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Posted by Rick · October 23rd, 2007 · No Comments

A posting on SOLOSEZ, one of the few listservs I have time to read these days after following some of the tips in “50 Ways to Market Your Practice,” informs me that Above the Law thought that compilation was pretty pathetic because it didn’t list blogging as one of the 50 ways. I noticed that Home Office Lawyer jumped on the bandwagon as well.

Maybe it’s me who’s missing something, but I didn’t notice that the list was called “The ONLY 50 Ways to Market Your Practice.”

Several attorneys I know maintain blogs. They don’t mention their blogs every time they give someone advice on marketing.

At one time, I was a quite avid blogger. These days, though, by using some of the tips listed on the “50 Ways to Market Your Practice”, I’ve found myself too busy to blog much. In fact, it’s a struggle to find time to read a few good blogs, since so many of them can take two-to-three paragraphs to say things like, “You should blog” — and many of those blogs don’t add much more useful information to my day than that. (This comment is not meant to disparage Home Office Lawyer, which has had some interesting posts on the iPhone, using blogs productively (including discussions of ghostwriting), fixed fee issues and so on; I was just using this one post as an example.)

My wife is already complaining about being a “law widow.” I can’t imagine what would happen if I added time for blogging to the mix!

Besides, not all attorneys are good writers. (A great deal of my current practice is writing for other attorneys who either don’t like writing, or rightly consider that their skills lie elsewhere.) I don’t see anything wrong with giving those attorneys tips they can use, instead of having every list out there tell them they have to write a blog.

On top of that, a good argument could be made that blogging — or “blawging,” as the effete seem to prefer — is far from the best use of one’s marketing dollars and time. Most blogs don’t have much of a readership. My own blog, before Aplus screwed things up for me, had 250 readers per day. That was after three years of writing. Sure, my name often appeared at the top of the list when people searched for information on topics written about in my blog. But 250 readers per day, if your goal is getting the best bang for your buck advertising-wise, isn’t much, especially when you consider that not all those readers will be living close enough to you to want to retain your services. And most “blawgs” won’t have that level of readership.

(On the other hand, pay Lawyers.com or Findlaw.com a little chunk of change and you’ve got your Internet presence and potential clients in your area will find you when they’re looking.)

Seen in that light, the tips on “50 Ways to Market Your Practice” make a lot more sense. They’re “local” suggestions:

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce…
  • …write an article for your local paper…
  • …get a local reporter to use you as a legal expert.
  • …and so on.

In addition, numerous other tips on the list have “local” impact in that they’re targeted at doing things involving people you’ve actually physically contacted, such as when the list suggests “Get a unique business card and hand it out freely” or “Send holiday cards to everyone you meet and keep the list growing.”

Blogging can be fun. It can be a wonderful outlet, too, for those who love to write. And it can be useful as a piece of your marketing plan.

But criticizing the ABA list — compiled from suggestions of successful solo practitioners — because it didn’t include blogging or “blawgs” is like criticizing someone because they didn’t mention that one way to get from Cleveland to California is by car. Sure, that works. But airplanes are oh-so-much-more efficient.

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