I saw an interestingÂ post on Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing BlogÂ reporting on the ABA’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey about attorney blogging. It said thatÂ 50 percent of responding small law firms (2-9 attorneys) and 53.3 percent of responding solo practitioners who blog say they have gotten clients directly or through a referral as a result of their blogging.
So those of you in solo or small firm practice who aren’t already blogging may want to consider taking up the habit (and it had better become a habit or you won’t have many people reading your blog).
There are lots of free and cheap ways to begin a blog, and once you’re over the learning curve, it’s really very easy. (Is anyone old enough to remember converting from Wordperfect to Microsoft Word?). WordPress happens to be my software of choice, but Google offers blogger and there are other platforms as well.
So, what should an attorney blog about? I’ll rephrase the hackneyed advice given to aspiring writers: blog about what you know about. In other words, blog about your area of practice. This has several advantages.
When you write about your area of expertise, you don’t have to research new subjects, so a 250-400 word blog post is easier and quicker to write. You’re less likely to get writers’ block. You get to demonstrate your expertise in your practice area. And, perhaps just as importantly, when you stick to your niche, prospective clients who are looking for information in your area of expertise are more likely to find you on Google. In other words, sticking to a niche is good for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Attorney blogging multiplied by social media: blogs on steroids
Solo practitioners might not have the time to do much more than blog, but lawyers in a small firm may want to designate one of their number to blog and handle social media for the law firm.
It works this way: the attorney writes a blog post which is worth reading. The attorney then posts it on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and uses Twitter to tweet a link to the blog. Is the lawyer finished? No, the lawyer monitors the social networks and engages with people who comment about the blog post. Putting things on social media and then neglecting to remain engaged is one of the biggest mistakes law firms make in their use of social media.
So if you haven’t started with social media, begin first with an attorney blog. Then extend that blog through social media, being careful to observe attorney advertising rules and prohibitions against solicitation. I speak from experience: it can be done. Check back or subscribe for an article I’ll be posting another article I’ll be posting on compliance with attorney ethics rules when using social media for law firms.