In a pair of posts on his LawSites blog, Bob Ambrogi recently shared 10 concise blogging tips that should be of interest to both experienced and rookie bloggers.
The first of Bob’s five tips are about starting your own blog: use WordPress (differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org are discussed); develop your theme (write about what you know, and don’t let competition dissuade you); practice before you publish (wait at least a month or two before you announce your blog to the world); develop your voice (recognize that blogging is very different from most legal writing); and remember that it’s not about you (examine your motivations for blogging, and remember a conversation goes two ways).
Bob’s other post sets out five blogging mistakes that are easy to fix. Here’s a quick summary, along with some thoughts of my own (in italics):
- “Don’t bury your blog” — give your blog a brand, regardless of whether it’s technically a part of your law firm website. Too often, firms just slap the word “blog” on part of their website and call it a day. We always advise our clients to consider a keyword-rich title and have the URL correspond to it, wherever possible.
- “Sign your posts” — don’t let the fact that your blog is written by a group overshadow each individual author’s contributions. When you don’t attribute a post to an individual, you’re wasting a big opportunity for online profile building and sending ‘link juice’ back to the firm website. Wasting author citation opportunities doesn’t make sense; non-attributed posts might as well be anonymous.
- “Describe your blog” – don’t skip the “About” page or box. We couldn’t agree more. So many bloggers overlook the valuable opportunity of linking back to their law firm bio or practice page. Including an About page adds authority and credibility, and again, offers great SEO value.
- “Promote your blog” — get yourself listed in the various blog directories (and for Canadian bloggers, we’d add lawblogs.ca to Bob’s list!), and share via social media. Before you promote your blog, though, make sure you have #5 below down pat. It’s also important to recognize that part of the promotion process is just being sociable. Engage with other bloggers on social media, mention their posts on your blog, or leave a thoughtful comment or question on their post.
- “Update your blog” — new bloggers should blog at least three times a week to establish a readership and create buzz; more established bloggers can space posts out a bit. We encourage clients to come up with a list of several dozen blog posts ideas before they even hit publish for the first time, and to keep a running brainstorm list once they get going. Writer’s block happens to the best of us.
Words of wisdom from a veteran blogger – thanks for sharing, Bob!