The law blog content that you slaved over. You click “publish…”
And nobody reads your blog posts. Nobody comments, no one shares them on social media.
It makes you wonder why you have a blog on your website in the first place.
You ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”
Fortunately, the solution is most likely much easier than you think. In fact, what you may need to do to attract and hold client attention is write less and craft your blog posts so they are easier to read. It’s that simple.
Here are some easy ways to make your content more reader-friendly:
1. Forget What You’ve Learned
When you write for the web, you have to “forget” what you learned in English class. Think about why you get on the internet. Usually, it is to find information – quickly. The temptation to write a well-composed case study is real.
With that said, people typically scan pages on the internet to find the information they are looking for. Most of the time, they are not reading pages in detail. Knowing this is vital. Fine-tuning your writing with this in mind is crucial.
What if I want to cover a topic that is complex? Consider creating subtitles under the topic and breaking it down into a series of blog posts. Not only will this keep readers coming back for more, your content will be easier to digest in bite-sized portions.
2. Use Line Breaks
Internet readers love white space. So, use the line break button frequently.
Keep your paragraphs short and focus on only one concept per paragraph.
In English composition class, a paragraph would never be one sentence long. Like the paragraphs above, it’s okay to have one-sentence paragraphs in your blog posts.
3. Use Compelling Subtitles
Not only do subtitles break up the mass of gray words, they also help readers pinpoint to exactly which part of the blog post the information they were searching for is.
Once your blog post is completed, read back through your subtitles only. Your readers should get a good gist of your blog post “story” just by reading the bold headline and “mini headlines.”
4. Insert Bullet Point Lists, Deep Captions, and Helpful Links
Bullet point lists are some of the most easily scannable content on the web.
Because bullet lists look different than the rest of your text, they act as a visual “break,” so to speak, for readers.
Image captions are heavily read by internet visitors. By using deep captions – two to three sentence long captions – you can entice your visitors to move onto reading your blog post for more information.
You most likely already know about internet links. You can link to other pages on your website (called “internal links”), or you can link to external sources (other websites) where your readers can obtain even more information about the subject at hand.
As you can see, it’s really not that hard to make your content more readable. The web is not like television, where people lay back and let it wash over them. Rather, the web is a “lean into and participate” type of medium. Give your readers something to lean into. Give them easily digestible information and answers to their potential questions.
We spend much of our time talking with law firms and marketing companies about the value of having specialized writers tackle online legal copywriting. Everyone knows that the content must be original--but just writing new words is not at all enough. The material must truly, honestly, clearly, undeniably matter to those who read it. Otherwise, they won't read it...and Google won't care much that you have it.
To create the highest quality content, the writer must specialize in that exact industry. This is paramount in highly specialized arenas like the law. Hiring just any writer to create material for a law firm is a recipe for mediocrity. If what matters is quality, then the writers who are best positioned to provide that quality are those who have laser-like focus on the law itself--and have the experience to back it up.
The folks over at Moz recently touched on this in their weekly Whiteboard Friday post. The point is essentially to emphasize the need to prioritize quality--even more so than is done now. It is a familiar refrain, but we all could use the healthy reminder. If you've got a few minutes before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, take a look and read the whole thing.