As a practicing attorney with five employees, I often find it difficult to carve out the time to perform all the marketing tasks that I know must get done if, in the long run, my law firm is to survive. One of the identified tasks relative to maintaining a robust electronic profile is to post work product samples, and court opinions relevant to my practice area and target audience. Lately, I have found that the JD Supra website is ideal for taking the next step, and integrating the posted content into my blogs.
First, a brief primer on blogging style. As a blogger of all things legal, I have developed the following basic format for my posts:
- Use simple declarative sentences.
- Construct two (three, at most) sentence paragraphs.
- Less is more when blogging; break down the concept into simple components.
- Whenever discussing a document or court opinion, link your text reference to the original content.
- Compose a concise yet perfect title for the post.
- Paste an interesting photo at the top of the post (left or right but not center).
- Always be sure to end the post with a link to your law firm’s website.
With this format in mind, I have been experimenting with the fourth tenet concerning the importance of linking to original content. In my law blogs, High Court and intermediate appellate court opinions often come into play as the subject of a post. In the past, I would be sure that the court’s decision, usually posted directly to the court’s website, would be linked to my post for convenient and easy access for the reader.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with an extra step.
Instead of linking to the source of the original content, such as the website for the Michigan Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, I now upload the court opinion (or other legal document) to the “Legal Updates” component of my JD Supra profile.
Due to the excellent design of this site, the reader still has easy access to the original content. But now, as the blogger, I get the added advantage of editorializing the content, layering in key words, and directing additional clicks to a segment of my electronic profile, not the appellate court website. They don’t need clicks, I do.
JD Supra gives you a 5000-character budget for your document commentary; this is plenty of space to add your personal touch to the original content you are uploading. Caution: when using this technique, avoid simply executing a copy and paste of the JD Supra content into your blog post. The web crawlers and search engines do not reward duplicated content; take the time to make it distinctive.
When using this technique over the past few weeks, some cross-referencing has occurred when posting original content and linking that content through JD Supra. First, I have linked my Twitter account to my JD Supra profile so when I upload content to the latter, I automatically receive a mention (sometimes two or three) via JD Supra’s Twitter account.
Second, I have noted that folks using JD Supra seem keen on Google Plus. Several of my JD Supra uploads have received pluses on Google, enhancing the visibility of my post, content, and profile. So now, I have taken the extra step of posting my blog content to my law firm’s Google+ profile; this can be done in less than a minute.
These extra linking steps to your blog posts are not time intensive. Following these steps, however, will increase your content leverage.
So try this technique the next time you create a good blog post. That way, when you get in your car and drive to your next court appearance, you will have the satisfaction that your early-morning time investment will pay some dividends throughout the next several hours of the day, and beyond.