Opening Your Legal Blog with a Bang—the All-Important “Hook”

Once you’ve grabbed your intended reader’s full attention with the title of your legal blog, you are left staring at the second most important part of the page—your opening paragraph.  Think how disappointing it would be if you’d spent considerable time and effort crafting a killer headline for your blog posting then your potential client slipped quietly away with a click of their mouse due to an opening paragraph which simply faltered and died. If you want to ensure your legal blog posting really delivers on your headline’s promise, then consider the following:

Jump Right In With a Question

Open up your blog with a question, even if it happens to be a rhetorical one. The idea is to get your potential client thinking because thinking equals engagement with your writing, and engagement means they will continue to read. Remember, though, not to ask a question which could be answered with a “no” or “who cares?” answer.  After you’ve asked your burning question, thrown in a quick anecdote which will either bring a smile to your reader’s face, or establish the main point of your posting.

Especially in the legal world which can be known for its, um…dryness, a little personality can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to figuratively let down your hair from time to time, but keep it relatively tasteful. You could also use an amazing quote that fits into the theme of your legal blog post—anything that will continue to hold the reader’s attention and prevent them from a shrug and a click onto greener—and more interesting—pastures.

Give Them a Powerful Mental Image

Although the legal profession can seem narrow and technical to the layperson, your legal blog doesn’t have to have the same tone. You can relax the legalese in your blog, and use your most descriptive words to activate your reader’s imagination. In the same vein, using metaphors, similes and analogies (correctly, of course) can be a powerful tool for capturing your visitor’s attention and telling a story in a single sentence. Citing a statistic or fact that is particularly unique or startling is also a good tool to use in your first paragraph.

Share Something Personal with Your Readers

We all love to feel as though we have established a deeper connection than a standard business one with our business connections. While you should never make up something “personal” (it will come back to bite you) simply for the sake of grabbing your reader, it can be used very effectively in expressing your own unique personality. When you share something personal about yourself, you can literally guarantee that there will be readers shaking their heads in agreement, saying “me too!”

Withhold One Piece of Critical Information and Break it Up

Though it seems a bit sneaky, holding back a key piece to the puzzle of your legal blog’s overall theme until later in the posting is a great way to ensure your visitors keep reading to the very end. Yes, past the fold and all the way to the bottom. Remember that we read the web very differently than we read the printed page. It’s okay if you have lots to say, but make sure you break it up and have plenty of informative headlines which enable readers to quickly scan before they make the commitment to actually read. Use an assortment of lists, images, bold text, subtitles, and paragraphs in easily readable chunks. Get your reader totally intrigued with your headline and first paragraph, and before you know it you will have a dedicated reader, not to mention a potential client.

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