Managing a legal blog comes with unique challenges and opportunities. According to Imarc, 70 percent of law firms said their websites generated new cases for them. But if you don’t have a law firm, how do you monetize?
Potential legal clients spend about 16 minutes in every hour on social media, says Imarc; that improves your chances of engaging with your clients.
Bloggers in the legal space have long debated whether to monetize their websites using ads and affiliate programs or not. So if monetizing your site overwhelms you, you’re not alone.
What are your options? How do you turn your legal blog’s traffic to money? Let’s find out.
Should Your Legal Blog Display Ads?
Lawyers, compliance officers, regulation consultants, and other stakeholders in legal matters have debased on whether a legal blog should run ads or not. Some bloggers won’t use ads because they feel it’s inappropriate on a law firm’s website.
While the debate is still on, we have brought out key points you can put into action. You can weigh your options and decide what’s right for you.
Lawyers and other blog owners have reported varying AdSense results from their experiences. If you feel comfortable with ads on your blog, the best approach is to try it first. While trying it, you want to answer questions like,
- Does your local or state law allow ads on a legal blog?
- Are the clicks generating a decent income?
- Are the ads distracting visitors from essential site contents?
- Are the ads taking business away from you and paying you pennies instead?
- How are your visitors responding; are they less or more engaged or indifferent about the ads?
The questions above are typical “yes” or “no” questions. Once you’ve set up and appraised your ad’s performance, you can choose to stick with or discard the ads.
Don’t focus on AdSense alone. Ask the questions for all types of ads (and other external content) that might compete against you for your users’ cash, attention, or time.
If you are not a lawyer but have a legal blog, and you don’t sell competing services from those served by the ads, ads might be just right for you. Make sure the ads earn you a decent income.
Sell Books and eBooks
Books and eBooks could be great products for an affiliate program, but it may not fly with your audience. Affiliate programs face the same debate as ads. You should test them on your site before deciding if you want to keep them or not.
It’s easy to create and publish eBooks (and hard copy books) now than ever before. In fact, it’s so easy that you don’t need an ISBN – 43 percent of books published on Amazon don’t have one. And you can cash-in on this trend.
One Legal nailed this approach well. The website has published ebooks with titles like “The paperless law office: A practical guide” and “Essential productivity and time-management tips for legal professionals.” According to Author Earnings, Indie publishers are responsible for more than 44 percent of the eBooks sold on Amazon.
According to a 2015 survey by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), publishing generated more than $28 billion in revenue. However, the AAP stats factors in only 29 percent of the ebooks Amazon sold.
Sell Your Consulting and Legal Services
Consultancy services specific to your area of practice is another revenue source. People need legal advice, guidance and other legal help, you could offer your readers an option to book an appointment with you via your website.
You may choose to use a messaging app like Olark, to manage such meetings or hold your appointments in your office.
Imarc says that 74 percent of your visitors come to your websites with the predisposition to take action. Monetize your visitors’ intentions fast by having a chat tool on your site to engage them instantly.
For example, if you visit https://randspear.com/, you’ll notice they sell their legal services directly. You’d also see the chat feature on that website ready to engage visitors.
Sell Video Courses and Guides
Video courses and guides is a proven revenue stream for your legal blog. Video content increases traffic to law firm websites by 41 percent, compared to sites that don’t use video in their marketing.
You want to be careful with videos. Video marketing could create a negative image of you to 62 percent of your audience if you do it poorly. Do a fantastic job or don’t bother!
Make a compilation of video guides on topics that entrepreneurs (or your target audience) are demanding and sell them on your site. You can find course ideas from Udemy, where legal assistance video courses are quite popular. Courses would prices from as little as $10 to as much as $200.
This type of monetization works best by spreading free content that arouses questions from readers. Readers searching for explanations and answers would pay for your video courses.
Law firms (or other compliance and regulatory companies) could pay you to display their logo, name and a link on your site as your sponsors. This option works if your site attracts lots of traffic and is a respected brand.
Your site sponsors want to benefit from your brand authority and site popularity. Organizations like the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) offer you the opportunity to connect with potential site sponsors.
You can also set up a “Site Sponsorship” product on your site. Potential site sponsors would see your sponsorship program and reach out.
Monetizing Through Site Membership
Information in fields (like energy) with constantly changing regulations are usually pricey. Reporters and researcher typically sell their information for thousands of dollars.
You can’t give free information on your legal blog in complex and fast-changing fields. That’s not sustainable. Users could subscribe to your membership site for a few hundred dollars a year to enjoy your premium information.
A membership site gives you the opportunity to hire people to work on your blog. So you can focus on other parts of your business that appeal to you.
To Wrap It Up
Make sure to introduce more than one monetization source on your site, one at a time. Test what works for your audience and adjust your monetization mix until you find what works best for you.
If ads or affiliate marketing feels comfortable for you, test them. Just make sure they aren’t drawing valuable traffic away from your site.
If you’re considering to launch your legal blog soon, or just curious, OnBlastBlog gives you a free resource to help you get started. Find it here.