Lawyers Shouldn’t Blog Every Day

There. I said it. Lawyers shouldn’t blog every day. This may go against conventional wisdom for building better SEO rankings, but in reality, most lawyers who try to blog every day will not help their reputations very much. Continue reading

Drip Marketing: Not Just a Drop in the Bucket

When you get hit with one drop of water, it’s easy to ignore. But as I am writing this blog, a torrent of drops are pouring down outside my office. It’s enough to make me take notice (even without a window). The same is true with email marketing. One impression won’t drive much traffic, but a constant drip marketing strategy will bring clients to your door. Continue reading

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Webpages?

You have spent a lot of time and money building up your web presence, particularly a professional website. Now your marketing manager wants to add pages for every aspect of your practice. So when is enough enough? Continue reading

Facebook Changes: Bad for Small Businesses

For years you have been hearing about building a Facebook business page for marketing purposes. But some behind the scenes changes are making Facebook tougher for small businesses. Continue reading

Skipping Christmas?

You blog regularly. You publish on a set schedule designed to reach your target audience. And now that schedule is telling you to post on Christmas. What do you do?

Let’s face it, very few people will be scrolling through their RSS or social media feeds on Christmas or New Year’s morning, looking for a thought-provoking article on business or the law. So how do you deal with the scheduling conflict. There are a few options.

Post with Christmas Cheer!

If you are a stickler for schedules, you could decide to post anyway. People often may not find your blog until the next day, but you can show your dedication to consistency. If you are going to post on December 25 (or January 1 or any other holiday, for that matter), be sure to acknowledge what you are doing. Don’t just put up a generic “top tips” post because, let’s face it, you’re phoning it in while your kids open up their stockings to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Instead, craft a blog that is in the holiday spirit. There are very few topics that can’t be connected to Christmas or New Year’s Resolutions or at least year end. Let your readers know that you are paying attention rather than just posting for the sake of posting.

Dodge Christmas

Your readers may be busy on Christmas morning, but they probably will have some down time on Christmas Eve or the day after the holiday. Adjusting your schedule so your post goes out just before or just after a holiday can be a good idea, particularly if you are targeting consumers. You may still want to use a holiday theme, but people probably won’t fault you for a fall-back post either. Instead they will be thanking you for giving them something to read to avoid unwanted in-laws.

Skip the Post

Every business (except possibly emergency rooms) has some holidays when they are closed. Despite the importance of new and fresh content, your readers won’t lynch you because your office, and your blog, are closed for the holidays. The more often you blog, the less likely skipping Christmas will negatively affect your SEO. So relax and enjoy the egg nog, knowing you’ll jump right back into blogging in the new year.

Which holiday strategy is best for you depends largely on how often you post and who your target market is. Ask yourself whether your readers will be at their desks or whether they may want a distraction. Then decide whether to target, dodge, or skip this holiday season.

Lisa Schmidt is a ghostblogger and blogging coach for Legal Linguist. She helps small businesses and law firms create professional web content and improve their online marketing return on investment. If you need help giving your website a boost in the New Year, contact Legal Linguist today.

What Happened to the Homepage?

Have you noticed a decline in the number of views on your homepage? If so, you’re not alone. The New York Times’ hits dropped by 80 million views over the last 2 years. And lawyers’ homepages have taken a 20% hit in the last year alone. Could this be a sign that you need to forsake your website and say goodbye to your hard-earned marketing dollars?

No. While it is true that far more web traffic is coming to your site through social media than ever before, they are still coming to your site. Especially if your blog is hosted on your website, it still provides a branded one-stop spot for potential clients to learn all about you.

But just because they come to your website doesn’t mean they’ll visit your homepage. That’s why it’s important now more than ever to ensure that your blog’s imagery matches your law firm’s brand. No matter which way potential clients find you – whether through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of the other social media platforms your clients may use – you want them to see the same carefully crafted online image.

What this shift in web traffic does mean is that it’s more important than ever for your website to be fully integrated into the world of social media. It should be easy for people who stumble onto your blog to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or check out your connections and reputation on LinkedIn.

By making sure people can easily click between your website and your social media sites, you encourage them to engage with your brand and become part of your contact network. If you need help integrating your website, blog, and social media, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt today.

How To Recycle Your Blog

Is your blog disposable? Are you using each post once and then throwing it on the garbage file? What if there was a way to recycle your content and make it work harder for you?

“Reduce” Your Effort

You’ve put hard work into crafting a quality blog post about an interesting topic. Share it with the world! Or at least your social media network. Rather than spinning your wheels rewriting the same information over and over, set up your blog to automatically post messages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Those sites will attract more traffic to your blog and get you more followers.

“Reuse” Your Old Posts

Unless your blog is focused on the bleeding edge of technology law, some of your articles probably have some staying power. When a topic you have written about before becomes popular again – like when a celebrity couple files for divorce – pull out your greatest hits and share them on social media all over again. Just make sure to keep them updated with any changes to the law.

“Recycle” Your Content

If your blog is focused on your topic, it is likely you will find yourself coming back to the same issues over time. Save time, energy, and word count by linking to old blog articles rather than reinventing the wheel. You’ll be able to get more in-depth and provide more quality content to your readers. Plus, search engines will love the back-links to your site so you’ll improve your SEO.

Writing a high-quality blog can take effort, but there’s no reason throw your energy in the trash. Recycle your blog through social media and cross-links to make the most of your work. If you need help writing or publicizing your blog, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt for more information.

China Law Blog Shows There’s More Than One Way to Win at Blogging

Recently the editors at attorneyatwork.com interviewed Dan Harris of Harris & Moure PLLC, the author of chinalawblog.com. They asked him questions about his strategy, effectiveness, and tracking. Despite his success, Mr. Harris’s answers may surprise you.

One thing that probably isn’t a surprise is that chinalawblog.com adds new content almost daily. But it’s not a one-man show. Other lawyers in the firm, guest bloggers, and even staff members, make contributions to keep content fresh and new articles flowing. While daily blogging isn’t for everyone, the more often you can post new content, the more frequently you will appear on social media feeds and in your referral partners’ inboxes.

Mr. Harris’s strategy parts ways with conventional knowledge when it comes to tracking views, comments, and other metrics. Social media experts will tell you one of the most important parts of blogging is tracking your readership. By learning what your readers are interested in, you can write more effectively and develop a target audience. But in response to a question regarding tracking effectiveness, Mr. Harris said,

In the first year, I would check readership numbers with some cheesy device I added to the blog. I tired of that after I realized that the number of readers didn’t really matter. Since then we have done absolutely nothing to track any aspect of the blog.

Instead he measures effectiveness qualitatively: through reviews, clients who make reference to the blog, and awards.

Mr. Harris’s purpose for blogging is also slightly different. Rather than emphasizing marketing strengths and focusing on clients and referral partners, Mr. Harris says to

Write because you are fascinated by your topic and because you want to start a conversation with your readers. Blogs written for “marketing purposes” virtually always fail.

In a way, he is right. Your blog should be connected to your passion, and the best articles are the ones you will feel most strongly about. If you are only writing your blog because someone told you it was a good marketing strategy, eventually the ends will not justify the means.

Mr. Harris also gives one very good warning:

It will take you at least a year of pretty much daily postings to build up a readership, and if you are not prepared to stick it out for at least that long, don’t even bother.

Blogging is an investment, not an ad placement. If you are expecting instantaneous returns you will be disappointed. It is possible to build up a readership with a thoughtful weekly blog, but it may take more time. Cultivate your audience and don’t get discouraged when your readership numbers plane out from time to time. If you need help building your blog readership, contact ghost blogger Lisa Schmidt today.

Should You Blog Over Vacation?

With Memorial Day behind us and the summer ahead, you are probably looking at your calendar looking for a few days’ vacation. But how should you deal with your blog while you are away? Here are a few ways to get through your time off:

1. Write Ahead

If your blog is still getting its sea legs, you probably will want to take the extra time to have blogs scheduled and ready to go while you are away. Most blogging platforms allow you to schedule your posts in advance, so you can set everything up and walk away without worrying that something could go wrong.

2. Write Abroad

One of the great things about the web is that you can access it from almost anywhere. Sometimes your vacation will inspire you. If it does, write. Don’t bottle it up and try to wait until you get back. You can upload your blog posts on the go or save them electronically to use later.

3. Cut Back

Maybe you don’t have time to write a fresh blog for each day of your vacation (if you are blogging daily), but you probably have time for 1-2 extra posts. It is okay to cut down your frequency while you are away, as long as you pick it back up when you get back.

4. Use Guest Bloggers

If your blog has a decent following you probably have a few other bloggers reading your work. Send out a call for guest bloggers to fill the gaps while you are away. This will take burden off of you and will help grow your audience at the same time.

5. Use Ghost Bloggers

If none of these options suit you, you can always hire someone to write on your behalf. A ghost blogger reads what you have written and provides additional articles that fit your topic and writing style. You can hire one to keep up your content stream while you are away.

Just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have to go with you. With some careful advanced planning you can have an uninterrupted flow of content marketing while you are away that will keep you up and running when you get back. If you need a ghost writer to help fill the gaps, contact Lisa Schmidt today before you jump on that plane!

 

Keep Writing, Even in the Busy Times

file8921303951830When I first started my law practice, Schmidt Law Services, PLLC, business was slow. I was building my business from zero, so I had plenty of time to focus on Internet marketing and blogging. I wrote articles regularly and posted frequently on my social media sites.

But then I got busy. Several months in I had a handful of cases and one of them was coming up for trial. I made the conscious decision to focus on the work that made me money today – the billable hours – instead of the projects that would build my business in the future. I thought I’ll get back to blogging once I get through this week, and then month, and then year.

When I finally got back to my website I discovered to my dismay that it had been over a quarter since I had posted a blog article. My pageviews had dropped, I hadn’t received a new Facebook like in over a month, and worst of all, my phone was quiet.

It was at that point that I realized I had cut off my nose to spite my face. By focusing so intensely on the next deadline I had forgotten to do the work that would fill in my supply of clients once these cases had concluded. It was shortsighted and not productive.

And so I made a decision. I picked one day a week and marked it “blog day” in a reoccurring event in my calendar. I committed to writing 2 blog articles a week (it has since expanded with the addition of Legal Linguist’s ghost blogging services), and scheduled time to do it.

15 months later, I still have blog day. I still post regularly and I still designate time to write on my calendar. This visual reminder keeps me from filling that day with appointments, consultations, and phone calls, and gives me a deadline to work with. It makes content marketing a weekly priority. Even though sometimes blog day has to shift to the weekend or fill in the gaps between court hearings, the articles still get done.

And I see the results. I have new followers on my blog almost every week, and many of my potential clients call referring to a particular blog article or my website. By making blog day a priority, I have been able to make a habit of writing, develop a following and grow my practice.