Archive for May, 2007

I’ve noticed, while looking up resources for a client, that there are a lot of attorney blogs out there. I wondered if my impression was correct or just an accident of circumstance. Here is evidence that it is a real trend: “Websites, the Internet and email are the preferred communication and marketing tool for attorneys and law firms, and blogs are a popular way for attorneys to exchange ideas and educate clients.”

This is true even though it exposes law firms to risks.  The  blogger I found is providing a webinar on dealing with the risks posed to lawyers by their blogging and their use of other online communication tools.

Looks interesting.

I think there are two kinds of political blogs: blogs that are political and political groups or organizations that blog (yes, I know these overlap, but it works for my purposes).

The blog I just found is of the latter kind–a known organization that gained a reputation through other communication media has now started to blog.

And they’re doing it wrong.

  1. A blog should not be a “clipping service.” Everyone on the web already has the ability to use google news or subsribe to a news feed according to the search parameters they select. They don’t need you to post links to news stories. They may find one or two of interest, but they will not be motivated to return to your site.
  2. A blog should be a place, where people know they will receive your analysis. That is what you have to offer that google news can’t: your own voice. People will return, not for just news, but for our spin. You don’t have to write a column (in fact, you shouldn’t produce anything that long), but a few remarks can make a big difference.
  3. A blog should not be aimed at a demographic group that is unlikely to surf the web. You can change this somewhat by advertising your blog, but the fact remains that blog readers tend to be younger. Are you reaching your potential readers or are you assuming that those listening to your radio spot are just as likely to surf the web?
  4. A blog should be designed to appeal to those most likely to be blog readers. This could be as easy as sharing your blog with a couple of other people who fit the demographic better. We’re not talking about every single post, after all, but a general feel.
  5. A blog should not be considered simply a new means to reach the same audience who listen or watch or read you in your older venues. You already have them.
  6. A blog should be a means of reaching new people.
  7. A blog should not be considered simply a means of broadcasting. Yes, I know: you type it and it can be read by anyone. But it is still not a virtual newspaper.
  8. A blog should be a means of getting a conversation going with other bloggers and commenters. This was where I was headed all along. There are lots of bright political bloggers out there. Talk to them. Argue with them. Recommend them and dismiss them. But don’t ignore them. Blogging is more akin to walking in a room where a lot of conversations are already taking place and trying to get in on one, than it is to a magazine column.

Recipe for burnout

I love problogger, but this is customized to attract someone who doesn’t count the cost. Ten blogs a day for a mere thousand dollars a month? That would turn your keyboard into a galley station. Does the company provide the big guard to beat out time with a drum as you row? I always provide pictures (see here) with my posts. It takes more time than you would think.

If you want an example of sane writing rates, consider this as an example:

Sign a 6 month contract for ghost blogging services and you’ll receive an instant savings off the above rates:

  • Two 100 – 200 word posts per week for $320 per month. That’s only $40 each!
  • Three 100 – 200 word posts per week for $500 per month. That’s only $41.67 each!
  • Three 201 – 500 word posts per week for $1,100 per month. That’s $91.67 each!
  • Three 501 – 750 word posts per week for $1,700 per month. That’s $141.67 each!

Ms. Edrich is slightly pricier than my normal service (though my normal service is to blog as a member of the group rather than straight ghostblog), but it is far more rational than what the ad offers. Imagine that you could write five good blogs an hour, day after day. What would be your hourly rate? Not much, and that would be on top of needing another job.

Not worth it!

I have made progress in promoting a service. I have more work to do, but I think it is ready to be revealed.