This time around, I thought I'd discuss themes and scheduling. Magazines, for example, work in the long-term and not only do they have their publications scheduled months, if not years, in advance they also have annual theme issues (e.g., the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue; Time's Man (or Woman) of the Year; People's 50 Most Beautiful).
You can do this, too. Here's what I mean:
1. Tie your practice area to a theme and write your posts around that theme for a certain period of time. For example, tax attorneys might take six weeks near year-end and write a series of posts dedicated to issues surrounding tax strategies, charitable deductions, pending tax legislation, etc. Stagger the posts over the last two months of the year. Plan for it.
2. Have certain "annual" blog themes. Hurricane season starts June 1st every year, and here in Texas as well as the rest of the Gulf Coast, we are well aware of it. Personal injury blogs could calendar that date and each year write a series of posts that deal with hurricane preparation, how to file a claim, warnings that homeowner's coverage is not the same as flood insurance, etc.
3. Consider pending legislation and what will happen when/if it passes and write a series of posts on the new law(s). For example, Florida recently did a big whammy on its state budget by gutting a lot of state oversight agencies. Conservationists are upset; developers are excited. Posting a few short articles on what has happened and what it means is good for blog readers and it also provides the lawyer with a solid base of reference links along with an ability to demonstrate his or her legal acumen by explaining what the new statutes mean to the rest of us.
4. Look at what is going on in your world, bite the bullet, and write about it. Get personal and share with your reader. Is the tanking economy causing your staff to start talking about car pooling, or are you seeing more people bagging their lunches now? Write about this. Here in San Antonio, for example, there is a growing number of thieves who are stealing pedigree dogs out of homes. Heartbroken pet owners are offering huge rewards ($4000 was on a Reward poster at my local taco house last week) no questions asked. Makes me angry. If I were writing an animal law blog here, I'd be writing about that trend.
5. Create a blogging calendar and block out themes that correspond to your practice areas. Personal injury could split the year with two months on Med Mal, two months on Wrongful Death, etc. Then, within those themes, search for news stories (local is better) that correspond with the theme of that time period. And, don't forget to link to the news story and do not cut and paste from it. Use your words, and use the link as your support.