At the end of last year, I posted an article outlining the basic idea behind content marketing. It was a simple overview intended for lawyers who had never tried any online advertising, and was meant to give “newbies” a general idea of one piece of the online marketing puzzle.
Now, we’ll finish up our content marketing series with a discussion about where to find article topic ideas. And next week, we’ll start exploring how to use social media to market your law firm or practice.
Where Do I Look for Article Ideas?
It seems too easy to be true, but the best place to start your article idea hunt is on the internet. As you know, there’s a wealth of information flying along open electronic lines these days; you just need to focus your searches for optimal results. For example, instead of just using the homepage of Google to do your search, why not try popping over to Google Scholar to check out the latest white papers and scholarly analysis on your focus practice area.
Moreover, don’t forget that other search engines and information databases exist besides Google. Do searches in Yahoo!, Lexus Nexus, and ASK, as well; you never know what new and exciting information may pop up on a lesser-known search engine that could spark a great content idea.
Using Google Alerts
If you opt to use content marketing as part of your online marketing plan, Google Alerts will quickly become your best friend. Like a forever-punctual media coordinator who never falters, if set up correctly, Google Alerts arrive in your inbox daily–chock full of the day’s latest news.
How do you set up an alert? Simply go to http://www.google.com/alerts and follow the simple instructions. When choosing alert keywords, make sure to choose phrases you think others will use to find your law firm online.
Be sure to include alerts for topics your clients may be interested in reading about. By publishing content prospective clients want to read, the more likely ideal clients are to visit your firm’s website. For example, if you’re looking for bankruptcy clients, be sure to sign up for a bankruptcy breaking news alert.
Each day, a list of blog posts, articles, and other content will be included in your daily alert. Set aside time to comb through the material and choose the issues and topics for your site. To avoid a plagiarism pickle, make sure any content you create–from any of the articles you use as sources–is 100% unique.
Follow Reporters Online
Follow the online and print media work of reporters and journalists who cover your area of expertise in the major dailies and Internet outlets. First, make a list of the columnists who cover your law “beat;” second, set up an RSS feed of their blog or column. If they write an article that your site’s readers might find useful, write an introductory statement about the article then link to it! Bada-bing, bada-boom–that’s one more piece of content for the day!
Moreover, don’t be afraid to reach out to reporters. Often, they’ll need legal statutes clarified or even a lawyer’s statement to include in an article. If you make an effort to introduce yourself, who knows, it may just be you they call for a quote or information. And a link back to your site from a major magazine, newspaper, or popular online media site will do nothing but help your search engine rankings.
So, to summarize: when looking for Web content ideas, hit the web; use all the resource categories of modern search engines; sign up for Google Alerts; and get cozy with some reporters. If you do all that, you’ll be one step closer to incorporating a successful content marketing plan into your overall online advertising strategy. Good luck!
Aaron Kelly is an Internet lawyer based in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to lawyering, Mr. Kelly is also a wealth of information when it comes to affiliate marketing and online advertising.