If you are a personal injury lawyer and have a blog as part of your online marketing efforts, first of all, good job. A legal blog is a great way to “show, don’t tell” prospective clients about your skills, knowledge, and experience in a particular area. Whether you handle only car and truck accidents, or a range of tort actions from slip-and-fall accidents to product recalls, a blog allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your areas of practice.
But having a blog alone is not enough to do that. You also need to add fresh content to your blog on a regular basis. The question we get most often from our clients who have personal injury blogs is: What should I write about? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Choose Personal Injury Topics That Are Important to Your Practice
Your blog posts should cover topics that are intuitively related to your practice. If it is an area of law that you are comfortable discussing casually or that you might mention when explaining your practice to someone in a social setting, then these are likely good topics for blog posts as well. We find that the more you write about a particular topic, the more likely you are to get leads in that area.
Relatedly, the areas you write about can include areas in which you want to expand your practice, even if they don’t currently comprise a large portion of your practice. For example, if you want to handle more negligent security cases than you currently do, it is an effective strategy to dedicate a portion of your blog posts to that topic.
Write About Legislative Developments Affecting Your Jurisdiction
Many state legislatures must consider updating laws to keep up with changes in technology. For example, many states have recently addressed the widespread problem of texting while driving and other use of cell phones. Discussing these changes and their impact on distracted driving and other lawsuits can provide you with fodder for quite a few blog posts.
You don’t have to limit yourself to laws that have been enacted. If you are aware that your state legislature is considering a bill that will affect an area in which you practice, that is another great topic for your blog.
Writing about legislative developments is a good way to update your blog with relevant, timely material. Often CLE courses cover topics like these, especially in areas that are changing rapidly. One possible source of blog post topic ideas would be a list of courses offered by a local bar association or organization offering CLE.
Discuss Judicial Opinions From Relevant State and Federal Courts
Your blog posts should discuss case law that is at least persuasive, if not binding, in your jurisdiction. These types of blog posts allow you to include a substantive legal discussion that is both natural and timely. The cases you discuss do not even need to be ultra-recent. In fact, some of the best cases to blog about are the seminal cases affecting your practice area. For example, every legal blogger who spends any time in federal court should probably have a blog post about Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, in which the U.S. Supreme Court defined federal pleading standards.
It is important to note that even if a particular case is not closely related to your practice areas, it can still be a valuable blog post topic. Consider this: very few published judicial opinions arise out of truck accidents, but most opinions that discuss negligence, causation, calculation of damages, vicarious liability, and many other concepts can be related to a legal action that arises out of a truck accident.
Here are some resources you can use for finding personal injury cases to discuss on your blog:
- Google Alerts: Google can notify you anytime a new result appears for a particular search string. For example, you could set up an alert for the terms “San Francisco Superior Court” to get email alerts every time a new result matches that phrase.
- Justia Opinion Summaries: Justia offers a free email newsletter with summaries of recent opinions. You can sign up for newsletters by court (daily) or by practice area (weekly).
- Courthouse News Service: This service is a great resource for keeping up with what’s happening in trial courts (state and federal).
In sum, coming up with timely, relevant topics should not be an obstacle to regular posting on your personal injury blog. If you follow the tips provided here and use the resources we’ve suggested, you should easily be able to write a minimum of four blog posts each month, which is our minimum recommended frequency.