Guest Blogging Tips for Lawyers
Chris Dreyer | May 29, 2014
Regardless of your current opinion on guest blogging, it remains an effective method for link building, brand building and networking online. An attorney’s reputation is very important for the longevity of his or her firm, so there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid when collaborating with others.
What should I be aware of if I’m considering guest blogging?
If you’ve heard that guest blogging isn’t a good method of online marketing, it’s probably because of all the spam techniques that people practice. We’ll get to what you should be doing in terms of guest posting, but first let’s talk about things to look out for.
Low Quality Sites
If a site is of low quality, odds are it will make your firm look bad if you have content published there. Think of it this way: would you choose a controversial celebrity or organization to promote your brand? Putting a guest post on a site that isn’t reputable can have all kinds of negative consequences.
Make sure the site you want to collaborate on a guest post with is (or represents) a reputable business. Their core business shouldn’t be selling spots for guest posting. Look into them or have someone do it for you. How long have they been around? Do they have a professional website? If any of these things are nagging at your better senses, you might want to move on.
There are a lot of services out there that are happy to take your money and throw your post up on their domain. What good is that, though, if the audience seeing the post isn’t interested in legal services? When looking for websites on which to guest post, look for ones that will be receptive to your messaging and your brand.
This has ramifications for SEO, as well. If you have links built from a guest posting service to your law blog or site, those may start to look suspicious. A few links aren’t going to matter, but once you build up a lot of them, you could start drawing some unwanted attention.
The truth of the matter is that guest posting is hard work. It takes time to reach out to people, develop relationships, write original and high-quality content, etc. It becomes quite tempting to use things like email blasts to solicit posts, send the exact same post to multiple websites or use article spinning software.
All of these things have given guest blogging a bad name. When it comes to promoting your brand online, short cuts are typically not good for longevity. If you can find a way to increase your productivity without sacrificing quality, more power to you. If cutting corners means creating a poor user experience, avoid it at all costs.
Don’t Pay for Guest Posting
Proceed at your own risk here. Odds are that if someone wants you to pay to submit a blog post to their website, it’s probably not worth having a post on that domain anyway. Most website owners are happy to have you submit something for free or in exchange for a guest post on your site. After all, they are getting something in return by offering differing points of view on their site.
What are some things I should be doing?
Tap your Sphere of Influence
Ideally, this is where you should start. Look to attorneys and clients you already know to collaborate on a guest posting arrangement. Maybe there are people you work with who have their own personal legal websites, or other properties that would be relevant for the firm. Most of the best things that will come your way will come from people with whom you are already connected.
Research People Well
You will undoubtedly come across opportunities where you can score an easy submission on a guest post. Be careful because if the site turns out to have a bad reputation, it could come back to bite you. Take the time to check into whom the business owners are and that their site is in good shape. After all, you are putting your name and your firm’s name on the line.
Listen to Matt Cutts
If you are worried about the implications for SEO, check out the following video by Matt Cutts (Google’s head of web spam). He gives a candid opinion on how Google views guest blogging.
If you put in the work and avoid cutting corners, guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful way to promote your brand online. Collaborate with people you know and trust, make sure you are putting the best interest of your practice first and don’t skimp on writing high-quality content.