We can’t send you updates from Justia Onward without your email.
Need help creating high-quality, original legal content for your law firm website or blog? Outsourcing your content writing may make sense for you! Here are three things to keep in mind along the way.
In an ideal world, lawyers would have enough time to do it all: effectively manage their caseload, run the business of their law practice, create marketing content, and the list goes on! Unfortunately, many law firms are not operating in this ideal world and many lawyers do not have the benefit of working with an in-house marketing department.
At the same time, creating high-quality, original legal content is the backbone of a strong SEO (search engine optimization) strategy for increased visibility in Google and other search engine results. If you don’t have the time to craft your own engaging law firm website and blog content, you may be considering outsourcing some of these legal writing tasks to a freelancer or contracting with another third party. This may make sense for your practice.
However, if you are taking the route of outsourcing some or all of your legal content writing, you need to thoroughly vet any writers you are considering working with. Here are three key things to keep in mind when selecting the right writer for your practice.
1. Experience & Credentials
Be sure to evaluate the experience and credentials of any writer you may hire to create content for your law firm. Remember, bad or low-quality content may actually do more harm than good for your SEO strategy. Additionally, poor writing may cause clients to question your firm’s capabilities to effectively handle their legal matters.
Accordingly, you want to ensure you thoroughly review a potential writer’s credentials and experience. Check out their resume and experience to ensure they have spent some time writing in a similar setting or on similar topics. You almost certainly want to request writing samples from any candidates you are considering and, depending on the circumstances, you may even wish to request academic transcripts or similar credentials.
Because content is an important part of your SEO strategy, gauge the writers’ comfort with search engine optimization and related content best practices. For instance, you want to ensure that these writers will not go overboard on spammy keywords that create unreadable content or do not perform well in search results. At the same time, you want the writers you are working with to have some understanding of SEO basics, such as linking best practices for internal and external sources and natural keyword usage.
Evaluate what you are looking for in your content and ensure you are working with someone who has the potential to deliver exactly what your law firm needs.
2. Content, Audience, & Tone
While not always the case, lawyers are often writing about complex topics for an audience that has little to no background on the issue. Thus, you need to ensure that any writer you are working with understands both the complexities of your practice area and related topics and is adept at translating these potentially complex legal issues into accessible, layman’s terms without diminishing the accuracy of the information being shared.
In contrast, if you have a practice working with people that have sophisticated industry knowledge or you target in-house counsel with your work, you need a writer who can effectively communicate to those audiences. You want them to be able to appropriately use terms of art or other industry jargon where appropriate to build confidence with your target audience.
In addition to understanding your audience and the content topics, the tone of your website and blog are important. The tone in various content selections should align with your law firm brand to maintain consistency and professionalism for your firm. You do not want your blog posts or different website pages to have wildly different tones, especially when they are all ghost-written on behalf of your team. Instead, you want them to sound like they are coming from you.
Be sure you ask questions that evaluate the writers’ comfort with your practice area and legal topics. When seeking writing samples, consider different types of content that can help you evaluate whether the writer is a good fit to transition their tone to match your brand. You may even want to only have a new writer create a limited amount of content for your firm before engaging them for larger projects, so you can assess this fit for your brand.
3. Costs & Budget
The costs associated with outsourcing your content can vary. Hiring content writers may be more cost-effective than hiring new staff members, but it still presents an expense for your firm. Nonetheless, rates for contractors and freelancers may vary immensely. Thus, you need to determine your budget for outsourcing your content.
Ask yourself some important questions. How much is your firm willing to spend on this effort? How much of your full marketing budget does that represent? Do you need to increase your marketing budget to account for content writing services?
In addition to deciding how much your firm is willing to spend, you also need to understand the costs associated with hiring someone to create your content. Some may charge an hourly rate, some may charge per number of words, some may charge a recurring fee for a set amount of content each month, and some may charge per post or webpage. This will largely depend on the platform through which you hire a writer, as well as the writer’s professional practices.
Regardless of how they bill for their professional services, writers’ often set their rates considering different personal and market factors. In general, a more experienced legal writer will cost more than someone new to content creation for the legal industry. Likewise, a licensed attorney will also likely charge more for their services than other legal professionals or students.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Working with freelancers and legal writers can help your law firm create a sustainable content development strategy. By keeping our considerations for hiring a legal writer in mind when choosing which writer(s) to work with, you can help set your firm up for greater long-term success.Related Posts
- Common Grammar Mistakes to Avoid on Your Law Firm Blog
- Creating an Effective Lawyer Blog Post
- Should Your Legal Blog Have a Separate Domain? The Pros, the Cons, and Our Recommendations