Stop Writing Boring Law Blog Posts

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Guest post by Danielle Rodabaugh.

Being well-informed of your profession and wanting to share that knowledge with others is admirable. However, with the virtually limitless amount of information available online today, you can’t expect significant feedback just because you published any old law article on your blog or website. Whether you’re trying to build a strong readership for your blog or attract potential clients with a company website, you need to turn boring law topics into engaging, relevant reads.


As a surety professional who writes about the legal intricacies involved in bonding, I know how important it is to write about legal issues in interesting and comprehensible ways. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the surety industry is too boring for most people to care about.

So, to make surety bonds seem interesting enough to learn about, I follow these five rules every time I write an article.

1. Write for your audience.

Not all law blogs and websites are the same. Some investigate recent court rulings and break down their potential implications for future cases. Some are targeted to people who live in a certain area. Others discuss new legislation that could affect law professionals. Still others write to explain complicated legal processes to clients. To write effectively, you first have to recognize who your readers are and then determine the best way to connect with them.

For example, if your blog or website is targeted to other legal professionals, it makes sense to include specific terminology when writing articles. However, if you’re developing content for potential clients, you probably shouldn’t use too much technical jargon. If your audience doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you won’t be able to gain their trust. After all, you wouldn’t want to pay attention to someone you can’t communicate with, either.

2. Don’t be boring.

Find a way to take a boring legal topic and make your audience care about it. Use a unique tone, and develop a flow. Your readers should recognize your writing by the way it reads rather than the byline. To make the topic more approachable, reference personal experiences in the first person. When appropriate, it’s even ok to be funny and make jokes — just be sure you do so tastefully.

3. Write for the web.

The format for developing effective online writing is actually pretty similar to that of service journalism pieces. Whether you’re writing opinionated editorials or promotional content, consider these tried-and-true formatting rules for effective web writing.

  • Use subheadings, numbered lists and/or bullets to break up information.
  • Tell readers exactly what they’re getting with “how-to” guides or Q&As.
  • Develop a catchy headline.
  • Be concise.

When writing for the web, you should also imbed relevant photos, videos, infographics and links to educational sites. Readers have a short attention span when consuming content online, so visual aids can help attract their attention and then maintain it.

4. Get input from others in your field.

Interviewing other professionals who have a stake in what you’re writing about not only makes your content more diverse but also improves its validity. Sharing others’ stories also allows you to build/maintain professional relationships because you’re showing that you respect their views. Build a dialogue about a certain legal topic by referencing articles others have already written. For example, if a colleague explains one aspect of a subject, you could take on another area and then compare your views.

5. Edit everything you write.

You won’t develop a professional reputation by sharing information that’s laden with misspelled words and other grammatical errors. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if spelling, grammar or word usage aren’t your strengths. Pick up a copy of Working With Words, and read it cover to cover. If you’re not a professional writer, ask your friends or colleagues to proofread every article you write before you publish it. At the very minimum you’ll be able to verify that the article is interesting and understandable.

Implementing genuine and effective writing techniques encourages quality client service in today’s Internet-obsessed communities. Effective, personable and targeted writing can give you a reputation as an industry expert who provides quality information to both colleagues and clients.

(photo: Shutterstock)

Danielle Rodabaugh is the editor of the Surety Bonds Insider, a publication from SuretyBonds.com that tracks legislative change to the surety industry.

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  • http://lawyerist.com/author/susangainen/ Susan Gainen

    Excellent post. This is great advice for everyone who “sells” anything, which means everybody who is not working in a cave and on their own trust funds.

  • http://smartbusinessrevolution.com/ John Corcoran

    Hey Danielle: I could not agree more! The vast majority of legal blogs are incredibly boring. I don’t know why this is. There’s no ethical rule against writing in an interesting way.

    That’s why when I created my blog, California Law Report (www.calawreport.com) I insisted that the posts be interesting to read. I hope I have achieved that.

  • http://bradfordfirm.wordpress.com Rich Bradford

    I feel like this was written for me. A lot of us are good at writing with a lot of legalese to judges. Our blog posts are being written to a different audience. Still, it is very easy to slip into a dry writing style.

  • Kim Harris

    I have to agree with this topic. Personally, I don’t like reading about law unless I have to. I would rather learn about the Lawyer’s inner qualities and personality. I think it’s good for Lawyers to come down on our level a bit in their writings.

    Also, add some pictures and bold print. Oh my goodness, it’s so boring to just see words with no variation! Most times I can’t make it past the first paragraph. It’s okay to laugh and joke a bit too! I like to see a little personality in blogs.

    If I should ever need a lawyer, I would choose one that I can relate to. One that is down to earth. Not one that only cares about money and is so uptight. I want to know more about them; not their credentials. I know they have the credentials. Most Lawyers make them known. Thanks for reading!

    Kim Harris

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      It’s boring to see words?

      Add pictures and bold print?

      I suppose you think law bloggers should capitalize random words, too? Like Lawyers?

      I’m fine with adding pictures if they add to the post, but to everything else: NO.

  • Kim Harris

    I actually liked your blog! No, I do not mean it’s boring to see words, please read again. No, you do not have to add bold print to every single paragraph. No, you do not have to capitalize lawyers. I just did it because I wanted to and to emphasize the word. I know it doesn’t need to be capitalized. I honestly did not expect you to respond like this. I will not be back to your blog. You could have responded in a kinder way. My opinion is just that, “My opinion.” I didn’t knock yours. So why knock mine? My statements are general and just letting you know what pleases me as a reader. Now I know, it’s not your blog!

    Kim

  • Kim Harris

    Please delete all of my comments. Thank You.

    Kim Harris

  • http://www.jamesjcupero.com Cupero Law

    awesome blog, i love reading your posts- you are full of so many great ideas! keep the posts coming, for me!:)