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Law firms will sponsor niche topic blogs on which firm writes little content

An interesting discussion over at Between Lawyers about LexisNexis recent sponsorship of the The Law Professor Blogs Network.

My take is if all they are getting is the cost of running and hosting a blog, that’s too little. Sponsorship of blogs when the blog has good content is a good value for the sponsor – all depending on the size of the readership of course.

Gawker Media, which hosts a number of blogs drawing a very large audience gets sponsors of their content paying significant sums. The day is going to come (probably very soon) when a law firm sponsors a blog on a niche topic on which they practice for which the firm may write very little, if any, content.

Plaintiff’s trial law firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in marketing. In many cases their Internet presences suck. Sponsoring a blog for $75,000 a year focused on a particular product and the injuries & lives it has cost people is peanuts for a firm handling cases on behalf of injured victims and their families. Such a blog could be written, edited and produced by anyone other than the firm and still offer valuable content to people. By sponsoring the blog, the firm reaches their target audience.

I was on a panel with Gabby Darbyshire, director of business development for Gawker Media, a few weeks ago in New York City. She pointed out that some bloggers are too concerned with who is writing the content, who is the sponsor and what you call the thing – a blog or a Web site. If the content is good and draws people, it can be a great marketing buy for a sponsor. I agree. The end user only cares about the information provided, not who is writing the content.