Catching Your Reader’s Attention

We live in a fast-paced culture. Our average attention span is 8 seconds. Goldfishes’ are 9. The key to writing blogs that catch and hold your readers’ attention is to keep them short and focused on a catchy topic. Here are some tips to guard against rambling:

Use Subheadings to Prevent Topic Drift

Subheadings can help break up your page and make it easier for the reader to follow along. They can also help you stay on target. If you can’t figure out how to tie your subheading to your title, you probably are off course. Subheadings give you a chance to check your heading and stay on target.

Reference Your Header Paragraph

You spend extra time on your header paragraph, making sure it is tight and attractive to your readers. Don’t be afraid to go back to the metaphor you used at the start and mention that goldfish again. Doing so will help you tie everything together and keep you from drifting off on a tangent.

Refine Your Topic

If you are having trouble keeping your post short and sweet, it’s probably because your topic is too broad. Take the time to distill your topic to its purest form. What is the one point you are trying to make? If you’re making 2 points, you’re writing 2 posts. Refine your topic and increase your focus – honing in on the one main thing you’re trying to say.

Tie It All Together In the End

Your closing paragraph is just as important as your header. It gives you a chance to call your reader to action and drive your point home. Make sure that closing paragraph connects to your header and all the headings. Just like you learned in high school writing class: Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em, and then tell ’em what you told ’em – then give them something to do with it.

You have 8 seconds to catch and hold your readers’ attention. If you go on too long or stray from your topic, you’ll lose them. Stay focused, use subheadings, and tie everything together to get your readers from beginning to end.

Lisa Schmidt is a ghost-blogger and blogging coach for LegalLinguist.com. If you need help creating your professional blog, contact Legal Linguist today for customized writing and editing assistance.

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Should You Be Blogging at All?

Alright, I’ll admit, blogging is not for everyone. That’s right, a blogging coach is telling you sometimes, for some businesses, traditional blogging is a waste of time. So how do you know whether you should be blogging at all?

Is Your Industry Based on Expertise?

If you run a food truck, your ability to write eloquently about the virtues of your cuisine probably isn’t going to drive a lot of business to your door. It may be better to use your time growing a social media outlet that lets people track where you are on any give day. But if your business is based on your personal expertise – as a lawyer, psychologist, accountant, or other professional service – a blog is a great way to showcase your brains. It lets people know you understand their problem and can help them fix it.

Is Your Industry Visual or Written?

If you are a photographer, then a picture, especially your own, can be worth a lot more than a thousand words. A text-heavy blog explaining how you do what you do probably isn’t as helpful as an Instagram or Facebook account. These picture-intensive sites let you share your portfolio one piece at a time. But if your business relies on the spoken or written word, you need a way to showcase that as well. A blog can do that by giving you an outlet to show how well you can advocate on your client’s behalf.

Can You Put Words on Paper?

Not everyone has a natural talent for writing. If you personally struggle forming well written paragraphs or clear ideas on paper, maybe blogging is not for you. Instead, consider creating a YouTube channel with short 2-3 minute videos on topics in your field. Imbed these videos into your “blog” page to create a great client resource, especially for visual learners. Video blogs, or vlogs, are particularly helpful for public speakers, coaches, and psychologists, and anyone else that relies on trust with their clients.

Blogging may not be for everyone, at least not in the traditional sense, but there are many ways you can make the Internet work for you. Whether your outlet is video, visual, or written depends on what you do and on your personal ability to write clearly.

Before you commit to a standard blog format, make sure to consider what that blog will do for you and if other options will serve you better. If you see the benefits of writing thoughtful, content-rich blogs, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt to help you get started.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

Whether or not you’ve ever done online marketing, you still have a personal brand. Even brand new lawyers and law students have one, for that matter. But you can take control over that brand and use it to your benefit.

What Is a Brand?

Your personal brand is a sum of how you promote your skills and expertise as what the client needs to solve their problem. If you do nothing, you are essentially letting your reputation, good or otherwise, speak for itself. Even with no intentional online marketing, you’ll still have a presence on lawyer-review sites like Avvo.

Mastering Your Brand

But accidental branding is not enough to drive clients to your office. According to Jay Harrington of Harrington Communications,

Branding requires a concerted, strategic and active effort to describe, position and promote how one’s skills and expertise are relevant and uniquely able to solve a client’s problems.

You need to develop a clear brand that tells potential clients what you’re good at in a way that sticks in their head. That means telling a compelling story of competence, experience, and expertise.

Branding Yourself

An attorney is an attorney 24/7/365. Our referrals come from everyday encounters with neighbors and friends, as well as from online searches and referral partners. That means you need to own your brand. When someone asks what you do, you need to do more than list practice areas. You need to tell your listener a story that will help them remember you and what you do.

Branding Your Blog

Your blog is an online extension of your brand. It’s where you can demonstrate your expertise and deepen your story. But it’s important to keep that brand consistent. If you are a tough-as-nails litigator, you should focus on your successes in court. But if you are a facilitator and mediator, the same posts could undercut your carefully cultivated brand. It’s not just about subject matter – the way you talk about the topic will convey your brand too.

Branding isn’t about fighting your reputation. It’s about building on that reputation to target particular clients’ needs. By giving readers a clear story of who you are and what makes you stand out from the field, you will help them remember you and refer you. If you need help branding your blog, contact ghost-blogger Lisa Schmidt for a consultation.