When it comes to writing legal blogs, it can be helpful to break articles down into two categories: Topical and Evergreen. The distinction can help you see what you’re trying to do with the article, and can impact the writing style that you adopt in the article, itself. Each type of article has its own strengths and weaknesses, and writing a good legal blog requires a delicate balance.
Topical posts deal with newsworthy issues that are important, right now. These articles have a short shelf life, because what you’re writing about will soon be stale or unimportant. If a blog article were a tree, topical content would be a maple: Its leaves get brilliant for a week or so, and then fall off. Examples of topical articles are posts that predict the outcome of a pending case, or go in depth on a legal news issue, like a proposed change in the law.
Writing these articles help your legal blog in the short term – they show that you’re on the cutting edge of your field, research all of the recent developments, and are an active commentator in current events. Topical articles are also great pieces to use in social media campaigns. They create discussions with other attorneys in your field, and place you right in the middle. A deep, well-written, and loudly-promoted topical article can create or solidify your status as a leader in your field, and can even influence the subject you wrote about, if your blog post reaches the right people.
The downside of topical content is that it gets old, quickly. How many blog articles analyzed and tried to predict the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius? Plenty. How many of those articles are still important? Close to zero.
In contrast to topical content, evergreen articles never get old, and constantly attract web traffic. They’re the pine trees of the forest of legal blogging – the leaves never get old and fall off, but they never exactly jump out with color, either. They deal with static legal issues of your field. If you’re a criminal defense firm, evergreen posts on your legal blog will probably deal with topics like fruit of the poisonous tree, open field searches, and important things to remember if you get pulled over while driving.
Evergreen content is often the backbone of your legal blog. Depending on your field of practice, topical legal issues can be either rare or only uncommon – relying on breaking news for material makes it almost impossible to keep your firm’s blog regularly updated, and often means you’re digging pretty deep for something to write about. Even if your firm deals exclusively with a small field of law, like OUI defense, there’s still plenty of evergreen content to write about when there isn’t a media-busting development in your field.
Not only is it a supplement to topical issues, solid evergreen content is also a great way to develop leads and attract clientele. People who Google “difference between felony and misdemeanor in illinois” might be interested in hiring an attorney, and having a quality blog article at the top of the search results that deals with this precise topic would be a huge step in getting them to read your article, then explore your website, and finally decide to hire your firm. Pointed Google searches, like one for “breathalyzer test errors,” are even more important: They’re often done by people who actively have a legal problem that you can fix, and having a solid blog article on the subject can turn a web searcher into a paying client.
Finding The Balance
Striking the balance between topical and evergreen content can be tricky, and often depends on your field of practice, how you attract clients, and how you want your firm to be perceived. While delivering high quality topical content can give your website a bang and build your reputation as a thought leader in your field of law, having a solid core of evergreen content is the better way to maintain a steady flow of visitors to your site.
The Legal Blog Professionals: Myers Freelance
The balance between evergreen and topical content can be difficult to find. Myers Freelance has experience developing legal blogs and understands how to find the best balance for your firm. Get in touch with us to write your law firm’s legal blog the right way, bringing you more clients, and giving you more time to be the lawyer you want to be.