As a legal professional, you no doubt devote a fair chunk of time to job-related endeavors. The law is a notoriously demanding mistress. But there are countless benefits to be gained when you decide to take the time to engage in blogging.
If you’re like most savvy professionals, you’ve developed an online presence, complete with a website touting your legal services. And the next logical step is to create a blog to complement your website.
Once you’ve hired someone to attend to the technical end (i.e. search engine optimization) so that your legal practice can more easily be found in the online arena, the onus is on you to create compelling content that readers are looking for.
And while this can be a difficult undertaking, your law degree has prepared you better than most college majors for the prospect of assembling and disseminating factual information. So all you have to do is put your spin on it – in other words, develop your voice (or hire help here, as well).
This, in turn, will help to develop your audience. And along the way you’ll discover that your blog provides plenty of benefits to your business, your brand, and you. Here are several reasons why every lawyer should be blogging.
1. Establish authority
The law is a vast labyrinth. And while you may have only the most basic knowledge of how to navigate its further reaches, like most attorneys, you’ve probably narrowed your focus to a specialized subject.
No one expects you to be an expert in both criminal and corporate law, just for example, (unless you defend corporate criminals?), but you do need to be well-versed in whatever niche qualifies as your specialty.
And your blog gives you the opportunity to flex your mental muscles for public review, discussing legal issues that are in the headlines or that you’ve dealt with personally. In turn, you’ll gain a reputation amongst legal professionals and the online community at large as an authority in your particular field.
This, of course, could help to increase your clientele, as well as related professional opportunities (writing for other publications, public speaking gigs, etc.).
2. Start conversations
The more you research a subject, the better understanding you will have, and the more fully-formed your thoughts and feelings on the topic will be.
With a legal blog you can open discussions about topics that interest you, allowing readers (both professionals and laymen) to ask questions, voice their own opinions, and generally comment on the subject matter.
If you love the law, and most lawyers do, then furthering your knowledge and insight by discussing legal topics on a public forum can only help you to better your blog – and all professional endeavors.
3. Help laymen understand the law
There are many reasons why people decide to enter the legal profession. The prestige and the money certainly don’t hurt. But most, if asked, will say that, somewhere along the line, they had a desire to help others.
A blog gives you the perfect outlet for making the law accessible to the average person. Not only can you use it to educate the public on topics of your (or their) choosing, but you can make yourself available as a reputable and reliable resource for those seeking specific information or even legal services.
And you might even help to educate or elucidate specific topics for other legal professionals, offering enlightenment that improves their understanding of the law, making for a better legal system all around.
Legal forums are an excellent tool for basic networking, i.e. virtual meet-and-greets. But blogging allows you to take professional relationships to the next level.
It’s not always easy to get to know people in the online arena, especially not professionals who are engaged in developing their public persona. But a blog is you. Even if you’re writing with a professional bent, you choose which ideas to pursue; you select the words and imbue them with meaning.
In other words, you can’t really hide who you are. And while some might certainly find your attitudes and opinions off-putting, you’ll also gain an audience of legal professionals that appreciate what you have to say and are keen to strike up a business relationship as a result.
5. Reach prospective clients
Your goals with blogging are likely many and varied. But like any professional pursuit, the end goal is presumably to increase sales.
Blogging is one of the best ways to do that. Not only does a blog increase your ability to practice SEO, getting recognized and indexed by search engines so that you can raise your page rank and get found by those seeking your services, but it also lets you speak to prospective clients in a direct manner.
You might not be writing your blog as a virtual calling card, but if your posts are well-crafted, informative, and easy to read, there are bound to be viewers who see themselves in the topics you cover and decide to hire you as a result.
Keep in mind that we’re way past the days when the Yellow Pages were your primary avenue of gaining new clients. Most people go online in search of needed services now, and a blog can help them to find you, as well as offer you the opportunity to impress them.
6. Promote your services
Your law office no doubt invests in real-world advertising through print, radio, and television media. But if you’re not promoting online, you’re missing an opportunity to reach a large segment of your audience.
Plus, your competitors are almost certainly tapping this market. A blog allows for veiled (or not so subtle) forms of self-promotion. Whether you discuss the types of cases you’ve handled and won, you delve into issues in contract law (proving your proficiency), or you take some other tack, your blog provides a platform for myriad forms of promotion.
7. Expand your online presence
You’d be hard-pressed to find an attorney that isn’t online these days, but plenty are overlooked because they haven’t taken the steps to expand their online presence.
Your law office needs a blog because a blog not only allows for untold SEO opportunities, increasing awareness of your legal practice along the way, but it can also make you more approachable in general. For example, related blogs that might see guest posts from a website owner as merely promotional – a tactic to gain links – will be more apt to trade posts with an established blogger.
And your blog posts can also help to fuel your other online efforts, providing links and snippets to post on your social networking profiles.
8. Improve your career prospects
There’s no denying the fact that blogging can elevate your legal practice, increasing recognition, credibility, traffic, followers, and clientele. But it can also improve your career prospects.
When you gain esteem through blogging productivity, you may have opportunities that wouldn’t have come to you otherwise. Perhaps you’ll be asked to participate in public speaking events. Maybe you’ll get tapped to write scholarly articles or become an “on air” expert and analyst.
You could also form partnerships with other legal professionals, consulting on cases or participating in projects that elevate your status within the legal community. The sky is the limit where your career is concerned, and a well-written blog can open doors you never imagined.