Don’t know what to write about? Here’s what to do

Share

When you’re out of ideas to write about in your blog or newsletter, there’s no need to panic.

You can write about almost anything.

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new computer. You’ve looked at the options, compared brands, found answers to lots of questions, and made some decisions. You may have ruled out certain brands or operating systems or options. You may have chosen your next machine.

Why not write about that?

Share the story of your quest–what you went through, what you discovered, what you decided and why. And. . .

. . .use that story as an analogy for hiring an attorney.

Tell readers what to look for in an attorney, the questions to ask and the answers they should hear.

Tell them the pros and cons of different types of attorneys or different services; explain the must-haves and the nice-to-haves.

Tell them what they need to know and do to make a good “purchase” and the problems they may have if they don’t.

Show readers you understand what they want and guide them to taking the next step.

You might end your post by telling them you’re happy with your choice of computer and relieved the hunt is over and you can get back to work, because that’s what readers want in their hunt for an attorney.

Look at what’s happening in your practice or personal life. The odds are there’s something you can use in your next post.

I’ve written posts about my cats, shopping with my wife, hiring service people for our home, stories about cases and clients, things I see online, things I see on my walk, and much more.

You can, too.

You don’t need to write more than a few sentences about your experience, a question someone asked you, a video you saw, or a thought that crossed your mind.

You can write about almost anything.

How to write emails that bring in repeat business and referrals

Share

Super simple way to create your next article or post

Share

I see you. You’re sitting in front of your computer trying to come up with something to write for your blog or newsletter.

And you’re stumped.

The well is dry, you’ve got other things to do, and you don’t want to spend all day staring at the ceiling.

No, I’m not going to lecture you about keeping a running list of ideas. Instead, I’m going to come to your rescue and give you your next idea.

All you need to do is identify a book or article you read, or video you watched recently, and tell your subscribers or readers about it.

What it was about, what you agreed with or liked, or what you found lacking.

You could write about the article about taxes or retirement or insurance you just read. Tell them what you think, what you agree with and recommend, and what you plan to do with the information yourself.

If you read an article about a productivity app, you could tell them about your experiences with that app, or why you like something else better.

If you just read a bar journal article or watched a CLE video, you could mention a few salient points and tell them how you will use this in your practice.

What is your local paper writing about your community? Crime, fires, store closings? You can write about those, too.

You could write about anything. Even the post you’re reading right now.

If you represent business clients or anyone who writes a blog or newsletter or posts on social media, you could pass along your thoughts about the idea in this very article. It’s something they can use when they’re fresh out of ideas.

So, what will you write about next?

Want more article ideas? Here

Share

Timeless or Timely?

Share

If you produce content for a blog, a newsletter, a podcast, or anywhere else, one question you need to answer is how much of that content should be evergreen.

Evergreen content is important because that’s what first-time visitors to your blog and new subscribers to your newsletter are looking for. They have questions or a problem and they’re looking for answers.

If you’re starting a new blog, make sure you have at least 10 or 15 evergreen posts to start out.

Talk about the kinds of things clients typically ask you about. Talk about problems and solutions, risks and benefits, frequently asked questions about your services, and the like.

These serve as the foundation of your blog, attracting visitors though search and sharing, and helping them to understand their situation and learn what you do and how you can help them.

Once you have some evergreen content posted, you can write about anything else, whether timeless or timely.

Write about your interesting cases or clients, news in your target market’s industry or niche, trends, ideas, and more.

Yes?

One more thing.

On a blog, you have the option to indicate the date each post was published, something I’ve done since I started and still do today. Some visitors, however, see an older date and conclude that the information is out of date, even if it’s not.

Omitting the date, on the other hand, as many bloggers do, may cause visitors to wonder how current the information is, and reject it if no date can be found.

If you’re wondering what you should do, take a gander at what Darren Rowse of Problogger.com says about the pros and cons of timestamping blog posts.

And, for more about the kinds of content to include on your blog or website–what to write about, where to get ideas–check out my course on online marketing.

Share

The most important page on your website or blog

Share

When someone visits your website for the first time, statistics tell us they’ll probably click on and read your “About” page. What they see, or don’t see, often determines whether they stay on your site, or leave and never return.

That’s why your About (“About me,” “About us”) page is the most important page on your site.

Visitors are looking for information about you and your firm. They want to know what do you and for whom you do it. They want to know how you can help them and get a sense for what it would be like to work with you.

They also want to know something about you, the person.

Your About page is the portal visitors take into your world, and the first step towards getting to know, like, and trust you.

Your About page doesn’t need to be brilliant. It just has to present the important information visitors want to know, in a clear and compelling way.

If you want to see what a good About page looks like, check out this blog post: 29 Best About Us & About Me Pages (+ Why They’re So Good)

Use these examples for ideas and inspiration and then create or re-create your About page.

Learn more about the elements of an effective website here

Share

Do you trust me?

Share

If you’ve been getting my emails for a while, there’s a good chance you trust me, at least enough to open the email and read what I say.

If I recommend a marketing idea, you’re inclined to try it. If I have something for you to buy, you’ll probably take a look. If you know someone who might need what I offer, you’re open to recommending me.

And it works the same way with you and the people on your list.

We write a newsletter, we write a blog, we post on social media, because, among other things, it helps us build trust.

And, as Seth Godin said in Permission Marketing, to be heard, you’ve got to earn trust.

Otherwise, our messages get drowned out by the messages of (so many) others.

When you get referrals, trust is part of the deal. The prospective client trusts you because his friend or advisor trusts you. When you speak at an organization’s event, the audience tends to trust you because you were invited to speak by an organization they trust.

When you advertise, there is no trust. You can point at various trust elements, e.g., your experience, etc., but there’s more doubt than trust. That’s why the rate of response is so low.

When you blog or write a newsletter, you build trust by showing up and delivering value, and by doing it consistently over time.

The nice thing about having a blog (podcast, video channel) is that all of the content you previously created is available for visitors to see. You can build trust faster that way.

We create content to attract prospective clients, and once they visit our blog or sign up for our newsletter, to build trust and encourage them to take the next step.

I have a course that shows you how to do that with email; details here

Share

How to write faster blog posts, emails, and articles

Share

What if writing was as easy (and quick) as opening a template and filling in the blanks?

You’ll still need to edit and polish but you might be able to turn out articles in minutes instead of hours.

Templates make a first draft easier because you know “what goes where”. You’ll know, for example, that after two paragraphs that introduce the subject, you need 3 points or examples, but not 5. You’ll know how many bullet points to include and where to put them. And you can insert a pre-written call to action to close.

Using templates to map out the bones of your writing will allow you to write faster and better because they let you focus on the message, not the structure.

Where do you get these templates? By reverse-engineering existing articles and posts.

When you read an article you like, save it, study it, and figure out why it works. Make notes of the elements:

  • How many words?
  • How many paragraphs?
  • How many headings and sub-heads?
  • How many bullet points?
  • What’s the lead or hook?
  • Why should the reader care (benefits)?
  • What proof is offered?
  • What examples or stories?
  • What’s the call to action?

Create a simple template that incorporates these elements. You can use it for first drafts or to improve a sloppy first draft.

You should also do this with your own writing. Add additional notes to explain why you said what you said, other options you considered, and feedback you got from your readers.

Start with one template. Use it, refine it, and use it again. You may find that one template is all you need to write most of your posts but you can always add more.

The Easy Way to Write a Book

Share

Writing is easier and more effective if you do this

Share

Everyone says we should write to and for our reader. We should have in mind an avatar of what they’re like and what they want and address ourselves to that person.

To be more relatable, we should use examples and references that conform to their life experience and world view. To get a higher response to our ideas and offers, we should talk about the benefits we know they need and want.

Yes, everyone says we should do this in our blog posts, articles, newsletter, and social media posts.

Including me.

But while this is generally good advice, it makes writing more difficult and less effective because when we appeal to one person or one ideal reader, we tend to exclude everyone else.

Sounds like a conundrum.

But there’s a solution.

Instead of writing for your ideal reader, write for yourself.

In your first draft, write what you want to write and say it the way you want to say it. Because if what you write resonates with you, it will resonate with others.

If you free your writing this way, you’ll attract your target audience organically. And it will be an audience that relates to you and likes you and tends to trust you.

Because you’re like them.

Then, write your second draft for your readers.

Tailor your message and offers to them. Add relevant examples and stories and use terminology they will recognize and understand.

The first draft is for you. The second draft is for your reader.

In case you’re wondering, the third draft is for your editor. Or someone else who’s got your back.

How to write a newsletter that brings in more business

Share

10 ideas for blog posts that get read (and shared)

Share

Is your blog post idea machine running out of gas?

No problem. Here are 10 ideas to fill your tank:

  1. “Best of”: Best articles/posts/videos/sites you read of saw this month or this year.
  2. Interviews: A great way to build relationships with influential people and get more traffic to your blog as they promote the interview.
  3. Client success stories: feature a client’s legal victory, business, charitable work, or life’s story.
  4. Surveys: survey your clients or colleagues or bloggers and post the results.
  5. Statistics: Everyone loves facts and numbers. Could be related to your practice area or your client’s industry or your local market.
  6. How-tos: Teach your readers about the law or about general consumer or business matters.
  7. Book reviews: your comments about a book you read related to your field, your client’s niche or of general interest.
  8. Awards: Choose a client or fellow professional who’s doing good things and feature them in a post.
  9. Summaries: Do a “round-up” post that summarizes and links to some of your previously published posts.
  10. Predictions: Who will win, what will change, when it will happen.

There you go.

And yes, you can (and should) share your posts with your newsletter subscribers. Which is what I’m doing as soon as this is posted.

For more ideas for your blog (or newsletter), get this:

Share

An easy way to get targeted traffic to your blog

Share


An easy way to get targeted traffic to your blog sounds good, doesn’t it?  

How about if you didn’t have to do any of the writing? Even better.

No, I’m not talking about hiring writers to create your content for you. I’m talking about leveraging other people’s writing by aggregating “clips” or blurbs from other blogs in your target market. 

Blogs written by people in your client’s industry or market. Or by vendors, consultants, and other professionals who sell to or advise that market. 

Find blog posts and articles in the niche, copy the headline, the lead paragraph or two, and the link to their post. Cobble together five or ten of these into your post.

Add your own title and call it a day. 

You’re doing your readers a favor by providing them with links to content they want to consume.

You’re doing the other bloggers or professionals a favor by promoting their content and bringing them additional traffic and readers. 

And you’re doing yourself a favor by building traffic to your site from search engines and from readers who share your posts with others. 

Do you need permission? Fair use, isn’t it? Besides, who wouldn’t want you to promote their content?

You might want to let them know after the fact, however, because that could lead to more good things.

They might reciprocate and share some of your original content with their readers. They might see what you do and ask to interview you or invite you to write a guest post. They may refer you some business. 

Since you already read deeply in your target market, (you do, don’t you), you have access to a lot of content to share. So, this shouldn’t take you much extra time. 

If you do have extra time, you could add a few comments to your posts–mentioning what you liked about the original post, offering your own stories or observations, or mentioning the writer’s other articles you recommend. 

Give this a try. Write one post and see how it goes. You can then make it a regular feature or start another blog that exclusively features the best content in your niche. 

For more blog content ideas, get this

Share

How do you get new subscribers?

Share

In response to yesterday’s post about blogging vs. newsletters, and why I don’t keyword optimize my blog posts, I received an email from a lawyer asking how to get traffic and subscribers.

Well, for starters, don’t assume that you have to obsess over SEO to bring traffic to your site.

Good content still gets found by search engines. Better to spend your time writing more of that than tinkering with keywords and meta data.

You also get found through articles and guest posts you make on authority sites, through your books, videos and podcasts, interviews you do, and through strategic alliances with influential people in your niche.

When you meet new people, in the real world and online, let them know you have something that might interest them or their clients and give them the link to your site or a landing page.

One of the best sources of new subscribers is your newsletter itself.

Your readers share your content with their friends and clients and other people they know.

Word of mouth is strong in The Force.

Paid traffic also has to be considered. If you don’t want to (or aren’t allowed to) advertise your legal services, advertise your book, report, or other tasty morsel.

But, here’s the thing.

Quality is much more important than quantity. You don’t need massive traffic or a huge subscriber list to build a successful practice.

You need the kinds of traffic and subscribers that come through referrals.

Which is what you get when you are email-centric instead of blog-centric, because you can more easily build a relationship with your list.

If you want to know how to do it right, my Email Marketing for Attorneys course shows you what to do.

Share