Most attorneys and real estate agents are now active social media marketers, and that’s a good thing. A number of studies show that consumers looking for lawyers or realtors now seek them predominantly through the internet rather than the yellow pages. Many attorneys and real estate agents already have a good-sized footprint on the internet; they’re easy enough to find. But when a potential client lands on your blog, that’s where the rubber meets the road, where the consumer will make his or her choice.

Frankly, some of the blogging attorneys and real estate agents could enhance the appeal of their blogs to prospective readers and clients. The blogs of several personal injury attorneys, for example, sometimes read like a never-ending litany of disasters: car crashes, sudden accidental deaths, medical malpractice nightmares, and so forth. Recaps of old news headlines don’t do much to increase an online audience or attract new clients. Attorneys could instead use their blogs to explain the legal matters most likely to impact their readers. Explain the legal definition of personal injury, property liability, and DUI. Explain what will happen if a reader is sued or arrested. Explain how new laws will affect your readers. Make it interesting. Legal blogs, more than any others, are notoriously humorless.

Real estate agents, on the other hand, often make the mistake of blogging too much about inside baseball. Those looking to buy or sell a home want to know about the neighborhoods and communities where you work. Are there good schools, hospitals, malls, parks, restaurants? Too many real estate agents simply blog about current market figures; sales were up, for example, 2.6 per cent over the same quarter last year. Most homebuyers just aren’t that interested in a 3.1 percent increase in new construction starts. Draw pictures for your readers. Tell them why they should buy a home in your community and from you. Offer practical tips for buyers and sellers. Meet your potential clients where they are rather than where you are.

A blog post may be your single opportunity to reach out to a reader and turn that reader into a client; take advantage of that opportunity. It’s perfectly okay to get ideas for blog posts by surfing the blogs of other attorneys or real estate agents. And if you simply don’t have the time (or the confidence in your ability as a blog writer), consider hiring a social media marketing firm to create and coordinate your social media marketing content.