Blogging for Lawyers: How to Start and Manage a Legal Blog

blogging for lawyersDid you know that just over one in three law firms (37 percent) run a legal blog?

While that seems like a lot, fewer law firms tend to blog than other types of professional services. Only one in eight solo attorneys blog.

Why is that?

Ethical concerns with professional regulations and stretched resources explain why more firms don’t run a legal blog — but reasons not to blog are trumped by the value it can bring to your firm.

The legal knowledge in your head is highly sought after by potential clients. Blogging is a way to connect them with informative, original content that answers questions and propels your firm to the top of the search rankings and the top of prospective clients’ minds.

In short, lawyer blogging should be an essential part of your content marketing strategy.

Here’s why you should blog and how to go about it.

Why start a blog for lawyers?

The results of the 2021 ABA websites and marketing survey referenced above show the following:

why do lawyers blog
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Blogging will help you win new clients and make your firm more visible in the search rankings. It can have essential networking benefits as legal industry influencers may share your writing and cite your work.

From a pure marketing perspective, we are especially interested in how it helps you generate more qualified leads.

Of the lawyers surveyed who blog, nearly half (46 percent) reported that a client has retained their services directly because of their blog.

By addressing client pain points and issues in the minds of potential customers, you can reach out, connect, and engage with leads. You also demonstrate topical authority in your main practice areas, helping to boost credibility, raise your profile, and improve trust levels in online legal communities.

FAQ Blogging for Lawyers
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Let’s talk about SEO. Consistent blogging will improve your search performance in many ways.

The more blogs you create, the more chances you have of ranking for your targeted keywords. Plus, you’ll increase user dwell time and increase your internal and external linking opportunities.

You can capture potential clients at the beginning of their journey by blogging regularly. A high-quality blog can feed a steady flow of leads to the top of your “sales funnel,” where you can turn informational queries into paying clients.

Because it ticks so many boxes, blogging should be at the center of your law firm’s marketing strategy in 2022.

Dispelling two myths about lawyer blogging

Let’s get a couple of blogging myths out of the way.

Some lawyers believe that blogging is only for big firms. It’s quite the opposite. 

Big firms may have the resources to pay more legal writers, and time may be more of the essence for a solo attorney. But solo attorneys and small law firms have just as much legal knowledge n their head as a lawyer in a larger firm.

lawyer blog stats
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The statistics above should be viewed as an opportunity. Less than one in three law firms of 1-49 lawyers run blogs. 

So, there’s a huge opportunity to win market share by blogging and reaching out to prospective clients — as most of the competition isn’t focusing on inbound marketing.

The other predominant myth about blogging is that ethical concerns and professional regulations prevent it. These are overplayed and should not be used as an excuse not to get started.

As long as you maintain client confidentiality, there is nothing to say that you can’t demonstrate your expertise by writing about casework and legal topics that are relevant to your audience. 

For instance, this employment law firm in New York, Grandovsky & Sunaresh, writes about a particular case in the news without breaking any professional regulations:

Legal News Blogging
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This personal injury law firm, Auger Hollingsworth in Ottawa, includes a case study of a slip and fall accident as a blog post without breaking any confidentiality rules:

Personal Injury Lawyer Blog Post
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Blogging is your way to boost your online reputation and show a select target audience that you’re a skilled and capable lawyer — without resorting to advertising, which is expensive and often poorly targeted.

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First steps to starting a law firm blog

You’re convinced you need a blog. Now, let’s look at how to get started with blogging.

Pick a niche practice area

Ask yourself:

  • Which of your main practice areas niches are the most lucrative? 
  • What brings in your ideal clients?

You’re probably skilled in a broad practice area like estate planning, family law, criminal defense or personal injury.

You need to break it down. For example:

  • Not just estate planning but probate or revocable trusts in Houston
  • Not just family law but divorces in Edmonton
  • Not just criminal defense but DUI/DWI in Chicago
  • Not just personal injury but bicycle accidents in Oregon

Then, get started writing about the main questions that people want to know about in that niche topic.

A key practice area for Oykhman Criminal Defence in Canada is DUI and impaired driving. The firm produces a lot of long-form FAQ/blog content around this topic.

DUI Blogging for Lawyers
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By getting this specific, you can engage potential clients in an exact targeted location and become seen as a trusted authority in your niche. This can help you dominate local search results on Google.

Create pillar and cluster topics for content

Say your firm specializes in divorces in Edmonton. One of the main questions from your audience might be: “What is the divorce process in Edmonton?”

This is a reasonable question and a big topic that may require more information to cover fully. There’s a clear opportunity to build out content around this main piece of pillar content. 

Cluster topics split off from this main topic and address the nitty-gritty of the main issue. So, you may also develop individual blog posts around the following connected topics.

For instance:

  • How is the marital estate divided in Alberta?
  • How is child custody decided in Edmonton?
  • Will you qualify for spousal support?
  • How is child custody calculated?
  • How long does a divorce take in Edmonton?

All of these questions can be answered in their own blog posts, which then link back to the central pillar page.

Publishing multiple blog posts on the same topic and going into the depth required to provide valuable information for people with real questions helps you become a topical authority.

For instance, The Maine Divorce Group created a pillar post acting as a guide to divorce law in Maine.

Pillar Blog Content for Lawyers
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The firm then creates multiple cluster posts that delve further into the main topics, like this one on claiming alimony.

Cluster Blog Content for Lawyers
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As you develop more content around your main subjects, you can crosslink between posts, which will also improve search performance as you demonstrate to visitors and Google how you cover the topics in depth.

Write for clients before search engines

One of the main benefits of blogging is that it can improve your visibility in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website. This should happen naturally if you write informative, original, in-depth articles for your ideal clients.

Useful information gets read, cited, and shared, which improves rankings, generates traffic, and sends leads your way.

But don’t fall into the trap of writing for search engines and over-using keywords. 

Write your articles around the main keyword phrase and a secondary phrase, but put the quality of content before law firm SEO

Take a look at this informative article on DUI and criminal records from Kazarian Law in California.

Informative Lawyer Blog Post on DUI
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Now see where it ranks in a Google search for the question How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?

Google Search Lawyer Blogging

It appears first on the page, even above the organic listings in the featured snippets section — and that’s prime Google real estate.

Create video content too

Don’t limit the blog content you produce to text-based articles. Some law firms make video blogs (vlogs) or embed videos into their blog posts to add engagement. 

Many visitors simply prefer to listen and watch than to read. Trey Porter Law in San Antonio links from his website to his YouTube channel for all sorts of video content relating to DWI in Texas:

Lawyer Video Blogging
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Outsource to professional writers

As law firm marketing develops, more agencies provide legal writing services. That’s where JurisPage comes in.

Most firms start with the best intentions of writing one or two blog posts per week before reality hits and time is eaten up by clients. But that needn’t derail your blog-writing efforts.

Our professional legal content writers can ensure you meet your article publishing deadlines with high-quality, engaging content that looks just like you wrote it.

Just start writing

Once you’ve decided on your target niche and the main pillar/cluster content to develop, the secret is to dive in and get started. 

Address the topics using clear, plain language (no legalese) and make articles easily digestible for people without a law degree. Use images, headers/sub-headers, and bullet points to break up text like this one from Affordable Defence in Ottawa. 

Criminal Defense Blog Post
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Lawyer blogging is playing the long game with your marketing strategy. Results will not be instantaneous, but they will come over time if you start developing high-quality content and commit to regularly posting. If kept updated, impressive legal blogs can rank well for many months and years.

You may need to speak to your web developer to create a blog page for your existing site or redevelop your site to incorporate a blog. You can usually work offline and upload to a blog editor to post.

Lawyer blog post topics to write about

Working out what to write about doesn’t need to be complicated. A good place to start when thinking about blog post topics is to base your content around the most frequently asked questions from your ideal clients.

Simply write a list of the frequently asked questions from clients and start building out content around it.

This provides valuable legal content that serves two specific purposes:

  • It helps your target audience solve problems 
  • It demonstrates your legal expertise

Blogging is not about promoting your law firm. It’s about informing and educating your clients.

For instance, if you run an employment law firm, articles based around informative, original, and relevant topics like these posts from the Taylor Janis Workplace Law blog are best.

Employment Labour Law Blog
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People are searching Google and other search engines right now for answers to questions that you can help with. You want potential clients and peers to bookmark and share your articles, not just glance at them and bounce away.

So, think along the lines of explanatory posts, Q&A articles, legal process guides (step by step), and legal how-to posts. Try to avoid a constant stream of posts like the following, as they’re unlikely to generate any engagement or rank well in search.

Best Law Firm Award Blog Post
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That said, not every blog post needs to cover a FAQ. Let’s take a look at some other types of blog posts you can write.

Legal news

It’s fine to delve into topics covering legal news that affect your target audience, as in this post from Legal Solutions of New Mexico aimed at cannabis businesses.

Legal News Blogging
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Providing your insights into current events can help you build authority and can be shared across your social media profiles. 

For instance, a lawyer might provide their take on a recent trial involving a local or national personality, like this one from personal injury firm The Reeves Law Group in California

Law Firm News Blog Post
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Simply watching the news on TV or reading a newspaper can spark ideas for blog posts.

Legal opinion

Sometimes, a topic that people are talking about can benefit from your legal expertise and opinion. This can be an ideal subject for a blog post.

Here’s one from the personal injury law firm Park Chenaur & Associates. They discuss whether to vaccinate your child against COVID.

Legal Opinion Blog Post
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Interviews with lawyers

The occasional interview or Q&A session with legal personnel like judges or other lawyers in your practice area (or a complementary practice area) can also generate engaging blog content.

Interview-style posts provide a new and interesting angle for your blog, allow you to utilize multimedia (video, podcasts, etc.) in your content, and can build your network.

For instance, an attorney from the Butler Law Firm in Georgia interviewed a local judge for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s magazine and created this blog post about it.

Legal Interview Blog Post
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Company news

While you should avoid making your blog too promotional, it’s fine to occasionally update readers about company news, events, awards, new additions to your legal team, or new services.

New Mexico Legal Group uses its blog to introduce us to members of its legal team.

Lawyer Additions Blog Post
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Meanwhile, Denver business law firm Troxel Fitch includes a post about its mention in Forbes magazine on its blog.

promotional law firm blog
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Around 10 percent of content could be about your firm. The other 90 percent should be aimed at educating or informing your audience.

Case studies

Case studies straddle the line between being informational and promotional content. They inform your audience about the legal process and real-world outcomes, promote the great work that your firm does, and can inspire a potential client to pick up the phone for a consultation.

While you may have a separate section for this on your law firm’s website, it’s fine to include an occasional case study on your blog after an important court case win for your firm.

The Family Matters Law Group in Georgia features the following post on the struggle for legitimation and child custody for one of its clients,

Case Study Lawyer Blogging
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Legal vocab enrichment

Keep lawyer blogging free of legalese, as you’re writing for your target audience, not your peers.

However, it’s fine to educate your readers about legal terms that they’ll come across while researching their legal matter.

Barberi Law, a multi-practice firm in Missouri, does that in the following blog post.

Legal Blogging Vocabulary
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Alternatively, pick a commonly used term in your practice area, such as “tort” or “bail” and explain in layman’s terms what it means, with practical examples.

Repurpose webinar content

If you run legal webinars, which can be an excellent strategy for generating leads for some practice areas, try repurposing the content produced into blog posts.

You can embed audio, video, or slides into your post. Or you could write a separate article about the content in the webinar.

Some firms even use their blogs to promote upcoming webinars, as in this example from advertising law firm Olshan Law. 

Lawyer Blogging Webinar
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Get help from the Google tools

Three free tools that can help lawyers generate blog topics are Google Trends, Google Suggest, and People Also Ask.

Google Trends aggregates search data so that you can examine the search interest of potential blog topics and compare keywords.

Google Suggest will provide possible blog post topics in a dropdown menu when you start typing in your search term, like this.

Google Suggest Lawyer Blog Topics

People Also Ask is a rich snippet feature that provides users with additional information that they may be searching for from their initial search query on Google. Here’s an example of a query for how long does it take to get a divorce in Cincinnati.

Google People Also Ask Lawyer Blogging

Stand out by maintaining and repurposing up-to-date content

Don’t be one of those firms with a blog that hasn’t seen new content for a year. That’s a waste of online real estate.

If you stop updating your blog, you’re likely to slip down the search rankings as well as potentially misguide potential clients with out-of-date information.

In the ABA survey referred to previously, of the lawyers who started a legal blog, 16 percent reported that they’d stopped updating it. 

If you run out of topics, you can delve into topics from legal news that affects your target audience, like this post from Legal Solutions of New Mexico aimed at cannabis businesses (one of their major target clients).

Legal News Blogging
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You’ll want to conduct keyword research every so often to generate new ideas for content.

But don’t forget about your old content. Tweak, refresh, and update old posts to rejuvenate rankings and keep clients up to date, like this one from Oykhman Criminal Defence, which has a recent “last updated” date.

DUI Lawyer Blog Post
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You can also use your blog posts in your email newsletters.

Estate Planning Newsletter
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Lastly, promote your blogs on social media to generate traffic, like personal injury firm Portner & Shure P.A.

Facebook Lawyer Blogging
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Are you ready to bring in new clients with blogging?

In this brief introduction to lawyer blogging, we’ve covered the why and how of getting started and touched on best practices.

Nobody wants to spend precious hours blogging only for it to result in no readers, no traffic, and no leads.

So, as you develop your law firm blog, you’ll want to implement more techniques to generate more traffic and leads for your firm.

Ultimately, if you get it right by following these tips, blogging will help you grow not only your leads and client list, but your online profile among peers.

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