The second in a series about useful law blog post formats.
A list article is a great way to punch out a quickie law blog post.
Lists are easy to write and easy to read. Lists have a built-in organizational structure. And they’re perfect for skimming readers, freeing them to scroll quickly down the screen, taking in as much or as little as they desire.
Most importantly, lists provide real value. A good list article distills the blogger’s impressions about complex subject matter. A list article positions the author as a trusted advisor who can separate the important from the trivial, connect the dots, and draw meaning from the river of daily news.
The first in a series about useful law blog post formats.
Short on time? Just post a link and a snippet from somebody else’s work.
If you have a moment, add a comment. That’s always appreciated.
Finally, consider embedding a legal document.
Text of Complaint in Rod Wheeler v Fox News re Seth Rich Murder, The Trademark Blog
Pros: Blog posts of this type require very little time or effort. They work best when the links are current and newsworthy.
To the extent that link posts are part of a steady stream of content from your website, they help with search engine ranking.
Cons: A blog post consisting of little more than a link elsewhere doesn’t demonstrate legal expertise or create much of a connection with prospective clients. However, they can demonstrate expertise or thought leadership when published in volume as part of a curated niche legal topic blog.
This post begins a series of posts about law blog content formats. By “format,” I mean the organizational frame or shape of the rhetorical vessel into which bloggers pour their prose for later consumption by readers.
Writing to a pre-determined format greatly speeds the post generation process. Consider the listicle, a familiar blogging pattern. Bloggers who adopt this format can get right to the substance of the post. They need not worry about organizing their material because the organizational framework is built-in.
Similarly, the “question and answer” format comes with its own spine: set-up intro, question, answer, question etc etc.
And course there is the inverted pyramid writing format, the default presentation for news articles. Journalists who operate with the restrictions of the inverted pyramid are free to concentrate their efforts on research and analysis.
As author Stephen Covey observed in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the fast lane to productivity is to “begin with the end in mind.”
Bonus: Smart selection of a blogging format is a great way to conquer the blank screen.
Careless errors in law blog posts are the grammatical equivalent of that spot of marinara on your best white shirt — simultaneously trivial and yet inimical to success. Your mother might forgive you, but your first date won’t. Proofreading is about making the best impression you possibly can on your first, and possibly last, chance encounter with the reader.
I’ve already written high-level posts on how to organize law blog posts and how to edit blog posts for readability. This article, the last one in the series, deals with the quality control component of the editorial process: proofreading.
Never take advice that begins with the word “never,” except under certain circumstances.
For example, the advice that law blog posts should never contain a call to action.