Read that in a comment from Ben Glass to a recent post of mine. ‘[T]he ONLY reason, in my view, to blog, have a website, etc. is to get your site positioned well in the search engines.’

That’s nuts. I’m not sure Ben honestly believes that.

If there’s lawyers and legal marketing professionals who honestly believe blogs are only for search engine rankings, I expect they’re the ones who previously believed the only way a lawyer could get new clients was through large yellow page ads and other advertising. You know, the biggest and gaudiest ad with call the 1 800 lawyer thing.

They believe Google is replacing the yellow pages for people selecting a lawyer. God forbid you’re not at the top of search engine results page of Google when someone searches your town and the type of lawyer you are. ‘If I’m not at the top of Google, I’ll never get any work. I’ll go broke.’

The same thing that has allowed good lawyers, no matter their area of practice, to get good work over the years is why law blogs work so well. The ability to network with thought leaders in your field, influencers within your community, and prospective clients.

When I practiced in a small rural town in the Midwest a leading law firm ran only a very small in column ad in the yellow pages listing their 12 lawyers by name. That’s it. Only advertising they did. And they got as much work as anyone in the area in everything – personal injury, divorce, real estate, corporate, estate planning, bankruptcy, probate and what have you.

How they’d do it?

  • By striving to be good lawyers – staying up to speed on legal developments and news that effected their practice.
  • By writing articles for legal publications and regional newspapers.
  • By presenting at seminars and conferences for lawyers and relevant industries.
  • By being well known by the press and being available when reporters need resources or a quote.
  • By becoming leaders regionally and state-wide in bar and legal associations.
  • By networking with good lawyers around the state.
  • By networking with community leaders and influencers in various civic organizations.
  • By being social and cordial with people who influence others in their selection of a lawyer – bailiffs, court clerks, judges, bankers, doctors, insurance agents, realtors, title company personnel, court reporters etc.

They further enhanced their reputation as good lawyers you could trust by networking. Word of mouth spread.

Blogging is a new way of networking with thought leaders, community leaders, the media, current clients, and prospective clients. It’s how you further enhance your reputation as a lawyer who can do a heck of a job for people and companies needing legal services in your niche. It’s how you generate a word of mouth reputation that’s far wider reaching than offline.

Ask any lawyer who knows how to blog effectively. They’ll tell you their blog is much more than search engine rankings. Don’t get me wrong. Search engine rankings are important, but they’ll come anyway through effective blogging.

Let’s act like lawyers folks. We didn’t go to law school so we could run the largest yellow page ad, billboard, or to rank at the top of something called Google – which in our wildest dreams we could not have dreamed of in law school 30 years ago. What’s after Google? You’ll be chasing that too with the latest gimmicks.

Rise above the pack. Be the lawyer you want to be in the area of law for which you have a passion. Become a lawyer’s lawyer. Establish a reputation that’s not fleeting. It can be done via online networking through effective blogging – not by just being at the top of Google.