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.
The American Bar Association is circulating a survey soliciting the views of law bloggers on numerous topics, including a pair on questions on the credibility of law blogs.
What makes a blog credible to you? Select all that apply.
How credible do you find blogs within a law firm’s website?
The various indicia of credibility suggested by these questions intrigued me, because they’re not factors I would have guessed would influence the credibility of a law blog. I’ll be very interested to see how experienced law bloggers answer these questions when the survey results are released, likely in December when the ABA Blawg 100 List is announced.
Tight writing is always appreciated, today more so than ever as mobile devices become the dominant venue for online content consumption. Small screens held by distracted, mobile readers present law bloggers with a significant writing challenge that can’t be met with technology alone.
This post offers a dozen strategies to help law bloggers communicate more effectively on mobile devices.