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Eight ways to come up with new ideas for your lawyer blog

If you blog or write articles on a regular basis, you will inevitably face times during which you believe there is simply no way you can come up with another interesting topic. The blank page stares at you, taunting and mocking. Everything that can be written about has already been done.

Generating a regular flow of informative posts is difficult, but it is a necessity for lawyers engaged in search marketing. Fresh content is the norm. Websites cannot compete if they simply exist as static brochures. Frequent updates to your site, blog and social media profiles help build trust with visitors, cement your position as a knowledgable professional and give you more weight with search engines.

So how do you come up with the next great idea? Here are some tips for attorneys needing to meet that content deadline:

Change your setting. Sometimes, just getting away from the desk is all it takes. A change in physical scenery or a peek at an article or book that is completely unrelated to the law can help jolt your mind back into producing ideas. If you are ambitious, take a walk or engage in some form of light exercise. Freeing your mind from the focus of your frustration may be all it takes for inspiration to find its way back in.

Look to your experiences. Personal stories are a great source of blog material. As an attorney, you have worked hard to acquire the knowledge and skills it takes to run a successful firm. Use that experience. You can write about something that compelled your interest in the law or pull from your case history (keeping clients anonymous, of course). People in search of legal services have questions about what to expect when working with an attorney. Answering them with an engaging narrative helps you appear more accessible and able to meet their needs.

Mine news headlines. There will be plenty of people writing about high-profile cases (particularly of the celebrity variety), so try to focus on lesser known or local issues. You can offer commentary and opinion about cases or, if applicable, discuss how they relate to items your firm addresses. You may also want to look to sites like scotusblog.com to see what is in the works nationally, and extrapolate about how it could affect clients in your area.

Make a list. People love lists. Blog posts that contain lists (and are obviously labeled as such in the title) enjoy a higher than average click-through rate.

Follow up on a previous post. If you have written about a news story, perhaps the facts have changed or a verdict has been rendered. Update readers and add your thoughts about the developments. Or, review you blog to see which past posts were most popular and write more on the same topic. You can also reply to comments made on your blog or social media pages, but be careful not to give legal advice and to make it clear it is not your intent to do so.

Participate in a debate. One of the best ways to force your mind to work is to have a conversation with someone you disagree with. If you know a colleague who likes to engage in a little friendly exchange of words, see if he or she has time for a chat. You may be forced to think in a different way or look at an issue from an uncommon perspective – always good methods for breeding new ideas.

Do an interview or or have a guest post. At times, you may some outside help. If you know someone who is an authority on a certain topic, see if they will agree to be featured in an interview piece. Or, ask if they are interested in guest posting on your blog. Bringing some diversity to your blog is always a good thing, and it helps build relationships with other professionals who may one day give you the same opportunity.

Create a regular feature. Come up with something that you can do on a weekly or monthly basis. Tuesday is a popular day for tips (readers like alliteration). On Thursdays, you could offer thoughts about local issues or cases. Make one day a regular interview day. If you do not think you can pull it off every week, schedule it every other week or once a month.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of being restricted by your topic. You may find a regular feature to be helpful at first but ultimately too inflexible. If that is the case, end it.

Getting out of your comfort zone is always a great way to force your mind into overdrive. Try something new and nurture your own, individual voice.

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