How to Write an Effective First Paragraph for a Law Firm Blog Post
As a lawyer, you are skilled at producing presentable pieces of writing quickly, from legal memorandums to correspondence with clients, witnesses, and your colleagues in the legal profession. Consciously or not, you probably start by imagining a template of the document you are writing and then filling in the details. A blog post has a discernible template, designed with readers as well as SEO in mind. Brian Clark of Copyblogger has presented several pieces of advice for writing effective opening paragraphs for blog posts; as usual with general advice about legal blog content, some of these suggestions are more applicable to law firm blog posts than others.
Brian Clark’s Advice for Engaging Your Readers’ Attention with Your First Paragraph
In summary, Clark suggests starting your blog post with something interesting. He gives the following five examples:
· A question for your readers to ponder
· An anecdote
· A hypothetical scenario for your readers to ponder
· A statistic
· An analogy
· A quote
All of these are effective ways to capture readers’ attention with the first few sentences of your blog post. In fact, you have probably used all of these strategies when presenting arguments in court during your career or during mock trials in law school or event speech and debate events in high school. An anecdote presented by way of analogy, with a punchline showing how it relates, in an unexpected way, to your thesis, might even have been your trademark in your student days.
Of course, you should use the “hook” of your blog post honestly, not merely for shock value. It should be relevant to the subject of the post and should not contain exaggeration. As anyone who has ever had to argue for or against a piece of scientific research being admissible as evidence in court, statistics can be misleading when presented out of context. Statistics about what percentage of people believe a given assertion or prefer a certain thing can also come across salesy or sounding like mean-spirited clickbait.
SEO Considerations for the First Paragraph of Your Post
Clark begins his post about Eugene Schwartz, a famous writer of advertising copy; Schwartz claimed to devote a lot of time to the first 50 words of a piece of advertising copy. Does your first paragraph need to be that short?
Short paragraphs can capture readers’ interest, and there is a line of thinking that they are good for SEO, but it is not always practical to start with such a short paragraph in a law firm’s blog post. You should aim to use your main keyword (such as “Miami criminal defense lawyer”) in the last sentence of your paragraph, even if you use it nowhere else in the post. Once you include your hook, your keyword, and enough other text to link them together meaningfully, you might be past the 50-word mark, and that is fine.
Legal Content Writers
The professional writers at Law Blog Writers are experts at thinking of engaging first paragraphs for blog posts You can count on Law Blog Writers to produce informative blog content that hold readers’ interest from headline to call to action.