The Law Writers

Law firm content marketing and writing about the law

Law Blog Post Formats: Annotated Source Material


Posted in Blogs | Law Firms

The third in a series about useful law blog post formats.

The annotation format allows a law blogger to quickly dash off an interesting post by piggy-backing on the value inherent in the source material.

When a blogger writes within the annotation format, the source material comprises most of the blog post. The author’s commentary occupies a small portion of the post, usually relegated to set-up or transition roles.

All that’s necessary for a strong annotation-style post is a fresh source document and a good take on its significance.

Keep reading / 564 words

Law Blog Post Formats: Lawsticles, Lists About the Law


Posted in Blogs | Law Firms

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.

Persist / 388 words

Law Blog Post Formats: Link Posts


Posted in Blogs | Law Firms

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.

Tech Firms Ask Supreme Court to Require Warrants for Phone Searches, Gigalaw

If you have a moment, add a comment. That’s always appreciated.

Blasphemy laws worldwide: A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Volokh Conspiracy

Finally, consider embedding a legal document.

Text of Complaint in Rod Wheeler v Fox News re Seth Rich Murder, The Trademark Blog

Assessing the Link Post

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.

The 10 Law Blog Post Formats You’ll Meet on the Internet


Posted in Blogs | Law Firms

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.

Blog Post Formats

Low-Hanging Fruit (1-5)

1. Link Posts
2. Lawsticles, Lists About the Law
3. Annotated Source Material
4. Legal Checklists
5. Public Relations

Greater Degrees of Difficulty (6-10)

6. Case Analysis
7. Roundup Posts
8. Regular Features
9. Analysis and Trendspotting
10. The “How to” Article

How to Proofread Law Blog Posts


Posted in Blogs | Copywriting | Law Firms | White Papers

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.

Go on / 1264 words