It is crucial for lawyers new to blogging to be very thoughtful when deciding the scope of their blog. Choosing too broad of a topic, or too many topics, can be confusing for the readers and could even hurt the SEO of the blog. On the other hand, choosing a topic too narrow can make it difficult to write regular, high-quality posts.
The first question that most new bloggers ask themselves is, “Should I start my own blog?” If you answer in the affirmative, that’s great! But then the logical follow-up question is, “What should my new blog’s overall focus be?”
When it comes to blogging, being a generalist is not necessarily to your advantage. Rather, it’s very important to choose a clear and well-defined focus (or two) that will tell your readers, as well as the search engines, exactly what your blog posts will be about. But exactly how specific should that focus be? How do you know if your blog focus is too narrow? Once you have an idea for your own blog’s focus, the most important question to ask yourself is: Will I be able to write interesting blog posts about this area of law week after week for the foreseeable future?
Whatever your blog’s focus may be, you want the answer to the question above to be an enthusiastic, “YES!” For a legal blog to be most effective, you need to update it regularly with original, high-quality content. But while you want the blog to have a clear focus, it is crucial for you to make sure that the focus isn’t so narrow that you’ll run out of new ideas for posts, or just get tired about writing about the same topic over and over. After all, if you think you may lose interest writing about a particular topic several times a month, there’s a pretty good chance that your readers will lose interest quickly as well. So before you start writing, take a step back and ensure that your blog’s focus will still allow you to write about a variety of different topics that will keep you, and your readers, more engaged for a longer amount of time.
Consider the following client example. A personal injury firm that specializes in truck accident cases wanted to start a new blog to boost their online marketing efforts. This particular firm started off by writing posts only about local truck accidents. After writing four or five good blog posts about truck accidents in the first month, the firm started writing less frequently, and then not at all. We advised them to shift the focus to general personal injury topics and to create a “Truck Accidents” category (as well as other categories) so that they could write about other aspects of injury law, such as car or motorcycle accidents, that the firm may also handle on a regular basis. After making this change, the firm was able to resume a regular blog writing schedule.
So before you start writing your first entries, take a few minutes to brainstorm some blog post ideas, visualize your intended audience, and decide on a clear overall focus for your blog. Just be honest with yourself about your enthusiasm on that topic, and for best results make sure you don’t limit yourself to a narrow area of law that will be difficult to write about week after week.