Law Firm Web Marketing

    

5 Characteristics of Successful Blogs

In the U.S., an eMarketer survey indicates that Internet users will increase by 3.1% to reach 239 million by the end of 2012. This means 75.6% of the US population will be online by the end of the year.

Such numbers are important for anyone wishing to venture into building a brand on the web, particularly for law firms and legal professionals. Currently, blogging is one of the best platforms to support your online business and penetrate more markets. Content marketing via blogging is exceptionally advantageous for legal professions in communicating their cause and capabilities.

However, not all blogs fare well to their target audience, and many try to cover far to many subjects without establishing a focal niche. If you want your online brand to advance via blogging, you should look into these 5 characteristics of successful blogs.

Quality and Relevant Content

Whenever you are publishing your blog, always research your content to avoid boring your readers. There is a lot of information available and if readers realize you are veering away from the topic they can switch any second. Blogging is not just fun, but serious business and it is better not to update than add nothing to the reader’s quest for information. In essence, stay focused on you blog's niche, or practice area of law.

Unique, Focused Content

Readers like compelling articles written from your own perspective. As such, they need your personality to be written all over the content at all times and this will make it easier to relate to your blogs. In most cases, giving responsibility to another webmaster will sell you away immediately and this can be seen from the comments given. Try to dill down your own niche in terms of style and make it interactive.

Topical Passion

Blog management does not come naturally and as such, you have to keep going on and on until you have an audience. However, this is not the end of the journey but a beginning, because retaining this audience is a herculean task. Always have faith in what you write and expect forthright criticism; this is the Internet after all. Passion is the drive that makes you brave enough to continue even when odds are against you.

Content Consistency

Always make sure you update your content even if there is a dearth of information around. Readers come to your blog for new information and when they lack the same, they will seek other avenues of information. Consistency is the underpinning of any successful branding blog.

Keen Eye for Detail

A successful blogger is not a ‘yes’ person but one who constantly questions rationale in everything. This is the only way to create rapport with the curious readers who flock online for new provocative ideas. As such, your blog should not be a mundane regurgitation of the obvious but a platform of novelty.

These 5 characteristics of successful blogs can help resuscitate your fledgling blog and make it rank highly in the niche of your legal services. Information is power and in all these traits, it is this maxim that will define your success as a legal professional .

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11 Tips for Writing Highly Informative How-To Blog Posts

A how-to blog post is a descriptive form of content where you give people a step-by-step guide on how to do something. For law firms and attorneys, such blog post could provide insights on how to handle a certain legal situation or incident. Sharing informative content of the like can help potential prospects and clients earn you trust as legal professional.

Blogging is one of the most effective content marketing techniques. Creating a quality, topic-specific blog is advantageous in that it may establish yourself or your practice as reliable and highly proficient in your niche. Blogs allow for commenting. This is important because you will not only often times receive valuable feedback on the content you publish, but more importantly you are building your brand online.

If your how-to blog is to be successful, it should be optimized for search engines and it should captivate readers. You could kill two birds with one stone by ensuring you have quality content that relevant readers will want to link to (thus making your blog more authoritative and more impactful on you own link building efforts.)

Writing How-To Blog PostsSo, how do you go about writing highly-effective how-to blog posts? Below we offer 11 tips to help you write compelling, highly informative how-to blog posts:

1. Type of content: Ensure that your content is leadership-based content, data-driven analysis, commentary on industry news, or a list-style post if you want to be taken seriously. These categories are advantageous over conventional how-to guides since you will most often have fresh content.

2. Choose the topic carefully: Your how-to topic has to be chosen carefully if the post is to have the desired effect. Generate several possibilities and brainstorm on the list over time with your customer team (the people who deal with customers every day such as sales representatives). Step into the shows of the target market and consider doing a survey. The title should strive to cover day-to-day concerns. A good title is one that tries to answer the questions that your customer team is asked every day. Go to a popular how-to blog for an overview of how a successful how-to blog post title is to be written. When deciding on your title, ensure that it speaks of exactly what readers will find on reading one. Once you have settled on a title, do not worry too much about the length at this stage – you will refine it later once you generate the content.

3. Brainstorm on the steps from the beginning to the end: Start the content generation by writing the outline of the steps your readers are to take. Your development team will come in handy at this. You could do this through your blogging tool whereby you make each step a header and fill in the blanks later. You can add subheadings to some steps if this will help you better explain the steps. Ensure that the steps are in the proper order and that they are comprehensive such that any reader who follows them exactly will get the desired result.

4. Introduction: Once you have the skeleton, write an introduction at the very top. This should indicate what you want readers to do and it should provide the context to eliminate the possibility of confusion. A good introduction is one that urges readers to read on. Include statistics and data here if possible to prove that the how-to topic is vital. It is important that you are specific in the introduction and that you do not overhype reader expectations.

5. Write instructions by filling in the steps: Once you are done with the introduction, write the actual instructions. Write in 2nd person (‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’) for the best results. The transition between different steps should flow smoothly.

6. Be detailed, specific, and descriptive in the content: Write as if you are writing content to a 6th grader who does not know how to do anything you are describing. Do not tell readers to do something – tell them how do actually do it.

7. Link to credible resources: Your readers will appreciate links to valuable resources. These resources could be to websites that explain something you do not want to dwell on in greater detail. Describing some concepts in detail will derail you and it could lead to extremely long posts. The resource has to be credible (such as a .gov and a .edu link). You will get bonus points if you are the writer of the resource you are linking to.

8. Mention the tools to be used: Do not gloss over the tools that readers will require to accomplish whatever you are describing. You could even suggest specific tools and even where to get them. If you are writing the how-to blog to promote tools you are selling, ensure you do not oversell. Just mention the tools.

9. Include detailed examples: Examples go a long way in passing your point across. The best examples are real-life examples, but do not shy away from hypothetical ones if they mean greater emphasis. The example should be something readers can relate to.

10. Use visual explanations: Human beings are visual creatures and using visual components will help you a great deal. The visual components could be pictures of the different steps (such as how to change a tire), graphs, charts, or concept/content visualization. It is recommended that visual aid is accompanied with supportive text. When using video content, have a transcript on the Web page. Do not overuse videos since not everybody likes them and they slow down your loading speed.

11. Finesse your title: You will now have enough information to know what a good title will be. It should be concise, actionable, keyword-conscious, definitive, intriguing, and clear. A good title is one that starts with ‘How to…’.

Bonus - the takeaway or conclusion: To end the blog post, conclude with 1 or 2 sentences or ask a question that will spark further discussion. Include a call-to-action at the very end. Have a colleague go through the blog post to ensure it is free of grammatical, spelling, and structural errors since such errors bring you out as being unprofessional.

If you're seeking help on writing how-to blog posts for your blog, visit www.WebPresenceGroup.com for resources and services on blog writing and blog management services. The experts at Web Presence Group can help you develop an effective blogging strategy to meet your law firm's content marketing objectives.

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5 Tips to Blog More Successfully

In the digital age that we live in, blogging has offered up a platform for people who would like to share their views online. Whether these views are personal or professional, it does not matter. The idea is share content of value with a relevancy audience. For law firm web marketing, a blog can help:

Successful Blogging for Law Firms* inbound traffic to a website

* attract more social media followers

* establish the firm as trusted and credible legal resource

* aid search engine optimization (SEO)

One thing to note though is that the blogosphere is filled with millions of writers. With the introduction of AdSense by Google, quality blog writing makes it possible to earn money, which has stiffened the competition. Although blog creation is essentially free, you should consider the following points if your law firm plans to attract a solid following of readers.

1. Have clear objectives: Before you begin a blog, you should have a clear idea of which direction you would like it to go. One cannot simply wake up one morning and decide to write on anything and everything and hope to amass a following. You should know who your target audience will be before you can decide what content would be best suited to them. Go through different blogs and figure out how they are reaching their target audience then you can make a decision on what your niche would be.

2. Get into your readers’ minds: Blog readers tend to expect a lot from the author of the blog. If you think that simply having excellent grammar and being eloquent will cut it, you will be wrong. It does not matter what niche you will be writing about, you should ensure the content is unique for you to develop your own following. What will make readers choose your blog rather than go somewhere else and read about the same thing? One of the best ways of getting into your readership’s heads would be by enabling comments on each of your blog posts. This will let you get feedback, both positive and negative, and allow you to make the necessary changes.

3. Edit your content: When it comes to writing, most people will go with the flow and jot down what comes to mind first. This is all well and good but this cannot be your final work. You should edit all your blog posts to ensure that they are free of errors and the content can be understood in the context in which you want it to be comprehended.

4. Edit your images: If you want your blog to stand out, it is recommended you incorporate images to break up the content. Do not use substandard images though. Learning the ropes of image editing will go a long way in giving your blog a professional edge.

5. Design of your blog: The design of your blog is one of the most important considerations and possibly the hardest job to accomplish. Your template should match the overall theme of the blog. If you are not proficient in web design, it is recommended to hire the services of someone who is.

Blogging offers a wealth of advantages for all types of firms, especially on a more local level where trust, credibility, and word of mouth go a long way. We hope these tips help you develop an effective blogging strategy.

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