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9 ways to write content people want to read … and respond to (Part 2)

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In last week’s blog I listed the first 5 ways to write content people will want to read and respond to. To take that up to the promised 9, here are the last 4.

6 Be confident enough to disagree

How often do we spot articles in the News which have legal issues?

Arguably this is one for a more confident writer but when you see something you most definitely disagree with in the local or trade press, contact the editor and tell them you disagree and why.

Even if they don’t take up your comments, you could well have marked yourself out as someone who could author an article in the future or as a talking head willing to give a quote should something similar blow up down the line.

The only thing I’d recommend with this strategy is temperance.  Make sure you are constructive in your feedback and offer your point of view solely to ‘redress the balance’ and not to run down the previous contributor.

7 Experiment with formats 

While there’s always a demand for full length articles, they are time-consuming to write and demand a bit more self-confidence to author than some of the shorter formats like:

– Blogs, which are much more informal than articles and should always be around 300-500 word and based upon opinion.

A list can make content “punchy” and memorable

– Listicle is a terrible word but makes for an increasingly popular format; basically it is an article made to look like a list.  You’ll have seen them somewhere – “10 things you never knew about ..”, “4 ways to make sure you avoid …”, “9 ways to write content people want to read … and respond to” (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

– FAQs which, at a short paragraph in length are much easier and quicker to write than any other format.  They are also a great way to get into writing and find your voice if you are an interested novice.

8 Promote your content

It’s all very well writing content but how are you going to make sure people see it?  While I can’t guarantee that people seeing it will always generate a response, I can guarantee you’ll get no response if nobody sees it!

Use LinkedIn, your firm’s Twitter feeds (and yours if you have one), your next e-shot, your personal email signature, any networking groups or associations you belong to or any other list of contacts you can tap into to promote your title and your link and stack the odds of seeing a decent response in your favour.

9 Tell people what to do next!

How can you direct visitors to the next step: Enquire or subscribe?

Whether you are sending an email, giving a presentation or writing a blog or article you have to tell people what to do next if you are to maximise the level of response your efforts generate.

You may want to invite them to sign up for future blogs or updates, invite them to a workshop or ask them to apply for a copy of a special report or white paper that will explore the topic in more detail.  It really doesn’t matter as long as there is (at least) one clear call-to-action that:

– Makes it as obvious as possible what you want the reader to do next

– Makes it as easy as possible for them to take that next step.

How I can help you get started!

Usually I wouldn’t be quite as vehement with my own calls-to-action but given the subject of this blog I am sure you’ll understand so …

If you’d like to discuss how to tweak your own blog, please email me.

If you’d like a chat about how to structure a personal content marketing plan that’ll help you achieve your BD objectives, please email me:

If you’d like to discuss the possibility of us running our practical workshop on ‘How to produce content that does BD’ for you and your team, please email me.

And of course, if you have any other questions about anything to do with writing, content or – in fact anything else to do with any aspect of BD or legal marketing – please email me!

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Doug McPherson

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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