I read a lot of blogs. I am often impressed by the quality of the posts. Many lawyers consistently write thoughtful, insightful posts about their practices and interests. Even so, I often notice simple mistakes in lawyers’ blogs that can detract from their ability to build readership. Here are five common mistakes that you can easily fix.
1. Don’t bury your blog. Law firms sometimes make the mistake of burying their blogs within an interior page of the firm’s website. There is nothing wrong with incorporating your blog into your site. However, the blog should have a “brand” of its own. Give your blog a unique and memorable name and give it a unique URL, even if that URL redirects to a page within your site. The name should be descriptive and easy to remember.
2. Sign your posts. A group-written blog can be an effective way to highlight a practice area within a firm or to share the blogging load with others. But even a group-written blog should highlight the individual contributors, each of whom should bring a unique voice and perspective to the overall effort. I sometimes see group-written blogs where the posts are not signed. That leaves the reader wondering which of the contributors authored the post. Make sure each post identifies its author. And make sure each author has at least a brief bio available on the blog or there is a link to the author’s full bio elsewhere.
3. Describe your blog. Most blogs include an “About this Blog” page or box. But I am frequently surprised when I see blogs that skip this simple step. Readers want to know something about who you are, what you do and what your blog is about. Most surprising to me is when I find practice-group blogs that nowhere describe the practice or that do not even link back to the practice-group description on the firm’s website. And, yes, I have seen this. The description of your blog is both a service to your readers and a marketing opportunity for you.
4. Promote your blog. With so many legal professionals launching blogs, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. To attract readers to your blog, you need to let them know you exist. To do this, make sure your blog is listed in directories of legal blog. The ABA Journal maintains a Blawg Directory that will add your listing upon request. Justia also has an extensive directory of legal blogs. Besides listing your blog in directories, make sure you share your posts to your networks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
5. Update your blog. The single biggest mistake new bloggers make is to neglect their blogs. The period when you first launch a blog is when consistent, regular updates are most important. This is when you are building a readership. You want to give readers a reason to come back. You hope to generate some buzz. You do not have to post every day, but I believe a new blog should be updated at least three times a week. As you become more established and build up a reputation and a readership, frequency becomes less important.