“How can I figure out a new topic every week?”
“After my first blog post, I was out of ideas.”
I hear these comments all the time. It is especially difficult for lawyers dealing with case law that has been around for decades and in some cases centuries to create new content from whole cloth. So today I decided to share with you three simple ways to come up with ideas for your next blog post.
1. Look at the “most read articles” on the Wall Street Journal website or on your favorite business publication site. Do you have something to add to the discusion? Is there an angle they have missed that you could hit? This technique is called piggy-backing because you already know people are interested in reading and talking about the topic- now you just need join the party and add your article to the miss. This simple strategy is very effective.
2. Listen to your clients. What questions are you clients asking you? What is keeping your clients up at night? What recurring themes have you been addressing repeatedly from clients? If you can write a blog post that answers a commonly asked question, not only will it resonate with your clients, but the article is also likely to be “evergreen” meaning that five years from now people will still be finding your article through Google searches.
3. Search for conversations in your practice area on Twitter. Before you look at #3 and say, “but I hate Twitter” just hear me out. If are constantly running a search for “environmental law” for example or “false claims act” on Twitter you will see daily and weekly trends emerge. People will start talking about and sharing articles about topics that matter to them. These conversations will give you hints as to what topics people seem to care about right now.
Thinking up new blog posts isn’t easy, it requires creativity, attention and work. But each blog post you create is like a statue carved out of the internet. It will remain online for a long time as a testament of your ideas and knowledge. It isn’t easy creating new blog posts every week, but it is meaningful and will have a lasting positive impact on your visibility.
What other ways do you use to generate ideas for blog posts? I’d love to hear them.
Adrian Dayton is a non-practicing lawyer, author of two books on social media and a leading social media consultant to law firms. You can read his blog at http://adriandayton.com/blog