There are only so many ways a person can write about the same topic before it sounds redundant. If you are using a highly targeted blog to market a niche practice or attract a particular type of client, you may soon find yourself bored with the topic. How can you keep the entries fresh and still keep every post on-target?
Break the Topic Down
Any informational blog can benefit from careful explanation of the issue. But the focused nature of a blog doesn’t allow you to go into to much detail. Instead, the format gives you contents for weeks (or months, depending on how frequently you post). Create a blog post or recurring theme that breaks the topic down and presents one aspect at a time. Whenever you feel like your topic is getting stale, go back and find another facet of your topic that you haven’t used in a while.
For example, Imagine a divorce attorney who uses a blog to market her business. Each post on her blog doesn’t focus on the entire divorce procedure. Instead, one post may focus on the distribution of marital assets, while another talks about parenting time issues. Even within a narrowly focused blog, there are a number of issues in any practice area that can be expanded into 1,000 words.
Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Your clients are a constant source of blog ideas. Their questions are often precisely the topics potential readers want to know about. Consider keeping a list of questions your customers ask you. Frequently asked questions make great posts, particularly because they often don’t take a lot of additional research. But a question doesn’t have to come up repeatedly to be inspirational. If a client’s question sparks hours of research, take advantage of that work and write a blog about the unique issue. Just be sure you do it in a way that doesn’t identify the client.
For example, imagine the divorce lawyer’s client asks about whether his spouse will be entitled to any part of his military pension. This is a complicated question that doesn’t come up all that often in family law. When it does, the lawyer will likely need to do some research, and maybe contact a military lawyer for clarification. Once the client’s issue is resolved, she can summarize that work in a blog post and possibly recruit more military clients who can take advantage of her new knowledge.
Connect to Broader Issues
Attorneys are often tempted to put their work into silos. They may identify as a personal injury attorney, but not a workers’ compensation lawyer. They may want to do divorce, but not adoptions. But just because you only do a particular kind of work doesn’t mean that work doesn’t connect to broader issues for your client. Look at ways your practice area can connect with other matters. You may even consider asking attorneys you refer to regularly to write guest-blogs on these issues, tying them into the narrow focus of your blog.
For example, the divorce lawyer has no experience with probate issues. But she knows that a divorce can affect the way a will is executed. She could ask her friend, the estate planning attorney to write a post about whether ex-spouses can inherit after a divorce. In exchange, she might write a post for the estate planning attorney’s blog about whether spousal support ends when a person dies.
Write from the Headlines
When you run out of ways to tell the story of your blog, you can always turn to the media for inspiration. Look at what is happening in politics, celebrity gossip, or the business community. Try to find places where your expertise can shed light on the situation. You could pose hypothetical solutions to problems popular icons could be facing.
For example, on the divorce blog, the lawyer could report on the recent break-up of Hollywood’s latest hot couple. She could discuss how that couple’s divorce action would go if it had happened in her state, or weigh in on how courts treat the issues that caused the split.
Tell Customer Stories
If a client’s questions are a good source of inspiration, the solutions are certainly blog-worthy as well. When you close a case or win a big motion, that is an excellent opportunity to write an article about your success. Give a generalized summary of the client’s story and then explain how you used your knowledge and expertise to solve it. If your client loved what you did, you can even tie in a testimonial.
For example, when the divorce lawyer wins full custody for her client whose wife is an alcoholic, she could write a blog about how substance abuse affects minor children. She can explain how she stood up for her client, the custodial father, and prevailed. Her client could give credibility to her post by thanking her for her hard work, even anonymously.
No matter how narrow your blog’s focus, there are always ways to add variety and find inspiration. By taking a broader look at the issue and your clients’ needs, you can come up with new topics and keep your blog fresh for years to come.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She provides blogs and web content for lawyers and small businesses. If you need help generating content for your informational blog, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.