• Doug McPherson

If you’re a lawyer or an accountant what makes a good blog?

For law firms and accountancy practices blogging offer enormous benefits. You can reach new prospective clients, share best practice, offer high-level advice, answer frequently asked questions, build profile in your chosen markets and position yourselves as experts within your local area or the industry sectors you specialise in.

But most of all, if your blogs are good you can generate enquiries.

But with so many other lawyers and accountants now running blogs what does ‘good’ mean?

Here are a few tips from our experience of both helping lawyers and accountants blog and of writing blogs to order for our clients.

1. Have an opinion

Whatever branch of the professional services you are in, remember first and foremost that people come to you for your advice. This means that while you can’t actually give advice in your blogs, you can let people know what you think about the topic you’re writing about.

If you sit on the fence, you will not convince your readers that you are the right person to approach when certain situations arise.

2. Use anecdotes

You understand the vagaries of tax legislation, employment law or landlord and tenant disputes but your audience doesn’t. That’s why they come to you!

Instead of exploring the technical aspects of your practice area, try to use anecdotes to illustrate the points you make. This will bring your points into focus for your readers and show that you have a genuine understanding of the issues your clients face (and of the solutions required to successfully navigate those situations).

3. Be creative in your approach

Try to do things your audience may not expect you to by using your broader appreciation of your target markets. For example, if you have a hospitality team, why not list inventive fundraising ideas you’ve seen?

4. Be creative with your formats

Not every blog needs to be written. If you have someone in your team who’s happy to be filmed, why not have them do a short piece to camera? Or, perhaps you could turn some of your top tips into a short animation or infographic? People assimilate information in different ways so mixing up your delivery will pay you back …

… and Google LOVES video!

5. Make your blog easy to read

Good blogs are easy on the eye. Be concise, keep sentences short, break the text up with sub-headings and images and make every new point a new paragraph to add in as much white space as possible.

If you can, try and use bullet points too. Not only does this break your text up even more for the reader (and drag their eye to your bullet points if they don’t feel like reading the whole thing) but again, it will positively influence your Google rankings.

6. Be totally targeted

Don’t try to make every post for everyone. You will get much better results if you focus on specific issues and specific audiences with each post.

If you organise all of your willing bloggers across the firm into a rota you will cover every practice areas every month so all of your audiences are satisfied.

7. Maximise your shelf-life

Unless you take them down blogs last forever. This means it’s always smart to pick evergreen FAQs whenever you can. For example, the dangers of a DIY will is good for private client practices, the hidden costs of moving are good for conveyancers and 10 ways to avoid a contractual dispute is a good subject for commercial litigators.

If you can’t think of any evergreen topics you can either have a brainstorm on the questions you’re asked more often at your next departmental BD meeting or just Google it.

Google now has a wonderfully helpful function whereby when you search using a question part of the results is showing you the most closely related questions other people are searching. Everyone one of those will make a perfect blog heading!

If you would like to discuss your firm’s approach to blogging and producing content or find out how you could use us to write that content for you, please email me today.

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