I was actually thinking about calling this a “blog blog” but thought better of it. In conversations about the basics to have in mind before you start a estate planning blog, I jotted down notes that may be of help to many.
- Plan on blogging regularly
- At minimum of once per week or daily or M-W-F
- Set up a schedule you LIVE BY
- It is better to blog 1/week than spotty hit ‘er miss. Blogging 3-5 times per week is nice. Daily entries JOLTS Google into seeing you, 2-3x per week POKES Google and once per week NUDGES Google – all are good but consistency is the real key
- Make it a part of your marketing calendar
- Do not outsource the writing – you will lose credibility… and if duplicate content is used your search engine rankings will suffer
- Set up a LAW FIRM BLOG with various authors reflected so it is honest
- Read other blogs and “feel” how other voices and tones hit you
- Practice posting on Facebook so it’s not clumsy to “talk to people” in this way.
- Have someone on staff do the blogging but you should also have a regular one of your own in the mix
- Whoever writes needs to write in their voice… “You Won’t Believe What Our Dog Rascal Did This Morning!” People need to feel like they’re getting to know you, develop a style… do not write like an attorney! Write like you’re updating someone you know.
- If someone on staff drafts then you can edit and finalize then IT ACTUALLY IS YOUR VOICE
- What to write:
- Subscribe to blogs that are interesting to you and see about subscribing to other attorney or financial advisor blogs – decide what you like to read, how it feels to constantly be SOLD something or pitched an idea or product, compare it to how it feels to participate in a story. Look at the frequency that others are blogging (AVVO is a good example).
- Make the topics interesting! Work stories into examples that clients can connect to: “Well, after that… we looked at each other and finally realized what all of our dog-owning clients have been talking about for 20 years! We are amending our estate plan so my sister-in-law will care for Rascal if we need that kind of help, we even talked to her to make sure it was ok.”
- As you discover potential topics, send yourself an email with links to the resources, or slip existing emails into your BLOG FOLDER so you don’t have to scratch your head and find a topic when you’re under the gun.
- Include KEYWORDS, we have the Google keywords that you want to incorporate into your blogs – use at least 4 but NOT more than 14 of them in your copy so that Google sees you and uses that fresh content to bump the ranking when those words are searched on. (Using more than approximately 14 keywords in your blogs has Google see the blog as junk just filled with keywords and no actual content).
- Route your blog entries to at least ONE PERSON for proofing to make sure you haven’t gone too fast, that grammar and punctuation work and that the story makes as much sense to another person as it does to you, be sure it is checked by a non-attorney to see if it sounds like it’s a legal document or a blog entry.
- Check your blog page frequently to make sure it’s formatted right, it posted correctly and that comments are showing
- You want to allow comments but you also want to have the ability to APPROVE THEM so spammers aren’t just randomly posting their links on your site.
- You WANT people to comment on blog entries and fan pages! (Feel free to comment on ours)
- One Blog—Four Places!
- Set up your blog so it automatically points to your law firm Facebook fan page, then set up Facebook settings to send the blog notice to Twitter, Twitter can be set to send it to LinkedIn
- Getting the word out
- Put your blog domain name, along with fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn on your email signature
- Have your “FOLLOW US ON….” blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn buttons on your website
- Edit your bio information for handouts, slides, websites and so on include a screen shot and both the web address and the blog instructions or address. Ask people to comment.
- Edit your any evaluation forms you use to include the web addresses for your blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account
- Provide little half page handouts in the lobby with helpful information about how to find you online
- Include addresses on your law firm biz cards under your web address
Director, Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.