Why Formal Writing Doesn’t Work For Your Law Firm’s Blogging
Why Formal Writing Doesn’t Work For Your Law Firm’s Blogging

Why Formal Writing Doesn’t Work For Your Law Firm’s Blogging

Stop sounding like a lawyer in your law firm’s blogging. I get it; you spent a lot of money, went through years of extra schooling, and now want to make the right impression as a serious and successful lawyer. However, while this strategy works for specific areas of legal practice, it isn’t smart for many others. If your clients are the general population, it’s time to consider a different approach.

According to the US Department of Education, 54% of US adults read at or below a six-grade reading level. That’s 130 million people whom you are talking to that simply can’t comprehend what your blogs are saying. These are the same people who need a lawyer for personal injury, traffic tickets, estate planning, or family matters.

It’s time you start effectively communicating with your potential clients.

The Communication Hurdle

One of the biggest complaints clients have about their lawyer is the lack of communication. To combat that, the standard advice is to communicate clearly and often. Another typical tidbit is to set clear expectations. While these are a good start and helpful guidance, they don’t tell you how to communicate better. One of the first places you can start is with your law firm’s blog.

For many people, your website and blog are the first interaction they have with your law firm. It’s where they make their first impression of the firm and decide whether or not that firm is a good fit. If the content on your website and blog is stiff and full of legalese, they will assume that this is the personality of your law firm.

Using a more casual tone for your articles and blog posts helps you relate better by communicating on the same level as your audience. When they understand what you are saying in the blog, they will feel better about future communications with you. If the average American has a sixth-grade reading level, and you are writing at a college or law school level, then your clients don’t understand what you are writing.

Bounce Rates

Blogs have an average bounce rate of 70-90 percent. Content sites like fitness, cooking, or special interest blogs have a lower bounce rate of 40-60 percent. Ecommerce sites have the lowest bounce rate at about 33 percent. Service sites have the lowest bounce rate that ranges between 10-30 percent.

This is good news for lawyers. As a service provider, you should have low bounce rates. However, these numbers can vary significantly based on several factors.

Misleading title
Poor formatting
High volume of non-brand content
Soft 404 or empty pages
Poor mobile experience
No call to action
Visually unappealing design
External not opening in a new tab
Poorly designed popups
No related content suggestions

So why are bounce rates important? When a visitor bounces, it means they leave your website. The longer someone stays on your website, the more likely they are to hire you or at least request a consultation. So the faster someone bounces from your website, the less likely they are to hire your firm.

As you can see, there are already so many factors working against you when it comes to bounce rates. Why make it harder on yourself by writing in a manner that isn’t appealing? For example, someone lands on your website and starts reading a blog post. They find it tough to read, hard to follow, and uses words they’ve never heard before. That person isn’t going to stick it out and struggle through the rest of the post. Instead, they are going to bounce from your firm’s blog and find another that writes in a way they understand.

Reduce your bounce rate by making your blog easy to read. Simple to follow and approach language encourages your audience to keep reading.

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You Aren’t Writing For You

All too often, lawyers make the mistake of writing their blog posts for themselves or colleagues. This is a mistake. The whole point of having a blog is to have it be a part of your marketing strategy that attracts more clients to your firm. You aren’t trying to convince yourself or your colleagues to hire you. So why are you writing for them? Write your blogs with your target audience in mind. It helps to create one or more personas. These are imaginary people who represent the type of person you want to read your blog and hire your law firm.

Demographics
Interests
Goals
Behaviors
Financial status
Challenges

Now that you have a clear picture of who will read your blog, you can write for them. Choose your vocabulary, voice, and tone to tailor your law firm’s blogging to the reader.

Improve Your Law Firm Blogging

If you are still posting articles with overly formal and stuffy writing, then it’s time to make a change. That writing style may be effective for your legal work, but it is doing you no benefit in your blog posts. Adopting a professional yet approachable tone will allow you to communicate and relate to your target audience better. When people feel like they can effectively communicate and relate to you, trust builds. This trust helps website visitors move through the marketing funnel to request a consultation and hopefully hire your firm.

Find out how I can help you write more effective blog posts for your law firm’s blogging efforts.

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