Ideas? Where we’re going, we don’t need ideas


Many attorneys do no content marketing. No blog, no newsletter, no articles or videos or podcasts. The two primary reasons they give are (1) They don’t have enough time, and (2) They don’t have enough to write about.

As someone who initially resisted creating content for those same reasons, I do have something to say about this subject.

“No time” does not compute. If writing a blog or newsletter brought you twice as much new business as you get now, and it could, or brought you bigger cases or better clients, and it could, you’d find the time. Or hire someone. Or both.

Content marketing works—if you work at it.

Besides, if you follow my “system,” you can write something people want to read in under an hour. 

One hour a week to double your client intake? Even if it “only” brought you one additional client or case a month, would that be worth it? 

Now if you don’t want to do it, fine. But if you do want to, you do have enough time.  

What about not having enough to write about? 

That’s also a non-starter. As long as you’re practicing, you’ll never run out of things to write about. 

Write about your practice. Your cases, your clients, the laws you work with every day, problems, solutions, questions and answers. Write about what you say when you give a presentation, what you tell people who ask about what you do and how you can help them.  

You want ideas? Go through your email. Think about the last case you settled, the last brief you wrote, or something opposing counsel said or did that made you roll your eyes. It’s all fair game. It’s all something your clients and prospects, readers and followers, want to know.

Besides, there is a never-ending parade of new people finding and following you who haven’t seen anything you wrote before. That means you can write about something you wrote before.

You might have noticed that I do that, in spades. 

I use different words and different examples, at least I think I do—I can’t remember what I wrote months or years ago, can you? New subscribers don’t know, old subscribers don’t remember (because if I can’t, they can’t), but even if they can, good ideas are worth repeating. 

Good ideas are worth repeating. (See?)

So, re-read your old blog posts or articles and update them, re-write them, or say something different about the same subject. 

Now, if by some miracle you really are fresh out of ideas, the Internet is your friend. Go see what other attorneys have written about in their blog or newsletter and steal their idea. (The idea, not the words).

Yes, but what I run out of attorneys? Are you serious? Okay, you can do the same thing with business blogs or consumer blogs and anyone else who said something that might interest your readers. 

The world is awash with ideas you can write about. Too bad you don’t have enough time. 



Content marketing for lawyers who target consumers


If you handle criminal defense, immigration, personal injury, estate planning, family law, or other practice areas in the consumer realm, you may have found (or believe) that prospective clients aren’t interested in your blog or newsletter or other content until they realize they need your services.  

So why bother with a newsletter or blog or other content? 

Because when they do need your services, they’ll read everything on your blog and consume all of your content, and you want to have content for them that isn’t just bullet points about your services but content that lets you connect with them that nothing short of actually speaking with you and getting to know you can do.

You want them to hear your stories and get a sense of what it would be like to know you and work with you, so they can get to know, like, and trust you.

Which they can do through your content. 

“Okay, got it. But how do I get them to visit my website or blog, watch my videos, read my articles and sign up for my newsletter so I can build a relationship with them before they need my legal services?”

Good question, Grasshopper.  

Since most people aren’t interested in your “legal” content until they need your services, and only then look for it and consume it, you need to give them something else they are interested in. Another subject you can write about or talk about. 

Like the kinds of subjects consumers are interested in—taxes, insurance, credit, consumer protection, social security, and so on.

When your would-be clients find and read your articles about retirement planning, for example, they learn what you do in your day job, sign up for your newsletter, and you stay in touch with them. When they need legal services, they contact you (instead of looking for someone from scratch) because they already know you. 

And guess what? You can accomplish the same thing without writing about insurance and credit if that’s not your thing. You can write about other subjects that interest you and are likely to interest a segment of the consumer population. 

Some lawyers write about technology. Some write about productivity. Some write about writing and other creative pursuits. They talk about apps or books or websites they recommend, and build up a following that way.  

They might do that on a separate blog or channel rather than the blog for their law practice, but they link to it and mention it. 

You know what that means, don’t you? It means you can write about a lot of things that interest you, your hobbies and outside interests, and have fun creating content about those subjects. 

You know what else that means? It means you can do the same thing if you handle business law instead of or in addition to consumer law, because your clients are consumers, too.

Write what you want to write to write about. People who share your interest will find you, follow you and eventually hire you. Or. . . tell someone they know about you.

How to build an effective newsletter for your practice


“What should I write about?”


You want ideas for subjects to write about in your blog or newsletter. You want to show readers what you do, how you can help them, and why they should choose you as their lawyer. 

And you want it to be interesting.

Okay, here you go: 

  • FAQ’s: About the law, procedure, how long it takes to X, what should I expect when Y happens, what are my risks, what are my options, how much is my case worth?
  • News: Cases, legislation, trends, changes at your firm, news about your business clients’ industry
  • DIY: How to research, prepare (simple) documents, file, negotiate, go to small claims court, check my credit, refinance my loan, find a good deal on insurance 
  • Announcements: Seminars, upcoming events, new hires, new office, special offers from your business clients or professionals you work with
  • Interviews You, your clients, other professionals or centers of influence in your market 
  • Profiles and bios: Your employees, partners, vendors, business clients, and families
  • Client success stories
  • Downloadable content: Reports, forms, checklists, sample letters, glossaries, lists of recommended resources
  • Recommended: Books, videos, channels, podcasts, websites, blogs or individual posts
  • Why you? What do you (your firm) do differently or better than others? Features, benefits, notable testimonials, reviews, endorsements, awards.

Use this list to brainstorm ideas and keep them for a rainy day. Or, you can ask your favorite ai to come up with ideas for you.


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


Leveraging other people’s content


Some lawyers buy “canned” content for their newsletter or blog. They pay a company for the rights to publish individual articles or entire newsletters and don’t have to write anything themself. 

It’s better than nothing because it gives them an excuse to stay in touch with clients and prospects but while these articles are usually well-written, they are necessarily generic—there’s nothing in them about the lawyer or his clients or cases, which is why people continue to consume that content. 

For years, I’ve said it’s okay to buy canned content but to re-write it. Put it in your own words, with your advice and comments and stories about your clients and people in your readers’ world. 

On the other hand, you don’t have to pay for content, canned or otherwise. The Internet is awash with it, and free. 

Find blogs and articles or videos about topics that will benefit or interest your readers and put that content in your own words. 

But you have another option. 

Instead of rewriting other people’s content, simply mention that content in your newsletter. Tell your readers why you recommend the article and provide a link. 

It might be an article by someone in your target market’s industry or market, or someone who sells to or advises that market. Even other attorneys.

That content could be anything. A how-to article, a product review video, a book review, a new website or product that might interest your readers—literally anything. All you need is a sentence or two about why the article caught your eye and why you recommend it. 

Is there something new (or newsworthy) in it? Something helpful or interesting or different? 

You don’t need to write more than a sentence or two and provide a link. But you can add whatever you want. 

Explain how your readers might use this information, or why they shouldn’t. Quote from the video or summarize parts of it. Share your thoughts and experiences, or those you’ve observed or heard about from clients, colleagues, or friends. 

This is a quick and easy way to create content and provide value to your subscribers, without doing a lot of writing yourself. 


Useful Idiots


You have people on your email list(s) who have never hired you, hired you and fired you, or hired you one time ages ago and you’ve never heard from them since. 

They are dead weight—just taking up space. 

Keep them on your list.  

They are useful, because one day they may realize they need help, find one of your emails and contact you. 

Email is cheap. Don’t delete anyone. They are useful, even if their usefulness isn’t presently clear. 

Even if they never hire you (again), they might forward your link to someone who does hire you, or who forwards that link to someone else who does. They may tell someone about your upcoming webinar, your book, or your article, or share something you’ve said or done.

Keep everyone. Old clients, prospects, leads, and business contacts who couldn’t pick you out of a lineup. 

And, unless you have very large lists, I wouldn’t bother sending out a “Click here if you want to continue receiving email from me” message, or reminding anyone they can unsubscribe.

Keep everyone. Because anyone may become your next client or lead them to you.

Are there exceptions? Subscribers you might want to delete? 

If someone is a complete jerk and you never want to work with them or hear from them again, you might think about sending them to digital hell.

Think twice. 

They may be idiots, but they are still useful. 

They may never realize they are the problem, apologize, and change their ways, but they can still send you referrals. And traffic that turns into new business. Unless they’re completely in your face and making you miserable, keep them on your list. Forever.

Besides, if you delete them, what’s keeping them from signing up again with a new email (and IP address)? 

Jerks do that, you know. Just to mess with you. 

Don’t worry your pretty little head about the jerks and the idiots. Don’t try to figure them out, don’t engage them. 

Ignore them and go do some work. 

Email Marketing for Attorneys


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


3 sentences


If you aren’t publishing a newsletter because it takes too much time, I have a question for you. What if it didn’t? 

What if you could write, click, and send a newsletter in two minutes? Would you do it? 

If it’s only a few minutes, once a day, once a week, or once in a while, you’d do that, wouldn’t you? Because you understand the value of staying in touch with clients and prospects and business contacts. You know that each time you do it, you remind them that you are available to help them and people they know, and you get more business. 

Pop the champagne. You can do that because the definition of “newsletter” has changed. 

A newsletter doesn’t have to contain news. Or advice. And it doesn’t have to be lengthy. A few sentences is fine. Because the point isn’t to impress them with your knowledge or give them a mountain of helpful information.

It’s letting them hear from you. To see your name and a link to your website and remember who you are. And you can send them anything to accomplish that. Okay, not anything. There has to be some value in what you send. 

What is value? Whatever you want it to be.

Years ago, when social media was newish, I thought I’d try posting and see what happens. But I didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to take a lot of time saying it. So, once a day, I found a quote I liked and posted that. 

People told me they liked the quote. Thanked me. Said they were going to share it. 

Did I become a social media star because of this? Hardly. But I was able to stay in touch with folks and give them something to chew on that day. I kept my name in front of them with nothing more than a few words from someone else. 

You can do the same thing in a newsletter. 

Yes, just a quote. Or something you saw someone write in a book or say on a podcast. Or something you want to write or say or recommend.  

“I just found this website, and it has a ton of great resources. I really liked an article about (whatever). Here’s the link:”

That’s value. That’s a newsletter. 

Sure, you can publish something more lengthy and thoughtful and you probably will want to. But you don’t have to. 

And because you don’t have to, you’ll write something. And get your name in front of people who enjoy hearing from you.

Everything you need to do (and then some): here


Everyone tells you this is important, but is it?


You have an email list, for your newsletter, podcast, or seminars, or a list of your clients and prospects and professional contacts. You mail to that list regularly, or plan to, because you know that the more you stay in touch with people, the more clients and revenue you get. 

Everyone tells you to segment your list, to separate people by status (client, prospect, professional, blogger), or profile (consumer or business, big or small, type of services they need or want), because doing that lets you send targeted emails to each segment, thus increasing your conversion rate. 

Segmented lists allow you to speak more directly and specifically to each segment, addressing their needs in the context of their background and experience. You’re able to use more relevant examples and success stories for each segment, and speak to them in ways they relate to. You get more people accepting your offers, and fewer people opting out because your message doesn’t apply to or interest them.

Maybe you do this now. “Why send a newsletter about the benefits of a living trust to people who’ve already hired me to do that?” 

It makes sense. And it doesn’t. Let’s look at the math.

Let’s say you identify 100 people on your list who have not hired you to prepare a living trust. By writing just to them, let’s say you get 20% of these subscribers to hire you. On the other hand, if you write the same message to your entire list of 2000, and get only 2% to sign up, you get 40 new clients, double what you get from the smaller but more targeted list. 

You might also get other business by writing to everyone. 

Your message might prompt someone who has already hired you to do X to update X. Or it might prompt them to ask you about your other services, or refer a friend. Business clients need consumer legal services; consumer clients have friends who own a business, or want to. 

And so, segmenting your list and mailing to fewer people might be very costly.  

Are there exceptions where segmenting your list is warranted? Sure. But these are usually best addressed by using autoresponder messages that go out to specific segments of your list, in addition to your newsletter. Prospects who inquired about a living trust, for example, would receive follow-up messages about that subject. 

Send your newsletter to everyone, because you never know what might interest them or someone they know. 

Email Marketing for Attorneys




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