You may not know the term “Newsjacking,” but you probably know it when you see it. Blogs, social media accounts, and even cable news networks will use top trending news stories to get readers’ attention and build their audience.

Newsjacking isn’t just for big businesses or media outlets. You can use it to develop your blog too. By referencing top trending headlines, you can enter into a national conversation and get the attention of people following the story.

For example, a while ago comedian Tracy Morgan was in a serious limo accident and suffered a brain injury. He was trending on social media outlets for weeks. As a ghost blogger, I used that popularity to gain attention for my client, an auto accident attorney specializing in brain injury.

I researched the accident and found a couple of reputable news articles that described it and Tracy Morgan’s injuries. I then wrote a blog article relating the accident, quoting and linking back to the news sources.

Then I made it relevant to my client’s business. In that case I described why it was so important that he receive timely treatment for his brain injury and how those injuries can develop over time.

You can do the same thing with news stories relating to other practice areas. During the Detroit bankruptcy, a lawyer friend of mine wrote several blogs explaining what was going on and how a city bankruptcy was different from an individual bankruptcy. It built his reputation as a bankruptcy expert and tapped in to a controversial news topic.

If you are maintaining a blog, one of the best things you can do is follow news headlines related to your field. You can set up Google alerts to let you know when articles are published with your key words. You can also follow thought leaders in your industry to see what they are publishing. All this things will set you up so that when a topic “goes viral” you will be ready to newsjack the topic and get writing.

The worst thing you can do as a blogger is ignore trending news. You never know when a celebrity will make a call for father’s rights or get into a tragic accident. These are great opportunities to enter into national conversations and grow your audience.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist. She provides ghost writing services to attorneys and blog coaching to aspiring writers. If you need help developing your blog, contact Legal Linguist today for an appointment.