Four Blog Post Topics You've Never Considered: Civil Edition
I was recently invited to speak at a North Carolina Bar Association event. At the end of my presentation, one of the attendees asked: "How do you come up with new blog post topics? Hasn’t everything out there been covered already?"
Well, it is true that in many ways, “there is nothing new under the sun.” In fact, all that is new is your particular presentation of the facts – how you choose to package them.
This is precisely the genius of content marketing.
It is not just about stale recitations of the same legal facts over and over - though truly, there is a place for that, too. Those types of posts – the black letter law topics – boost your SEO, build a tremendous bank of content, provide your audience with direct, tangible advice, and demonstrate your expertise. Not to mention, you have a chance to write content that is better than that of your competitors. Firm A already wrote on this topic? Well you, Firm B, can write a better, longer, more thorough, more informative, better written version of it.
Nonetheless, creativity and originality comes in the breaks from convention. In the posts that are different, or at least presented from a different angle.
Civil attorneys in both litigation and transactional practices have ample room for innovation in their content topics. And the best part? A good portion of this involves curating, rather than creating, content: that is, leveraging guest posts, Q and As, FAQs, and influencer interviews. These four topics not only transcend the black letter law posts, but also open a world of opportunity to inform, inspire, educate, and influence an online audience.
#1: Industry Influencer Q and As
A fantastic way to curate fresh content and expand your audience is to host a Q and A with a prominent figure in your industry. This can involve either a client interview or a conversation with a well-respected legal professional in your practice area.
For instance, if you are a corporate transactional lawyer, you could interview one of your clients or a prominent litigation attorney you routinely work with about their career paths. If you are a litigator, you can interview a professional working in a growing field like litigation support, or you can write a spotlight article on a rising star within your firm.
No matter what you choose, these types of articles show your online audience that you are connected and engaged, not to mention, bringing in the expertise of other professionals will give your content a new layer of depth and insightfulness that your audience will appreciate.
#2: Breaking News
Each week, collect breaking legal news relevant to your practice areas. This can include case law updates out of the State or Federal courts, legislative updates, news from Washington, or simply local news on events that might impact your client population. Create a recurring column on your blog or newsletter to share a quick summary of each of these significant news events.
These types of posts will not only provide your audience with useful information, but will condition them to perceive you as a trustworthy source of information on the issues that affect them.
#3: How-To Columns
How-to columns are highly effective in most civil contexts, as they can serve as primers for clients to educate themselves on their legal issues.
A business lawyer I know writes a blog series covering topics ranging from productivity tips for small business owners, to how to fund a startup or issue stock options for an S-corporation. Similarly, a personal injury lawyer can host a how-to on how to file an insurance claim or how to organize medical records, and commercial litigation lawyers can devise a how-to guide on navigating collections cases in district courts.
These types of articles will empower your clients with knowledge without making you, as an attorney, irrelevant: When the road grows dark, clients will still come to you for advice, counsel, and representation. Sharing how-to guides will simply show them that when the time comes for them to engage counsel, you are the most generous and knowledgeable among your competitors.
#4: A Guest Blog Series
Once again, draw upon the expertise of your network and host a recurring guest blog series. This is not only a fantastic way to connect with other professionals in your practice areas, but will also increase traffic to your blog.
In selecting a partner for a guest-post column, consider an attorney whose practice area is complementary, but not identical to, yours. For instance, if you are an estate planning lawyer, engage a litigator to share a perspective on the many problems that can arise in an estate plan from a litigation standpoint.
Do you have other ideas? I would love to hear how you've found creative ways to expand your content - please comment below or reach out.