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As a lawyer, you have spent years developing your writing style. In doing so, you have probably emulated some of your law school professors and career mentors. If you have ever sought advice on writing publishable fiction or creative nonfiction, though, you have probably heard that you should write like Ernest Hemingway. Despite that Ernest’s younger brother Leicester was easily the most underrated member of the Hemingway family, the writing world seems to hold up Ernest with the six-toed feline friends as the model that aspiring writers should seek to follow. Brian Clark of Copyblogger is only the most recent voice to join the chorus enjoining us to “eschew obfuscation” and get to the point like Papa. Just how much does that advice apply to law firm blogs, though?

Short Sentences

When Ernest Hemingway wrote his famously short sentences, he did not have Google in mind. In the age of search engines, it is a good idea to keep your sentences short for SEO purposes. Some SEO advice guides recommend keeping sentences below 20 words, but some ideas find their most straightforward expression in longer sentences (pace Papa).

Short First Paragraphs

Google likes short paragraphs as much as it likes short sentences. Word count is not the only factor in SEO, however. It is important to include your main keyword in your first paragraph, even if it means that the paragraph ends up being longer than a tweet.

Use Vigorous English

This is a writing advice cliché, and “vigorous” is a subjective term. To see if your content makes sense, have some non-lawyers review it.

Say What It Is, Not What It Isn’t

Following this rule makes for readable content, but sometimes in law, it matters what something isn’t instead of what it is. To give just a few examples, tribal lands are not subject to state laws, a mediation agreement in a divorce is not legally binding until a judge signs it, not using a turn signal when changing lanes is a violation of traffic laws, and not reporting child abuse when you know about it is a crime.

Only Use One Percent of What You Write

This rule might apply to self-proclaimed genius novelists, but bloggers deal in volume. To get publishable content after only a few drafts, you should outline, or else outsource the blog writing to trusted professional writers.

The Bottom Line

No one wants to hire Ernest Hemingway to modify their child custody agreement, seek damages for their injuries, or fight their drug possession charges. Short sentences are nice, but you are writing to inform readers about the law. Take Hemingway-adoring writing advice with a grain of salt.

Legal Blog Writers

You are a great writer, but you have better things to do than write a legal blog. You can count on Law Blog Writers to produce engaging blog content that prospective clients of your law firm will understand and find credible.

The Internet has only amplified the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. You might think that this does not matter to law firms, but it does. Just because you are not in the business of selling stocking stuffers, it doesn’t mean that you should not keep the holiday mindset of potential visitors to your law firm’s site in mind when choosing content for your blog. You can use the craziness that starts on Black Friday and ends sometime around Divorce Monday (the first business Monday in January, when divorce filings are at their highest in the whole year) to your advantage. Here are some ways to make holiday season SEO trends work for your blog.

Publish Seasonal Content Early and Often

Don’t wait until Black Friday to publish your blog post about the injuries and premises liability lawsuits that have resulted from Black Friday chaos. By 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, your readers are already standing in line at the Black Friday Eve sales, looking for web content to help them pass the time until they reach the front of the line. The best time to publish Black Friday-related content is early November; likewise, you should start posting content about the New Year early in December. For example, you might post content about new laws related to your practice area that will go into effect at the beginning of the year. Updating your blog frequently is an important SEO strategy all year long, but especially during the holiday season.

Research Seasonal Keywords

Every post on your blog should contain the keywords that refer to what your law firm does. For example, if yours is a personal injury law firm, every post should contain the phrase “personal injury lawyer,” “personal injury lawsuit,” “car accident lawyer,” or similar somewhere in its text. It can only help your blog’s SEO rankings, though, if you also include seasonally trending keywords such as “New Year’s resolution,” “holiday stress,” “co-parenting during the holidays,” or “Black Friday” in the posts that you publish during the holiday season.

Year-End Retrospectives

No matter the practice area of your law firm, there are interesting “year in review” posts to be written about it. For example, you can review the news stories related to your practice area, such as the Top Ten Criminal Trials in [Your State] in 2019 or the Top Ten Product Liability Lawsuits of 2019. These posts will attract readers who just want something fun to read, as well as those who are in the market to hire a lawyer in your practice area. They also tend to be eminently shareable.

Contact Law Blog Writers

You are probably too busy taking your cases seriously to think about the holiday season or the Google searches related to it, but fear not. You can count on Law Blog Writers to write seasonal and evergreen blog posts to suit the interests and tastes of your target audience.

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