If you are a follower of this site, you know that a clear focus is an important part of writing a successful blog. But that can be challenging when your firm handles a little bit of everything. Here are some blogging tips for general practitioners.
Weed Out What You Don’t Do
General practitioners may handle a wide variety of legal issues, but few truly do everything. Instead, most have referral arrangements with other firms to handle complicated matters in some specialized areas like tax, intellectual property, or adoption. Your first step in creating a well targeted blog is to figure out what you don’t do. By carving these topics out of your blog, you will start the focusing process.
Target the Clients You Want
Just because you do it all doesn’t mean you want to attract more of everything. Every lawyer has practice areas they enjoy more than others. Some types of clients pay better, and more regularly, than others. And some practice areas take more time or effort than they may be worth given the volume of cases your firm handles. Take some time to identify the type of clients you want. They are the center of your bull’s eye and the focus of the blog.
Create Blog Categories for Each Practice Area
Now that you have identified a few target practice areas you are almost ready to write. Create categories or tags (depending on your blog’s back-end interface) for each practice area. Then talk to your web developer to make sure your users can browse those categories that apply to you.
As you write new posts, tag each one based on the relevant category. Most blog posts will focus on one practice area. However, a general practitioner is in a unique position to take advantage of cross-over issues to attract a wider variety of clients. If a post draws connections between different target areas, feel free to use multiple categories.
Use a Blogging Calendar to Rotate Practice Areas
It is natural for professionals to find certain parts of their work more interesting than others. But if your blog favors one practice area over others, you will find those clients attracted to your firm. To avoid letting your blog become one-sided, create a blogging calendar to plan when you will write about each practice area. It will keep your content balanced and help you decide what to write.
Use a More Aggressive Blogging Schedule
The downside to a general practitioner’s blog is that it doesn’t generate as much content for any given keyword as quickly as a lawyer who only writes about one practice area. Search engines rank your website higher based on the frequency of several related keywords. For example, Google knows that a lawyer handles divorce cases if the firm website has several instances of words like “divorce” “husband” “wife” “spouse” and phrases like “child custody” or “Friend of the Court”. But you will collect those keywords more slowly as a general practitioner with several blogging categories than an issue specialist. To combat this, you may need to post more often, so that you write about each practice area as frequently as your more focused competition.
It can be challenging to break into the top rankings of Google if you do a little bit of everything. But by being intentional about when, what, and how frequently you blog, you can develop a strong web presence as a general practitioner.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She provides ghostwriting and blogging services for law firms and other small businesses. If you are a general practitioner looking for more clients online, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.