Perfecting Your Blog, Not Blogging Perfection

Alright, admit it. There are times you go back to the same blog post 5 or even 10 times and wish you had written it differently. Maybe you keep editing and updating even after the post is published. Lots of lawyers are perfectionists, but applying a standard of perfection will hurt your blog, not help it.

Demanding that you produce a flawless blog every time will diminish your creativity, slow your writing progress, and could even keep you from blogging at all. You will be so focused on writing it right, you eventually won’t be able to write anything without fear of imperfection. Perfectionism may help when you are editing a major brief or finalizing your web layout, but in a regularly updated blog, it can be more of a hindrance.

Instead of trying to write the perfect blog every time, treat the blog as a whole as a living, growing sample of your work. Acknowledge that some of your posts will be excellent while others are merely adequate. Every once in a while, go back and read some of your early posts. There’s a good chance your new work will look a lot closer to perfect by comparison.

Blog writing is a learned skill. It is not something you will do perfectly right away. If you hold yourself to unreasonable standards of perfection early on you will get discouraged. You will be more likely to lose your drive and let your blog join the thousands of other stagnant pools that never get updated.

Focus instead on improvement. Not perfect, but perfecting. By learning from past mistakes and practicing your craft you will become a better blogger over time. If you need help perfecting your writing without being perfect, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt today.

Your Blog is a Conversation, Not a Brief

We’ve all seen it: an attorney who speaks eloquently and clearly, but his or her writing is so dense you can barely read it. We have slogged through briefs so full of legalese that even we, as trained lawyers, needed to keep the legal dictionary close at hand. Now imagine that brief in the hands of a prospective client. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the way some law blogs read, if they are read at all.

You wouldn’t spout legalese to a client sitting across from you in an initial consultation, so why use it in your blog. Unless your target clients are other lawyers or very savvy business executives, that kind of language will cause your prospective clients to tune out and stop reading.

Instead you should write every blog as though you were talking to an average client. Someone who is probably educated, but likely has little legal expertise. Some people say blogs should be written at a 8th grade reading level. That may not be practical in a legal context, but it should remind you not to aim too high. Try to imagine the potential client sitting across the table from you. If you would have to break it down for him or her, then you should do so in your blog too.

A conversational tone is crucial too. Most people don’t want to be lectured. They want someone to explain the answer to the question burning in their minds. So rather than write a treatise on your practice area, try writing your blog to answer questions you think might come up for prospective clients. Even when you’re summarizing new changes of the law, remember that many potential clients end up on your site because of their question, not the legal news.

By cutting out the legalese and making your blogs conversational and easy to read, you will increase the benefit they give to potential clients and make them more likely to convert to paying clients. If you need help writing your blog in plain English, contact ghost blogger Lisa Schmidt.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Clicks

Well, maybe not a thousand, but one thing is clear: using good, compelling imagery will greatly increase your likeability on social media. Our culture has become increasingly visual, with constant access to an Internet full of compelling imagery.

What’s more, because social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter create literal streams of content, we as readers become desensitized. Put literally, we don’t read. Instead we scan the feed looking for something that stands out and catches our attention. Photos provide that. On Facebook, 93% of the most engaging posts contain images. That’s more than plain text, links, or videos.

Image Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/

Image Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/

But all images are not created equal. The best images – just like titles – trigger an emotional response in the viewer. It may be humor, grief, or even curiosity. In any case, they should make the viewer feel something.

That’s why infographics are so popular. They quickly and concisely convey information while at the same time using imagery and color to evoke the appropriate emotion. They make your point for you without requiring too much investment from the viewer.

But some topics, like law, are seldom straight forward enough to be effectively conveyed in in infographic, right? That’s what the article behind the image is for. Just because you can’t convey all the nuances of your expertise in one catchy graphic doesn’t mean you can’t use them.

Instead pair the simplified image with a thoughtful – but not overly long – blog post explaining the intricacies of your topic. The graphic will give you visibility while the post gives you credibility. It’s a great combination. Readers will come away from your blog informed, and able to easily share the basic point of your message in a quick, clear, and concise way.

It is very important to pair your blog posts with compelling imagery. Doing so will increase you likeability on social media, drive more readers to your blog, and make you seem like an expert who can still relate to your customers.

If you need help creating a compelling and informative blog, contact ghost-blogger Lisa Schmidt today.

Why You Can’t Get Anyone to Share Your Post

Humans, it turns out, are predictable animals. When it comes to social media, Jonah Berger, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has made it his life’s work to predict human behavior. He wants to know why you aren’t going to share this post.

Berger and another Penn professor, Katherine Milkman, did an empirical study of almost 7,000 Times articles to figure out what made an article readable and shareable. Two features carried the day: positivity and excitability.

Articles that evoked some emotion did better than those that evoked none—an article with the headline “BABY POLAR BEAR’S FEEDER DIES” did better than “TEAMS PREPARE FOR THE COURTSHIP OF LEBRON JAMES.” But happy emotions (“WIDE-EYED NEW ARRIVALS FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE CITY”) outperformed sad ones (“WEB RUMORS TIED TO KOREAN ACTRESS’S SUICIDE”).

Extreme negative emotions like anger or anxiety could overtake the positivity preference, but in the end, people still liked sharing cute kittens more than dire stock predictions.

What does that mean for you? Isn’t law inherently depressing or boring? Doesn’t it deal with life’s problems rather than its joys? Usually. But remember, articles videos shock or inspire are more likely to be shared on Facebook and more likely to gain viral traction.

You can use this to help you pick topics and change your spin.

First, look for funny, positive, arousing, or bizarre topics within your industry. Maybe it’s choosing an adoption story over a guardianship, or maybe it’s telling about a strange business deal that could have gone horribly wrong. The important thing is to chose something that will elicit an emotional response from your readers.

Next, spin the story around that emotion. If you are appealing to a parent’s fear for the safety of their child, make sure your title feeds into that anxiety. If you are focusing on the joy of owning a new business, be positive and use pictures of smiling professionals.

It can be challenging to write a legal blog that is uplifting and happy. But by remembering to appeal to your readers on an emotional, as well as intellectual level, you can make your articles much more likely to be read and shared.

If you need help writing a compelling blog for your firm, contact ghost writer Lisa Schmidt today.