Blogging. Everybody’s doing it.
It’s not a coincidence. Content marketing and blogging are successful, proven ways to earn leads, conversions, and increase sales and revenue.
More and more marketers are focusing on blogging in particular as the keystone of their efforts.
According to stats Impact shared, marketers consider blogs “critical” to success.
It’s all because one of blogging’s main goals (and successes) is building the consumer’s trust. Once you build that trust, it’s much easier to get them on your side and turn them into customers.
Take a look at these numbers from the same study:
These are great stats in favor of content. People generally feel more comfortable learning about companies through informative articles. After they consume a brand’s content, they feel better about the brand.
You can only enjoy the benefits of content marketing and blogging if the stuff you create is good.
Unfortunately, for people in specialized industries who want to take advantage, that’s not exactly simple to do.
If you’re a lawyer or law blog writer who creates content for a legal blog, it may be even harder.
Why Is It So Hard to Write an Interesting Law Blog?
Niche, high-level topics are not easy to write about for the everyman (or everywoman). Often, with the wrong approach, your content can be just as dry and boring as the contracts you draft or the briefs you compose.
Look at this example of a contract between a company and an independent contractor:
Nobody will touch writing like this with a 10-foot pole unless they have to. Unless the law requires it, it’s not happening.
Quite frankly, writing like this looks scary and daunting to read. It may even fill your audience with anxiety.
If you’re tapped into writing like this 24/7, we have a problem.
The thing is, you already know law blogs are inherently boring, but you may not know how to write any other way. Years of law school probably drilled most of those down-to-earth writing skills right out of you.
It’s time to re-learn some writing techniques to make your law blog intriguing and readable. It’s time to pick up some tips so you can craft a great, informative, personable blog alongside all that legal writing you do.
Law blog writers, here are the keys to banishing boring, blah posts from your content roster forevermore.
How to Be an Interesting Law Blog Writer
Law is a notoriously hard topic to write about in a way that’s engaging for the average internet surfer. If you want to make non-law experts and potential clients interested in your blog, give these tips a whirl.
1. Research Post Topics That Fill a Knowledge Gap or Have Built-In Interest
If you’re currently flooding the internet with posts that delve into nitty-gritty aspects of your law specialty, let me ask you one question:
If you’re trying to attract business with your blog, your audience isn’t law students. It’s not lower-level members of your team or fellow law professionals, either.
Your audience is your clients and potential clients.
These people don’t care about deep-dives into new legislation. They don’t understand legal jargon.
However, to connect with them, you can’t write another post that other law blogs have already discussed hundreds of times.
- Look at your law specialty. Look at the services you offer. Simplify these topics and do basic searches to discover what’s already out there on the web about them, as well as what people want to know.
- Use keyword research tools like BuzzSumo or Google Keyword Planner to find out what interests people right now and what opportunities you might have to fill in knowledge gaps.
For instance, a common legal topic the average Joe searches for online is “DUI law.” Plugging “DUI laws in California” into BuzzSumo shows what people are sharing. It also shows how some law blog writers are addressing narrower topics, like “Green DUI” and how to contest a DUI in court.
Doing research like this shows you where the interest is hovering and empty spaces that you could fill with good content.
Never neglect research when coming up with legal blog post topics. Neil Patel calls keyword research “the most important part of digital marketing” for a reason. It shows you how to reach the right people online with your content – the people who need it, and the people you have a better chance of turning into clients.
2. Cut Your Sentences in Half
Wordy sentences have their place. You’ll find them in legal documents, in some forms of pretentious fiction, and in technical manuals.
Where do they have no business showing up? In your blogs.
Online writing is different from any other type because of how people read it. Think about it: They’re staring at screens of all sizes, scrolling, clicking, and browsing.
It’s not like settling down with a book and giving it your full attention. It’s like sitting in a darkened room while hundreds of pieces of content fly past your face. Ads, blog posts, articles, images, social media posts, links, videos, and more.
Which ones make you want to pause?
According to Buffer, the internet is doused in trillions of ads per year and hundreds of billions of tweets a day. That’s not to mention the extra few billion Facebook posts created daily.
The result is that most people get pretty schizophrenic when they’re online. They skip from content piece to content piece and post to post without drawing breath. They scroll through their feeds like speed demons.
Hence: Online writing must cater to short attention spans. If your sentences mirror the ones in that contract you just drew up, stop. Think again.
It’s time to ruthlessly edit yourself. Cut your sentences in half. Insert periods instead of commas. Trim out useless adjectives.
Here’s a great example:
Both of these sentences say the same thing. Sentence #1 is 16 words long. Sentence #2 is 8 words long. In half the time, you can say the exact same thing.
Guess what. The American Press Institute even did a study on sentence length and comprehension. Now, guess how long a sentence had to be for readers to 100% understand it?
That’s right: 8 words long.
And, it turns out the longer the sentence got, the harder it was to understand.
Bottom line: For better blogs, trim the fat from your online writing. Snag attention, don’t divert it. Keep your readers on the same page: yours.
3. Talk TO Your Reader, Not at Them
Writing and talking TO someone looks a whole lot different from talking AT them. Observe:
One sounds formal and stuffy, like you’re reading a textbook. The other sounds conversational, like friendly advice.
The first example, #1, is written in the third person. This type of writing sounds formal because it is – it’s reserved for academia, professional papers, and other formal settings. Legal writing is also always in the third person, but you knew that.
The second example, #2, is written in the second person. It directly addresses the reader as “you.” The writer is talking to you on a one-to-one level.
That approach is huge for readable, interesting content. After all, who wants to feel like they’re reading a textbook? That’s no fun.
Meanwhile, having an informative yet friendly conversation with an expert, on a topic you care about, IS fun. You get the picture.
4. Write in Plain English
According to research, to write an interesting, readable blog post, you always need to use plain English. This means using language that anyone can understand, and by extension, enjoy.
For ultimate reader comprehension, avoid using legal terms and jargon. You should also use fewer complicated or rare words in general.
Forget sounding smart. Sound understandable.
Writing tools like the Hemingway Editor will find the complex words lurking in your writing and suggest simpler alternatives automatically. You can also root them out yourself and avoid using them in your future blogs.
For instance, instead of “utilize,” say “use.” Instead of “comprehending,” say “knowing.” Rather than say “mitigate,” say “lessen” instead.
Don’t think of this as dumbing yourself down. Think of it as getting on the same level as your readers so you can effectively teach them, help them, and add value to their lives. What could be worthier than that?
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Empty Space
When you’re writing about potentially complicated or complex topics for the common person, don’t forget to embrace the empty space on the page.
This means a few things:
- Shorter paragraphs, and more of them
- More headers breaking up the page and organizing ideas
- Long lists with commas converted to numbered or bulleted lists
When you embrace the white space, you give your readers’ eyes a rest. They can easily scan the page. As such, readability and comprehension will improve, especially for topics that need a lot of explaining.
On the other hand, if you fill your page with walls of text, this is HubSpot’s top reason why your blog might be hard to read.
Their blog on this very subject has great white space, naturally:
Look at all that room around the content! That’s ideal.
You should follow suit. Break up your ideas visually as well as contextually. They’ll be easier to understand and more interesting by extension.
6. Get Excited
If you’re not excited about your blog topic, how will your readers get excited?
If you want people to be interested in what you’re writing, you must first feel that interest.
There’s a huge difference between a writer approaching a topic with excitement, and a writer approaching a topic between bouts of falling asleep at the keyboard. One of them will naturally infuse their post with their enthusiasm. Their readers will glom onto that tone, pulling them into the post.
The other writer? Well… Their results won’t be pretty. They’ll be lucky if they get a handful of reads. Mostly, it will be crickets.
Of course, the right direction to go is the one with excitement. When researching post topics and keywords, follow the ones that make you excited to get researching and writing.
Yes, abide by the cliché and “follow your passions.” It will make your readers want to follow along with you.
Law Blog Writers, You CAN Write Epically Interesting Blogs
Any topic can be interesting with the right approach.
Research law topics people are looking for and knowledge gaps you can fill. Keep your sentences on the short side and your language plain and simple. Talk to your audience on their level, like a friendly chat, and get excited about your topic.
There aren’t really any super-star law blog writers out there, yet, writing for everyday people. There’s an even bigger lack of quality posts with good information that are also interesting.
Are you ready to fill the gap?