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Lawyer blogs : Be an expert, not a bore

What’s wrong with most blogs? They’re too chatty… You probably didn’t need to hear about my teen, but I thought it was clever. So I bulked up my writing with inconsequential meanderings. That’s bad blog form.” So says Susan Soloman, who led off talking about here teen in her post today at MarketingProfs entitled Don’t Bore Me With Your Blog.

Lawyers are always commenting that their blogs do not bring in much new work. I check their blogs out and they are full of personal meanderings that their target audience couldn’t care less about.

If I am a HR exec in a 700 employee company who has subscribed to an employment law blog published by a local lawyer, I am not interested in how the lawyer’s vacation went or what the lawyer has done for entertainment lately. Want to publish that stuff, do it on a personal blog, not a business blog.

Soloman puts it well.

If you’re going to blog, become an expert on something. This is especially important for blogging in the business world. Think content, not rambling comment….Blogs are for sharing information, not pointless doggerel (or catteral).

The best blogs provide chunks of great information. Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion is among the best blogs available on corporate blogging. Rubel rarely writes an entry of more than 150 words, but his blog is packed with content. He’s also generous with hyperlinks for each of his entries.

Blogging tips from Soloman

  • Don’t make your blog look boring. There’s nothing more disturbing than a well-written blog that looks like a newsletter template from Microsoft Publisher.
  • A blog should be welcoming to read. Embrace white space. Be generous with line spacing and use bigger fonts. Well-written subheads almost guarantee readership. Pictures that illustrate your point are also fantastic.
  • No passion, no blogging. Don’t think about starting a blog unless there’s a passion for your topic.
  • Take risks. A blog is not a buttoned-up corporate newsletter. Invite comment and even some controversy. Don’t be afraid to begin dialogue on an issue that may prompt a different opinion.
  • Find your tone. Corporate writing is different from brochure writing, which is different from Web writing, which is different from blog writing.
  • Break from the pack. One problem with blogs is that they tend to link to the same sites and regurgitate the same news. Offer something new by channeling your inner news reporter.
  • Be topical. Unless your blog is on Jane Austen (and I’m hard-pressed to find a business blog tackling this topic), relate entries to current themes.
  • Know your audience. There are literally too many blogs and too little time to read them. Only post items relevant to readers.
  • Be truthful with yourself. Before hitting ‘send,’ read the blog entry and make sure it excites you. After writing the entry, are you jazzed about floating the information in the blogosphere? Will you feel the urge to constantly check for commentary from interested readers? Those are sure signs you’re writing inspired copy.

Great stuff Susan. You mention in your post Nick Usborne gave us the book about writing for the Web. You could give us the boook about writing for a blog.

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