A legal blog is a repository of your firm’s knowledge. Even if you have covered a topic on your blog in the past, it does not mean you should never write about it again—in fact just the opposite.
Legal blogs are a successful tool to demonstrate to clients and potential clients the expertise your firm holds. By revisiting past topics in new posts you display to readers that you are up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your given area of law. This gives readers the confidence that you are attuned to their needs and interests.
There are a few surefire ways to go about this in your posts and numerous benefits that come with it.
Reference a previous post
Many legal bloggers naturally do this. They recall a previous blog post that either they or someone else at their firm authored and decide to reference it in their piece. It really can be as simple as including a line in your article such as, “In our previous post” and then linking to the past piece you are referring to.
This very clearly lets readers know you are building off another post. It shows that you’ve spent time covering this topic in the past, and makes you more likely to be seen as credible and reliable reporters on this issue.
There is the added benefit that you have also now directed readers to check out another resource on your blog—giving them a reason to stay on your site longer and giving you an opportunity to show off more of your expertise.
Reference a future post
You can also consider the inverse of the previous technique—referencing a new post in an old one. It may sound strange, but it can be done.
You can always go back and edit an old post and insert an addendum at the beginning or end of that piece. In this addendum, you can simply note that there is now more current information on this topic and provide a link to your new blog post. This is something LexBlog founder and CEO, Kevin O’Keefe wrote about many years ago.
This is not strictly necessary for all posts, but can make sense for certain kinds such as those that are particularly time-sensitive. And much like before, this strategy can help drive traffic around your blog and put readers in a position to see more of your content.
Through the magic of search engines, you never know which post of yours potential clients may find first. Depending on what they search for it may very well be an older and possibly outdated post. However, if that post has since been updated with a link to your more recent and relevant piece you may stand a better chance at gaining that client.
When should I do this?
As often as you like and have the ability to. As long as your blog has at least one other post on it you have the potential to reference an old post and expand on the ideas presented in it.
Sometimes revisiting an article will just come naturally. Did you previously write about an interesting case that has now been appealed to a higher court? That could be a great time for a follow-up.
Other times, not so much. You may have stopped thinking about a topic for months, even years, and suddenly due to a current event, it is suddenly relevant again and warrants a follow-up.
And yet other times you may be in the middle of writing a post when something jogs your memory and you realize there’s an opportunity to throw in a quick reference to said piece.
Sometimes this may even help you overcome writer’s block. If you’re struggling to come up with a new post idea, simply comb through your archive of blog posts and there is bound to at least one topic in there that sparks a new idea or a post that is now dated and could be given a fresh look.
No matter how it happens, there is no bad time for you to reference the other work your blog has already done.
What does it look like in action?
Here at LexBlog, we run a weekly column where we highlight some of our favorite posts from the community. In one of these Best of Law Blogging posts, we highlighted a post from Mayer Brown’s Employer Perspectives.
This blog had previously covered new Section 1 requirements when they came into force and a year later author Sophie Miller-Molloy decided it was time to give the topic a fresh look and their readers new insights. In a simple yet effective FAQ post she did just that. She goes a step further than the previous post which primarily focused on covering the specifics of the new requirements. She looks at what they’ve seen over the past year and adds her own knowledge and uses this new knowledge to add to the blog. A simple yet incredibly effective example.