Six easy steps to keeping your reader reading
When you write a blog post, newsletter bit, or compose an e-blast on a new statute or procedure for your clients, you want them to 1) read it, 2) gain something from it and 3) remember that you wrote it. How do you do that?
Here are six ways to attract and keep them reading:
1. Know your readers—consider their occupation, age range, level of education or experience in the area of law you are writing about. An article for tax specialists can be more complex than, say, a post about what to do if your big rig tips over and spills bees and honey all over I75 in rush hour. (Call 911)
2.Tell a story—facts tell, stories sell. Using the facts of the matter, create a short story setting up the topic. Give your readers as much as they need to understand the situation.
3. Don’t overwhelm the reader with facts or law or legalese. Explain simply how the law looks at the problem—think of talking to a client rather than giving a speech on the topic to your peers.
4. Offer the reader ‘lessons to learn’ from the story. For example, the driver of the truck with a load of spilled bees, hives and honey called 911. The local fire and police and local beekeepers came to his assistance. The bees were rounded up, lured back into their hives and the honey was cleaned off the highway. The story of the spilled bees is a unique set of facts that will stay with the readers. The post continued with information on who to call when the spill is a hazardous material such as fertilizer or petroleum.
5. Be Yourself--- Talk to the reader. Replace legal terms with plain English; if you use contractions, use them consistently—don’t use “we’ll” in one place and “we will” in another.
6. Vary the format--- Examples are Q and A, bullet points, a fast facts box or, as here, a numbered list.
Finally, don’t forget to provide your contact information.
For more thoughts or help with your writing, please contact: Roberta M. Gubbins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-255-9119,