The Ultimate Blogging Guide for Lawyers: How to Get Started
If you’re a lawyer, odds are you’re pretty good at writing, so why not use that talent to boost your online presence?
Whether you’re looking for a way to grow your practice, your online reach, your client base, or you simply want a creative outlet, consider starting a law blog. Lawyers write a lot. Be it a brief, memo, or motion, most of your billable hours revolve around writing at your desk. It is one of the foundational aspects of the legal profession. It’s no surprise then that English ranked as the third most common pre-law major in a 2022 Law School Admission Council (LSAC) report.
Blogging may seem impossible, especially with busy legal schedules, but if you’re able to dedicate a few hours per month, you’ll reap the rewards in no time.
If you’re unsure about what steps to take, simply follow this guide!
Why You Should Write a Blog for Your Law Practice
Blogging is one of the best ways for legal professionals to grow their online audience. By regularly posting on your website, Google and other search engines will see that activity positively. Moreover, if the content you post is useful, then you’ll reach the top of search engine results in no time.
For Google to look upon a law blog favorably, the blog’s posts need to provide relevant and accurate information. If you’re able to do that on a consistent basis, then you will become a thought leader in your industry in Google’s eyes. As such, whenever someone searches for services in your field, you’ll appear among the top results. This will help you reach a wider audience and, in turn, grow your client base.
Here’s how to get started.
Basic Blogging Protocols to Follow
Where to Post
In the best-case scenario, you already have a website with blog-posting capabilities. If your website is built on WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, HubSpot, etc., then you’re a quick Google search away from setting up your blog. If you already have a blog page set up but haven’t posted anything in months or years, then it’s time to rev it back up again!
If you don’t have a website, you can still publish blog posts on social media platforms. The best option for lawyers is LinkedIn as it allows users to “write an article,” including featured image, headers, bullet points, embedding, and—best of all—a 120,000-character limit!
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
In general, anywhere from 300 words (at the absolute minimum) to 3,000 words is a good range to aim for. If that number scares you, don’t fret! If your blog posts are 600-800 words, then that’s perfect. Remember, you’ll want to write and post on a regular basis (once per month, a few times per month, etc.) so don’t spread yourself too thin writing 2,000-word-long behemoths every week.
Blog posts follow the grade-school adage about essay length: long enough to cover the important parts but short enough to keep it interesting. Of course, if the topic you’re writing about requires an in-depth breakdown of statutes, then don’t let some arbitrary number hold you back from including all the pertinent information.
Finding Topics for Your Law Practice Blog
Figuring out what you’ll write about may be the most difficult task to overcome. But once you have a system in place, topics will appear everywhere you look. If you’re at a loss, you can even use ChatGPT to come up with blog topics in your field.
Focus on Your Practice Area
The goal of a law practice blog is for Google and other search engines to see you as a thought leader. As such, it’s necessary for your blog posts to focus on your services and practice area.
Posting a movie review as part of your blog may seem fun, but it won’t be beneficial. However, if you were to write a blog where you rank divorce lawyers in movies, then you’ll be able to garner a good number of visitors while maintaining the focus on your actual services.
Other topics include general breakdowns of common issues you regularly encounter as a lawyer. For instance, if you’re a probate attorney and constantly receive calls from people regarding estate planning, then you could write a step-by-step guide on the subject. Keep it accessible while answering common questions, which leads us to…
Frequently Asked Questions
As a lawyer, you have the ability to answer common and complex legal questions. People may be confused about the importance of hiring an attorney for a whole myriad of issues, so you can use your blog as a source of knowledge for the curious.
A way to find great topics is by simply Googling a question then looking at the “Related Searches.” For instance, the search query “Should I hire a divorce attorney” pulls up the following related searches:
- Do I need a divorce lawyer if we agree on everything?
- How much does a divorce lawyer cost?
- How much does a divorce cost without a lawyer?
- Who pays attorney fees in divorce?
- How much is a divorce with a child in Texas?
All of these suggestions could be their own blog posts, or they could be featured within one singular post about divorce in Texas.
Check Other Law Practice Sites for Inspiration
The digital landscape is rife with legal websites. As such, it’s easy to find inspiration. Simply Google a topic and click on the first few legal websites. (Focus on actual websites for law firms, not aggregator or review sites like Justia, Yelp, FindLaw, and Super Lawyers.)
If the top-ranked law sites have a blog page, read through the most recent ones and see what they’re writing about. Of course, don’t take a title outright or copy an entire blog’s structure, just use what you see as inspiration and guidance so you can offer your own unique take on the topic.
Emphasize the Fact that You’re Not Offering Legal Advice
This is crucial when it comes to lawyer blogs. While your blog content will be written by you, it should not be considered legal advice. Don't forget to include a disclaimer in the footer of your site or you have a dedicated page with information regarding attorney-client privilege.
What Every Blog Post Needs to Include: Best Practices for Formatting and Structure
Your hard work should not be in vain. To make sure it pays off, it’s necessary to follow a few crucial SEO guidelines when writing and publishing your blog posts.
A Catchy Title
Not only is this the first thing people will see when they click on your blog, but it’s also what they’ll see if your blog post appears on their Google search. Your title should be clear and easy to understand.
Good titles are often in the form of a question, which would be what the reader is researching. For example, a blog titled “Can I Get a Legal Separation in Texas?” would get more traffic than one titled “Legal Separations Are Not Recognized in Texas.”
If possible, try including your city or state in the title. This will help you rank better locally. And remember to keep titles relatively short. If they’re too long, they will get cut off in the search results.
A Relevant Image
Adding a featured image to your blog post will make it more aesthetically pleasing and easily shareable. Adobe Stock is one of the most popular stock image sites, but it requires a paid subscription. Sites like Pexels and Unsplash offer free stock images.
A Main Keyword
In order for your blog post to appear as a result whenever someone searches certain topics in your field, it needs to feature a keyword. A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might use to search for information online. Some examples of keywords are divorce, estate planning, family lawyer, real estate attorney, etc.
The keyword should appear a certain number of times throughout the blog. A good rule of thumb is for the keyword density to be 1-2%. Never overstuff your blog with the keyword as Google considers this spam and may be highly detrimental to your digital marketing goals. You can use an online keyword density checker for a closer look at the percentages.
Always feature your focus keyword in the blog title, within the opening paragraph, a few times throughout the blog body, and in at least one subheading.
Instead of massive blocks of text, your blog post is properly spaced out. Keep paragraphs at 3-5 sentences in length. This makes posts much easier to read.
Editors’ Tip: Writing an effective short paragraph requires clarity and brevity. Focus on one idea and stick to a single point or concept to avoid confusion. Be succinct using as few words as possible to convey your message without sacrificing clarity. Organize your thoughts by arranging your sentences logically, with a clear flow of ideas. Remember that the goal of your short paragraph is to convey information and make your point succinctly.
Include easy-to-understand headers that delineate what the following section will cover. This way, readers can scan your blog post and find the relevant answers they’re looking for without having to read the entire post.
If your website has pages relating to specific services and you mention those services within the blog post, add a link to the service page. This is called "internal linking" and it can greatly improve your website's SEO. Highlight the term or phrase so people who click on the link will know where they’re heading.
Also, if you include information from a study or from another blog, don't forget to add a link to provide proper credit.
At the end of your blog post, include your law firm’s phone number and contact information. This way, the readers will be able to reach out as soon as they finish reading your post. If you offer free consultations, highlight that fact as well.
Final Thoughts to Keep in Mind
Post Regularly and Share Within Your Social Networks
For the post to reach a wider audience, share it on your social media accounts. Add a link to the blog post itself and write a brief blurb to attract attention.
Keep It Light
For a blog post to gain an audience, it needs to be relevant, easy to read, and interesting. Try not getting bogged down in minutiae; instead, write the article as if you were explaining a legal concept to a friend or acquaintance at a party.
Be Aware That You’re Offering First-hand Information
While countless law firm websites feature blogs, most of those posts are outsourced, written by content writers with little to no legal expertise.
You, on the other hand, have years of experience. As such, your blog will be a source of reliable information for your readers. As beneficial as this is, it’s also important to realize that your blog posts should not be seen as actual legal advice. Again, don’t forget to add a disclaimer on your site to avoid any issues.
Now You’re Ready to Start Your Law Blog!
Blogging is an excellent way to regularly update your website and social media, grow your client base, and expand your brand’s reach. We hope this guide provided you with a good starting point. If you’re unsure about a topic we discussed, don’t hesitate to look further into it. There are countless guides out there brimming with information to help you succeed in your blogging ventures.
Whether you’ve never blogged before or you tried it and didn’t enjoy it, we hope you give it a shot. Before long, your website will begin to gain more visitors, and you’ll start ranking higher in the most competitive search engine result pages. And it all starts with the first post. Let’s get to work!
Otto Nicli is part of the State Bar's Web team and serves as the blog writer for the Texas Bar Practice website. He also plays a part in marketing and video production. In his free time, he enjoys watching Top Chef with his wife, collecting records, reading, and going to shows.