Build a Better Blog, Add More Readers

Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Everyone has a Story

"Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The phrase, attributed to Emerson in the late nineteenth century, is actually a misquotation of a much longer statement that has morphed into a metaphor about the power of innovation. It means that if you develop something superior to a device that is widely used, you will succeed.

The same is true of blogs. Create a blog that offers quick and useful information your clients and potential clients can use—written in a format they can understand, is fresh and interesting, and gives them a reason to return—and you will have built a better blog and consumers will beat a path to your door.

How to build a better blog.

Understand why you're writing it. Do you want to be seen as an expert, build an awareness about your firm, or simply add fresh content to your website? Maybe it's all three. A well-defined strategy will keep you and your reader interested.

Decide what you want to say. Think about the clients you have. What type of problems are they experiencing? Perhaps there has been a surge in questions about the health care law or the change in the formula for child support. Define your subject matter clearly and the post will be easier to write.

<p">Start with an engaging title. Effective titles are short. Titles that ask a question, use numbers such as "6 ways to peel an orange," or solve a problem such as "how to peel an orange" are attention grabbers.

Compose compelling copy. A story with facts that set up your topic will get the reader's attention. Write clearly using plain English and keep it short. A 300- to 500-word blog is sufficient. Blocks of text are tiring. To keep the reader on the page, break up text:

  • Use bullets to emphasize key points
  • Add images, videos, and graphics
  • Bold or underline material

Review and revise. Write it, set it aside, and come back in a few hours or the next day. You'll be surprised at what needs changing.

Now you've built a better blog. What next?

First, publish it on your website's blog page and your blog hosting site. Second, let the social world know it exists. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and an e-mail blast to announce its posting. Third, publish it on the SBM Enhanced Member Directory. Soon, fellow lawyers and clients looking for the information offered will beat a path to your door.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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