In the age of digitalization, lawyers have two kinds of reputation- online and offline. For building an online reputation, blogging is the first and most important step.
The more blog posts one writes, the more are his chances of being noticed on the internet. Blogging is the best way to make your presence felt online. Online legal forums are on a rise these days and are giving a lot of opportunities to law students as well as lawyers to showcase their writing styles. These are great places to showcase your expertise. Here are a few suggestions on how to write a good legal blog.
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Select a Topic
In your initial days, do not put your skates on and jump onto a conclusion. The process of topic selection comes up gradually. For starters, try going through current affairs or any recent judgment and analyze it. Try finding an alternate solution to it and start doing your research. It is advised to keep 3-4 topics in your hands in case you feel bumped with one topic. While selecting your topic, always remember to choose a topic that will add value to the readers.
Choose your Audience
Before you start writing your article, first decide who is going to read this article and how they are going to be benefited from this. Your audience can be a law student or an expert but not the whole world at large. Firstly, because that’s impossible. Secondly, if you try to do that it will result in something, which is way too generic. Always aim for an audience who are oriented to quality, accuracy, and original news. Targeting your audience will not only help you in writing your blogs but will also give them an alternative solution to think about.
Every person has its own writing style and voice. The best way to write a blog is to remain consistent throughout your blog. A consistent voice not only attracts readers but also make them appreciate your writing style. It is advised to write a blog in a way that is interesting to you as well as your readers.
For example, you write a blog on the sudden spike of Domestic Violence cases due to the COVID-19, the others will simply be fixated to the information on the surface while you can delve deeper. by sharing data, new initiatives taken by the government. A fresh idea can also be found from reading other blogs that are outside the legal industry and modifying them to meet the criteria of your law blog.
First, create a structure and give your article a skeleton. Around the structure start developing a body. The information should be crisp and to the point so that the readers understand what they want at one glance. Do not beat around the bush as it frustrates the reader and they will eventually switch to something better. There are some steps that you should ideally follow for structuring your blog-
Dissect the Problem
The first step to write a legal blog is to identify the questions of law which you will analyze in the blog. A very common mistake people make while writing a blog is to define the problem and describe a few suggested ways to avoid it. Don’t give away the punch line. Try giving the readers a practical pointer to think about and use it in a form of reference in their own blog.
Sub-headings play a vital role in your article. The entire article must be broken down into different sub-headings as it provides the readers with an idea about the content of your blog. The sub-headings should be complete and not partial or indicative.
For example, if you are writing a blog on Habeas Corpus then your sub-headings must be “which court issues the writ for Habeas Corpus” and not “which courts issues this writ” or “courts with writ jurisdiction”.
When you come across an interesting statistic, build a blog around it. Sharing statistics not only makes your work more reliable but also makes it look that you are well versed with your topic. Always try connecting dots with the help of statistics. When you include an analysis try using data as it makes it looks more authentic.
Formal legal prose works well in an appellate brief but not in a blog post. The readers will engage more with a blog that summarizes a complicated legal concept in a simplified manner. It is advised to refrain from using informal language or humour in your blog. Car accidents and divorces are not a funny subject matter. The blog does not have to be frivolous or sarcastic, but a little wit can go a long way towards humanizing you and making people see the person behind the words.
Keep it short and simple
The best way to write a legal blog is not to include stories, rather eliminate extraneous words from your writing and make every word count. Long block texts intimidate the reader. However, at the same time, you should ensure that the short sentences are complete. If reading your blogs look like hard work, people are going to dismiss it and click away. Stick to short sentences and short paragraphs as they do not require much time or effort to read.
Citations play an important role in your legal blog. Citing others’ work not only makes your post authentic but also is in line with the ethical standards of writing. It is recommended to link all your blog post to your website page content, it will give the readers a road map of information and resources. Internal linking gives you an authority on your subject matter and also boost your Search Engine Optimization. Whenever you are providing a footnote in your blog, try using APA or MLA citations. Wherever possible, use a hyperlink instead of footnotes.
Introduction and Conclusion
Avoid a lengthy introduction and a conclusion to the article. Make sure that it doesn’t cross more than 10-12 sentences, no one likes to read long sentences. It should be precise and crisp. One exception is if you have a great introduction that will hook the reader’s attention, go ahead. Use relevant information in your introduction. While writing a conclusion, drive your conclusion from the blog post you have written rather than using others’ ideas.
The title should be easy to understand. It is always taught to write creative and witty titles as these counterproductivity reduces your google traffic. It is advised to keep the title similar to how the reader will think it or search for it. Fancy titles are not helpful for the readers. Write a simple title, maybe in the form of a question that your article answers.
Check grammar and plagiarism
Your work creates an image of you in the mind of the reader. Therefore, the grammar must be absolutely correct. Before publishing or submitting your work check your spellings, grammar, structure, and punctuation. The best way to check this is to use free online tools such as Grammarly.
Plagiarism check is one of the vital criteria for the selection of a blog. Always check your plagiarism count before submitting or publishing your work. Plagiarism counts more than 20% shows that your work was copied. It is recommended that whenever you use other’s ideas in your blog try writing that in your own words and always cite it.
Blogging is a fantastic way for a lawyer to promote their law firm and gain more potential clients. For a law student, blogging gives a better opportunity in the future by laying a strong foundation, good reputation, credibility for their respective careers, and also enhances their CV.
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