Article Contribution Guide

Article Contribution Guide

Welcome to The Bearded Lawyer’s article contribution guide. Our aim is to provide a modern blogging platform for lawyers to share their knowledge, experience and stories with an engaged audience.

We have a firm belief that over the coming years our prospective clients will rely more and more online content, having never lived in a world without google. To those clients, if you are not online, you may as well not exist. So, if you are a lawyer that is passionate about the work that you do and the clients that you work for, we would love to hear from you.

Why contribute to TBL?

Blogging has been around for years, and truth be told, this blog is late to the party. If you are reading this, you already know that us lawyers are notoriously slow when it comes to adopting new things. With that in mind, legal blogs with wide ranging audiences are almost non-existent. Sure, many firms have a blog (which may or may not be regularly updated), and some barristers post interesting content about their areas of practice. However, the vast majority of that content is written in the same technical language that lawyers use day in day out – that is to say, it may as well be gibberish to the average person.

I initially tried publishing articles on LinkedIn, and a few lawyers do that really well. It is a great, free platform. Having said that, your LinkedIn readership is largely limited to the network that you have built, and their willingness to share and like your posts.

Our aim with TBL is to leverage the legal blogging community, by combining our content, passion and networks. In this way, we believe that the whole will be more than the sum of its parts.

If you already publish on your firm’s blog or on LinkedIn, you can still get involved in TBL and cross publish your work on this blog. The search engine optimisation software that we use allows us to insert a “canonical link” to your original post. This allows google to prioritise your website, and doesn’t adversely affect search results.

As a blogger on TBL, you will benefit from:

  • Your articles being shared to all social media followers of TBL (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). The people who like and follow TBL online grows with each additional contributor, as their network adds its support.
  • Each contributor will also share that content on their personal social media profile, thereby extending the reach of your article to people outside your network.
  • As the blog grows, its breadth of content (together with our search engine optimisation) will enable it to perform better on google searches. It would take a single person years to build a content library when compared to what multiple users can develop.
  • Building a professional profile that is seperate and independent from the firm that you work at. This is invaluable for younger lawyers who may work at 3-5 in the early stages of their careers.
  • You extend your network, by connecting with lawyers who may practice in areas that you do not. This opens up a range of opportunities to collaborate and cross refer.
  • Optional social media marketing campaigns, with the ability to utilise videos and animations (costs may apply).

What to contribute

This is what we want to see in an article on TBL:

  • The blog’s tagline is “Practical Insights, in plain English“. This should be your primary objective when writing. TBL is not intended to showcase your knowledge of case names or legislation references. Explain what those cases and laws mean not necessarily what they say.
  • In most instances, write in the first person (I, me, my etc). Your articles will be more relatable.
  • Write about your own experiences, using real examples and matters. It goes without saying, but you must maintain client confidentiality at all times. Ensure you takes the steps necessary to de-identify any specific client, or obtain their permission to ‘name drop’.
  • Aim to tell a story, rather than write a journal article. Think of your readership as being one of your clients and ask whether that person will find your content interesting.
  • What is something that a client of your might google? Write about it.
  • Avoid self promotion. The quality of your content will speak for you. Aim for a simple “If you would like to know more, get in touch” call to action at the end of each post.
  • Link to other articles on TBL, whether written by you or somebody else. The more contributors promote and support each other, the more exposure you will gain.
  • Link to external sources. This helps your articles when it comes to google results.

Next steps

Ok, you have read this far so you must be interested. Go write your article, and then get in touch.

Once you are contributing to TBL, please ensure that you support your co-contributors by:

  • liking and sharing each other’s articles
  • commenting on articles (comments are given greater weight when LinkedIn, Instagram and facebook decides what should appear in a news feed)
  • write as often as possible (at least once a month).