Myth: They Don’t Teach Social Media Marketing in Law School

When I talk to lawyers about their web marketing strategies, one of the first arguments they raise in defense is “Yeah, but, it’s not like they teach social media marketing in law school!” Guess what, now they do! Continue reading

Using a Downloadable to Build Reputation

Do you have a flier that you hand to your clients? Are there certain questions potential clients always ask? Using a convenient downloadable on your website and social media outlets can give your readers something to take away and build your reputation. Continue reading

Newsjacking To Build Your Audience

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. Continue reading

eBooks Are Marketing Too

Has anyone ever told you that you should write a book? Maybe you have a strong opinion on an aspect of your business, or have a unique way of explaining a difficult concept. An eBook could be a great way to put your thoughts in order and market your expertise at the same time. 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.

Catching Your Reader’s Attention

We live in a fast-paced culture. Our average attention span is 8 seconds. Goldfishes’ are 9. The key to writing blogs that catch and hold your readers’ attention is to keep them short and focused on a catchy topic. Here are some tips to guard against rambling:

Use Subheadings to Prevent Topic Drift

Subheadings can help break up your page and make it easier for the reader to follow along. They can also help you stay on target. If you can’t figure out how to tie your subheading to your title, you probably are off course. Subheadings give you a chance to check your heading and stay on target.

Reference Your Header Paragraph

You spend extra time on your header paragraph, making sure it is tight and attractive to your readers. Don’t be afraid to go back to the metaphor you used at the start and mention that goldfish again. Doing so will help you tie everything together and keep you from drifting off on a tangent.

Refine Your Topic

If you are having trouble keeping your post short and sweet, it’s probably because your topic is too broad. Take the time to distill your topic to its purest form. What is the one point you are trying to make? If you’re making 2 points, you’re writing 2 posts. Refine your topic and increase your focus – honing in on the one main thing you’re trying to say.

Tie It All Together In the End

Your closing paragraph is just as important as your header. It gives you a chance to call your reader to action and drive your point home. Make sure that closing paragraph connects to your header and all the headings. Just like you learned in high school writing class: Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em, and then tell ’em what you told ’em – then give them something to do with it.

You have 8 seconds to catch and hold your readers’ attention. If you go on too long or stray from your topic, you’ll lose them. Stay focused, use subheadings, and tie everything together to get your readers from beginning to end.

Lisa Schmidt is a ghost-blogger and blogging coach for LegalLinguist.com. If you need help creating your professional blog, contact Legal Linguist today for customized writing and editing assistance.

The Terror of the Blank Page

It sits there, staring at you, taunting you with your inability to fill it. But I assure you, you are mightier than the blank page and it is easily vanquished once you set aside your terror. Continue reading

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!

 

Blogging From The Headlines

Taking inspiration from the headlines will increase hits.Some of the most compelling blog posts stem from the hot topics of the day. While the nation’s attention was wrapped up in the Trayvon Martin case many criminal lawyers took advantage of the limelight to write about “stand your ground” laws in their own states. Even when the headlines aren’t quite so directly on target, you can still use them to guide your blog posts and take advantage of heightened web traffic on particular issues.

People look for different things on the Internet at different times. You can see evidence of this in Twitter’s “trends” and in the articles that circulate on Facebook. Once an idea has taken hold, searches for the topic spike on popular search engines and on social media. But you have to be ready to post relevant new content at the right time.

Take Christmas, for example. Very few people are searching the web for Christmas articles in May. But if you post an article in December about how the Christmas shopping rush affects business planning strategies or what to do to streamline holiday parenting time, your fresh content is far more likely to appear in web search results.

Interest in particular topics on the Internet ebbs and flows. By targeting the trends of the day, whether they be holidays, the change in seasons, or big news items, you can increase your visibility and drive traffic to your blog, and your door. If you need help planning how to write from the headlines and increase your visibility, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt.

Authenticity and Credibility

Photo by by Stuart Miles on freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by by Stuart Miles on freedigitalphotos.net

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about bringing in readers from search results and from building your reputation with referral partners. But the problem with reputation is it is a double edged sword. More than quantity, the quality of your content is what will push people to pick up the phone, or not.

Initially, this gets back to choosing your topic. You need to choose a content area that is broad enough to give you lots of ideas to write about, but narrow enough to keep subscribers’ attention. More importantly, you need to write from what you know. If you have never handled a class action lawsuit, then a post on the intricacies of class certification may not be the best idea.

Instead, try to focus your blog on the types of law you are familiar with, or at least the areas you’ve read the most about. Your practice history and the research you have done over the years will give you an air of authenticity. You will be able to draw connections between topics that a layperson or newer lawyer might have missed. This will help your readers to trust you as an authority on the topic.

Second, always check your sources. Whenever possible, go back to the statute or court opinion itself. If you can’t do that, rely on reputable news sources rather than opinion articles. Avoid writing articles based on articles that are based on articles. Instead, dig down to the source. By linking directly to primary sources you give your blog credibility. Your readers will know they can rely on what you’ve said, and that your blog is free from unnecessary layers of bias and interpretation.

Your blog is one way you can educate potential clients and referral partners about your expertise in the field. By writing about what you know and relying on primary sources, you can give yourself and your posts more authenticity and credibility in the eyes of your readers.