Let’s face it: the churn of creating interesting content in the legal niche isn’t the easiest of tasks, yet it’s an oh-so-important element of your marketing strategy. The good thing, though, is that with a little free thinking and guidance you can dream up blog topics that will make your readers “ooh” and “aah” and get you more visits and links.
Here is my recipe for coming up with exciting blog topics.
1. Have fun with it.
The most interesting titles, at least for me, have a light-hearted edge to them. This, of course, depends on the reader, but having not-so-stuffy titles can engage a broader audience.
One tip I picked up a long time ago was to look at the cover of a women’s magazine such as Cosmo and read the headlines. Cosmo knows how to get attention, so doing what they do makes sense. Here’s how you make Cosmo work for your law firm:
- 10 Things Guys Crave in Bed
- Tight Abs, Our No-Crunch Workout
- Read His Dirty Mind
- Beauty Tips That Save You Bucks
- How to Climax Together
- 9 Times You Won’t Burn in Hell for Being Bitchy
- Real-Life Read, She Tricked a Murderer Into Sparing Her Life
Alright, so your blog isn’t about sex or losing weight. So let’s take these headlines and make them work for your legal blog.
Your Legal Blog’s Headlines
- 10 Things Judges Crave to Prove a Case
- Personal Injury, Our Winning Philosophy
- Tips to Make a Jury Feel in Your Favor
- Pursuing a Lawsuit That Costs You Nothing
- Winning a Case Together
- 9 Ways We Win Cases and Make Our Clients Happy
- Real-Life Read – Book/article Title – summarize an interesting article
Now you have 7 fresh ideas with engaging titles to add to your editorial calendar.
2. Always be taking notes.
No matter where you are, you should have a system for recording your thoughts/ideas. If you are not doing this now, I urge you to get with it. There are a number of ways you can do this.
Cahiers are little journals that fit in your pocket. They come lined, blank or with a grid. I prefer the grid, but whatever your preference is will work. Keep your Cahier in your pocket and whether you are in court, at the office or at home, if you have a blog idea, write it down. Cahiers have become an archive of all my crafty blog topics and content ideas that I reference from time to time.
Evernote and Getting-Things-Done (GTD)
Another trick I have learned over the years is to use David Black’s Getting Things Done methodology with Evernote. But first, a little backstory.
I was an active child who played a lot of soccer growing up. I was also very small and didn’t grow until my junior year in high school. Playing soccer as a skinny, aggressive player resulted in getting 7 concussions. I fell on my head a little too much 🙂 As a result, I forget a lot if I don’t write/record my thoughts and tasks down. We hear the horror stories of NFL players suffering from depression and memory loss — well, I can honestly say it’s real…
Getting Things Done saves me from forgetting all the great content ideas I come up with. I’m not going to get into the “how-to” for setting up Evernote — there is a book for it — but what I will say is that the system allows me to record anything anywhere via my phone or desktop. Each idea I tag with a topic so that I can reference the thought down the line.
3.Learn what questions your prospective clients ask.
One of the easiest ways to find content, hands down, is to search for questions people ask related to your field of expertise. What’s better than helping people by providing answers to their questions and grabbing all-important long-tail search phrases while doing so?
My favorite site to use is Yahoo Answers, which recently got a facelift. Simply do a search, find questions and make a blog post out of it.
Here is an example. We’re working with a lawyer who represents people that have been sexually assaulted. Search “sexual assault” in Yahoo Answers and you come up with a lot of common questions people ask. Here are just a few:
- What is the difference between being sexually assaulted and raped?
- Was i sexually assaulted or what?
- Was I sexually assaulted? Was it my fault?
- How to deal with being sexually assaulted
To make this process even easier, you can subscribe to a search term via RSS in the right column so that you will be notified when a new question is asked or answered. It’s an opportunity to engage in the community, answer questions and show your expertise.
Once you have gathered the list, make a blog post for each question or start an FAQ section on your site and watch the visits roll in.
And those are just 3 ways to come up with content for your law blog.
These are a few ways I create and save content ideas that are easy and take no time. Content needs to be interesting in order to engage readers, entice sharing and increase visitors and links to your website or blog. So, no matter how you come up with ideas, just make sure that the content is compelling and the titles and headlines grab the reader. This is all very important in order to win online market share in your local area.
How do you come up with interesting content ideas in a conservative niche? Let me know in the comments.
Nice post Dean. Coming up with blog post ideas is no easy task, but they do come to mind…and yes, they will slip the (busy) mind if not written down. It happens to me all the time.
A few suggestions I tell lawyers when they are considering blog topics:
Find anything popular, and if it touches the law, you can write about it. Copyright infringement from the Beatles? Merger between Continental & United? How about the motorcycle gang in New York that had the attack with the Range Rover driver and then beat him up?
The last one is not actually “popular,” but it is recent and in the news which is even better. The message here is that even if you are a trucking lawyer ONLY, you are still a lawyer and form opinions and considerations; this is what people like to hear from lawyers. Those that are willing to write about it will get more attention and thereby more cases.
The other plus is that in having a system like this, when done with consistency can really shape the bloggers persona. Having an archive of posts can help visitors, potential clients better understand who they are and what they are about.