Blogging. That's easy, right. You'll just birth a few hundred words on a legal topic whenever you've got a few minutes of spare time. That should fill the blog archives and make your site content-rich, right?
The thing is, it's not quite as easy as updating your Facebook status. There are many things to consider when managing your law firm's blog, from tone and audience to post type and frequency.
Are you writing for other lawyers (to increase your reputation amongst the seven or eight lawyers in the word with enough time to read blogs), to attract clients (by demonstrating your vast knowledge in an accessible manner), or to rise higher in Google's search results (harder than it sounds)?
This ties heavily into your target audience, but also depends on your personality. Some lawyers carry themselves with a constant stoicism and professionalism, while others use their personality to ingratiate themselves with clients and fellow attorneys. Your blog should reflect your professional image.
There are many types of blog posts that you should become familiar with. There are the continuously-relevant posts on a legal topic, such as diabetes and diet triggering false positives on Breathalyzers, or there are news-based topics, such as questioning why George Zimmerman's lawyer told that awful, awful joke.
News-based topics can get you traffic now, but topical posts stay relevant over the long haul.
Writing and Formatting
The utmost consideration here is length. Short posts appear spammy. Long posts will put your readers into a legal coma before they reach the end of the page. Aim for somewhere between 300 and 1000 words, with longer posts being the exception. MTV Generation, folks: we have no attention span (maybe).
Longer posts, of course, will be easier to read if you break them up with headings or use lists. We've found that our "Five Things" posts tend to be more popular than longer narratives.
Frequency of Posting
That's easy: as often as possible. If you can't update your blog at least weekly, you either shouldn't have one, or should hire an intern or clerk to do it for you.
Sporadically updated blogs can appear abandoned, which hurts the visitor's perception, as well as Google's. Per SEOmoz, Google loves the "freshness factor." And if Google doesn't love you, you'll never see the first page of the search results.