By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
If you are a legal blogger, you know that the writing process isn’t your first big challenge when it comes to posting an entry. Instead, it’s this: What do I want to write about?
Searching for story ideas can consume as much time — or even more —than the writing process itself, and, as any busy lawyer knows, the more barriers that come between you and a blog post, the more likely it is that you’ll abandon the blawg effort completely.
To help overcome this hurdle, consider adopting a practice I learned in the newsroom: Create an editorial calendar for your blog.
I use an editorial calendar for my own blog, I’ve created them for clients who hire me to supply legal content for their blogs, and I’ve helped clients create editorial calendars for the blogs they write themselves.
Legal Blog Editorial Calendars as Planning Tools
The mainstream and legal publications I worked for as a reporter all had mandatory weekly editorial meetings. The editorial staff would gather, provide status updates about our stories and pitch new story topics. From that meeting, a four- to eight-week editorial calendar, listing story deadlines and run dates, was developed.
If your law firm has a blog with several contributors, consider convening a weekly blog editorial meeting where attorneys can share blog post writing ideas. Assign topics, schedule deadlines and stick to them.
If your blog has only one contributor, schedule an editorial meeting with yourself and brainstorm possible future topics. To get started, review the keywords people are using to find your blog, then ask yourself who your blog audience is and what topics they will find most helpful.
For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer who has a blog focused on car accident claims you may want to have separate posts addressing questions often asked by injured clients, such as:
- What should I do after an accident?
- Should I let a claims adjuster record my statement?
- What can I do if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
In addition, help your clients or others who have been injured in a car accident connect with resources outside the legal community. Seriously injured individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury — or their caregivers — may want to turn to a nonprofit agency for help and advice on how to handle this challenging situation.
Using the editorial calendar, you can not only plan future posts but also note agencies that you may wish to highlight.
Another advantage of the editorial calendar is the ease with which you can incorporate breaking news. If a judicial decision is handed down that significantly affects auto accident litigation, you can write a blog post about the decision and simply push all of the other editorial items back.
Editorial Calendar Take-Away Tips
Here are a four take-away tips to help you put together an editorial calendar:
- Use keywords as a way to identify what potential readers are most interested in learning.
- Set aside time to brainstorm.
- Commit the information to a calendar with firm deadlines.
- Include links to outside resources on your calendar for easy access when it’s time to write.
Blawgs can be a great way to share information, and they’re also an important legal marketing tool. Unfortunately, an abandoned blog with content that is several months old can detract from your legal PR efforts and any search engine advantages your blog achieved will evaporate if you do not supply fresh content.
If you have a legal blog, what do you do to keep up with posting?
If you need help creating an editorial calendar or would like to learn more about our legal content writing services, contact Legal Media Matters via our online contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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