Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

 

If you’re trying to market your law firm online, no doubt you have a blog.  You know how important a blog can be for building your brand, and maximizing your SEO.  You’re doing everything right — loading up on keywords, submitting your posts to social media sites, and asking visitors to bookmark you — but when you look at your numbers each month, you’re still not getting all the hits you deserve.  What’s going on?  And how can you fix it?

What’s going on is that every law firm and solo out there has a blog these days, and it seems like everyone is doing the same thing.  After all, there are only so many ways to optimize your site if you aren’t constantly generating fresh content.  So if you’re like most blawgers out there, you’re getting lost in the crowd.

One way to stand out, of course, is to write lots of original content about topics that interest you, so that your interest draws in others similarly interested, and engage with your audience as it grows over time.  But this can be time-consuming, and who has that kind of time? Anyway, you don’t want potential clients to think you have this much time on your hands — they might wonder why you’re not busier, instead!  Furthermore, let’s face it, not everyone is a Kurt Vonnegut or Dave Barry.  We’re lawyers, not essayists.  In a way, it’s unfair that the essayists are drawing hits away from you, the lawyer.

Fortunately, we here at the Criminal Lawyer have learned a few secrets of maximizing blog traffic with a minimum of effort.  And now, for the FIRST TIME EVER, we are going to share with you the 5 easy techniques you can use to DRAMATICALLY INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC RIGHT NOW:

 

TIP #1 — Lists, Lists, Lists!

Holy mother of God in a sidecar with rainbow sprinkles and a lobster bib, if you aren’t using lists, then you’d better start.  Articles with names like “The Top 5 Ways to…” or “The 10 Most Badass…” are proven to grab more online attention than anything that isn’t porn.

Online readers don’t stop to chew over ideas and digest careful arguments.  They nibble; they graze.  Give them bite-sized nuggets of pithy observations, and they’ll come back for more.

A bonus of the list is that it can automatically double your hits, by the simple method of breaking the post into two pages.  By spreading the list across three pages, you can even triple your hits WITH A SINGLE POST.  (But don’t get too crazy — studies have shown that online readers lose patience if they have to click through to every part of the list.  Don’t make it a slideshow.)

 

TIP #2 — Don’t Write for You; Write for Your Audience!

So you’re super-interested in this nifty case that just came down, and you think you have some ideas about why the court ruled that way and what it might mean for other similar cases?  Good for you.  Make a note of it for your own files.  But unless it’s a case that’s been all over TV news this week, I’ve got two words for you: BO RING!

How many people do you think share your interest in this little bit of legal arcana? A couple dozen?  Maybe?

Well, if you want a couple dozen hits, then by all means, knock yourself out.  But if you want MAJOR BLOG TRAFFIC, my friend, then you’re going to have to knock it off.

Write instead for the masses.  Don’t be a snob about it — what, are you too good for their attention?  Are you too good for their money if they decide to retain you?  Didn’t think so.

Look, if a topic is (more…)

Why Write?

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

We keep being surprised by these folks who insist that lawyers need to blog.  That it’s a great way to generate clients, pumping up the old SEO so potential clients see your website and hire you.  That advice always strikes us as the equivalent of saying you ought to name your law firm with a couple of leading As so it’s on the first page of the yellow pages.  Not that many people call lawyers just because they were listed first in the phone book, nor because they popped up in a Google search.  And the ones who do aren’t necessarily the kind of client you really want.  Scott Greenfield had a cool post on this the other day, using his own (very impressive) blog stats to demonstrate that it just doesn’t convert into clients.

Lawyers absolutely do not need to blog.  Blogging, in and of itself, does not generate clients.  Looking at just the bottom line, most lawyers could spend the time it would take to blog doing more profitable marketing like meeting other lawyers at functions (most good clients still come from referrals from other lawyers, after all), or just spending the time working and billing some more hours.

We certainly don’t do this to attract clients.  Heck, we hardly ever write about our own practice here, much less tout our abilities, experience, or any of the kinds of things a potential client might want to know.  Back in college, we sold encyclopedias door to door, so we know a thing or two about getting the old foot in the door and making a sale.  We don’t do any of that here.

So why do we write?

Because we enjoy it.  No other reason.

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We write for an audience of one: Nathan Burney.  We’re genuinely surprised every time someone else tells us they read something here.  We’re like, “really? You saw that? That’s weird.”  Our own wife doesn’t even bother to look at it.  We’re not sure if our parents have ever read anything here.

That’s really freeing, because that lets us write about whatever we feel like writing about.  We don’t have to worry about how it might affect our page rank on Google.  We don’t have to worry about turning off some potential client.  We don’t have to worry about offending anyone.  So we write about what we like.  And as it happens, we really get a kick out of the law.  Yeah, that’s not something many people would admit to, but who asked you?  And wait, are you really reading this? Weird.

One of the big things we enjoy about writing this blog is (more…)

We’re Back, Did Ya Miss Us?

Friday, November 20th, 2009

So Much Win

Finally, the trial that would. not. end. is over. Three weeks to try a case that should have taken no more than five days. In the case that just would not end, either. The arrest was more than three years ago — that’s plenty long to have a felony case hanging over your head.

Especially one as over-charged as this one. A responsible prosecution team would have charged maybe 3 counts in this case. But for reasons unknown, the folks who originally brought the case in 2006 went into insane overkill mode, charging 18 counts.

Now, finally, 15 of those original 18 counts have been acquitted or dismissed. A lesser-included thrown in there at trial, to give them a second bite at the top count, was also dismissed. All the big charges got kicked, along with most of the little ones. The jury only said “guilty” to three of the b.s. minor charges that had been tacked on to this bizarrely over-charged indictment.

We’re calling this one a win, because this is precisely the outcome the client wanted on day one. It’s what he’s repeatedly asked for over the three years this case has been going on. And yet, from the get-go, this prosecution team has obstinately insisted on a plea to the charge, from day one. (They did so even after the judge, after their main witness had been pretty much destroyed in a day and a half of cross, firmly suggested that the offer be made.) It took three years, and three weeks of trial, to get to where this case should have been at arraignment. Where it would have been, had these prosecutors done the right thing.

Why didn’t they? Good question.

We come from the Manhattan DA’s office, where this sort of thing just isn’t done. This was not the crime of the century, there were no victims, nobody got hurt. The defendant didn’t commit perjury in a grand jury, not having testified. In a halfway decent DA’s office like Manhattan, the prosecutors would have exercised their prosecutorial discretion, as is their duty, and extended an offer.

But here, the prosecutors abused their discretion, by not exercising it in the first place. If you think that sounds like misconduct, we’re not sure we don’t disagree with you. But we’re still not sure, so we’re not identifying the office in question.

The likely reason is that there was a clash of personalities between the original prosecution team and the original defense team, which then became institutionalized over time.

The official reason, however, is just as unjustifiable. The official reason is that the defendant did not let the prosecutors break the law.

In New York, when a defendant hasn’t made bail and so remains in jail after arrest, we have a “speedy charge” rule. The government has six days to get an indictment, or else he gets released so he can do the rest of the case without posting any bail.

These prosecutors wanted the client to waive that requirement. They wanted him to agree to stay in jail for as long as they needed to get their act together and get an indictment in their own time. Because he didn’t, they said they would never make any plea offer whatsoever.

This is their official office policy, it seems.

And yet that is totally improper. It is nothing more than a policy forbidding the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, in retaliation for the mere refusal to give up one’s rights. That’s wrong on at least three levels.

That retaliatory aspect probably also explains why they over-charged this case so dramatically in the first place. And why they persisted in refusing to make an offer even after it was perfectly clear that they’d never get a conviction on any of the felonies.

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Whatever the reason, they lost big-time here. The jury threw them a bone on some of the little stuff, but they can’t see that as a win. It’s nowhere near what they’ve wanted for three long years, what they got so invested in.

So yeah, we’re calling this a win. Not an epic win, but definitely a win.

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Well, now we’re back, and we’ll have more time to blog on what’s going on out there. Plenty has gone on in the past three weeks — from the Bear Stearns acquittal, to Lynne Stewart starting her prison sentence, to a cop tasing a 10-year-old girl who wouldn’t take a bath. But it’s too late to blog in a timely fashion on those things. Sigh.

Oh well, there’s always more! Criminal law does not disappoint.

(Okay, we can’t resist. The girl who got tased? What’s up with that? We’re not talking about the cop using such extreme force on a little girl. We’re not all that concerned that he only got disciplined for not having a camera on the taser. We’re not even perturbed that he responded to a call of, essentially, “come arrest my kid who won’t take her bath.” We’re angered at the mom who made the call, and all the other moms out there just like her. This is a common symptom of the what Big Government programs and entitlements have done to ruin the very classes of people they were meant to help. We now have had generation after generation of people in inner cities and elsewhere who have been raised to expect government to do everything for them. They never have personal responsibility. Government provides all, does all. It also controls all. It takes charge of everything. When that’s all you know, then you reasonably expect government to take charge all the time. So moms commonly call the cops to make their kids clean their room, go to school, etc. The same moms (almost never raising these kids with a dad), lacking in a certain quale of personal responsibility, seem also to share the inability to properly rear and socialize their offspring. So these kids sometimes wind up getting locked up after the police arrive. And then the moms call their public defender in tears, unable to believe why their kid is locked up. Unable to comprehend the inevitable answer: “Ma’am, you put him there.” This is of a piece with the reasons why projects turn into ratholes, because it’s nobody’s responsibility to take care of them, it’s the government’s job. Why the schools suck, because the single factor affecting the quality of a school, parental involvement, is entirely absent because it’s not the parents’ job to educate, it’s the government’s job. This is a mindset that does not naturally occur in Americans. Maybe in Europe, where they are used to thinking of themselves as subjects rather than citizens, where the government has all the power and thus all the responsibility. But not in America. The only reason this mindset exists is because our well-intended big-government programs and institutionalization first removed the incentive to take care of oneself, and then destroyed the ability to do so. Rant off.)