How to get free content for your blog


guest bloggingSo you have a blog (or want to start one) and you need content. Your time is limited. What can you do?

First, don’t assume you need to spend hours writing your posts. As I’ve written before, a post can be a few paragraphs that take just a few minutes to write. It can be as simple as taking something you read online and adding your comments. Tell why you agree, or disagree, link to another post that provides a different viewpoint or additional information, or share a story from your practice that illustrates the points in the article.

For longer posts, you have several alternatives:

  • Re-purpose something else you wrote (newsletter, article, speech, brief, report, interview, etc.)
  • Hire a freelancer (,,, etc.)
  • Hire a student (e.g., an English or Journalism major; they will often work for free for the experience or writing credits)
  • Have someone in your office write it (or the first draft)

One of the best ways to get original content for your blog is through guest posts. Someone else writes the post in return for a byline and link to their blog.

The benefits to you are

  • You get content you don’t have to research or write, from experts in their field
  • You get traffic to your blog and, possibly, opt-ins to your list. Presumably, the writer will tell his or her readers about the guest post and some of them will come to see it.
  • Your readers get valuable content and they appreciate you for providing it.

The benefits to the guest blogger are

  • They get to demonstrate their expertise to your readers and get traffic to their blog
  • They get additional writing credit they can use with other blogs
  • Their readers see them being endorsed by you, elevating their status

Now, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If guest posts are a good way to get exposure and traffic, why not offer to do some guest posting yourself? Find blogs that write for your target market and offer to do a guest post. Here are 21 tips for landing guest posts.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of guest posts is that they allow both parties to make a new connection. This can lead to referrals, introductions, advice, interviews, endorsements, networking and cross marketing opportunities.

Start looking for blogs that reach your target market. Invite them to write a guest post for your blog or offer to do the same for theirs.


Why some attorneys shouldn’t blog (and most attorneys never will)


The evidence is clear: content is still king and blogging does work. The more (quality) content you have on your web site, the more traffic and leads and clients you get.

The August issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, reports that, “sites that have 401 to 1000 pages get nine times more visitors than sites with 51 to 100 pages”. Hubspot reports that consistent bloggers saw a 4.2x increase in the number of leads without four months, and reduced their lead costs by 60 percent.

The reasons are equally clear. Search engines like fresh content and so do readers who use those search engines to find that content. When someone has a legal issue, they’re not looking for an attorney’s “about” page, they want information that will help them understand their problem and their options for solving it. The attorney who provides that information is the attorney who gets more traffic, more leads, and more clients.

But it takes time to write good content and doing it consistently is hard work. That’s why so many people who start a blog don’t keep it up. (95 percent of blogs are abandoned, according to Technorati, long before they see an appreciable return on their investment.)

But you’re not like other people, are you?

“If you knew you could earn an extra $20,000 per month by blogging, and it would take you an hour a day, five days a week, would you do it?”

Let me ask a question: “If you knew you could earn an extra $20,000 per month by blogging, and it would take you an hour a day, five days a week, would you do it?”

If the answer is “no,” stop reading.

Of course I don’t know how much you will earn by blogging any more than I know how much the attorney-bloggers in the top 5% earn through their blogs. I’m pretty sure they are happy with their “top 5% results,” however.

And here’s some good news: you don’t have to spend an hour a day on your blog for it to be effective. An hour or two a week will probably be enough. That’s because:

  • You’re already reading in your field; you don’t have to invest a lot of extra time for blogging purposes.
  • You can write. If you can pass the essay portion of a bar exam,  you probably write well enough to write a blog (although you might want to have someone edit out the legalease).
  • You can get help. Your staff can do research, find articles you can incorporate into your blog, write first drafts and even write finished posts. If you don’t have staff, you can outsource.
  • You don’t have to post every day; once or twice a week, done consistently, is enough to put you in the top 5%. Even once or twice a month can bring you more business.

What are you doing now to market your practice? Could you use some of that time for blogging? If you’re not doing anything right now to market your practice, don’t you think you should?

In the past, my blogging has been sporadic. Stretches of consistency followed by stretches of “I’m busy with other projects and I’ll get back to blogging when I can”. Recently, I decided to take my own medicine. Not only have I started posting consistently again, at my wife’s urging I’ve been doing it every day. Even though it’s only been a couple of weeks, I’m already seeing a lot more traffic, subscribers, and new business.

Is blogging for every attorney? No. If you have other ways to build your practice and they are working, you don’t need a blog. It is hard work and it is a commitment. (Actually, the writing really isn’t hard, what’s hard is the commitment.) But if you’re looking for something to bring in more business, if you have more time than money or you’re willing to make the time because you can see why it would be worth it, if you like to write or have someone on staff who does, then blogging is a great way to rise above the competition and get into the top 5%.


Do lawyers need a blog?


The Attorney Marketing Center web site launched in 1998 and transitioned to a blog in 2007. At that time, I wrote an article detailing the change, David’s Website Diary, and promised updates. To be honest, I forgot about the article and didn’t update it until today.

Sorry, but you didn’t miss much.

From a technological standpoint, not much has changed since I switched to the blog format. I’ve changed the color and layout and added some new plug-ins, mostly having to do with social media integration, but not much else.

My site has grown because I focused on creating content, not on the latest bells and whistles. Content creates value for visitors, allows you to demonstrate your expertise, and brings traffic from search engines and from word of mouth. And so the number of subscribers to my newsletter has grown and the number of blog subscribers has grown and I have continued to sell products and services.

Do you need a blog? If you want to get more clients online I think you do.

A blog has several advantages over a static web site. As you update your content, search engines are notified and they bring visitors. As those visitors see the solutions you provide, they may (a) take the next step toward hiring you, (b) connect with you by subscribing to your newsletter or your blog feed or commenting on your posts, or (c) tell others about you via social media.

Your blog allows prospects and referral sources to see you “in action”. Your content is not just puffery about how great you are it is an exemplar of your abilities. As visitors become familiar with your style and hear your “voice,” as they get to know and trust you, your preeminence grows, your traffic grows, and your client base grows.

You can set up a blog yourself  in about an hour. WordPress makes is easy. There are many free and inexpensive “getting stated” videos available and you can hire people inexpensively to do it for you. Contact me if you would like some referrals.

Once you have your own blog, you control it; you don’t have to wait for tech support to do updates for you, you can do them yourself. It’s as quick and simple as using a web browser. And, other than paying for hosting (under $10/month), it’s free.

What about content–do you have enough to say? Trust me, you have enough. There is an endless amount of material you can supply. Everything from posts about the law and procedure in your practice areas, success stories you helped created, general business (or consumer) advice, guest posts from experts (referral sources) in allied fields, and much more. A post can be as short as a few paragraphs and as simple as you commenting on something you found on another web site or blog or in the news. And you can outsource content creation, too.

A blog may seem to be a big commitment but think of it as the front door to your online office. You won’t be there 24/7 but your presence will be. If you write an offline newsletter, publish articles, or do any public speaking or networking, you are already doing the things that are done online through a blog.

If you have a web site, you have something you can point to and that’s good. But you have to do the pointing. If you want free traffic, you need a blog.


How to build your prospect list: just ask three questions


This Labor Day weekend, many will attend parties and meet new people. Social (or business) gatherings are an opportunity to expand your network of contacts, all of whom could be potential clients or referral sources.

If you have something planned this Labor Day weekend, before you go, I know you’ll check your wallet or purse, making sure you have plenty of business cards on hand. But if you’re like most people, the opportunity to connect with new people will come and go. You will neither pass out cards nor collect any.

You’ll meet people and politely discuss sports or the weather or how tasty the hamburgers are, but you won’t get their contact information and they won’t get yours.

But you don’t have to squander this opportunity. All you have to do is ask three simple questions:

First, introduce yourself and ask for their name. "I’m David, what’s your name."

Easy enough. Now you know their name and they know yours. Use their name a few times so you don’t forget it three seconds later, as we so often do.

Second, ask them what they do. 

You can first ask how they know the host or how they are otherwise connected with the event, but then ask them what they do for a living.

"So, what do you do?"

Also easy.

Ask a follow up question or two and let them tell you all about what they do. When they are done, most people will ask you what YOU do. On the rare occasion when they don’t, just go on to the third question.

Third, ask for their card. "Do you have a card?"

When they give you their card, give them yours.

Voila, instant contact.

If they don’t have a card with them (and many won’t, especially at a social function), give them one of yours and ask them to write their information on the back.

"Write your contact information here." At least get their email address or web site.

It will help if you offer them a reason you are asking. If appropriate, tell them you might run into someone who could use their products or services. Or, simply tell them you would like to stay in touch.

Any reason will do.

Your objective at any social or business function is not to pass out your card (although that’s good, too), it is to find out something about the people you meet and capture their contact information so you can stay in touch with them.

To accomplish that, all you need to do is ask three simple questions.

Have a great weekend!