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Marketing by Law Blog : Great article in NJ lawyer

Susan Ward, director of marketing for Carlin & Ward, P.C. in Florham Park, N.J. and I am proud to say a LexBlog customer (NJ Eminent Domain Law Blog) has authored an excellent article about using a professional marketing blog to grow your firm’s practice.

The publisher of the article, New Jersey Lawyer has graciously given me permission to republish it. Take it away Susan.

Law firms that use blogs reap marketing rewards. Consider the following points:

1. You’ve got a little niche. If you are in a boutique practice, a niche practice, or a hunter’s market, blogs can stretch your marketing and advertising dollar. Here’s how: A blog using Typepad as a platform can cost as little as $15 a month; Moveable Type, around $200 a month. If you don’t have the marketing dollars for display advertising, internet marketing is the way to go. It’s the way to go, anyway. Blogs are a great mechanism for education-based marketing – a comfort zone for most service firms. Blogs give you an opportunity to reveal your style and personality, something your picture and firm profile cannot fully convey.
2. Feed the blog. There’s a lot of chatter in marketing circles about “what’s the difference between a blog and a website? I already have a website – a blog is just another website.” According to Kevin O’Keefe, President of LexBlog, [www.lexblog.com ] websites are passive tools. You put up a website and it remains fairly static. Ask yourself, how often are you updating your website? Blogs, by their journalistic nature, require frequent entries, and thus drive more content into cyberspace. What does content do? It’s the magic in Search Engine Optimization [SEO]. You could pay-per-click, you could have FindLaw or Martindale beef up your website with canned content, or you could write your own content (i.e, blog). What works for the website works for the blog, but the power of the blog is exponential. More content and the repetition of keywords in your practice area increase your search-ability. You don’t need a detective, you just want discovery.
3. From Google to oogle. Now hear this: Google is still the top search engine. The higher up on the chart you are, the greater the chance that prospects will click on you. That works for both website and blog – but here’s the beauty of it: Link your blog to your website and your website to your blog. In your blog entries, link to other sites and related blogs. Let your resources know that you have linked to them, and ask them to link to you. More links, more potential visitors, more firm branding. Bloggers find their visitor stats are significantly greater on the blog than on their websites. Here’s looking at you!
4. Ping! Write your entry, publish it, and your site “pings” the blog engines, letting them know you’ve got news. Instantly, you’re live! If your blog is recognized and listed with the blog search engines (for example, www.technorati.com) you should see your entry come up under the keywords you have chosen to drive your search. Hint: Put your keywords in the title to insure speedy delivery. And, you can create an e-mail notification list for clients and colleagues who you want to keep informed of new cases and pending legislation in your practice area. The option to send your clients an update in a short text e-mail with a link to your blog replaces the need (and cost) of e-mail alerts, e-newsletters, and expensive hard copy mailings of same.
5. Full court press. In addition to prospective clients, there’s the media. Getting your name and your firm’s name in the news is free advertising. The mainstream media will still read your press releases, but they, too, subscribe to RSS feeds and use blogs as primary sources. Lawyers who blog get calls from newspapers, television and radio stations. By adding your favorite reporters to your blog notification list, they’ll have mail when you’ve got news.

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Susan Ward is director of marketing for Carlin & Ward, P.C. in Florham Park, N.J.

A graduate of Montclair State University, she is a member of the Legal Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association. She chairs the LMA Member Services Quality Assurance Subcommittee.

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Reprinted with permission of New Jersey Lawyer ©2005  www.njlnews.com

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