A Legal Marketing and Technology Conference recently took place in San Francisco. One of the topics discussed was the importance of social media, including blogging and online marketing, for the solo and small firm practitioner. Morgan Smith, the owner of Cogent Legal, was a panel participant, along with Stacy Stern, president of Justia.com, and Jeena Cho, a bankruptcy attorney with the JC Law Group. Morgan, a self-admitted "reluctant blogger," acknowledged that blogging helps business in multiple ways even if monthly readership is not large. In addition to potentially bringing clients in the door, blogging helps score article assignments and speaking engagements. Stacy and Jeena then each provided tips for blogging.
Stacy's five useful tips:
- "Blogging is the most efficient form of social media in terms of generating business. It enhances your reputation as a go-to person in your practice area, generates leads, helps you rise in search engine ranking and more."
- "What makes a successful blog? High-quality posts, original content, and consistency. . . . Aim for at least once a week."
- "Don't make the mistake of being overzealous in using keywords. Google recognizes keyword stuffing, so it won't boost your search engine ranking as you might have hoped. Google also recognizes misspelling and poor grammar. Use synonyms, proofread, and—most important—write useful, thoughtful posts."
- "Follow reporters who cover your area of law in both major media and local media, and if they report on something relevant to your area of specialty, then quote or cite them in a blog post you write on that topic. Reporters Google themselves, and when they see you've referenced them, they're likely to start following you and may cite you as an expert or quote you in the future."
- "Set up your firm profile on Google Plus and Google Places. . . . it will increase your ranking in Google searches."
Jeena's four useful tips:
- "Anticipate the questions that potential clients will have, and answer those questions in your blog posts (or on podcasts or videos)."
- "Track your analytics to see which blog posts are most popular. Write more on those topics that resonate."
- "If you use WordPress for your blog . . . then use plug-ins that will attract readers to your archived posts. For example . . . have a "Related Posts" plug-in that provides links to similar blog posts."
- "Be patient: It took [Jeena] about 50 posts, or a year, to see return on investment, i.e., measurable business and results generated from her blog."