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Nothing But the Ruth!

What to Write? Ways to Find Ideas for Your Law Firm Blog

By Ruth Carter

Figuring out what to write about on my blogs is a challenge I face every week, especially with our firm’s patent blog. (I practice intellectual property, but not patent law.) I worry that my posts won’t be helpful or interesting enough to be worth reading, and therefore won’t do anything to help the law firm or my reputation.

At Content Marketing World (hands down the best marketing conference I’ve ever attended, featuring hundreds of experts — and not just because I’m a speaker), I always come away with inspiration and practical information to apply to my marketing. At this year’s conference, I was reminded that my audience is always telling me what content they’re looking for — if I take the time to look.

1. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is an amazing, easy-to-use, free tool that lets you see what people are searching for on various platforms, including Google and YouTube. (Hat tip to Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures for reminding me about this tool.)

I used Keyword Tool and searched for “patent” and it gave me over 700 Google keyword results, including results related to patent leather. More results were available if I purchased Keyword Tool Pro. The results list I received afforded me the opportunity to step back and see what average consumers want to know about patents. From this list, I developed over 20 ideas for blog posts to share with my team.

2. Reddit

I’ve written about Reddit before. It’s a social media news site with bulletin boards, called subreddits, for just about every subcategory you can imagine. When I need ideas for my law firm blog posts, I’ll check the patents, inventions, trademark, cyberlaws or small business subreddits to see what those communities are talking about. There are also subreddits for law and legal advice that can help get my creative wheels turning.

3. Your Site’s Search Terms

One of the best places for inspiration is the inner workings of my own website. There’s a plug-in on my WordPress site called Jetpack that shows how many hits I’m getting on each page and what terms users are searching for to get to my site. I review this list monthly to see what topics are most useful to readers, and to get ideas for future posts and Question of the Day videos. Reviewing the data on Jetpack also gives me insight into what type of posts seem to have the most impact.

4. Current Events

I’m my firm’s driving force for our patent blog, even though it’s an area where I don’t practice. To stay abreast of developments in this area, I have a Google Alert set for “patent.” Every day I get a list of news stories that may be suitable for a post. I also have Google Alerts set for other legal topics I’m following.

When I was starting out in my legal career, one of the ways I made ends meet was writing blog posts for a DUI lawyer. Every time a celebrity was arrested for DUI, no matter where it occurred, I wrote a post describing what could have happened if that person had been arrested in my state and the legal repercussions. I often felt like I was repeating the same material, but that didn’t matter because I was the writer, not the reader. What was relevant was that I was responding to current events with pertinent information when the reader wanted to find it.

With all the day-to-day stresses of our client work, it can be difficult to constantly create quality content. Where do you look when you need inspiration?

You Might Also Like: “A Simple Solution to Blogger’s Block”

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Ruth Carter

Ruth Carter — lawyer, writer and professional speaker — is Of Counsel with Venjuris, focusing on intellectual property, business, internet, and flash mob law. Named an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, Ruth is the author of the ABA book “The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers,” as well as “Flash Mob Law: The Legal Side of Planning and Participating in Pillow Fights, No Pants Rides, and Other Shenanigans.” In “Nothing But the Ruth,” they write about the lessons they’re learning while building their practice. Ruth blogs at UndeniableRuth.com and tweets @rbcarter.

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