Guest Blogging for Lawyers

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Guest blogging can be a good way to get your writing in front of new audiences and build your reputation as an author. Accepting guest posts can also help you attract new visitors to your own blog and build your blog’s credibility.

But before you send out that mass email soliciting bloggers for guest post opportunities, here are some things to think about.

Contributing Guest Blog Posts

Who should guest blog?

Are you a good writer? Do you have some time to put some thought into a guest post? Are you a well-recognized legal writer? Are you a high-quality writer who is not quite as well-known?

If you can’t put something together that you can be proud of, don’t waste your time, or the time of the host blogger, by submitting half-baked blog posts or spam.

Where should you guest blog?

First, you should only guest post on blogs that expressly accept guest posts. Second, look for high-quality blogs to which you can intelligently contribute. Don’t waste your precious time crafting high-quality posts for blogs that have no editorial standards.

If you look around, you can find quality blogs that accept guest posts. Overlawyered is one that comes to mind. Lawyerist also accepts guest posts.

Guest posting for money?

At MyShingle, Carolyn Elefant cautions against the exploitative nature of unpaid contributing. In response, Jay Fleischman suggests that there are other benefits of creating content on someone else’s platform. And Carolyn agrees to the extent that:

guest posting can offer enormous benefits, and if it’s an occasional gig and the quality’s good, then it’s win-win for the blog-host and the guest blogger. But when a blog relies entirely on free or crowd-sourced effort and doesn’t bring anything other than a platform to the table (and with technology, platforms are cheaper than ever), then it’s time for the guests to pack up their content and go home.

Kevin O’Keefe also explains how guest blogging may be a win all the way around for lawyers:

  • Guest blogging on a popular law blog, especially one associated with your niche, is a great way to market your blog. Ask David Rossmiller who guest blogged at Point of Law.
  • Hosting guest bloggers on your blog is an excellent way to get new content, perhaps offering new perspectives or covering for you while you’re gone.
  • Guest bloggers on your blog will draw more readers because those guests will tell their blog readers about posting on your blog.
  • Thinking about launching a blog, but not sure? Maybe you can get a blogger to let you test drive blogging.

Accepting Guest Blog Posts

If you’re going to accept guest post contributions on your blog you may want to have agreement in place with your guest bloggers as to who owns the content.

You should also make it plainly obvious who the author of the post is and perhaps even include some disclaimer language about the views of the author being her own.

Of course, you should also be clear that you maintain complete editorial control over what is posted to your blog.

Google’s view on guest blogging for links

Guest blogging is one of those things that is frequently abused online. If your purpose for guest blogging is purely to get massive numbers of links, chances are that any links that you actually get will be pretty worthless. Here’s Google’s Matt Cutts on guest blogging for links:

In a nutshell:

Do:

  • Get to know the blog and blogger(s) before jumping to offering to contribute.
  • Think hard about what you want to say.
  • Make sure that your work will be properly attributed to you.
  • Have writing samples available for blog editors to review.
  • Include links to author biographical information where appropriate.
  • Collaborate with other high-quality writers.

Don’t:

  • Publish the same post multiple times to different sites.
  • Spin the blog post to try to trick search engines.
  • Submit your high-quality content to garbage article banks.
  • Approach guest blogging with the mindset of getting a massive number of links.
  • Send email spam to bloggers who don’t expressly indicate that they accept guest bloggers.

Have you contributed guest posts to other blogs or websites? What were the results? Do you accept guest posts on your site? Why or why not?

(Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjparnell/435465575/)

  • http://www.agiloft.com/ Help Desk Software

    Article spinning is definitely bad, can’t stand the practice, it really does make the web a less than optimal experience. Good ol’ Matt Cutts being his typically ambiguous self.

  • http://cogentlegal.com/blog/ Morgan C. Smith

    Thanks for these useful do’s and don’ts. Personally, I’m reluctant to accept guest bloggers because in my view, law blogs produced by solos or small firms succeed by having a voice or personality associated with them and by covering a very specific area of specialty. That said, I would be happy to consider a guest blog pitch by any attorney who can share very practical advice and insights, from firsthand experience, on my niche of litigation graphics and case presentations that incorporate visuals for mediation or trial.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I like the way you snuck in some self-promotion at the end, there.

  • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

    One of the most important things when approaching someone about guest blogging is not to make them do extra work. I hate it when people email me, offer to write a guest post, and then ask me to give them ideas or edit their work.

    I just delete most of the guest post offers I get. If it’s going to make more work for me, it’s not worth it.