Leverage your legal writing for your law firm marketing efforts
By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
Legal bloggers put a lot of time and effort into their craft: Coming up with ideas to write about on a consistent basis is no easy task. Carving out the time for writing, rewriting and editing a blawg entry can seem daunting, especially when you’re also juggling the demands of a busy practice.
So once you’ve surmounted these ever-present obstacles and your blawg post has gone up, your work is done, right?
Let your writing, to which you have devoted so much time and effort, continue to pay dividends. One way to do that is to submit your blog post for publication as a print article.
Your legal content is often ideally suited for making the transition from the Web to print. I can attest to this personally. Since I began publishing my weekly blogs posts in January, at least four have appeared as guest articles in the print publications of bar associations and legal newspapers nationwide.
The same opportunities are available to you. Here are three reasons that your blawg entries can also be great guest article submissions.
1. Print media are looking for quality content.
Bloggers aren’t the only ones constantly on the lookout for new material. Magazines and newspapers are published weekly or even daily. The editors of those publications must fill their pages with quality content that will appeal to their readers. Your submission may be just the type of article that helps them do their job and get the paper out.
2. The word-count requirements are similar.
The ideal word count for a blawg post is generally between 300 and 800 words. For most lawyers, the challenge is not having enough to write but having too much to say, and so most legal posts end up on the long side of the ideal range.
The guest article submission guidelines for many general circulation and trade print newspapers and magazines ask that writers stick to a word count somewhere between 750 and 1,000 words. Unless the publication is a law review or journal, an approachable newspaper-style format is preferred over a scholarly, footnote-laden tone.
3. You can reach different audiences.
Often the reader of a blawg has taken a proactive step to find your content. A Google search, a recommended link, a mention on another website or a common interest may have led readers to your website. With print, readers may simply stumble upon your article as part of the act of turning the page.
Moreover, your print audience will probably include people who use the Internet less frequently than other people to find and gather information. That doesn’t mean they won’t make good clients or referral sources, however.
Revisit your blog. Are there posts that you think might be of interest to lawyers who aren’t actively seeking you out on the Internet? If so, consider submitting it to a print publication for consideration. For more information on the mechanics of guest article submissions, see our article “Getting Published.”
This Week’s Thank-Yous
Check out the April 26 issue of Missouri Lawyers Weekly, where the topic of legal PR and marketing is highlighted in the “Practice, Practice” section.
Thanks so much to MLW writer David Baugher for interviewing me for his article “Do you need a public relations pro?” Our guest article “Don’t let your marketing resolve slip” also appears in the issue.
Another thank-you. BlawgWorld listed last week’s post, “Five Tips to Help Lawyers Build Media Relationships,” as one of the articles from last week that merited attention.
A final thank-you goes to Nacie Carson, the creator of The Life Uncommon. In her post “LinkedIn: 37 Usage Tips You Need to Read,” she includes my tip on joining LinkedIn Groups.
If you’re looking for more law firm marketing, legal public relations or content writing tips, subscribe to the Legal Media Matters email alerts: Get articles via e-mail