Blogging is a staple part of most legal marketing strategies. After all, “Featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434 percent better chance of being ranked highly on search engines.”
And when you consider that “47 percent of clients consume 3-5 pieces of content before taking the first step towards contacting a law firm,” it’s clear that blogging is a strategy you’ll want to master.
But one mistake that legal bloggers make is not tailoring their content to online readers. Sure they offer great advice, tips, etc., but it’s not formatted in a way that’s conducive to maximum digestibility.
For this post, I’d like to go over some specific ways that online writing differ from print writing so you’ll know exactly how to optimize your content.
In traditional print like books, magazines and newspapers, you’ll typically see longer paragraphs with a minimum of three sentences in length. That’s all fine and well because it’s easy on readers’ eyes to absorb.
But it’s a whole different story for online text. Longer paragraphs can make text feel overwhelming and downright intimidating. It’s a one-way ticket to eyestrain.
Most content experts will agree that shorter paragraphs are the way to go. Take a look at sites like Copyblogger, Neil Patel, Backlinko and so on, and you’ll see this trend in full effect. Some even take it to extremes and make each sentence its own paragraph.
While this may be unnecessary within the context of legal blogging, there’s no denying that having ample white space allows your text to “breathe” so that readers can digest it with greater ease.
When people read a magazine or newspaper, most will go through it word for word. And for books, this is almost always the case.
But it’s a little different for online text, and readers tend to take more of a fragmented approach. By this I mean that most are compelled to scan, and seldom do they read an article in its entirety, especially longer ones.
When blogging, you’ll want to cater to this trend and create content that can be easily scanned. Along with shorter paragraphs, it’s important to highlight key points with sub-headers and bullet lists.
One advantage that you have with digital text over print is that you can seamlessly work in images along with visual-oriented data like charts and graphs. This kills two birds with one stone because you can break up longer chunks of content and scratch the collective itch that readers have for images.
In print, writers usually source their citations at the end of each piece. But for digital, you simply weave your sources in via hyperlinks. This is advantageous because you can quickly prove the legitimacy of your claim and show that it’s not simply something that you came up with off of the top of your head.
The mediums in which readers use have changed dramatically in recent years. People are now just as likely to read something on a tablet or smartphone as they are in a traditional print publication.
Adjusting your style and approach is critical for hitting the right notes with readers and ensuring that they get the most from your content.
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