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Requesting links on lawyer blog – common courtesy rules

Dennis Kennedy, a very well respected technology lawyer and writer, just published an excellent entry on his blog about current abuse in requesting a link on a lawyer blog. Thanks Dennis for bringing this abuse to the attention of the masses.

Also gives me an opportunity to clarify my earlier advice that lawyers request links to their law blogs from fellow blogging lawyers. I too received a lot of recent requests for links and was glad to read I was not the sole reason for bringing on the onslaught of requests for links.

When requesting links on lawyer blogs, here’s five rules you need to follow.

One, really look at the blog site you are requesting a link on. Read some of the posts. Find out who the lawyer is and why they are publishing a blog. It takes time but you need to see if asking for a link makes sense and is going to be looked at with favor. I am pretty humble and do not go out requesting a link from a hugely popular blogger when I am just starting.

See if the lawyer’s blog even has links similar to yours. Some blogs do not have a list of links, some limit their links to those of a certain legal area, for example health law, and some limit their links to a select number of blogs they read.

Two, send an email that is written for ‘this lawyer’, not just a stock email that borders on a spam request. Show the lawyer you have read the content on their blog, that you are familiar with who they are, that you have something in common or that you admire their writings (make sure this is not BS).

Tell the lawyer why it may makes sense for the lawyer to include a link to your lawyer blog. Tell the lawyer your goals and aspirations for publishing your own blog. Fellow lawyers support worthwhile causes.

Three, write your own email, do not have a marketing company write and send out linkletters. It’s tempting to have people handle your search engine optimization, and good seo includes getting links from popular lawyer blogs. But blogs, by their very nature, are personal efforts. Lawyers will want to see you putting forth a personal effort.
Four, send the html text for your link and, if it looks helpful, where the link could be placed. Lawyers are busy and this saves them time.
Five, write with true sincerity, kindness and respect. You are asking for a favor. Just ask the lawyer to consider the request. And most importantly be yourself – use whatever tone you feel comfortable with as to this particular lawyer.

This all takes a lot of time. I spent about three days over two weekends looking up lawyer blogs, reading the blogs and writing emails. Believe me, I wondered if taking time away from my kids was worth it. But to me it was the right way to do it.

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