Before you write your first word as a blogger you should know exactly who your audience is. Are you a legal malpractice attorney trying to reach other lawyers? Are you a business consultant speaking to entrepreneurs or established CEOs? Or are you a solo practitioner who works directly with the public?
How you answer this question will dictate the tone of your writing. If you are a plaintiff’s lawyer who writes a highly technical blog on the definition of malfeasance you are not likely to attract as many direct clients, but you may attract good referral sources like other attorneys or doctors.
The difficulty for the the lawyer representing the public is that you have been trained extensively in the art of legal writing. Your law school career was filled with opportunities to show your intellect. Now when writing your legal briefs you try to be persuasive and compelling, using every argument at your disposal.
The best legal writing is not just writing that is clear, concise, and engaging; rather, what characterizes great legal writing is a separate, aesthetic quality, which I call elegance.
– Mark K. Osbeck, What is “Good Legal Writing” and Why Does it Matter?
But the public lawyer’s online audience is not the judge, it’s the client. Public-focused online content should be easy to read, straightforward, and concise. The online audience does not have a legal education. It also does not have a long attention span. To reach the public, it is important to K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid).
The lesson: Presentation is important. If they can’t read it, they won’t.
Writing for a legal blog is entirely different than writing a legal brief. If you don’t walk in knowing exactly who your audience is, you will use the wrong tone and lose potential followers, and clients.