Wondering whether your law firm should start a blog? The short answer is… hmmm, maybe.
A well-done blog can be a valuable tool for positioning your firm as a thought leader in a particular field, but let’s be honest: Blogs can be a lot of work. Maybe that’s why the number of law firms reporting they have one actually decreased in the past year—down to 24 percent from an all-time high of 31 percent in 2017—according to the American Bar Association’s latest Legal Technology Survey Report.
What does it take to host a blog that’s going to differentiate your firm from the competition, engage readers (aka prospective and current clients)—and drive them to want to find out more about your practice (and perhaps hire you)?
- A clear focus. Remember, you can’t be all things to all people. Few firms have a single specialty, but most have (at least) one they’re really, really strong in—and/or offers the greatest potential for practice growth. Start there. AW client Farrell Fritz has one of the best and most robust blog strategies we’ve ever seen with nine different blogs covering everything from business divorce and e-discovery to federal civil litigation.
- A robust content pipeline. This isn’t a one-person job. Really, it isn’t. There needs to be a person who’s ultimately responsible to make sure relevant blog content is posted regularly, but it takes a village to create a blog—and keep it going. How often should you plan on posting a new article? More than half the firms responding to the ABA survey say they post monthly, and less than one in 10 do so weekly. While the ideal cadence is probably somewhere in the middle, the real answer is “whenever you have something to say that’s relevant to your readers.”
- A strong online presence. We have a saying here about websites, “you don’t invite people in until your house is in order.” The ultimate goal of any blog is to have readers want to get to know your firm better—you want them to read your blog post then search around your site (which is where you blogs should live) to find out more about your qualifications. Make that experience a good one. If your site isn’t user friendly, ADA compliant—or simply a good representation of who you are and what you do—redo your site first, then worry about starting a blog.
The bottom line: While a strong blog will probably never replace client referrals as a source for new firm business, it can do wonders for your online presence—and referral or not, many clients will search the internet before contacting a lawyer.
Remember client Farrell Fritz? After we redesigned their website (and better integrated their blogs into their content), we saw a 47 percent increase in organic site traffic overall—and 76 percent more traffic coming from the firm’s blogs—in the first three months after launch. Today, blogs still drive nearly 20 percent of the traffic to the site.
And there’s your answer.