Blogging 101: Why blog?
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A blog is probably the most effective way to drive potential clients to your (virtual) door. Well-written, attractive, and well-configured blogs consistently appear at the top of search engine results, and often result in earned media exposure for the blogger.
What is a blog?
A blog is just a frequently-updated website. It is a simple, easy way of publishing content to the web. Many of the websites you visit every day (CNN and the New York Times, for example) probably have the bones of a blog, but you may not even know it.
Earn great search engine results
Picture your ideal potential client. When faced with a legal problem or a need for legal advice, how will your potential ideal client find a lawyer?
Only a tiny percentage—11% or less—of middle-class Americans use the phone book. Most start with Google.
Some will use a search query like “New York business lawyer”. Many will ask a question, not realizing they have a legal problem. “How do I incorporate my business?” or just “incorporate a business”. Whatever they search for, your potential client will start clicking on the search results.
If you pay for position, you can boost your website to the top of the search results, but the vast majority of people do not click on sponsored links. If you want people to click on a link your website, where they can fill out an intake form or find a phone number to call, you must rank highly without paying for that rank.
There is only one way to get your site to rank at the top of search engine results: provide relevant content that attracts attention from other websites, and update your website often. A blog is perfectly suited to this, which is why blogs are search engine favorites.
Now picture a reporter for a national news outlet. Positive media exposure may be the most effective way for a law firm to attract clients. Media exposure establishes a lawyer as the lawyer to hire.
Since most newspapers and networks have cut their investigative departments, most reporters use Google as a primary investigative tool. A frequently-updated, well-written, search-engine-friendly website will attract calls from reporters looking for a story, quote, or interview.
A website is much more than just an online brochure. It establishes your credibility and reputation to clients who find it.
Many law firms have cold, impersonal websites. They may publish occasional articles, but while they may inform, they do nothing to forge a personal connection with potential clients. As a result, most clients call a lawyer who is a stranger, and with trepidation.
A blog is an effective way to connect with potential clients so they feel like they know you before they contact you for representation. Half your work is already done, because the client already knows you, believes you are an expert, and trusts you to care about their situation.