Happy New Year! If you resolve to blog more in 2018, here is a blueprint of sorts for building a better blog. Lawyers can use these 10 tips as a template for focusing your writing and making your posts easier for clients to read, understand and remember. Regular quality blogging will raise your visibility in your area of expertise and help to differentiate you from your competitors.
Before you write, ask yourself these questions…
1. Who is this blog post for?
- Primary audience
- Primary industry
- Other audiences
2. What makes this post newsworthy/timely?
3. What do you want the reader to do upon reading the information?
Go ahead and provide a call to action, something like, “If you have questions on how this new law affects your hiring practices, please call me…” or “Read more on our website under Tips for Startups…”
4. Write a first draft without judgment.
Review and rework your first draft with these points in mind…
5. What is the single most important point you are trying to make?
Tip: After you are done writing the post, ask yourself, “So What?” What does it mean to your reader? Be sure that you clearly state that.
6. Provide links to relevant information cited in the post, such as:
- Laws mentioned
- Organizations mentioned if relevant
- Other related materials on your firm website
- Other/background info elsewhere on the web
7. Get to the point. If your first draft starts with something like, “On January 15, 2018, President Trump signed into law, the XYZ Act” — Rewrite that lead! Try something more like: “Entrepreneurs and founders of start-up companies should be aware of a new law that will allow your company to better protect assets in the event of …”
8. Use the language of your client, not the language of your profession.
Tip: Pretend your client/ideal client comes into your office, and asks you this series of questions…
- What are you writing about?
- Why is that important?
- Does that affect me? — Continue to imagine the natural course of the conversation and how you would explain it to him/her on a one-on-one level — Write that!
- Also ask yourself: Would a specific “For example,” help illuminate?
9. Review again to simplify, clarify and illuminate your point.
Writing in a casual, informative and straight-shooting style will help differentiate you from other lawyers writing on the same topic and position you as a friendly, accessible and helpful expert that people will feel comfortable reaching out to.
10. Have fun!
Don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your writing.