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Legal Blogs: Three Ways to Brainstorm New Topic Ideas

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Blawg topicsFeeling blocked? Follow these steps when content ideas are scarce.

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

In addition to writing for my own blog, I help law firms keep up with the demands of their own blogs. That might mean anything from planning a blogging calendar to create content that conforms to their legal PR aims to writing drafts of blog content.

But even as a professional legal content writer there are occasions when I find myself blocked as I’m trying to come up with content ideas.

Here are three approaches that help me get unstuck and back on the writing track.

1. List Frequently Asked Questions

When I speak to prospective clients about law firm website writing, blog writing or legal PR work, the questions I’m asked tend to be similar despite differences in practice areas and geographical locations.

When a lawyer meets with a client or conducts an initial telephone consultation, the concerns raised are rarely novel. Clients want to know about their legal rights and options, legal procedures, the scope of the representation and the law firm’s fee structures.

I find it helpful to make a list of questions frequently raised in the initial consultation and use them to plan upcoming blog posts. Try writing down the initial questions a client raises during the meeting.  If you use  your client’s terminology to frame your questions, you may improve the chances that a search engine query will lead to your blog post.

2. Use Keywords Identified by Google Analytics

Everyone should have his or her law firm’s website or blog configured with a program that measures traffic. One of the most popular free programs is Google Analytics. (In “How to install Google Analytics to measure your marketing campaigns,” Enrique Serrano provides step-by-step instructions explaining the process. )

Review the keyword phrases that are bringing visitors to your website. You can sort the phrases in a number of ways — for instance, identifying the most frequently used phrases that bring people to your site and the phrases that have received the most page views on your website. Consider writing a blog post that capitalizes on those keyword phrases.

3.  Set Up Google Alerts

If you scour the Internet in search of mainstream and legal media articles highlighting the latest news touching on your practice area, let Google Alerts do your Web surfing for you. You can enter your search parameters into Google Alerts, another free service, and receive a daily or weekly update highlighting the latest Google results on the basis of your topic or search terms.

The e-mail roundup is an efficient alert that pulls together late-breaking news and recent legal developments. Because you’re able to find out about it early, you can use the opportunity to weigh in or explain the debate on your legal blog.

These are just a few of my tried-and-true methods. Do you have any suggestions for overcoming legal content writing block? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment to this blog post or email me at geri@legalmediamatters.com.

For our follow-up post on additional ways to generate story ideas, read “Blawg Topics: 3 More Brainstorming Tools.”

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At Legal Media Matters, we provide legal public relations, law firm marketing and attorney website content writing services.

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