Blogs – Law Firm Marketing
Blogs, or blawgs, are being hailed by some as the key to Web success in 2005. According to two surveys conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in November 2004, 8 million Americans reported that they had created blogs, and blog readership had increased by 58%. Despite these impressive statistics, an estimated 62% of Internet users did not know what a blog was. While there is no question that blogs lend themselves well to topics such as news, hobbies, products and many services, are they effective tools for marketing legal services?
“Blog” is an abbreviation of “weblog,” a public Website that is frequently updated with entries arranged in reverse-chronological order. Blogs take the form of personal journals or non-commercial Weblogs and may be written by a single author or a group of contributors. While varied in topic, a blog’s subject matter has a defined scope and incorporates commentary, links and images, and may have a search engine. While defined in the same way as a blog, a “blawg” addresses issues in the legal profession. To simplify reading, I will refer to “blog” in the remainder of this article.
Properly developed blogs can be very effective. Unfortunately, the majority of law firm blogs are not properly planned and the result is often a significant waste of time, money and credibility. How can you determine whether you should develop a blog for your firm? We recommend taking these three important steps:
- Define your goals;
- Assess your ability to invest the necessary time;
- Consider other options.
While blogs are a marvelous way to get information out quickly and to keep an audience informed, they are not revolutionary. For profit-minded firms, blogs are simply another way to market.
If your vision is to develop a blog and quickly attract a significant number of cases, you will be disappointed. I have noticed that many bloggers (the term for one who blogs) talk about the number of “hits” they receive. Since blog hits and legal researchers do not bring in revenue, you still need clients to pay the bills. The Pew Report (linked above) stated that blog readers are likely to be young, male, well-educated Internet veterans. This is not, for example, a description of a personal injury firm’s clients. There is, however, some growth in the other population segments. You should analyze your target market to determine if a blog is or will be a cost-effective way to reach it.
As evidenced by the testimonials on our Website, our clients bring in cases with their Websites. Our most successful clients complement their Websites with other marketing tools. I have heard of a few blogs that bring in cases; however, most of these bloggers seem to supplement this activity with other marketing methods that promote or complement the blog. My point is, while a blog can work as a marketing tool, a blog should be coordinated with a Website, articles written for periodicals and other proactive promotional approaches in order to succeed.
If you enjoy writing, are a good writer, and your goal is to support other marketing efforts, you are more likely to achieve success with a blog. Some of our clients have very successful Websites that rank at the top of the search engines. For example, Bob Kraft of Kraftlaw.com has well established Websites and uses his blog as part of a coordinated marketing campaign. Bob’s Pissd.com (Personal Injury, Social Security Disability) is an entertaining, informative and effective blog. We have several internal writers, including attorney employees, who write several articles weekly for our Consultwebs.com law firm Web marketing blog.
Do you have the time to develop a blog? If you’re already sacrificing valuable family or personal time, a blog will only consume more of it. Blogs require commitment, attention and enthusiasm. Have there been other projects that you started with good intentions only to have them run out of steam? Have you had ambitious goals for your Website or planned to join networking organizations – only to fall back into your regular, hectic routine?
Measure the cost of a blog against the benefits. A high quality blog will require an investment of time for research, thought and content writing. In many cases, you are competing for the reader’s time against professional periodicals such as Lawyers Weekly, Law Office Computing, ALM™, etc. You are also competing against the 40,000 new blogs being launched each day. Blogs will soon cease to be the novelty they currently are. If your content is not high quality, people will not make the time to read it. When was the last time you thought, “I have a few minutes, I think I will find some blogs to read”? While there are excellent legal blogs available by people whom I admire, I have not found the time to visit them in months. Most bloggers, however, count on the idea that when someone is looking for information on their topic, they will find their blog, or remember it and revisit.
A wonderful capability that prevents readers from having to remember to visit blogs is RSS feeds readers. RSS feed readers such as FeedDemon allow the reader to subscribe to blogs that will automatically push the blog to their PC. Not many readers have RSS feed readers at this point, but that may change – unless blogs begin to overwhelm busy readers.
It is easy to get excited about the blog marathon, only to run out of energy after the first mile. The majority of blogs are abandoned within a year. Many blogs have started strong and then just stopped, or the content quantity and quality have diminished. Many blogs show a flurry of initial posts followed by sporadic posts. What is the financial return if a blogger fails to find the time to consistently develop quality content? Who wants to link to a site that will probably be deserted within a year?
At a minimum, plan to spend an hour per day on your blog to ensure that it is building the type of relationship you want with your market. Just an hour per day adds up to many thousands of dollars of lost billable time every month. If you are unsure as to whether you can maintain a blog, test yourself by writing content for your current Website. Since an “update” page is virtually the same as a blog, if you are able to successfully maintain it, you can gradually transfer the information to a blog.
If your blog is separate from your Website, you should maximize your investment by posting applicable information to both the blog and your Website.
Assuming your blog is business-oriented, if you put the same effort into it, an “updates” page on your Website can accomplish the same or more than a blog can. Many people have the misconception that updating Websites is difficult. After a 15-minute telephone class by one of our consultants, approximately 40% of our law firm clients make the decision to perform some of their own updates, including adding pages, etc. They log into their Website and use Microsoft FrontPage, Dreamweaver or other HTML editors to make changes. These Web editors are remarkably similar to Microsoft Word. Several of our clients have 600 to 1,000-page Websites and easily maintain them using FrontPage. Another consideration is that these HTML editors keep you from becoming locked into a proprietary, and potentially expensive content management system or blog program and consulting.
A blog can be added to most Websites. However, many bloggers start a blog under a new domain name. If your Website is already established in the search engines, consider whether you want to start over with a separate domain name for your new blog and are willing to put in the effort and wait a few months to hopefully develop a strong presence. Also consider whether you want to continually maintain additional Websites and their search engine rankings. There are some good reasons why you may want to have a separate domain for your blog. For example, if your firm has a Website and you want to develop a separate presence for yourself or you or the firm wishes to further develop or establish a practice area, a new domain may work well. A blog is an excellent way to show personality, demonstrate expertise and brand an attorney, especially one who is highly skilled and knowledgeable but does not have the time, interest or expertise to market using traditional methods.
Another less time-intensive communications option is a discussion board. A discussion board is easier to maintain since it is more acceptable to simply post a few sentences and link to a source.
Pricing will vary among vendors.
Blogging Tips and Considerations
Many professional journalists criticize blogs because they feel they are typically self-serving, poorly researched and have little accountability. Be cognizant of these criticisms when developing your blog.
I cringe when I hear some consultants say that law firms should develop blogs instead of Websites. They say they are less expensive and easier with which to work. Many consultants have tried to “dumb down” the Web for years, initially using “bandwidth” as a primary justification. While lawyers work frequently with black and white printed pages, the public is accustomed to being reached by colorful, exciting media that aggressively competes for their attention. Some consultants would kill glossy brochures and have the firm hand out black and white pages of information to potential clients. A law firm would never consider distributing amateurish brochures, yet many bloggers and Website owners publish amateurish, bland pages without a second thought.
To identify what the public finds appealing, just analyze the products that are selling. Flat screen TVs and wireless notebook computers, audio and music are prevalent. Television commercials and magazine ads are high-tech and exciting. A Website that delivers information in an innovative and interesting fashion will achieve the most success. Blogs are typically limited technically, however, a combination of a Website and blog can combine to deliver your message in numerous ways.
Some consultants state that journalists read blogs, and therefore blogs are a great way to reach them. I agree. However, journalists typically start with a search engine query when researching a topic. Ideally, your Website “and” your blog will appear in their results and hopefully, they will quote you if they obtain ideas from your work.
Some bloggers say that blogs outrank Websites in the search engines. A large percentage of our Consultwebs business involves search engine optimization; therefore, we watch search engines closely. I have not found evidence that blogs outrank Websites. Search engines want to deliver high quality content that is well structured. Search engines are attracted to sites that contain a large number of pages of high-quality content. The majority of our client Websites have more than 50 pages and, as previously mentioned, many have hundreds of pages. These Websites are structured to appeal to search engines. While the same can be done for blogs, it is more difficult. Potential clients do not type blog phrases into the search engines, they type the topic that has piqued their interest, e.g., (city or statename) personal injury lawyers, (city or statename) estate planning lawyers, business lawyers, car accident lawyers, etc. If you try some of these searches in Google, you will see that these queries rarely bring up blogs. Bear in mind that if the public can’t find you, they can’t read your blog and consider you.
Do not run after the first blogging pied piper who tells a great story. Many consultants glean their information from second-hand materials they have read, or surmised, or they are selling blog services. Be careful about buying a blog that extends the limits of blogs and becomes a disjointed, difficult to manage mass of data. If your Web consultants are not developing your blog, run your ideas by them. You can save a great deal of time, money and frustration by obtaining an expert’s advice and coordinating your efforts.
Consider the ethics and libel implications and be sure that you do not appear to be giving legal advice. This can be difficult, since legal expertise and advice are what many potential clients are after.
Blogs are similar to the early Internet in that they consist of a relatively small community of enthusiastic bloggers. Consider that Google indexes 8 billion Web pages, as compared to estimates that 10 to 50 million blogs exist. Like Internet Websites, as blogs grow and become a large community, only the well developed and best marketed blogs will be successful. Corporations and periodicals will join the blog community and many of them have considerable time, experience and capital.
In summary, I believe that law firm blogs can be very effective if developed as part of a cohesive overall marketing campaign. They can allow the blogger to distribute information quickly and in a more personal fashion. If developed loosely, without proper planning and promotion, the blog will become little more than a time-consuming, expensive hobby.
For more information on how Consultwebs.com can help with your law firm blog, please see our Blog Service page.
You are welcome to republish this article, provided you place the following sentence and link at the end of the article:
Dale Tincher is president of Consultwebs.com, a North Carolina-based Web Consulting and Design firm that develops supports law firm Web sites through the United States. Consultwebs.com’s Web site is http://www.consultwebs.com. Dale may be reached at 919-272-8052 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Update by Dale Tincher, August 27, 2008. I recently analyzed law firm blogs to see if law firms were continuing their blogs. My premise was that is blogs brought in clients, law firms would find the time to post to the blogs. Law firms and other businesses will invest time and effort when the return on investment (ROI) is positive. I performed a Google search on “injury blog” and other related topics. I received more than 750,000 results. I analyzed page one and then moved to page seven of the results, then further down the rankings. Most of the non-page one blogs had been started with a flurry of activity, then tapered off to infrequent posts with the last one being in a prior month or quarter. Please feel free to test this yourself. I do wish to say that if a Website or blog are posted frequently with relevant content, their search engine rankings will typically improve. The question is whether the effort is bringing in cases. You rarely read about failed blogs since no one likes to admit failure and it is not in the best interest of bloggers or blog vendors to discuss the topic.
Business Week, 5-18-05 — Blogs will change your business
USA Today, 5-24-05 — Once blogs ‘change everything,’ fascination with them will chill
Wall Street Journal, 5-26-05 — Measuring the Impact of Blogs Requires More Than Counting
Well Known Legal blogs
Ernie the Attorney
Larry Bodine Marketing Blog
Consultwebs.com Law Marketing Blog
June 21, 2005 - A Technolawyer TECHNOFEATURE (http://www.technolawyer.com is, “A Contrarian View Of Legal Blogs”, by attorney Joe Hartley, http://www.hartley.com. Joe’s comments include a list of effective blogs and includes statements that the vast majority of blogs are “soapboxes for the blogger’s opinions” and that placing publishing demands on already overworked lawyers seems like a recipe for disaster. Joe also comments that an attorney in a narrow area of practice with rapid developments can nicely advertise his/her expertise with a blog, although the attorney does have to worry about “giving away the store”.
Update: June 28, 2004 – This insightful article is now linked on the TechnoLawyer Website. Joe Hartley has written an introduction to his article as well as including a copy of the article.
June 22, 2005 - Ben Cowgill’s legal ethics blog is an excellent example of a niche area that is served well by a blog. A Website can accomplish the same results. However, his well done blog gains the attention of bloggers (and the resultant links), as well as Web viewers.
June 22, 2005 – An illustration of the ability of a well-entrenched and developed Website to obtain rankings quickly, please note that within seven days of developing this article, even though it is a new page, it is in the top ten Google listings out of 3.4 million listings for the phrase law firm blogs.
June 23, 2005 - Indiana University South Bend has a good summary of legal blogs that includes quotes by several blog experts. Quotes include (this one by Jerry Lawson), “It will probably shake out something like this: About 80% of all lawyer web logs will fail. The remaining 20% will have greater or lesser degrees of success, mostly modest. One per cent or so, maybe less, will be extremely successful. However, some of that 1% will be so successful that they will make their owners very, very glad they got into the blogging game.” Additional comments by others state that blogs can be successful if the proper approach is taken.
June 23, 2005 - Dennis Kennedy wrote an excellent overview of successful blogs in a section titled, “Dennis Kennedy’s 2004 Legal Blogging Awards” that included recommendations such as, “I like to see blogs (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment and talent. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.” Dennis also includes cautions such as (point #8), “A shocking percentage of legal blogs do not last longer than a month or two. Blogging is hard work, especially if you don’t have a good understanding of what you are getting into.”
June 23, 2005 - Robert J. Ambrogi, a Massachusetts lawyer, writer and media consultant has posted a very good article,Blogging Contrarians, which summarizes this article and another, as well as providing additional pro and con blog opinions and additional thoughts. Reader David Giacalone provides interesting follow-up comments. Robert’s Website has a wealth of information on law, media and technology.
June 24, 2005 – This article is receiving both positive comments and criticism on several blogs. To address some of the discussion and to further clarify my comments, I will make some comments. As I stated, I believe that blogs work well in certain circumstances. For example, it has been pointed out to me by a respected attorney that solos who are starting a new practice may be able to start with a $90 blog, whereas a Website may not be as affordable or as easy for them to develop. If the solo simply wants a respectable Web presence, a blog can work. However, the solo needs to understand that blogs will not compete in the search engines against comprehensive Websites that are structured to achieve rankings — unless the blogger puts time, effort and expertise into the blog. Cheap is no longer cheap if the attorney puts numerous potentially billable hours into a blog. A blog requires more ongoing effort than a Website. Many successful bloggers would have greater success if they put the same effort into their Website rather than having two sites to maintain.
I also wish to comment on the phrase “affordable” or “cheap.” Bob Kraft, a successful attorney client for whom I have great respect wrote to us, “I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for, and Consultwebs delivers on its promises. As I told someone once, an inexpensive Web site that attracts no clients is not cost-effective. An expensive Web site that brings in more revenue than you paid for it, can be very cost effective.”
I firmly reject comments that a blog can be successful with an hour per week of postings. It takes time to perform research, put together your thoughts, write and review your post or article. Unbiased bloggers will tell you that they spend considerable time on their blogs. There is simply too much on the Internet for busy readers to take the time to read “musings” and un-researched information. Plus, search engines will not frequently index a blog or Website that remains relatively static. I admit that I am not an expert on hobbyist blogs or blogs (or Websites) built for reasons other than generating revenue or e.g., saving administrative time. Our business is built on helping law firms obtain clients and we look for the best vehicle to achieve those goals — whether it be a blog, a Website, sponsored ads or a combination of several approaches.
June 28, 2005 – I ran across an interesting article posted April 19, 2004 by David A. Giacalone, Esq., that addresses numbers that are often quoted regarding Craig Williams’ very successful blog. Among Craig’s quotes to David are, “David, You’re right. I spend about an hour or more a day (in my business that’s over $10K a month in invested time), and my blog is stamped with my personality and quirkiness. I think that would be hard to achieve in a packaged blog – at least I hope so if other lawyers are going to be competing with my blog.” He also states, “May It Please The Court, is a part of an overall marketing strategy for my law firm: we use it in email responses, it is on our letterhead and announcements, in ourbrochure, and even has its own business card. I speak about it regularly at continuing legal education seminars for lawyers, and to others who are developing marketing projects. We send out email “pushes” once a month with the last 20 postings so readers can go right to the article of their choice. I think, actually, that’s where most of my direct responses come from. Sure, I may already have a relationship with those people, but it’s the blog that triggers them to call me. It’s also a reminder.”
July 1, 2005 – Bill Gates made some interesting comments regarding blogs in a January 2005 CNET article. Comments include:
CNET: One of the big phenomena of the year has been blogging. Has the growth surprised you?
Bill Gates: “Well, actually I think the biggest blogging statistic I know, which really blew me away, is that we’ve got close to a million people setting up blogs (Web logs) with the Spaces capability that’s connected up to Messenger. Now, with blogs, you always have to be careful. The decay rate of “I started and I stopped” or “I started and nobody visited” is fairly high, but as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has gotten more sophisticated and value-added search capabilities have come along, this thing is really maturing.”
Bill Gates makes good points. There is considerable failure among blogs. As he stated, however, RSS feeds will distribute the information to those who are interested. The key is to provide high quality content so yours will not be one of the feeds that the busy reader discontinues as more bloggers and periodicals compete for his/her time.
July 3, 2005 – As I travel across the Web and visit and speak at legal conferences, I become increasingly frustrated with blogger salesmen who grossly understate the effort required to maintain a successful blog. It baffles me that anyone could think that a few minutes every few days will make a blog successful. I ran across a blog by Portland attorney Al Nye who said it well in a June 15, 2005 article, “What lawyers, and many other bloggers are finding out, is that writing — engaging, stimulating, thoughtful and entertaining writing — is difficult. Writing a blog isn’t like that standard complaint filed in countless courts around the country. Now Comes the Plaintiff in the above captioned matter and hereby complains against the Defendant as follows … just doesn’t cut it on a blog. As Seth Godin would say: “good enough” just isn’t okay anymore. If you want your website or blog to shine, pay attention to your writing. Work at it, stumble around, practice, rewrite, stare off into space and think about what you want to say and then write it as clearly as you can. It’s a struggle. It’s hard. It often takes a lot of time. There are no shortcuts.”
As I have stated, a blog can be a powerful marketing tool for the right individual and the right situation. For the others, it will become a temporary, expensive hobby.
July 4, 2005 – Blog pioneer, Carol Elefant offers helpful tips on Getting a Blog Rolling in the June 2005 issue of the American Bar Association’s GPSolo Magazine. Included in her advice is, “Don’t go all out. Much of the advice on starting a blog can be intimidating. I’ve seen articles that stress the need for daily postings as integral to a successful blog. That may be true if you’re aiming for a high-exposure blog to establish your credentials as a national expert on a particular topic. But for many attorneys, a blog can be set up to function as a law firm website that also has the capability to upload work samples or post announcements to current and potential clients (such as notice of a free clinic on wills or a speaking engagement).” Carol also states that blogging can be done in “snippets” and arriving at work a half hour early can work well for blog posting.
Carol’s comments make sense. You simply have to decide if you have the desire, discipline and downtime to make the commitment. As she says, if your clinics or speaking engagements are newsworthy, you will have some posts you can make that will take a minimum of time. As I have stated in the past, your information must be informative in order to keep the reader’s attention and the material should be posted frequently in order to keep the search engines coming back often.
July 6, 2005 – My hat is off to Bonnie Shucha, a Law Librarian at The University of Wisconsin Law Library, for an excellent blog. Bonnie’s interesting, informative and balanced blog is a refreshing change from so many blogs that have an axe to grind and build the blog around supporting the blogger’s opinions. Bonnie’s personality and enthusiasm shine through as she writes on and links to a wide range of topics. Her diligence is rewarded with a top 10 ranking in Google for the phrase “law firm blogs” out of 3,000,000+ results.
July 8, 2005 – I have said about all I have to say about blogs. I caught myself doing what busy, tired bloggers do — looking for a quick headline on someone else’s blog or some kind of news. The best I can come up with today is, “Blogs seen as powerful new tool in U.S. court fight.” Comments include, “Political groups preparing to battle over the first U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 11 years have a powerful new tool — Internet blogs — to spread information quickly and influence decision makers without relying on traditional media.” Another interesting comment is, “I think they are instrumental in getting information out and deconstructing spin,” said Eric Ueland, chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican. They are much defter and swifter than the mainstream media,” he said, adding that blogs are also “very clear in their philosophical and ideological leanings.”
Receiving spun versions of political pitches does not excite me. I prefer to research the information myself and I do not care to wade through a large number of blog interpretations. However, I wish the political groups the best and hope they use blog technology to its full advantage.
July 9, 2005 – Some humorous blog/blogger definitions discussion can be found on a number of sites. Since the page locations seem to move around, we have placed a copy on our site. There is a bit of vulgar language and some of the definitions are tongue-in-cheek, but an open-minded blogger and non-blogger will enjoy the page. Examples include, “Blogger: Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives. Possibly the most annoying thing about bloggers is the sense of self-importance they get after even the most modest of publicity. Sometimes it takes as little as a referral on a more popular blogger’s website to set the lesser blogger’s ego into orbit.” Blogged: What you call a trivial or largely inconsequential topic once bloggers have processed through every tired detail. For more on this, look into: every minor news story.
July 10, 2005 – Lenny Sienko, Esq., a hard worker and unselfish contributor to the New York State Bar’s eBrief, is maintaining an informative, interesting blog called Lennyesq. A blog is a wonderful tool for someone like Lenny who has tirelessly researched and distributed meaningful information to New York attorneys for many years. This is a marvelous example of a place where a blog fits beautifully. Informative blogs like Lenny’s and e.g., the Stark Law Library are welcome additions to the Internet.
July 14, 2005 – Additional evidence that today’s consumers wish to obtain news and information immediately is listed in two USA Today articles dated July 12, 2005. In one article entitled, Can the future of TV be seen on the Web?, the writers state, “Virtually every major media company is recognizing that as people begin to feed Internet signals to TV sets as well as computers, millions may want to pick news, entertainment and sports they want to see off the Web rather than from packages of conventional TV channels offered by a cable, satellite, or phone company. ”We’re right at the cusp” of the Internet TV revolution, says Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Tom Wolzien. “I have talked about this with multiple network presidents and multiple of their big-time producers. All of them are thinking about this.” Another article, Change ahead for CBS; Internet drives new ’24-our mentality‘, has comments that include, “A news organization has to operate on a 24-hour basis, and if you only have 2½ hours a day to fill, you’re not working efficiently,” says Sanford C. Bernstein’s Tom Wolzien, a former NBC News producer. But ABC Digital Media Group general manager Bernard Gershon says, “Content creators are discovering that broadband and wireless are great ways to reach the next generation of consumers.”
Update July 21, 2005: CBS News apparently also concerned that TV news is on the way out and that high-speed Internet news is the way of the future, announced plans to expand its online news to 24-hour coverage. The site will feature a blog called Public Eye and 25,000 video clips.
A message we can take from this is that blogs and Websites need to distribute current information. Static Websites and blogs will get lost in the shuffle.
July 21, 2005 – The rich get richer in the search engine world. An Internet Week blog article reports that Google has 37% of the search engine queries and the top 5 vendors garnered 98.3% of all queries in the 2nd quarter of 2005. Google continuesto roar, nearly doubling its revenues in the second quarter and reporting more than a fourfold increase in profits, a result of increasing online ad revenues.
Murdoch’s News Corporation is acquiring Internix Media for approximately US$580 million in cash, allowing it to penetrate the field of internet news blog and social networking. An enticing asset was MySpace.com, known as a “leading lifestyle portal”.
July 27, 2005 - APNews – Nine out of ten teens, ages 12 through 17, are using the Internet according to a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. By comparison about 66% of American adults now use the Internet. A high percentage use blogs. This comes as no surprise to me, a father of two teenagers who have blogs and communicate daily with numerous friends who also have blogs and Websites.
August 1, 2005 – CNN – In an article entitled, Al Gore TV network on the air, Mr. Gore states, “we want to be the television home page for the Internet generation.” The article comments, “With its debut Monday, Current TV will be judged by the same mundane standards as other networks — on whether its programming can hold a viewer’s interest.” “Current TV is important not for what it is today as for what it heralds tomorrow,” Lasica said. “What is important about Current TV is that it’s opening up the world a crack to Internet television becoming mainstream.” Current is also requiring its filmmakers to sign an agreement giving the network three months’ exclusive use of material it has accepted for air. Leaders of the rapidly growing video blogging community have resisted, Wolf said. Those filmmakers most likely to fill Current’s stable of independent contributors don’t want to be told they can’t use their best material on their own Web sites. Mr. Lasica contends that people prefer to lie on the couch in their family room or living room rather than sit at a desktop.
August 11, 2005 – A study reported in a CNN article, “Study: Web site’s appearance matters”, and conducted by Glamorgan University Business School in Wales, states that the appearance of a Website plays a part in a visitor’s overall impression of a site. Male and female visitors have different design preferences. The article poses the question of whether a Website should have one face for females and one for males. Since a high percentage of law firm clients are female, appearance must be considered.
August 12, 2005 – A June 8, 2005 Chicago Tribune article carries the titles, “Blogging’s burdens may not pay off.
Web journals can take much work, but many lack regular readers and attract few clients“. Some of the contentions are that blogging misses the majority of the population. It continues that blog readers are not the target audience of most businesses.
As our article stated, your goals, time and options should be considered before embarking on a blog.
August 21, 2005 – An interesting article on the ”Google Dance” and the value of rankings can be viewed at CNN.
September 14, 2005 – A Website, Help Katrina Lawyers, has been launched by Ross Kodner of Microlaw. Consultwebs.comdonated the design and programming. The site provides information and resources for affected lawyers. The Website also links to Websites and blogs that cover Katrina. New Orleans was home to 8,000 lawyers, one-half of those in Louisiana. Blogs and Websites are doing a marvelous job of providing current information about Katrina.
March 2006 – The ABA Law Practice Management section features a good article by widely-respected Ed Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC, entitled, “Look Before You Blog; Without a Marketing Strategy, You’ll Waste Your Time“.
July 5, 2006 - Law.com – Lawyer-Bloggers: Fact or Fiction?
December 22, 2006 – Law.com, article by Lawrence Savell, “Is Your Blog Exposing You to Legal Liability?”
December 31, 2006 – Baltimore Sun, “07 may be year bloggers break free of all the hype”. Excerpt….In a report released a few weeks ago, the (Gartner Inc.) firm predicted that blogging will level off in the first half of 2007 at about 100 million bloggers. And in further signs that the luster might be fading, the firm says 200 million bloggers have abandoned their sites.
June 30, 2008 – Wall Street Journal, “Most Corporate Blogs are Unimaginative Failures“. Excerpt.. “They’re not handling that challenge well: Forrester found that most B2B blogs are “dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion.” Seventy percent stuck to business or technical topics, 74% rarely get comments, and 56% simply regurgitated press releases or other already-public news. Not surprisingly, 53% of B2B marketers say that blogging has marginal significance or is irrelevant to their strategies.”
March 3, 2008 – Wall Street Journal - Law-Firm Blogs: Marketing Device or Mere Diversion?
September 1, 2009 – “Lawyers Weekly USA” featured a good article, entitled How to make your law firm blog successfulthat states that lawyers can become overwhelmed with blog posting, but also gives some good tips by successful bloggers.
September 1, 2010 – “Legal Blogs Are Dead! Long Live Legal Blogs!” by Robert Ambrogi