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Law Blogging Trends For 2019 – What’s In And What’s Out

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One of the challenges of maintaining a blog for your law firm is that, while your legal specialty may not undergo significant change, you have to keep developing new content to stay relevant to your audience – and you need to stay on brand. This can be a tough balance to strike, but by keeping up with trends, you can create powerful content that drives readership and increases conversion. Here’s what to expect, and what you need to bring, to the law blogging community in 2019.

In: An Emphasis On Authority

One of the reasons that developing a clear niche has always been important to the law blogging community is that it helps you demonstrate your expertise in that area. In 2019, though, it won’t be enough to demonstrate that authority to your readers; you also need to build authority from a technical perspective – think “domain authority.” Domain authority (DA) is an SEO metric, and it’s at the heart of whether your site attracts traffic.

To boost your DA ranking, you’ll need to ensure your blog is well-equipped from a technical SEO perspective, which means that it has clear navigation, a sitemap, and is easily crawlable by search engines, as well as that it has linkable content. Linkable content will attract the attention of other websites and help you build backlinks, as well as providing readers with added value through quality content. That might mean writing ‘Top 10’ lists or using other popular formats, injecting humor into your writing, or creating your own resource guides. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and participate in an ongoing conversation, not just to churn out content.

Out: Vague Branding

There are a lot of law blogs on the web, and the majority are associated with a specific firm or topic, which gives them clear boundaries and an obvious audience and purpose. One blog that closed shop at the end of 2018, though, “Concurring Opinions,” was widely read despite its lack of affiliation, at least until recently. According to one of the core members, Gerard Magliocca, the blog saw a serious drop off in readership as venues for sharing ideas evolved. In Magliocca’s view, the law professor blog format “only really works if there is a kind of brand identity.” That means this is a critical moment to clarify your brand’s position.

From your logo to your blog niche, it’s vital that your blog serves a clear purpose. Readers should be able to recognize who you are, what your focus is, and even your writing style after going through a few posts. As an added benefit, the more firmly you establish your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to drive traffic from a wide variety of sources. Brand recognition is key to increasing referral traffic and creating conversations across the internet.

In: Increased Creativity

In order to keep the content flowing, legal blogs, especially those that have been around for a while, need to shift away from older content strategies and start thinking outside the box. That means reading blogs outside the field to get inspired and using the skills that make you a great lawyer in the first place. After all, being a lawyer demands complex, abstract thought and the ability to solve problems in new, creative ways. It’s how you argue cases, and it will make your blogs more interesting and fun to read.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start posting memes on your legal blog; they might be a bridge too far. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to engage with popular culture, sharing commentary and analysis. Those topics can bring in readership that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a law blog, with potentially fruitful results. This is also a good way to remain focused on your blog’s topic without becoming repetitive or dull.

Out: The (Too) Long Form

One of the most common trends across all industries is that more people are accessing websites, including blogs, on mobile devices, and that means they’re reading on smaller screens. Writers need to be conscious of this fact and make sure that their posts are accessible in this way. That means covering all of your bases in terms of what Google looks for as part of the mobile-first indexing process, but also trimming your posts.

The fact is, no one wants to read 1500 words on their phone, and if readers aren’t making it to the end of your post and your call to action, you’re not getting the most out of your blog. You need to hit a happy medium in terms of providing sufficient information while also keeping your content brief. Google also prioritizes brevity over length, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.

Your law firm’s blog is an important tool for building your business, but it’s important to keep up with changing trends. Luckily, with these tips under your belt, your blog posts will draw a growing audience, driving leads and growing your client base. One feeds the other in a powerful relationship.

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As an active entrepreneur and blogger, my topics of discussion are mainly on business strategy, tech startups and motivating others to succeed. You can read up on my latest content at BlogReign.com.

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Blogging

A Blogger’s Guide to Broken Link Building

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The internet is broken (literally).

Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.

That’s not good news for the respective site owners.

For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.

In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.

I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!

Why do broken link building?

Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.

And here’s the answer:

It’s all about reciprocation.

If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.

In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.

This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.

Let’s put it this way:

If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?

(Answer: probably not)

And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.

The site owner points to pages within the content that work. You gain a backlink for your effort.

It’s a win-win!

Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.

Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:

Find resource pages

Have you heard of resource pages?

You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?

Here’s an example of one:

resource page example

This page is a treasure trove for broken links!

The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.

However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.

And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.

Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.

By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!

More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages. This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.

But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.

Hop on to Google and use the following search query:

[Niche] resource page

Replace [niche] with your actual niche.

From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through. Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.

Find broken links from pages

neil patel 404

Here’s an example of a broken page.

It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.

Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!

Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.

It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.

Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar. Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.

broken link using check my links

It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.

Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.

Find the email of the site owner

The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.

However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.

But what if they don’t have either?

Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!

It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.

By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.

Findthatlead

To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon. It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.

Inform site owner about the broken link

Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.

Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.

However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.

Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.

Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!

gmail canned responses

In the email template, address the site owner by their first name. It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.

Next, talk about how you came across their page. You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.

After that, point out the broken link on the page. It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.

Now, here’s the most important part:

Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.

In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page. Just suggest your link to the site owner.

Give them the choice to either include your link or not. You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.

Here are other tips on help you write the template:

  • Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
  • Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
  • Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
  • Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.

Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using. If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.

Conclusion

As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.

Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.

They may link to your site on their resource page. They may not.

However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.

If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!

If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.

They will help guide you in the process of broken link building. This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.

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Blogging

Beware Who You Trust for Advice

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Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.

I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.

Peep 2 answers.

 

I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.

Yikes.

Exhibit B.

 

This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.

Yikes.

Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.

Blogging Advice

Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:

  • radiate happiness?
  • radiate compassion?
  • exude success?
  • inspire you to succeed?
  • uplift bloggers?

If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.

But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.

The Truth

If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.

Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.

Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.

One Such Example

Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.

Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?

The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?

Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.

Follow heart-centered bloggers.

Live your dreams.

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Blogging

Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?

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Some people love attention.

I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.

I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.

If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:

  • favors
  • gossip
  • small talk
  • chats
  • general BS

people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.

100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.

How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries

Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.

I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.

If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.

You Are Walking into a Word Office

Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.

What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?

I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.

I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.

I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.

People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.

Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.

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