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Linking to and blogging about competitors’ blogs is smart

While bloggers in other industries blog about what their competitors are blogging about and link to their competitor’s posts, lawyers are scared to death to do so.

I hear it all the time – “We’ll never link to a possible competitor’s blog posts. It would just never be permitted in our firm.” The paranoia is so rampant some lawyers will not even link to a lawyer across the country doing the same sort of work. And these guys and gals think see themselves as thinking with a clear mind. Fact is it’s nuts.

Imagine a legal conference or seminar where lawyers never referred to what another said. Imagine a legal article not referencing previous writings by other lawyers. We’d get no where in the discourse of law. And lawyers that refused to enter into such discourse on the law would never establish themselves as reliable and trusted authorities in their niche area of the law.

Blogs are the same darn thing – discourse on the law. It’s this discourse that further enhances your reputation as an expert and grows your business. Not commenting about what other lawyers in your area of the law are blogging about is shooting yourself in the foot.

Look at this post from Jamie Spencer, a criminal defense lawyer in Austin. He discusses at length blog posts from Bill Mange and Ken Gibson, both Austin criminal defense lawyers.

Thinks it hurts Jamie to do so. Heck no. It makes him appear as more of an authority on criminal law issues for those in Austin – prospective clients, referring lawyers, and the media. Jamie has generated significant interest from all three audiences from his blogging.

Plus rule one on marketing your blog is linking to other blogs. The more you send people away to more valuable resources, the more valuable you become to your target audience. And blogging about other bloggers is only going to get you cited by them at some point, only increasing your traffic.

Will lawyers stop being anal and liberally link to competitor’s blog posts? No, but those who do so will grow their practices more.

  • http://impact.freethcartwright.com Andrew Mills

    We’ve been running a legal blog since August 2006 and frequently refer to other lawyer’s blogs and have links on our blog page to the blogs of others that we like. Seems to make sense. After all, if someone writes a really good piece covering a topic, why re-invent the wheel? Referring to their item and adding comment and narrative seems a pragmatic way forward.

  • http://www.human-law.org Justin Patten

    Leading on from Andrew’s point about re-inventing the wheel, with the Google search engine people can easily access material anyway.
    This is all about collaboration – In the long term it is better to link out.

  • http://www.sethigherstandards.com Ravi

    great point, the blogosphere is about community not isolation.

  • http://blog.searchanyway.com/ Chris M

    You know, any “political” or “community” blog you visit has a “blogroll,” but most marketing blogs that are supposed to be all about SEO and/or affiliate marketing, ironically, do not.

  • http://njeminentdomain.com Susan Ward

    From the inception of the New Jersey Eminent Domain Law Blog in 2005, we have linked to other blogs and news sources that discuss issues relevant to this topic, whether they are main-stream press, non-profit public interest law organizations, citizen action groups, or law firms and will continue to do so. This practice has only enhanced our reputation and reach. We even collaborate with our in-state competitors in continuing legal education seminars, and that is largely due to our collegial relationship with the practitioners in the eminent domain field.