How to Format Your Legal Blog So People Actually Read It

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How to Format Your Legal Blog So People Actually Read It

Most of the people that visit your legal blog will never read beyond the title. That’s right, I’ve already lost 40% of the people that made it to this post. The next big drop off comes when you require people to scroll. That is called the fold. Once you hit the fold, a percentage of people will leave. Once you get past the intro and you’re into the next paragraph or two, even more, people will drop off. This is the point where a majority of people share the article. How could they?! They haven’t even read half the article.

After all of this drop-off, there is only a small percentage of people that will make it all of the way through the entire article. This number gets even smaller with the longer your article gets. So how do you balance the demand for long-form content from Google with the short attention spans of your audience? You format your blog post better, that’s how.

Keep Your Post Narrow

Format your posts so they aren’t too wide left to right on the screen. It is too hard for people to keep track of what line they are on when the eyes have to move too far to the left and right. Keep your posts narrow so that people can read them easily and keep track of the line they are on. If you think this is too much white space on the screen, you can add a sidebar.

Use Headers in Your Legal Blog

Nothing is worse than looking at a big block of text with nothing to visually break it up from one thought to the next. If your reader can’t figure out the general flow of the article, they won’t want to read itBy using headers, you can signal to the reader that you are switching topics within your article. It also makes your article scannable. This means that the majority of people who never read your article can at least scroll through the entire thing and get a general idea of the subject matter.Having headers also helps if people are looking for a certain piece of information. They can scroll through reading the headers to find the section that relates to them.

Use Subheaders

Sometimes it isn’t enough to just use headers you need to use subheaders also. If you find that you have more than 300 words of text under a single header then it’s time to start looking at adding subheaders. They can help you break up a larger topic into more digestible subtopics. Your readers will find it easier to understand the overall concept when they can see the subheaders breaking up the idea into smaller more organized sections. This will also organize your writing as it keeps your focus on the individual subsections instead of trying to cover the entire main header.

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Keep Paragraphs Short

Nothing will make a reader stop reading faster than looking at a big block of text. We’ve already started to break up that text by adding headers and subheaders. We are going to break up that text even more by having smaller paragraphs.Try to keep your paragraphs at 2 to 3 sentences max. This is different than any other type of writing that you are used to. The goal is to have smaller, quicker to read paragraphs that are less intimidating.Remember, you want to appeal to your audience, which is your clients. So don’t write like you are speaking to other lawyers. The average American reads at a middle school level. So you want your blog to be something your clients can not only read but also understand.

Use the Right Images

When writing your legal blog post it’s all about having quality informative content paired with engaging clear photos. Be sure to use photos that relate to the topic of the article. It wouldn’t make sense to have an article about DUIs and then show a picture of a medical malpractice victim. Or if you’re talking about family law and you have pictures that relate to patent law. There are plenty of options for free use images that you can use. But you can also purchase images such as the ones from Adobe. If you choose to buy images, make sure that you buy the proper license and give the proper credit to the owner of the image.

Use Lists

Sometimes it is easier to create a list rather than write everything out in long sentences. You know it’s time to use a list when you’re trying to convey a lot of information quickly. Here are some situations when lists are useful.

  • Itemized lists
  • Step by step directions
  • Items in a category
  • Required documents
  • Applicable laws

Display Data Visually

Having hard data is great for supporting your argument, but it’s hard for people to visually understand the data that you’re expressing to them when you say it in text form. One way to help people understand your data better is to show it in a visual way. Try to turn your data into a chart, bar graph, or infographic. This will allow people to better understand the message that you’re trying to convey by giving them a visual that they can understand.

Time to Upgrade Your Legal Blog

When it comes to writing a quality legal blog, it pays off to do it correctly the first time around. However, if you started off on the wrong foot it’s never too late to fix it. I can help you get your blog on the right track and formatted correctly. Whether this means going back and fixing previous blog posts or posting new ones in the correct format I have the skills to create a blog that your readers will want to read. Let’s work together and get your legal blog on track.

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