Why Do Lawyers Need Blogs?
Faced with the question “Do lawyers need blogs?”, your response might be along the lines: “As if I’m not busy enough already”.
But in this competitive online era, the bad news (and it’s actually not bad; blogging can be useful and fun) is that it’s a really good idea for lawyers to write blogs.
Hopefully by now your firm will have, or be in the process of establishing, a website as the first weapon in your online marketing armory. This is a great start, but the real challenge is steering online traffic towards that website.
This is where blogs are key, provided they cover interesting and relevant topics and are well written in accordance with SEO (search engine optimization).
Blog about your specialist area – general advice, changes, developments – or something related that you’re passionate about. Perhaps you’re intrigued by the impact of technology on legal business, or have fresh ideas about practice management. Don’t be afraid to offer your opinions; these often stimulate good online debate and helpful shares through social media.
So, one very important reason that lawyers blog is to draw more visitors to their, or their firm’s, website. But why else do lawyers need blogs? There are many reasons, but the more important are distilled into this list:
- To establish expertise
- To inform
- To network
- To advance their careers
- To promote their services
Show Your Knowledge
The Internet, and specifically a blog, is the perfect forum on which to demonstrate and establish your expertise in a particular legal field. The process of researching your blog post, organizing your thoughts, then putting them down on virtual paper is a great way of enhancing and crystallizing your own knowledge.
Changes in the law can be published swiftly in a new posting, cross-referencing previous posts where appropriate. By writing strong, coherent blog posts, and referencing other relevant blogs and online articles using links, you will help to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Blogs are a good way to inform and teach clients (current and potential), students and fellow professionals about your area of specialism. If you are writing to inform, ensure that your posts are written in a way that’s appropriate to your audience: obviously, the general public will require a different tone and level of information to your peers. Use social media (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn) to publicize your blog posts.
Network with Professionals
Networking is another upside of blogging. If you’re blogging about a particular legal field, you’ll come to the notice of other professionals and clients in the same field. Often this leads to online correspondence (in the form of comments on your post, online discussions, etc.), which might later become face-to-face encounters and even business opportunities.
One particular UK lawyer-blogger, who became so widely read and respected through his blogs on human rights, was invited to assist a UK government inquiry into phone hacking.
Get Your Name Out There
Which brings us neatly to the point about blogging being good for your career. You might not get involved in a government inquiry, but blogging will certainly get your name out there. Perhaps you’ll be invited to write articles, for public speaking engagements, for your opinions on radio or television. Or maybe somebody will simply want to hire you. Onwards and upwards.
Get the Word Out
Blogging is the perfect forum for promoting your services. Don’t be shy: you have valuable first-hand experience to share and very few people will write about it apart from you. When writing about a legal issue, include examples (confidentiality permitting) of cases you’ve worked on. Some will be sure to strike a chord with your readers, whether fellow specialists involved in a similar case, or clients facing similar issues.
It’s not just a question of do lawyers need blogs, but do they enjoy the process of blogging? Recently, a number of lawyers were asked why they blogged and their responses all evinced a real enthusiasm for blogging, even though some started blogging purely for business development reasons. It seems there’s something addictive about it.
Do lawyers need blogs, then? Yes, they do. And if you start, the chances are you’ll get addicted too.