Way too much time is consumed by lawyers and legal marketing professionals talking about linking back and forth from blogs and websites in forced artificial ways. This is not a ‘I link to you, you link to me or I linked to him in a list of links so look at me as a nice guy’ kind of thing.
Links are best garnered as part of being in a conversation among thought leaders in your field. Todd Smith is a Texas Appellate lawyer and holds himself out as being a pretty good one via his blog. If another Texas appellate lawyer comes along with a blog why not engage that lawyer in a conversation.
That’s done by referencing what the lawyer says on their blog and providing your take. Obviously you’ll be linking to that lawyers blog post when referencing what they have to say.
By engaging in an ongoing conversation with other thought leaders and the media you will be seen by people doing research in the area as an authority. When someone Google’s your name they will see other thought leaders referencing what you have had to say – a tacit endorsement of your expertise. If you’re not engaging in the conversation among leaders in your field, you are conspicuous by your absence.
Think of it like a conference or series of conferences. The thought leaders are on the panels. They comment on what each other says. They comment on other panelists answers to questions from the audience.
If you are sitting in the audience because being on a panel would require you to recognize other lawyers as thought leaders by engaging in a conversation with them, that’s fine. You’ll just never be seen. You’ll never convince the person sitting next to you that you are as good a lawyer as those on the panel.
Of course link out, but not in some list of links. Link out by being part of the discussion.