Where To Find A Legal Content Writer
According to the National Law Review, 38% of individuals who need legal services begin their search for an attorney online. Less than one-third of survey respondents would seek referrals from friends and family, and just 4% would rely on the yellow pages. A whopping 96% of individuals who need legal advice turn to search engines. What these stats tell us is that the internet is the most popular way individuals search for an attorney. Publishing content regularly is the easiest and most affordable way for lawyers to get found, which is why if you don’t already have a legal content writer on your team, it may be time to hire one.
What Is a Legal Content Writer?
A legal content writer does what any professional content writer does — creates informative, relevant and keyword-focused content for websites and other online spaces. Though online content can take many forms, content writers typically specialize in the creation of written content, such as web pages, blog articles, press releases, video scripts, whitepapers and social media content.
Some copywriters are versatile and can create authoritative content for multiple industries. Others, however, specialize in one or two niches, such as law. Neither type of writer is better than the other. What matters is that the legal writer you choose has an intimate understanding of your target audience and its needs and that he or she can produce quality, well-researched and original content that provides readers with the value they seek.
Why Your Law Firm Needs a Legal Content Writer
It is true that far fewer people begin the search for a lawyer online compared to users who have other purchase intents. For instance, 63% of all shopping occasions begin online, which is nearly double that of searches for lawyers. However, that does not mean you should forego content marketing in favor of traditional marketing. Remember, less than 30% of people in need of legal help turn to friends, family and acquaintances for referrals, while nearly 40% turn to Google. This is reason enough to make sure you rank for relevant search queries.
The Reality of Legal Content Marketing
If you need more incentive to hire a legal content writer, consider these top three benefits of content marketing:
- Content helps users find you. The best copywriters write to both the search engines and the end-user. While the latter is by far the most important target, your content needs to appeal to the search bots as well. A strong writer naturally incorporates relevant search terms and phrases into the body, meta descriptions, alt texts and other locations to increase the likelihood that your content will get found.
- Strong content encourages engagement. Though only a little more than one-third of individuals begin their search for a lawyer online, nearly three-quarters go on to contact the offices they review. Of those individuals, 87% end up hiring the attorneys they call. Content incites engagement between your office and potential clients, as it starts a conversation, prompts questions and encourages comments. It also helps to build trust and showcase your expertise. Each of these factors gives visitors incentive to contact you, and, as research indicates, contact almost always ends in retention.
- Quality content builds authority. The best legal content informs readers and addresses any questions or concerns they may have regarding a given topic. If you’re able to better address common concerns, more users will trust your site and view it as an authority. Authority helps do two things: Generate leads and increase search engine rankings.
For content to do all it’s supposed to do, you need to hire a writer who possesses the traits necessary to move your business forward. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Content Marketing Challenges Unique to Law Firms
Whether you make the executive decision to hire a legal content writer only after thoroughly researching the pros and cons of doing so or you wake up one morning and decide that today is the day you will invest in content marketing, the biggest mistake you can make is to do any of the following:
- Hire the first copywriter or agency that pops up in Google search
- Employ the cheapest writer you can find on a freelance job platform
- Recruit your sister’s friend’s niece who is between jobs and did fairly well in English class
- Delegate content writing to a member of your team
The legal writer you hire should not only possess strong writing skills and ample online experience, but he or she should also have a strong legal background. A “strong legal background” does not necessarily mean the writer has a law degree or is a former legal professional. Rather, it means he or she has experience creating legal content and is familiar with the rules (read: challenges) associated with this particular niche
Additional Challenges in the Legal Writing Sphere
Lawyers are subject to stricter rules and higher standards than most other professionals, something their content should reflect. Common challenges law firms must avoid or overcome with their content are as follows:
- Plagiarism Issues: Every business is subject to the consequences of posting plagiarized content on their websites and other public domains. As a lawyer, however, plagiarism can be particularly devastating. You represent integrity and good moral behavior, and plagiarism claims can tarnish your image and even lead to legal issues.
- Copyright Infringement: Like plagiarism, copyright infringement claims can hurt your reputation. Not only that, but they may also lead to fines and lawsuits.
- Unexciting Subject Matter: Legal articles can quickly become wordy, tedious and flat-out boring. If your content continually fails to impress readers, the search engines will start to ignore your site, which can lead to a significant dip in rankings.
- Touchy Subject Matter: Legal articles must be informative, helpful and encouraging without giving legal advice or making any guarantees. Moreover, the articles must convey to readers that you are on their side without compromising your legal ethics.
- Bar Rules: The American Bar Association has strict rules regarding what lawyers can and cannot say in their communications. Among other things, the Model Rules for Professional Conduct states that lawyers “must avoid statements that may create an unjustified expectation about the results [they] can achieve;” must take care to avoid comparing their services to others; should exercise caution before using terms like “specialist,” “expert” or “certified;” and cannot indicate that they “specialize” in any one area of the law. Lawyers should also use disclaimers on their websites if they contain any advertising content and support any facts, figures, findings or statements with links to reputable resources.
The best legal content writers are familiar with these challenges and have established processes designed to help clients overcome them.
What To Look For in a Legal Content Writer
In addition to helping your law firm overcome the aforementioned challenges, a skilled legal writer can also help promote your firm, generate leads and further your content marketing goals. On the other hand, the wrong writer won’t just waste your time and resources — he or she can also damage your hard-earned reputation. To avoid hiring the latter type of writer, look for a professional with a few key traits.
An Intimate Understanding of Your Niche
Because of the nature of your industry, you need a writer who can discuss legal matters with an air of authority but in a way the everyday consumer will understand. This requires knowledge of the law, familiarity with writing best practices and an intimate understanding of both your target demographic and audience pain points.
Strong Research Skills
As an attorney, it’s crucial that you post credible content. Credible content is well researched and backed by trustworthy and authoritative resources. The best legal content writers know where to find reliable information and how to vet the reputable from the discreditable resources.
A Solid Grasp of Spelling, Grammar and Writing Best Practices
Often, lawyers hold the fate of their client’s futures in their hands. Given this fact, many individuals will be hard-pressed to hire an attorney whose site contains multiple spelling, grammar and factual errors. In most cases, your content serves as the first impression potential clients have of you. To make it a good one, seek out writers whose feathers get ruffled at the misuse of “their” versus “there,” and who are willing to risk their Facebook friendships by calling out other grammatical faux pas.
That said, even the best writers make mistakes. A professional editor with an eye for detail can review the finished product for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, look out for overused words and redundancy, and do away with fluff.
A Confident Writing Voice
Before prospects hire you, they’re going to want to have peace of mind that you can competently represent them. Always operate on the assumption that they will make a decision regarding your capabilities based on your website content alone. To ensure your content conveys confidence and capability, hire a legal content writer who is witty, engaging, smart, perceptive and persuasive. In short, look for a writer whose work you enjoy reading.
Solid Work Ethic and Commitment to Excellence
Ideally, you will work with the same writer or group of writers in the long-term, as this is the best way to establish a strong brand voice. To enjoy a successful partnership with your writer, look for one who possesses a work ethic you respect. Though what constitutes a respectable work ethic varies from lawyer to lawyer, top factors to consider are as follows:
- Timeliness: Can the writer or agency meet your turnaround times, no matter how strict or lenient they may be?
- Plagiarism: What is the writer’s/agency’s stance on plagiarism? Does the writer or firm have a history of “borrowing” or “spinning” content?
- Organization: Can the writer or agency keep up with the workload you assign?
- Communication: Does the writer feel comfortable reaching out to you with any questions, concerns or requests he or she may have?
- Adaptability: Your needs, style preferences or processes may evolve. Is the writer prepared and able to adapt when necessary?
Identify what traits matter most to you, make a list and use it to guide your search and hiring processes.
Where To Find a Legal Content Writer
So, now that we’ve established what a legal content writer is, why your law firm needs one and what to look for in a content marketing partner, the big question remains: Where can you find the best legal copywriters? There are dozens of platforms on which you can find and hire freelance writers, each of which comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Though we could probably create a whole eBook detailing each platform in-depth, we’ve listed the most popular ones below, along with the highlights/lowlights of each:
Pros: It comes with the ability to set your own budget, and you gain access to thousands of freelancers in one convenient location.
Cons: Scams and low-quality work are not uncommon, and you may have to go through dozens of trials before you find The One.
Pros: Members are typically serious professionals who want to establish a name for themselves.
Cons: Not many people are aware that LinkedIn is also a job board.
Pros: It boasts an aggregated database that streamlines the job search process.
Cons: You may have to pay to get your ad in front of qualified candidates.
Pros: It remains a surprisingly great way to source top, local talent.
Cons: It’s rarely regulated and therefore full of scams. Also, many potential candidates end up being unreliable.
Pros: This platform is a job board/training site and, therefore, is one of the most respected, online destinations for finding quality writers.
Cons: It’s a bit pricy for a job board, and not many writers know it exists.
While these sites — and dozens of others — are great sources for finding professional copywriters, they often cause more work than they’re worth. Whether you post a job ad to Indeed, LinkedIn, ProBlogger or all three, you alone are responsible for combing through the applications, judging the samples, scanning for plagiarism and communicating with candidates. The vetting and hiring processes can become full-time jobs in and of themselves, and there’s no guarantee that it will pay off. The good news is that there is a better way.
Working With BKA
At the risk of sounding biased, we’re going to recommend our own writing agency, BKA Content, as your go-to source for superior content from some of the top legal writers in the industry. Our editorial team puts each candidate through a rigorous application process that includes a spelling and grammar test, writing samples and an arduous training period. Only once a writer passes training does he or she have access to entry-level articles. From there, writers that prove their merit gain access to other projects with more demanding style guide requirements, such as the legal articles. If you so desire, each article you purchase will go through proofreading and then editing before making its way to your inbox.
Additional Benefits of Our Services
- You can leave the vetting and hiring processes to us. Have peace of mind that we will identify a legal content writer who can best meet your content needs while you focus on other, more important business matters.
- We already have established guidelines. There is no need to play around with tone, style and other preferences unless, of course, you want to.
- Our legal writers are adept at creating content that speaks to the desired audience and the search engines. They understand SEO and how to incorporate keywords naturally and in such a way that they deliver the visibility you desire.
- Our writing team is flexible. Whether you have a time-sensitive project, need to increase the number of articles you order or even scale back on your orders, you can rest assured that you will get the writing services you need when you need them.
Want To Know More?
We get it — content marketing is a big investment and one that carries the possibility of massive returns. To enjoy those returns, you need to hire the right legal content writer for your needs, budget and preferences. Though we’re confident in our writers’ abilities to exceed your expectations, you cannot know for sure if we’re the agency for you until you learn more about us and vice versa. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.