Where do I even start when it comes to writing a great blog post?
Good question and one that we’re going to answer in the format of a great blog post. Hopefully. Getting to grips with how to write a blog post is a big moment for anyone as it shows that you know what you’re doing when it comes to your marketing.
Apart from the main thrust of the post – the above question which should be your title and in your url – the main thing to work out is… your audience.
Who am I writing my blog post for?
Some people call this your target audience. For this post, it’s lawyers. More specifically, it’s law firm founders who want to have someone help them run their marketing better.
In your case, the person you’re writing for is likely to fall into one of two camps:
A person who can be determined through their job role; or
A person whose attention you need to bring to an issue.
A lawyer looking to write about how to deal with furlough debt will be writing for a company’s CFO or Finance Director.
A lawyer looking to write about how Wills work in the time of Covid will be writing for people looking to create a will.
They are not the same thing. One is a role, the other a state.
How will I reach my target audience with my blog post?
You’ll identify several questions that they’re likely to ask in relation to the topic that your post covers. Then you’ll structure your blog post as a set of answers to these questions.
People predominantly start looking for answers in two places; word of mouth / friends OR Google.
Why should I write a post that Google ranks? Why do I care if Google ranks my article?
Google “owns” the unknown audience. The vast majority of people who start out looking to answer a question start with Google.
But it has rules.
Play by the rules and Google will reward you with dozens, hundreds, thousands of views.
My blog post is only aimed at a select number of people, why do I need all these views?
The more views that you get, the more chances of converting into a lead and then into a piece of work. Views come from unknown (mainly Google) or known (email marketing) or a mixture (social).
How long should a blog post be?
There’s no perfect answer here. Some short posts perform well and resonate with the target audience. Often, however, we see the stats that show that longer forms of content from lawyers perform better for views as long as they are well structured and keep the audience in mind. The posts that seem to do well in the structure we’re suggesting are from 800 to 2,000 words long.
How do I come up with ideas for my blog post?
First, we can help you do this. We combine our understanding of audiences, future trends and news opportunities and give you a list of blog ideas and structure to write.
Alternatively, you could simply think about your clients’ pain points, what’s on their minds right now and write about that.
You could write about what interests you.
You could write about what legal changes are upcoming.
You could write about the best project you ever worked on. You could even mention how you felt working on that project. Better still, you could ask a client to provide a quote for it.
You could, of course, simply ask your clients what you should right about. That would be a great way to know that at least one essential reader is going to read it.
How do I optimise my blog post for SEO?
Structure it the way we have structured this post:
- One big overarching question that we’re looking to answer; and
- Using sub-headings of other questions that we also answer on a journey to delivering the whole answer.
Why? Because every sub-heading (called an H2 or heading 2 in HTML terms) is used by Google to match those questions to real-life search queries. If you answer a question well, you’ll get rewarded with a snippet at the top of its search results pages which, in turn, will see you earn even more coverage.
Where should I post my blog?
Please put your blog (or a version of it) in three places:
On your website.
And a shorter version of it on LinkedIn as a post with a link to the main article.
And send an email to existing contacts with a link to the post.
Web attracts unknowns through Google. LinkedIn attracts known contacts and new contacts. Email is aimed squarely at those you already know.
How do I come up with the title for my blog post?
Think of the simplest way of asking the question that your blog is going to answer and use that as your title. Ours is ‘How do I write a blog post for my law firm?’ It gives rise to loads of other questions and sub-sections, but it’s clear from the outset what the reader will get when they read this blog. You should emulate that simplicity and use language that the target client uses to look for it. If in doubt, Google your question and see what results you get for your question.
Will writing a blog post bring in new work?
Quite possibly. But it’s much more likely to do so if you share it on social media and ask others for comments to add to your article (because they then have a vested interest in sharing it too).
Write a post, but don’t be afraid to recycle it a few times. If it’s an evergreen piece, it will keep getting reads long after you first post it.
Is writing a blog post a better investment of time than business development?
The two go hand in hand. Blogging is marketing, business development is about converting it into paying business. One attracts, the other delivers.
Should I allow people to comment on my law firm blog post?
Best not. People can do that on social media and you can control things over there easily enough (hint: just delete or block). But you probably don’t need some external opinions on your website until you’re really comfortable blogging. Maybe try it later?
Wouldn’t it be easier for me to do a video than a blog?
The two are complementary. It’s much easier to start out blogging where you can edit and worry about style and content separately. On video, you need to think about both at the same time. Some people are natural at videos, however, so don’t let us put you off.
How do you write a blog post?
Make time for it, give yourself some space. Work with the structure we’ve talked about here and begin by jotting down some bullet-point answers to the many questions that you’d like to answer. For more inspiration on the questions to answer, do a search on answerthepublic.com and see what real people ask in relation to your subject matter. Oh, and maybe look at alsoasked.com which tells you all the extra questions that Google suggests that people also asked when they searched for your phrase. Between those two resources, you’ll have much of what you need.
I’ve had my article appear in a magazine, should I put it on my blog?
Put it on your social media and email it to your contacts but please don’t put it on your blog. If the magazine has a good readership, it looks better to let the magazine do its job and bring the audience to you. If you promote it on social media and also by email, then everyone you know will then get to see it. Your blog should be for unique content, as much as possible.
Can I see an example of a blog post?
You’re reading one. A very good one, in fact.
What is the purpose of a blog?
One of two things (called calls to action) depending on the audience.
For unknown audiences, to make themselves known to you. Predominantly, this has been by signing up to your email newsletter, but other options are available.
For known audiences, for them to contact you in relation to the issue at hand.
Please never write a blog post without a call to action at the end.
How often should I blog?
That’s up to you. How much free time do you have? How many burning ideas do you have? How many leads can you handle?
What’s the most money you’ve earned from a blog?
Two separate blogs have each earned us over £50k in instructions. We’ve heard of more for our clients.
Can you review my blog post for me?
Sure can, there’s just a small cost. Please email us.
Please can you help me come up with some ideas as to what to blog about?
We’d be happy to on a fixed fee basis. Just drop us a line.
Any final tips on how to write a legal blog post?
Don’t use footnotes. Or Latin. And don’t put your article in a PDF.
What are my next steps?
If you have any other questions, then please just drop us a line. People like you do every day, you know.