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Content Partners Give Words Weight

Communication

In Greek history, Philippides fought in the battle of Marathon then ran without stopping the 26.2 miles to Athens, burst into the assembly, cried "We have won," and collapsed dead. He sacrificed everything to deliver that message.

Modern attorneys aren't called upon for that level of dedication. Trust is a bigger issue. In less than a second a "tweet" I send in New York can be read in Tokyo. But how do people know if they can trust my message? Some media are more trusted than others. So where do blogs fit in? How are they judged?

Some blogs garner newspaper-like credibility — when a legal expert takes the time to write, the content is well received. Just look at the Scotus Blog. The vast majority of bloggers lack the independent reputation to gain such journalistic-like credibility, and need more credible distribution. How to get it?

The fastest way is through content partners. Blog content is transformed into pseudo ­journalistic content when distributed by the right content partner. For a fee, JD Supra, Lexology, Mondaq and others will distribute blog content and connect it with the right ­people. I use the word "pseudo" not because the content isn't credible, but because these sites post the information as submitted, ­unmediated by editors.

But perceptions about the content changes dramatically. Research involving in-house counsel indicates that buyers of legal services find content on JD Supra and Lexology to be more credible than other blogs' content — just below traditional journalism. Content partners can place your material before a larger audience, as well. It's pay-to-play, but these distributors connect the right messages with the right readers.

I ran an experiment to test this. Every day I have been in the office this year, I have tried to write a fresh blog post. With every post, my traffic increases moderately on my site, but my traffic numbers exploded when JD Supra distributed my material. Last month, I had fewer than 10,000 page views on my site but more 15,000 on JD Supra for the same content. One article I wrote had 153 reads on my blog but 905 views on JD Supra. Moreover, the metrics indicate the audience better trusts the content.

In short, the need to personally host my own blog is becoming less and less important. I still love blogs and recommend blogging, but the purpose of the writing is not to populate the stand-alone blog. The purpose is to create content that can be shared with third parties to confer far more credibility than you are likely to gain with your own law blog.

You don't need to run yourself to death to get your information out there. Find a great content partner. If you are writing content, you have already won the first battle. Get the ­content out there so you can win the war.

 

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