According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2016 Report, the average time it takes to write a typical 500-word blog post is one to two hours. While this may sound like a lot of time, it isn’t. The first 10 or 20 blogs you write will come fairly easy. It’s after you’ve been blogging about your practice for two or three months every day that you will start having to do a lot more brainstorming and researching. Trust me, I know.
This data doesn’t necessarily mean that any particular amount of time is the “right” amount to spend writing a blog post. It just points out what is typical for a 500-word post, which is generally the optimal length to achieve your goals of blogging.
To get the most out of your law firm blog, you should be posting to it nearly every day. There may be some attorneys who have seven to 14 hours per week dedicated to writing for their blogs. I just don’t know that many of them.
There are some who say that if you can’t write it yourself, you shouldn’t have a blog. I have and continue to disagree with that line of thought. That’s like saying, if you can’t figure out QuickBooks, you shouldn’t review your financial statements. In fact, there are several scenarios that should compel you to call in a pro:
No. 1 – You’re not a good writer. Good writers love to write, but if you’re not in that group, there are plenty of people out there for you to hire or partner with in creating great content for your law firm. Yes, we do this for our attorney clients. There are also some great freelancers or maybe someone at your firm has this hidden talent. Find it, invest in it and reap the benefits.
No. 2 – You don’t have the time. You went to law school to practice law, right? Creating content for blogs, social media and websites takes consistent effort and the investment of someone’s time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your time. You must ask yourself if this is the highest and best use of your time.
No. 3 – You need expertise you don’t have. If you’re not up to speed on the latest SEO practices for maximizing online content, you need to either educate yourself or find a good writer with this expertise. Maybe you can write blogs, but you need help with your e-newsletter or free reports – this calls for a specialist with a particular skill set for creating content that will entice prospects.
No. 4 – You can’t see the forest through the trees. Most attorneys are great at writing … for their clients. Yet, when you are called upon to market yourself, promote your achievements, highlight your results, or educate potential clients, you may be too close to the subject and lose sight of the end goal. I personally struggle with this one and that’s why I usually work with one of our senior copywriters when putting out a press release or redoing our website copy.
No. 5 – It’s too important. If you’re convinced of the importance of having the best possible messaging going out to your prospects and clients, and building your online reputation, leaving the development of that content to chance is a sure way to screw up. Bad copy can kill your credibility.
Whether you do it in-house or hire a professional copywriter, remember that you are always in charge of your messaging. Your writer should be your marketing partner, understanding your firm and your target market, as well as the legal ethical standards you are held to and maintain your high standards. Even if you are not doing the actual work, the final responsibility for your legal marketing rests with you.