Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"One and Done" Is Not a Legal Blog Writing Strategy
When talking with attorneys about starting legal blogging, many say things like "I'll try it," or "Maybe I will give it a shot." That is a great first step, as the difference between the success level of so many firms is simply a willingness to do something to improve a firm's online perception and bring in business. However, we have come to learn that much hinges on what the attorney means by "trying" or "giving it a shot."
If writing one post a week for one month and then stopping because it doesn't generate calls is "trying," then there really is not much difference between trying and doing nothing.
Taking a real shot at any marketing effort--including amping up online efforts via a law firm blog--requires actually devoting time and resources to determining if the effort works in the long haul. For blogging, the length of time committed to the project is likely more important initially than the frequency. So long as you are posting at least once per week, you can build a solid online presence if you keep with it over many months. Producing more than one post per week--including every day--can maximize the effect, but it is not necessarily required to make a difference. Timing, on the other hand, is critical. Even if you post seven times a week, if you give up the effort after one or two months, then there is no chance of seeing improvement.
Long story short: You do not necessarily need to blog every day, but whatever frequency you decide, make sure you do not give up after a couple months.
Along similar lines, a Search Engine Land post recently discussed how the "one and done" approach taken with many online marketing efforts leads to significant (and often abrupt) problems. The story focuses on link-building, which is a part of law firm blogging. The author explains how a common mistake with many of these efforts is working hard for a period of time on it, and then stopping. This has serious detrimental effects on all businesses, because culling online status requires a constant effort. As the article title itself explains: "Five Years of Doing the Right Things Can Be Undone with Nine Months of Doing Nothing."
Make no mistake, for every month that you are not maintaining or improving your online marketing presence, others are doing something to gain ground on you.
This does not necessarily mean you should sign your life away immediately once you decide to aggressively pursue online marketing efforts. It is just a reminder that "one and done" is not a mindset that works in legal blog writing, SEO, or any online work.
Our legal content writers do not require a long-term commitment. We intentionally work month-to-month, because we understand that having budgetary flexibility is important for all law firms. We are attorneys who have run practices ourselves and have the same gut-aversion to being locked in long-term with these marketing options. However, we do understand why many SEO companies insist on long-term contracts--because it simply takes a bit of time for any effect to be seen. If all online marketers were judged by results after one or two months, then virtually all clients would be unhappy.
Committing resources to your law firm blog is perhaps the single best change you can make to increase your online visibility and reputation. But go into it knowing that it will take time and that it is not a "one and done" strategy---it is a new way of approaching marketing that will hopefully last indefinitely while continuously bringing in clients.