Most of us are by now familiar with the very positive impact that a blog can have on a business in terms of raising profile and attracting traffic to the website.
However, for the uninitiated, blogs can prove to be something of a stumbling block, and if not properly managed can even be reputationally damaging. In order to make sure your firm maximises its blogging opportunities, we have put together some essential tips on how to manage a law firm blog…
Remember this is a blog – it sounds obvious, but the purpose of a blog is not to provide detailed and informative legal articles or formal documents, and so it shouldn’t be written in formal language.
Blogs are ‘browsed,’ which means they need to be informally worded, concisely structured and, ideally, have some kind of ‘personality.’ However, bear in mind that despite the fact that blogs require a certain degree of informality, you still need to maintain a high standard of quality content that is engaging and well researched.
Structure is key – as already mentioned, blogs need to be precise – 300-500 words – maximum otherwise you’re likely to lose the reader’s interest (yes, even if they are legal clients).
A large block of text will be off-putting for anyone looking for blogs to browse, so break up the content into paragraphs with attention-grabbing headings instead. Images, appropriate memes and embedded videos are all right at home in the blogosphere and will add that extra dimension to your offerings, so be creative when it comes to illustrating your ideas. The format of the blog needs to look good too – choose an attractive design that is simple and easy on the eye so that the blogs themselves can do the talking.
Content is king – the topics you choose for your blog will most likely define whether or not it attracts a regular readership or becomes one of the millions of blogs where posts are completely ignored.
Blogs are the ideal place to post opinion pieces, to mull over issues and to announce news snippets – the purpose of the blog is to trigger conversations after all, to get other people linking to your blog and to attract comments. Having said that, in the legal sector it is obviously important to reign in content that is too personal, to avoid vitriol and to maintain a professional, but informal tone.
Don’t let it lapse – we all know how work commitments overtake everything but, alongside high-quality content, regular posting on a blog is the key to its success.
If you’re pushed for time then try posting just once a week but maintain the frequency and don’t let the quality slip. If necessary write shorter posts and include more illustrative devices – as long as none of it is just filling space then it will still effectively serve its purpose.
Link up – once a blog is up and running it really needs to be found and this can be achieved in numerous different ways. Use social media accounts to post links to the blog, invite guest posters, link up with other bloggers and use keywords that might make it discoverable via a Google search – don’t waste all that effort on something that no one reads.
If you’re struggling to fill your blog with content then we can help. MD Communications offers bespoke, high-quality content across a range of practice areas and can devise a content calendar for you – contact us for more information.
MD Communications are experts at boosting the reputation of law firms and suppliers to the legal sector- whether that’s enhancing your legal directory submissions, raising your profile in the media, or improving your social media presence.
Melissa Davis is the managing director of MD Communications, the international legal PR agency. She is also the former chair of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee Business Development Working Group and a member of the ABA Transnational Legal Practice Committee.
MD Communications is on Twitter @mdcomms
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