Lawyers have a lot to juggle, from client meetings to research to court appearances. Because of this, it may make sense to outsource legal blog content to third-party services to save time and focus on billable hours.
The concept is simple — law firms hire a writer or team of writers to handle the writing and publishing of legal blog content. This may be freelancers or agency writers, but either way, the idea is to outsource some of the work and free lawyers to focus on law.
Legal content outsourcing has a lot of advantages, including expert writing and freeing up time, but it has downsides as well. How does a firm know when it’s the right time to outsource?
The Value of a Legal Blog
Content marketing for a legal blog or guest posts for thought leadership is a valuable component of a digital marketing strategy. Done well, it can be a persuasive tool to boost conversions, attract more website traffic, and build brand awareness.
There’s a catch, however — legal blog content has to be well researched, well written, and aligned with the law firm’s goals and objectives. Poor quality writing does more harm than good, so it’s vital that the firm hires writers familiar with legal writing and concepts.
This is a big motivation behind many firms handling their content writing in-house. But adding content writing to an ever-growing list of tasks and demands for a firm takes away from what lawyers are supposed to do — practice law.
Options to Outsource Legal Blog Content
In-house hires: For the best of both worlds, law firms can hire legal content writers in-house as part of the full-time team. These writers can tackle the legal blog and other content writing, ensuring that the content is high quality and available, but it can be expensive and inefficient.
Professional content writers: Legal marketing agencies, SEO agencies, and other agencies have access to teams of professional content writers and handle law firm campaigns. This option offers plenty of expertise and less upfront effort and investment than an in-house hire, but it can be expensive as well.
Contract writers: If the law firm doesn’t need a full team, whether in-house or from an agency, a contract writer is a valuable third option. With just a few contract writers, law firms can outsource blogs and guest posts to capable, knowledgeable writers who are more flexible than full-time writers.
Benefits of Legal Blog Outsourcing
Hiring an agency or a contract writer has several benefits, including:
Content writing takes time. Most writers take a few hours to write a standard 500-word blog post. If a law firm is trying to have a consistent content marketing strategy with plenty of blog posts, this can add days of work to the month and take away from mission-critical tasks. Hiring a content writer not only saves time directly, but professional writers are also much faster than non-writers.
Hiring a writer or an agency can be expensive, but it’s worth the money a law firm can save over time. A full-time, in-house writer is going to be more expensive than outsourcing, and working with an agency or contract writer ensures professional results and a better return on investment.
A law firm’s writers may have all the necessary legal knowledge for the blog, but may not know the ins and outs of marketing and writing content effectively. An agency or contract writer understands SEO, content marketing best practices, and other details that help content perform better.
Agencies typically have several writers that can be drafted for your project. As the law firm grows, agencies can provide more writers to handle growing content needs. Many agencies offer tiered plans or packages as well, so outsourcing is accessible to small, new firms and established firms alike.
Consistency is vital to content marketing. Agencies have standards or formatting that their content must follow, ensuring that the content is consistent across the board. Agencies also have editors to do a final check of articles before they’re published, so law firms can count on quality content that reflects well on their brand.
Downsides of Legal Blog Outsourcing
Outsourcing is an excellent option for many law firms, but it’s not for everyone. Agencies and contract writers have downsides, including:
Not all agencies are created equal. Law firms can find virtually limitless agencies, contract writers, and freelancers to choose from, and they can range from experts and professionals to inexperienced and low quality. Some agencies don’t maintain high-quality standards, which will be reflected in the law firm’s content. It’s vital for law firms to thoroughly vet possible agencies before choosing to partner.
Reliability is important for content writing, especially if a law firm is outsourcing to ensure that content is always available. Reliable writers can be hard to find, especially as contractors, and can result in inconsistencies and poor quality. Agencies are typically more reliable than freelance writers, but not always.
Lack of Ownership
Even if time is strained, lawyers can take pride in writing their own content and promoting their own firm. While agencies and writers are invested in a business’s content, it’s not quite the same as what a stakeholder brings to the table. Because of this, law firms may prefer to handle the writing in-house instead of outsourcing.
High Upfront Costs
Law firms writing the content themselves have no upfront investment – just time. Agencies and contractors have upfront costs that can be challenging for some firms, especially when they’re just starting out. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and it could take months before that investment pays off.
When Should Law Firms Outsource Legal Blog Content?
If the strain of writing content in-house becomes too much for a law firm, it may be time to consider outsourcing. Here are some ways law firms can tell if they should outsource:
The workload is piling up and deadlines or important tasks are missed
The staff is short
The firm is a solo operation or small firm just starting out
Writing content takes up non-billable time
Current content writing is low quality or inconsistent
If any of these apply, it may be time for a law firm to consider outsourcing content writing to an agency or contract writer. Legal blog content writing is a valuable marketing strategy, but it takes time. With the right content writers, however, legal content can offer incredible returns for a law firm.
©2006-2022, BILL4TIME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 19