketing is using teaching as a tool to market yourself and your law firm, which leads to leads (haha), which leads to clients.
Attorneys often make the mistake of assuming that the client knows the information that they know. You went to law school to study this for three years, and you’re keeping up with all of the new laws and trials related to your practice area. The average person doesn’t know about the tricks insurance companies pull, how to create an estate plan, or if they’re eligible for alimony when getting a divorce. Explaining legal concepts in a simple, easy to digest way helps your client. The more informed a potential client is, the better of a client they will be for you.
3 Painfully Obvious Reasons You Should Be Writing Educational Articles
People like to read. Oof… I could practically feel you roll your eyes at me through the screen but hear me out. People do read, just not in the traditional way we tend to think of as reading. Instead of reading the newspaper every morning, people read news reports on their phones. Instead of reading a book via…book, people read on their Kindle or listen to an audiobook. While the medium has changed, people have not stopped consuming information. Closing argument: You’re reading this article right now, and you are not unique to be doing so.
Now that we’ve squashed that rumor, here are three undeniable reasons you should be regularly posting articles:
1. It improves search engine optimization. When you post content to your website, the Google spider crawls your page to understand what the article is about so that when someone is searching a topic related, Google can match your material with the web search. The more specific your articles are, the better because the Google algorithm’s goal is to match the search query with the content that is most likely to provide an answer.
2. You can use the article as a medium to “sell” a free offer. Every piece of content you post should include a free offer. We recommend offering a free report or book in the article’s footer. Just make sure that the offer is related to the topic (i.e., don’t put a personal injury call to action on an elder law article).
3. Other law firms aren’t doing it. Let’s say a young man has been in a severe car accident. He’s not searching for “personal injury attorney,” he’s likely searching “how to pay medical bills after a car accident.” If you have an article that answers that question, you’re bringing that man onto your website where he hopefully downloads the free report offered at the bottom of the page, fills out a contact form, and eventually hires you as an attorney. You automatically stood out from the competition because other law firms weren’t answering the question.
How Often Should You Post a New Article on Your Website?
(I should warn you that this is one of those answers that doesn’t make you feel exceptionally satisfied, but it’s the truth, so don’t shoot the messenger.)
Your law firm should post as frequently as possible so long as:
- It’s not taking time away from more valuable (lucrative) tasks; and
- The content is valuable.
So, it’s not great to receive such a vague answer. I get it. To satisfy your urge for a direct answer, I’ll let you in on a little secret… (Great Legal Marketing posts two articles a month. [If you want to know our recommended content schedule for law firm’s you need to join the inner circle otherwise known as ~membership~ because we can’t give away trade secrets to just anyone.])
If possible, don’t date your article content, especially if the information is evergreen. Maybe life gets a little crazy, and you go a few months without posting a new article, at least the Articles page on your website doesn’t look like a forgotten ghost town.
The Easiest (and Quickest) Way to Build a Library of Digital Knowledge
If you don’t currently have any content on your website and are unsure what to write about, you should start by creating and answering FAQs. Think about common questions you receive from clients and answer them through an article on your website (sometimes when I’m feeling extra lazy I Google “[topic] FAQs” to see what people are searching for).
Also, think of issues that potential clients should be asking, but don’t know enough about the topic to know that they even need to ask it yet and write about that. It’s helpful to try and get into the headspace of your ideal client, think about what they are thinking, what questions they likely have, and answer them. Remember, there is no topic that is too specific, so don’t worry about running out of content to write about.
P.S. Members of Great Legal Marketing receive a content checklist to allow you to follow a smooth formula that creates an effective legal article.
All right, you’ve successfully completed this article! Now go and implement these strategies and begin building a wealth of legal knowledge on your website!
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Charley Mann
Charley is the Chief Marketing Officer at Great Legal Marketing and believes in results, Results, RESULTS!