Blogging 101 Part 2:
Best Practices

English: my typewriter

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I discussed the basics of starting a legal blog: set your goals, choose a blogging platform, determine topics, and start writing.

Of course, it’s not really quite that simple. Those are simply the first steps. Once you’ve set up your blog, what next? How often should you post? How long should your posts be? What type of content should you include in your posts? And how do you obtain readers?

Blogging frequency

For starters, I would advise that for new law blogs, it’s important to post at least once a week or preferably twice a week. You may be able to reduce the frequency of posting once you’ve established your blog and have regular readers. But in the beginning it’s important to have a regular blogging schedule and to post frequently. Doing so maintains your readers’ interest and will increase the search engine optimization of your blog (SEO) since search engines looks for sites that are frequently updated with new content.

Post length

Ideally, your blog posts should be between 350-550 words, since people reading online content tend to look for short bursts of information. Of course, that’s just a general rule of thumb and you can occasionally write a longer post if the topic requires it. But even then, you might want to consider breaking your blog post up into two parts. That way you’ll shorten the length of the post and create even more content. But generally speaking, keep your blog posts short. Your readers will thank you!

Post content

One of the most difficult parts of blogging is coming up with fresh, new content on a regular basis. That’s why it’s important to stay abreast of what others in the blogosphere are saying by using the tools I discussed in last week’s post (Feedly and Prismatic). When you come across something that another attorney blogger has written that interests you and is topical for your blog, write about it and offer your take on the issue. Link back to the other blog and include a short quote from the post. Next, offer your opinion.

Then, send the other blogger an email or contact them via social media and let them know that you’ve linked to and discussed their post. By doing so, you’re engaging and interacting with other law bloggers, which is, after all, the whole point of social media. You’re also putting your blog on the radar of other lawyers. Finally, you’re helping to drive traffic to their blogs, something other bloggers appreciate and you also increase the chance that other bloggers will likely reciprocate that favor down the road.

Getting noticed

There are many ways to reach new readers. Share your blog posts on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Include a link to your blog in your email signature. Link to other law bloggers, as discussed above, and make sure they are aware that you did so. Finally, submit your law blog to the major legal blog directories, including the ABA Journal’s Blawg Directory, Blawg.com, and Justia’s Blawg Directory.

Keep it up!

And there you have it! Follow these steps, post often and be patient. Periodically reassess your blogging strategy to ensure that you’re continuing to accomplish the goals that you originally set. If so, keep blogging and engaging with other bloggers. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving law blog!

–Nicole Black
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