How to Organize Content on Your Blog:  Watch the Late Show

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Marketing for Attorneys and Late Night TVThis week we are discussing the best way to use a blog as a marketing tool for attorneys.  Yesterday we discussed how to add a blog to your law firm marketing plan.  Today I’m going to share a guide to formatting your blog’s content.

The format of your blog does not need to be dry and academic.  It also doesn’t need to be complicated.  There is a template that fits well within our need to deliver information in a way that is easy to consume and also entertaining.  If you want your blog to work, simply follow the template provided by late night television – specifically The Late Show with David Letterman.

Before you dismiss this idea as crazy (or at minimum, a little farfetched) give it some thought.  Here are the different segments of The Late Show as they relate to your blog:

The Monologue

Each night David Letterman comes out and shares his thoughts on current events. He provides entertaining commentary on things that are in the news and top of mind for his audience.  Some people tune into the show just to hear him make this commentary.  Regular viewers can often anticipate which things Letterman is going to target with his acerbic wit.  Sometimes he pushes the envelope and sometimes it’s just flat out juvenile but it is almost always worthy of conversation around the water cooler the next day.

The opinions you share on your blog should follow the same format.  You should provide commentary that is topical, sometimes controversial, and always entertaining.  You don’t need people to agree with you but you want them to share your information.  Posting a link to your blog article on social media websites is the equivalent of discussing your content around the water cooler.

The Top Ten List

Letterman does a “top ten” list every night that almost always is quoted, shared and sometimes reviled.  Yet it remains the most popular segment of his show because people love the simplicity and organization of the humorous information. Our brains are wired to effectively review and process information in a structured order.

Each week you should provide at least one list to the readers of your blog.  It doesn’t need to have a set number of items.  It should simply be organized information that can be easily processed.

Letterman makes his strongest joke the “number one” item on his top ten lists.  Most often, when you rank things, people will only remember the item that is “Number 1” and they will quote it to others.  Use your top rank in your list for making your strongest point (regardless of how many items are on your list).

Ask Tough Questions

People love gossip. That’s the reason supermarket tabloids are the bestselling magazines worldwide.  We are all nosy and love to pry into the lives of others.  Letterman goes right after people when he interviews them.  He picks the one thing that is most sensitive and he asks about it immediately.  While it may be uncomfortable for the person who is put “on the spot” the audience loves it because Letterman is asking the question that is at the forefront of their mind at that moment in time.

When writing articles for your blog you need to pose tough questions to your audience.  You must address the issues that are going through their mind – even if they make you uncomfortable to discuss.  Life can be messy.  Jump right into the mess and take people where they want to go.  Help them make sense of things.

Stupid Tricks

Occasionally The Late Show will feature a segment where either people or animals do tricks.  The segment for people is called “Stupid Human Tricks.” The segment for pets is called “Stupid Pet Tricks.” These segments are entertaining and sometimes they showcase something that requires real talent.

On your blog you should occasionally provide some form of novelty entertainment.  Add an occasional cartoon or trivia quiz.  Post a funny video from YouTube.  Share a comical photo.

Adding your own form of hokey content can help break up the monotony of solid blocks of text.

Tell Them What’s Coming Next

At the end of the show the announcer always lets you know who the guests will be tomorrow night.  Bloggers rarely do this.  The main reason is because they have no idea what they are going to write about or post the next day.

Give this some thought.  With a little planning you can come up with topics for an entire week.  Once you do, let people know what is coming next.  This will help them remember to “tune in” to your blog and hear what you have to say.

Keeping up with regular blog entries can be difficult.  David Letterman has a team of people who book guests, write content, create videos and manage his entire production.  You have a computer, your brain and about thirty minutes each day to put together some content for your blog.  It can be a struggle to fit it all in.  Using a successful format like the one in late night entertainment can help keep you focused.  It can also help you remember that you are in the business of entertaining people as you inform them.

Each day when you sit in front of your computer imagine the announcer saying your name, the curtain parting, and the band playing your theme music.  Stretch your hands out, take a deep breath, welcome the audience and start the show.