It’s not just the information


To be effective, your blog or newsletter, podcast or channel, needs more than good information. It also needs a healthy dose of your personality. 

Because no matter good the information in your articles and posts might be, people read and recommend content that gives them a sense of who you are—a real person with a business and personal life and a specific style. 

So, put yourself in your content.

Your content also needs to be easy to read. No matter how sophisticated your audience might be, they don’t want to slog through academic or boring prose. Give them something they can skim when they’re short of time (and they’re always short of time), or they can chew on and digest if they need more. . 

Your readers and listeners also want you to engage them by asking (rhetorical) questions, providing if/then statements, and illustrating your points with relevant and relatable examples and stories about people like them.

Want to know what else they want? A bit of fun. Something light or amusing, and certainly interesting, and sometimes surprising. Things they don’t expect. And things they usually don’t get from your competition. 

Variety is also welcome. Mix up your topics and how you present them. Today, tell them what you think. Tomorrow, interview an expert. Next week, recommend a book or blog you think they will enjoy. Mix up the length of your posts, too—long this week and a few paragraphs the next.

This is what makes your content valuable and keeps people reading and sharing it. This is what builds a relationship with your readers and subscribers and gets them to take the next step when they’re ready to talk to you about their situation.

It’s not the depth of your knowledge or the quality of your prose. It’s you, talking to them as you would a client or friend, not trying to impress anyone but simply sharing some ideas they can use or will enjoy hearing.

You know the blogs and newsletters you enjoy reading? Yeah, like those. 

How to build your practice with a newsletter


Need a topic for your blog, stat?


It’s happens to everyone. They need to post an article on their blog or in their newsletter, but don’t know what to write. And the clock is ticking. 

No problem. 

It’s okay to write about subjects you’ve written about before. Your “go to” topics. Things you know well and can talk about with ease. 

It’s also okay to grab something you’ve written before and use it again. 


An article, part of a presentation or report, any content in your archive. 

Re-post or re-publish it, as is. With no changes or additions. 

I do it. Everyone does it. And guess what? Your readers either won’t notice or won’t care.

You have new subscribers or visitors who never saw it. You have old subscribers who saw it but didn’t care about it because they didn’t have that problem (but now they do). Your article might be precisely the thing they need to see today and they will marvel at how you must be reading their mind, and be grateful that you are.

Or forward it to a friend who just told them they have that problem. 

And guess what? Even if your readers have seen it before, that doesn’t mean they paid attention. (How many times have you reminded your clients not to do something or say something? Or to come in to talk to you about something?)

Remind them again in your newsletter. 

Of course, if you have a little time, go ahead and update your old post. Re-write or re-edit it, change the headline or title (or keywords), emphasize different points, add new examples, add a different graphic if you want to, or shorten or lengthen the post. 

Your newsletter, your rules. 

Okay, maybe don’t re-use posts you published last month; give it some time. 

And relax. Be easy about this. You won’t get a knock on the door from the blog police hastling you for reposting something. 

After publishing thousands of articles and blog posts, and endlessly repeating topics, I’ve never once had anyone say, “Again? Don’t you have anything else to write about?”

Of course, there’s always a first time

More easy ways to create content for a newsletter or blog




I usually write short blog posts because long posts often get skipped (because readers are busy) or postponed (and then skipped). 

I’d rather show up in your inbox frequently and give you something you can read in a couple of minutes. 

But there are advantages to longer posts: 

  • Longer, more detailed posts tend to get more traffic than shorter posts because they often rank higher in search engines.
  • Longer posts give you room to provide more tips and more thorough explanations of complex or abstract concepts, providing more value to visitors looking for help, and to find an attorney.  
  • Longer posts are generally more authoritative than shorter posts because there is room to provide more examples, citations, graphics, and links to other posts (yours and other authorities). 
  • Longer posts keep visitors on your blog longer, making it more likely they will read your other posts, as well as pages about your services, your upcoming events, and other content, and more willing to sign up for your newsletter.
  • Longer posts tend to get more Likes from readers and links from other blogs. 

In short, longer, more detailed posts provide opportunities to get more readers, subscribers, and clients.

But none of that happens if people aren’t reading your posts because they look too long to read. In addition, longer posts take more time to research, write, optimize, and format, which means you can’t publish as often. 

What’s the solution? A combination of long and short posts can give you the best of both worlds. Long posts for traffic, authority and engagement, short posts to get more people to read what you write, creating a gateway to your longer content.

 If you’re new to blogging, you might write 1000- to 1200-word posts once or twice a month, and 300- to 500-word posts, once or twice per week. On the other hand, if you’re new, it’s better to write anything, because building the habit of regularly creating content is more important than how long it is or often you publish it.

How to write a blog people like to read


New blog, newsletter, or podcast? This will help.


When I started writing a blog, one of the first things I did was to find other blogs in my niche, to see what they were doing. I learned a lot and was convinced I could do what they did. If you’re thinking about starting a blog or newsletter, or want to re-start or re-invigorate yours, I suggest you find blogs and newsletter published by other lawyers and use them as a model for your own.

It doesn’t matter where they are located, or even their practice area. You can learn something from each blog you follow or subscribe to. 

Study them and take notes:

  • How often do they publish? 
  • How long are their posts, articles, episodes, etc?
  • What is their writing style? Formal? Informal? Somewhere in between?
  • Do they write about news or evergreen topics? 
  • Do they advocate or educate?
  • Do they write detailed posts, with citations, or something more beginner-friendly?
  • How are their posts structured? What formatting choices have they made?
  • Do they do interviews? Guest posts?
  • What do they offer as an incentive to sign up?
  • What calls-to-action do they use? 
  • Do their blog posts get comments? Shares? Or is that function turned off? 
  • Do they use images or mostly text? 
  • Do they promote their services directly or just a provide a link to their website? If they promote their services, do they “pitch” hard or less so? 

What do they do that’s working? What do you like? What would you change?

Also note ideas for topics you could write about. 

You’re not looking for the perfect newsletter or blog to emulate, you’re looking for ideas and inspiration. You might like how one blog structures its content but prefer another’s writing style. You might like how one blog is consistent or how another uses a variety of detailed and lengthy posts mixed with brief and lighter fare. 

Guess what? You get to choose.

This exercise might get you excited and ready to start or re-start your blog or newsletter. On the other hand, it might convince you that you don’t want to do this, at least not right now, and turn your attention to something else. 

Before you decide, try something. Put some content out there and see what happens. Content marketing might not be your favorite marketing method (now), but if it makes your phone ring the way I know it can, you might just change your opinion.

How to start a blog that makes your phone ring


How-to articles for lawyers are good. This is better.  


Lawyers write a lot of blog posts and other content that explains how to do things. That’s good because “how to” is a very popular search term for people with legal issues. 

But prospective clients also want to know “why”.

You tell them to do something, or avoid doing something, but your advice is much more persuasive and valuable to them if you tell them why. 

If you handle personal injury cases, don’t just tell people what to say to the other driver, and what to avoid saying. Tell them why. 

In fact, it’s a good idea to write blog posts and articles with a headline or title that features the word “why”. When someone sees that word, they become curious. “Why should I do that?” “Why is that a mistake?” and they read the article to find out. 

You should also use the word “why” in your calls-to-action. 

You want them to call and make an appointment? Tell them why. What do they get if they do? What are the benefits? What will that appointment help them do or avoid?

You want them to download your report? Fill out a form? Sign up for your webinar? Hire you (instead of any other lawyer)?

Tell them why. 

Don’t stop writing how-to articles. They always have and always will be effective. But they are more effective when you also tell people why. 


Just google it?


When you’re fresh out of ideas for blog posts, newsletter articles, or other content, you can always head over to your favorite search engine, put in some keywords related to your field, and see what people, a.k.a. prospective clients, are searching for. 

Not only will you get ideas for your next blog post or article, you can use the same search terms they use, or a variation thereof, in your title or subject.

The subjects they search for, the questions they ask, can not only provide you with subjects to write about, but search traffic to your blog or article.

You can wing it and see what comes up, or use a more methodical method:  

Type a keyword in the search field, press the spacebar, type the letter “a”, and you’ll get 10 search results (on Google) in the drop-down menu. Copy these and search again using the same keyword and the letter “b”. 

You can go through the entire alphabet and get more results. You can then type in keyword phrases instead of single words and go through the process again. 

And then, if you want even more results, choose a different keyword (or phrase) and search again. 

30 minutes of searching and you’ll have more topics than you can shake a stick at. 

But there’s more. . . 

On the Google search results page, look for the “People Also Ask” section. You’ll see questions related to your search term. Grab some of those questions and answer them in your next post. 

Then, scroll down to the bottom of the search results page and look for the “Related Searches” section. Yep, even more ideas.  

You can also use the “Google Trends” tool to find more current or newsworthy (trending) ideas.

But you’re not limited to using dusty old search engines to find ideas. Now you can use one of the many AI tools that are popping up everywhere.  

This morning, I asked one of those AI Chabots, “What are some ways to get ideas for blog posts other than using google?” It gave me several suggestions: 

  • Look at your competitor’s blogs, “to see what topics they are covering. this can give you ideas for new topics, or inspire you to approach a topic from a different angle.”
  • Ask your readers what they would like to see or see more of. Use a poll, email, social media, “or by simply asking for feedback in a blog post”. 
  • Peruse social media popular posts or hashtags to see what people are asking or talking about.
  • Attend industry events (to learn the latest trends and news in your niche and write about those subjects).
  • Use tools like BuzzSumo, Feedly, or Pocket to see what’s being covered. 

And that was just a few results from asking a very general question. 

You can ask these bots much more specific questions that elicit more detailed responses related to your field and your target market.

Ask it what estate planning subjects are popular with people in your area who now work from home. Ask it to tell you the questions burn victims typically ask when they’re looking for an attorney who specializes in this field. Ask it to tell you which market sectors are more likely to buy or sell commercial real estate in the next few years.

And if it doesn’t give you enough information, or specific enough information, ask follow-up questions until it does.

My favorite part: unlike simple search engines, these bots remember what you previously asked, and the answers it provided, which means you can carry on a conversation with it and get better results.

Don’t rely completely on anything it tells you, of course. Use the results you get as a starting point—ideas to research and write about.

More ideas than you could ever use.


Email marketing done wrong


It’s funny, the guy who sent me this email is a successful blogger with a big email list. So he should know better. 

He sends emails to his list announcing each new blog post. That’s good. But the subject line in those emails all say, “New Update on [his blog]”.

That’s bad. 

Nobody is interested in knowing there’s an update. So what? Why should I care? 

You have to tell them why they should care. 

The purpose of an email subject line is to “sell” the recipient of that email on opening it. 

Make them curious. Entice them with benefits. Or both. 

Don’t just send them an email. Tell them why they should open it. 

If the recipient knows the sender, they may give them the benefit of the doubt and open the email. Will they do that week after week?

Who knows?

If they’re busy, if they’re a new subscriber and don’t yet know that you consistently deliver value, they may skip your email, assuming that (like so many other emails they receive) it’s nothing but a sales pitch. 

Or they might save it to read later, but we know that “later” often never arrives. 

The subject line of your email is the key to getting your email read. It is a headline. It must capture the attention of the recipient and convince them to stop scrolling and open your email. 

And “New update. . .” isn’t going to get the job done.

If your email is meant to announce your new blog post and your blog post has a good title, the simplest thing to do is to put that title in the subject line of your email. 

There are other options, but this works most of the time.

So, why doesn’t this experienced blogger do that? I don’t know. But don’t do what he does. 

And don’t do what he does in the body of his emails, either.

The only content in his emails is a hyperlinked copy of the title of his blog post. Nothing else. 

Why is this a mistake? Because while the title/headline might be enticing, it might not be enough to get subscribers to click the link. 

And the goal isn’t to open the email, it’s to get subscribers to read your post.

You have two options for accomplishing this.

Option one is to use the body of the email to sell them on clicking the link. Tell them more about the benefits they get from your post, share how others have benefitted from this kind of information, say something about why you’re qualified to present this information, or otherwise prove that reading the post will be worth his time. 

And yes, you could enclose the first few paragraphs of your blog post (and the link to continue reading). 

Option two is to enclose the entire blog post in the body of your email. 

That’s the way I do it. 

When you get my email, you don’t have to click anything to read my latest post. You can read the post right there in your email inbox. 

I know, by doing it this way, I get fewer people going to my blog. That would improve my traffic and engagement numbers, and make it more likely that when someone finishes reading the post, they’ll read something else on the blog. 

But I think it’s worth it. 

It’s worth it because by making it more convenient for you to read my post, you’ll be more likely to do it. And get the benefits thereof. And become interested in hiring me or buying something from me or contacting me to learn more.

Which you are less likely to do if you can’t read the post without going to my blog.

The goal is to get more people (1) to open your emails and (2) read your content. Because it is your content that convinces people to take the next step.  

Email marketing for attorneys


Information is overrated


The people who regularly follow you on social, subscribe to your newsletter or blog, watch or listen to your videos or podcasts, don’t do it solely to get information. No doubt they get plenty of that from you already, and they know they can get more by asking you or doing a quick search. 

They read or watch your posts or messages for information, but also because your words provide them a brief mental vacation. For a few minutes, they don’t have to think about work or their troubles. They can hear something interesting or encouraging or entertaining. 

Information is important. But it’s not everything. 

When you spend time with people you know (or want to meet), at a networking event or socially, you don’t fire up your brain and start firing off information. You don’t deliver a lecture. You chat, you catch up, you share interesting things you’ve heard. 

Your subscriber is that friend.  

If you want them to look forward to hearing from you, consume everything you write, share your content and links, and think of you first when they have a legal issue (or know someone who does), give them more than just information. Help them take a mental vacation. 

Email marketing for attorneys


Superman’s hemorrhoids


We all know we shouldn’t talk about sex, religion, and politic in polite company (or in our newsletter).

Unless sex, religion, or politics are your primary business, nothing good can come of it.

I’d like to add a fourth subject to the list. Our personal health.

Too many people talk about that subject and while some of their clients or readers will sympathize and wish them well, on balance, this is a subject that is usually best avoided.

I’m not suggesting a complete ban. But if you talk about your health or an injury or condition, don’t do it too often and, whatever you do, avoid the gory details.

Because most people don’t want to hear it.

Some people are hypochondriacs and will get all hinky thinking they have what you have or will be its next victim. Some people have weak stomachs and don’t want to hear about things that ooze, severe pain, or chronic conditions.

But perhaps the most important reason is that people want to think of their lawyer as a superhero—strong, impervious to illness and pain, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Don’t spoil the movie in their mind.

They know you’re human. They like hearing some things about your personal life. But they don’t want to think about you as someone who might not be able to protect them from monsters.

So, if you have a choice, and you almost always do, think twice about discussing your illness, injury, or condition.

When in doubt, leave it out. Find another way to illustrate your point or tell your story.

There are some health-related subjects that are relatively safe. You can speak about taking vitamins, getting in your reps, or going for your annual checkup.

You can even talk about an occasional headache, bump, or bruise.

But if you do, it’s probably best to talk about that in the past tense. Because when a superhero gets blasted by a death ray, they’re back on the job long before the third act.


Speaking of books. . .


If you read a lot of books, or want to, but are busy and can’t always justify the time to do it, as I recently struggled with, I’m going to make things a little easier for you by pointing out some additional benefits.

Specifically, some ways you can use what you read to get more clients and increase your income.

Not just by learning new or better marketing or management ideas, but also by improving your productivity, speaking, writing, and negotiating skills, developing new habits (or getting rid of old ones), becoming more creative, reducing your stress, and so much more.

Good things that can make you better at what you do and who you are.

You can also use the information you learn to generate content for your blog or newsletter, videos or podcasts. And you should because many of your subscribers, prospective clients, and professional contacts want to learn many of the same things you want to learn.

Developing more content this way could be as simple as writing book reviews or blog posts that summarize key ideas in these books.

You could add these books to an ongoing “recommended reading” list and post it on your blog. You could compile your favorite quotes and stories and use them in your writing or presentations.

You could write guest posts about the books for blogs in your clients’ niche, interview other people who are following these ideas, or interview the authors themselves. You might even create workshops and teach others about the principles you’ve learned, or show people how you use them.

You could also use these books in your networking. If you’re at a function attended by physicians you’d like to meet, for example, asking them if they’ve read the latest book by one of their colleagues can be a great way to start a conversation.

If nothing else, you can give away copies of your favorite books to clients and professional contacts, as a way to add value to your relationships or to thank them when they do something nice for you.

In short, you can feed your reading habit and build your practice at the same time.