Blogging With a Purpose – Part 2: What Are You Writing About?
This is the second part of our three-part series that examines the purpose behind blogging and how businesses like law firms can benefit from an established blog. Our second installment will look at blog topics, researching, and relevancy. If you’re looking to learn how and why to write blogs with SEO in mind and gain the traffic you’re looking for, this series is for you.
As a writer, it can sometimes feel like you’ve been staring blankly at your computer screen for hours. We’ve all had those days where the words aren’t flowing, and they most certainly aren’t going to type themselves. Fortunately, we have some tips to help you fend off those writer’s block days. It all comes down to knowing what you’re writing about.
Determining Your Topic
Depending on your position, you may be given specific legal topics, cases, or keywords to write about or you may have the option to choose your own topics. Many writers have to produce content under both conditions, depending on the task or content goals of your firm. If you’re given an assignment, find a way to be passionate about it. Map out what you want to write about and get excited about it. That excitement will transfer through to your writing and your audience will notice and want more.
If you have the chance to choose your own blog topic, be prepared. Some days, you may find the perfect topic has popped into your head and you can dive right in. Other times, you may cross off note after note, until you’ve realized your topics are getting kind of weird and you need to take a break. Here are some tips on how to choose the right topic:
- Just like our first installment discusses, identify your audience and what their intent is.
- Choose a topic you’re passionate about.
- Consider what you already know and determine if it’s blog-worthy.
- Make sure your blog will have a focus – too much of a range can confuse readers and decrease your chances of obtaining a good keyword-based ranking.
- Settle on one idea. No matter how long your list is, choose the best topic and start. You can always start over, but focusing on more than one idea will hurt your content’s quality level.
Thoroughly Researching Your Topic
Once you’ve determined your topic, you’ll need to start researching. Research is the backbone of any blog. Without it, you’ll likely be repeating the bits of information you know and filling your content with fluff.
Start with a simple Google search. The most obvious place to do research is on the first few pages – where the content you’ll want to compete with is located. You can start by simply reading. Check out the first few links and read them thoroughly. You’ll want to understand the content those websites have provided their readers with so you can think about why they did it that way and what you can do better.
Make sure to keep track of all your research, especially the sources you’ll want to embed. When using hyperlinks, remember authority is important. If you’re providing facts or statistics, you’ll want to include .gov or .edu sites. If you find great data somewhere else, see if you can track down the original source.
Avoid including every piece of research you find in your writing. Sometimes, things just don’t fit. If you can’t find a spot to organically place a piece of information, there’s a chance you don’t need to include it. Once you’ve compiled your research, you can start writing.
Developing Relevant Content
Once you’ve determined your topic and completed your research, you’re ready to actually begin writing! Some people may not realize how much work has to happen before words can hit the page, but a good writer understands and respects the process.
To provide content that your audience will want to come back to, it’s critical to achieve and retain relevancy. Writing relevant blogs means you’ll draw readers in, write about something others care about, establish yourself as a credible source, and increase your domain authority.
Let’s take a look at how you can write fresh blog posts and other forms of content.
While keeping your audience and their intent in mind, you’ll need to strategize a keyword list. You can often develop this list based on your research. Keep search engine optimization (SEO) at the forefront of your mind when you’re doing this. Use common sense. Think about the words you want your blog to be found for. Think about the words or phrases you would be likely to use if you were searching for your topic. Are they similar to what your audience would use? The answer is probably yes.
You’ll need to be aware of the types of keywords there are and how to use them. Long-tail keywords will apply specifically to your business. These are typically easier to rank and get traffic for. Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, which are broader to your business, are likely to have a high search volume and can be difficult to rank for. When you use the right combination of keywords in your post, you’ll significantly boost your chances of getting the rankings and traffic you want.
Here are some tips on using keywords:
- Use a variation in the title of your post
- Use a variation of the keyword in an H1 header
- Use variations throughout the content
The key here is to avoid becoming too spammy. Writing web content can be a balancing act. If you write something and find you’re not getting the results you want, evaluate why that may be happening and try again. Remember, you don’t always need to start from scratch. Sometimes, some additional content or word changes can make all the difference.
Focus on the Present
There is definitely a chronological angle to writing and relevancy. You can’t write relevant content if you’re researching or dealing with outdated techniques and old news. Keep in mind that trending topics are often favored in rankings. When you’re in the researching stage, take a look at what’s out there on your topic. Make sure you improve upon that information and only provide what’s current. You may just become the leading source.
Solve a Problem
Once you have your topic and completed your research, you may be wondering what angle to go with or struggling with starting altogether. Prevent this by turning your topic into a question. Even if you don’t directly include that question in your content, it will help you develop quality content. If you have a question, you’ll need to supply an answer. This can also help you introduce your topic and reach a satisfying conclusion.
Relevant content is comprehensive. Remember that you’re solving a problem. That solution could be a few paragraphs, or it could be a few thousand words – maybe more depending on what your answer is. While word limits are beneficial to ensure you’re providing enough information, don’t be afraid to go over them.
At Legal InSites, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with relevant and engaging blog topics that inform readers and improve search engine results. For more information on how our high-quality content can drive your legal practice, get in touch with us.
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