I often advise lawyers to do some blogging to enhance their efforts to get clients or a new job. For recent law grads or attorneys transitioning to a different practice area, I wrote tips for blogging when you don’t feel like an expert. Lawyers new to blogging will want to squeeze all the attention they can get out of their first few efforts.
After you write a post or two, here are some suggestions on how to maximize the benefit from them. You won’t always be able to accomplish everything on this list, but you might be surprised at what is possible if you ask.
- Write for websites or newsletters that get a lot of viewers. If you haven’t developed traffic to your website yet, capitalize on the success of others. They don’t have to have huge numbers, but ideally they will draw in the same audience that you want to attract. Start by looking for blogs and newsletters that already feature guest writers. Propose a few topics, and ask if they would be interested. As a small firm job candidate, you could stand out by offering a blog post to potential employers for their website. Even if a blog hasn’t featured guest posts before, the author may be pleased to have someone else share the writing burden now and then. They may be more open to your proposal if you have already gained their attention by commenting on some of their posts and sharing them on social media.
- Seek out other professionals that serve the same clients. You might benefit by writing for other law bloggers, as described above. It will often be easier, however, to entice someone in a complementary field to include your legal perspective on a subject of interest to their readers. By way of example, if you are a family lawyer, a realtor company might be interested in an article about dividing up the assets in a divorce, including the marital residence.
- Include a bio with your article. If the blog post has only your name, your reader won’t know how to find you or why they should believe you without exerting undue effort. Even if you can only include a sentence or two, make it as easy as you can to find you by including some kind of contact information. Determine in advance whether the publication will do you the courtesy of including a bio or your contact info. If not, perhaps you can find a different outlet.
- Craft your bio to focus on features that are important to the particular audience. Your bio in the previous example might say that you help couples arrive at reasonable solutions for what to do with the house in a divorce. It might be best to leave out references to your additional practice area of criminal law for that article, however.
- Include a link in your bio if the publication or site will let you. Ideally it will link to your website, but if you don’t have one, link to a LinkedIn profile or some other internet site that has more in-depth information about you. Most readers will want to learn more about you before contacting you. Links from relevant websites can also help improve the SEO (search engine optimization) of your website.
- Include a professional headshot. You want to make a good impression, and images increase the time and attention people pay to something in writing. That headshot can also help people recognize and remember you in an interview or networking setting.
- Quotes from others help keep the article interesting. Getting those quotes can help develop important and beneficial relationships that further your career. You can learn more about that in my post on tips for laid off lawyers. Don’t overdo the quotes, however. You still need to showcase yourself as someone who can provide benefit to the reader.
- Your work is not over once you get published. Send links to your article to the people you quoted to keep nurturing those relationships. Say something about your topic on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and/or other social media and link to your article. Email your clients and prospects with a link to the article. Reference it on your resume.
- Find additional websites or newsletters that might be interested in your topic. Assuming you didn’t sign away your copyright, you don’t have to limit your exposure to only one venue. Following up on the previous example, in addition to other realtor blogs, perhaps a title company or a home inspection company would be interested in the same post. Could you tweak the article a bit to make it of interest to a parenting blog?
- Include a copy with your promotional handouts and cover letters. If you are seeking a job, this writing sample can demonstrate that you take initiative, can communicate well and have some marketing skills. Enclosing it in an information packet for prospective clients will showcase you as an authority and help to build trust by providing free information. If you are speaking somewhere, it can be a handout that audience members keep as a useful reference, with your contact information included on it, of course.
You have many demands on your time. So use your creative problem-solving skills as an attorney to find even more ways to make the most of your writing endeavors.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.