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Should you be blogging?

Do you read blogs of professionals before considering to hire them? Do their blogs provide useful information in answer to some of your questions? Read about a local attorney who provides blogging services for other lawyers.

Attorney Lisa Schmidt
Attorney Lisa Schmidt
In my business I work and network with many attorneys.  When the topic of marketing surfaces, lawyers often sheepishly tell me “I know I should be blogging, but I just don’t have the time.” While blogging might not make sense for all law practices, it is a valuable tool to showcase one’s expertise and educate your target market on the basics of the law in your niche.  The time factor may no longer be an issue for the busy practitioner, thanks to a local attorney who has taken up “ghost blogging” for attorneys.  Attorney Lisa Schmidt created a company called the “Legal Linguist” to provide affordable blogging solutions for the busy lawyer.

Lisa has been writing, and enjoying it, since her high school days. Her undergraduate degree was in creative wrtiting, and she still enjoys writing novels and short stories in her spare time these days.  Lisa found a way to incorporate her love of writing into her law practice, by blogging about legal issues in her niche of family law and criminal defense. ”I believe blogging is one of the best forms of marketing because you can provide content and value to the reader while also making yourself more visible through search engine optimization (SEO),” notes Lisa.


As a fairly new attorney herself, Lisa asked her more experienced colleagues how they attract and maintain clients. Most of them said that they invested a lot of money in a professional looking website, but that it was only moderately successful. They weren’t blogging because of time constraints, but felt blogging was something they should be doing. Lisa was puzzled by this trend.”To me, having a website without a blog is like hiring a videographer to record a great commercial, yet not finding TV spots to air it. I want to make those lawyers’ websites work for them by giving them regularly updated, content-driven SEO to attract more quality clients to their websites and offices.”

 


ACCORDING TO LISA, THERE ARE SOME KEYS TO EFFECTIVE BLOGGING:

 

PLAIN ENGLISH

Lawyers and other professionals can make the mistake of using technical terms or “legalese”, but this alienates the lay person who may be reading your blog.  You will write one way for a Judge or law journal, but your reader will quickly get bored and confused if you don’t write at their level.  The artful blogger can make a complex topic understandable for the lay person.  They need to be able to relate to it in order to take action or refer you to a friend who may be facing the problem you write about.

 

FRIENDLY TONE

People are looking for help, often for something really important in their lives.  Yet, it can be intimidating to call a lawyer.  If your blog makes you sound too technical or unapproachable, you’ve lost that client in the first paragraph. Legal blogs should give them a taste of the answer they need and encourage them to call the host lawyer for more information.

 

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Many people are visual learners.  In order to capitalize on that, it’s a good idea to integrate images, charts, graphs, and the occasional infographic to get people reading and bring the point home.

 

FREQUENCY IS A NECESSITY

If you are trying to drive traffic to your website, new content is a must.  Lisa offers other lawyers a package which includes one blog article per week.  In some cases she’ll write 2 articles per month if the lawyer has a limited budget, but Lisa cautions that blogging less than once a week drastically reduces how effective a website will be.

The ideal blog is updated with short articles two to three times per week, especially if the blog covers more than one content area.

 

TIMING IS IMPORTANT

It is important to think about how your audience will find your blog. If you are going to rely on SEO, then frequency is more important than timing, but if you pair SEO with social media, timing becomes essential.  Most people visit their social media pages first thing in the morning and then again after work. To show up near the top of the news feed, you need to anticipate the schedule of your readers. One blog article can be the source for multiple tweets or Facebook posts too, as long as you have other content in between.

 

We will feature more blogging tips courtesy of the Legal Linguist in the future.  In the meantime, visit the Legal Linguist website for more information.  The Legal Linguist is a division of  Schmidt Law Services, PLLC.

 

____________________________________________________

Lisa J. Schmidt is a licensed attorney with a long history of creative and professional writing experience. Lisa practices family law, students’ rights, and criminal defense throughout Metro-Detroit, and owns Schmidt Law Services, PLLC.  She also provides blogging services for attorneys through the Legal Linguist, a division of Schmidt Law Services, PLLC, based in Southfield, MI.

Lori T. Williams is a 23 year attorney based in Birmingham, MI. She owns a legal referral and legal consulting business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC. She assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation by connecting them with the right legal specialist for their situation. She also provides consulting services for attorneys and other professional service providers on how to generate more business through effective branding, marketing, networking, and by creating strategic partnerships. For more information, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jason Alexander (Editor) September 19, 2013 at 03:24 PM
If you need a place to begin a blog, you can do it right here on Patch! To post on Bloomfield Patch you can start here: http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/blogs/new or contact Community Editor Jason Alexander at jason.alexander@patch.com for more details. Thanks for sharing Lori!
Jason Alexander (Editor) September 19, 2013 at 03:28 PM
You can start a blog on Birmingham Patch here: http://birmingham.patch.com/blogs/new
Joanna Schneider September 19, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Love this post and your tips for effective blogging! Thanks, Lori!
Lori T. Williams September 19, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Good suggestion Jason.
Lori T. Williams September 19, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Thanks Joanna. Glad you enjoyed it.

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