I think it is crucial for law firms to have blogs these days. But firms are busy, not everyone likes to write and some folks just aren’t very good at it. This leads to the question, should law firms hire someone to write their blogs?
The answer? Maybe.
To my mind there are five types of blogs for law firms. Here is what they are and the results a firm will generally see from them:
1. An attorney, with all good intention, decides to start blogging. She posts for a while, gets busy, bored, whatever, and stops. She leaves the blog up, it becomes more and more out of date, any readers she might have obtained are gone. In time leaving the blog up becomes more harmful than good. This is because it is never good to leave something on the Web that isn’t consistently updated at a reasonable pace.
If this is you, that’s ok. It happens. But take down the blog. Or even better, make it a vlog (video blog) instead. Grab a cell phone camera, record your thoughts on an issue for a minute or two, and post it. Once every two weeks would work wonderfully. Even once a month.
2. A firm, probably on the cheap, hires a company to write its blog for the express purpose of increasing its ranking on Google. The company writes one blog post for a whole bunch of firms, copies and pastes the posts on the blogs for each of the firms and calls it a day. This is actively harmful and could cause the firm’s rank to drop on Google.
Google rewards content, but that content has to be original to the poster. This is why it is actually harmful to you if someone steals your content and posts it elsewhere on the Web (as opposed to citing your content and providing a link back.)
3. A firm hires a company to write its blog for the express purpose of increasing its ranking on Google. The blog posts are not meant to be original. Normally the company is exclusive to the area of law in each market. The company understands Google and that it is important not to write redundant blog posts. This kind of blogging has an impact and will in fact increase a firm’s Google rank.
4. A lawyer writes a blog, enjoys writing and therefore keeps the blog (or vlog) up and running. The lawyer probably posts at least once or twice a week. The content is original, provides solutions and lets potential clients know that the attorney knows what she is talking about. This is the best type of blog.
-The original content increases rank
-The solution based content encourages visitors to the blog
-The content shows the knowledge of the attorney and encourages potential clients to email or call
5. A firm hires a company to write its blog both to increase rank and provide solid content. The posts are meant to be original and encourage engagement. The person creating the writing does a good job, understands the law (and the ethics) and writes appropriate solution based content that is only placed on the blog of the client. Effectively, this kind of blog has the same result as number 4. The law firm will need to work with the content writer to make sure this blog is effective.
I strongly encourage every law firm to have at least one blog. Blogs are a wonderful way to get the firm’s name out there, encourage communication, provide increase in search engine rank and offer solution based marketing. They can also be a lot of fun to write.
Just make sure that the blogging you do, whether you do it yourself or retain someone else, is effective and doesn’t do more harm than good.