Are you an attorney who loves to blog? If you answered yes, then this article on generating content ideas is for you. Legal blogging is marketing in the Information Age, and your blog needs to be constantly fed with titles that are of interest to prospects in your service areas.
No matter how broad your practice, maintaining a steady stream of interesting content ideas is a challenge. Get going with these 5 tips to help you find great content ideas to keep your law blog well-fed.
#1 Avvo User Questions
According to Avvo, Attorneys generate 10x more contacts by answering 15 questions on the Avvo Q&A forum. However, research indicates that questions asked there are often to double-check the information a retained attorney has already given the user. That’s not an optimal use of your time.
So, how can you better utilize the attorney showcase giant that is Avvo? One way is to glean blog ideas from those consumer questions to publish on your own website.
How to find blog content ideas using Avvo
- Use Avvo’s JD app. If you can juggle yet another mobile app’s push notifications, then Avvo’s might be worthwhile. Aside from lead-fishing, you might save interesting questions for later, when you’ll copy and paste them into a word doc of great ideas for your blog.
- Peruse the Q&A page for a particular topic in your service area. Note those questions that have garnered multiple attorney answers and put them in your blog ideas file if they’re interesting. Follow these steps to get there:
- Hover on “Legal Topics” at the top of Avvo’s main navigation. Click on your preferred link under “Legal Advice.” Scroll to the bottom of the resulting page to “Legal Advice by State.” Click on your state. This will yield the topic questions asked by users with legal problems in your state.
Example url: https://www.avvo.com/topics/personal-injury/advice/ri
#2 Look to Law Enforcement (& an app)
The closer ideas are to a primary source for your topic, the better. Criminal defense lawyers can get plenty of inspiration by scanning police blotters and incident reports.
A fantastic resource for seeing current incident reports by area is an app called Crime Mapping. The app visually represents reported crimes on an area map you select for recent timeframes, including yesterday, last week, last 4 weeks or a custom range.
Clicking on an icon in the map pulls up the incident report details (shown in right column.)
If you want to know what crime topics your blog should address next, the app has a really nice chart feature, shown below.
After looking at this chart for Indian River County; a Florida defense attorney servicing the area might want to generate content focused on larceny, drugs & alcohol, fraud and assault.
Strategically, the same lawyer may want to publish content for prospects that might be underserved by the local legal web.
Crafting titles centered on less frequent activities such as vehicle break-ins, sex crimes, DUI, burglary and auto theft could add value and really pay off big by pulling in these potential clients to your website.
#3 Let the Legislature Tell You
Lawmakers are elected officials who work on the public’s concerns. If you navigate over to your state’s legislative site, you can discover what the important issues are.
Some states’ website solutions are more user-friendly than others. For instance, on the Massachusetts legislature homepage, you’re shown what recent visitors to the site search for most under “Most Popular General Laws.”
PRO TIP: Look for what’s coming out of committees and what was officially reported on by committee for the last year.
You can also accomplish this using most law practice solutions, of course. But if you don’t currently have a subscription to one, you can use this Google hack:
site:legislature’sURL/ keyword where “keyword” = your practice area.
Page One of Google’s results for this domain-specific search acts the same as “the most popular laws” function that Massachusetts has on its website.
The results this search hack produces for Nebraska’s legislature reveals several inspirations for content ideas, as illustrated above. The “Searches related to…” section at the bottom is fairly redundant, but you might pick up a few ideas here as well.
Committee reports, top site searches and recent laws should provide you with plenty of topical inspiration.
#4 Get googling
Search engines are powerful tools for taming big data. Searches on Google provide real insight into the legal issues your prospects are experiencing.
Open-ended phrases common to your practice areas work well for this method. The example above illustrates two of the best key phrases to use for criminal defense attorneys.
Your instance of Google Search should already be set to show you results from searchers in your geographic area. Simply stop typing and voila! Google instantly “fills-in” the rest with relevant issues you can use to write blog content about.
#5 Put those unabashed (free) legal advice questions to good use
There’s a difference between providing information and giving advice. If the Bar’s Ethics Committee understands this, why don’t people in general?
Soliciting guidance from professionals is a natural human impulse, even when the asker isn’t a client. When was the last time you had to politely decline giving out free legal advice to someone? What did the question or problem concern?
Unsolicited legal questions often result in referrals or actual new business; but it doesn’t need to end there. Some questions might lead to the creation of great content.
Even questions that are misguided or grossly misinformed on the relevant law can be turned into helpful articles that serve to better inform the public in your service areas.
For example, a potential client might ask for advice like:
What’s the best way to get out of a speeding ticket?
How can I get a speeding ticket off my record?
What should I do about a speeding ticket?
What happens if I fight my speeding ticket and lose?
At first glance, it seems unlikely you could write an entire article for some of these questions. But if you dig into the motivations behind the inquiry, you’ll realize there is more to be addressed.
For instance, the person asking about the best way to get out of a speeding ticket is really after information about:
1) How can I talk an officer out of giving me a citation?
2) Are there proven defenses to speeding violations?
3) What are my chances of winning in court?
4) What’s your experience in getting these violations dismissed?
That’s four subtopics you can discuss right there! People in legal trouble often don’t realize the right questions they need to be asking, or the legal context in which their problems are properly framed.
And that’s where your law blog comes in.
Content ideas centered on informing and educating prospects are the optimal foundation of any lawyer’s blog.
Need to get more content published but don’t have the time to write? We’ve helped attorneys create compelling articles and FAQ pages that generate ongoing quality leads.