Almost every family has one, the relative who is so enamored of apparent bargain prices that he or she will do financially foolish things just to be able to brag about getting the item for a low price. Maybe it’s the uncle who buys a used car off of Craigslist and then, when it turns out to be a lemon spends thousands of dollars repairing it and hundreds more trying to unload it on another bargain-hungry buyer. Perhaps it’s the grandma who drives many miles out of her way to buy bulk quantities of more canned soup than she can possibly eat before its expiration date.
These behaviors are different from the behavior of people whose dedication to living way below their means motivates them to plan every financial decision months or even years in advance, the ones who don’t own credit cards and who don’t buy bread even at the dollar store because they bake their bread at home using a bread maker they bought from a thrift store. Buying cheap content for your website is a similar financial fallacy to allowing a discount coupon to lead you on a wild goose chase. These are some examples of types of bargain basement web content to avoid.
The Bargain Sub-Basement: Robo Content
Bots are the worst writers of all. The lowest priced web content services will provide content that is copied and pasted from other sites and then perhaps spun by bots, or else created from whole cloth by bots that have been programmed with a few keywords and with basic knowledge of English syntax. In the latter category, the ideas are unoriginal even if the wording passes Google’s plagiarism tests. You can easily recognize bargain sub-basement content by reading it out loud; it is painful to read more than a few sentences.
The Bargain Basement: Content Mills
These companies offer low prices for web content that is technically original and produced by humans. The writers are paid exploitatively low wages, usually a penny or less per word; some of them are non-native English speakers, while others are native English speakers living in countries where content mill income buys them even less. To make ends meet, the writers must turn out so many words per day that they have no time to put adequate research and thought into their content.
The Bargain Ground Floor: Marketplace Sites
On sites like Fiverr, you contact the writer directly, so you are not going through a company that churns out high volumes of content by paying writers a pittance. Even though you contact the writer directly, and the writer pays slightly more, these sites still operate in the realm of small gigs for small amounts of money, low pay for low commitment and low quality.
Legal Content Writing
The best solution is to engage the services of a content marketing company that exclusively produces original web content for law firms, where the writers are knowledgeable about the law. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create affordable, readable content that is worth every penny.
When you boast, or when your relatives flatter you, that your skills as a lawyer are valuable, a big part of what they mean is that your writing skills are valuable. If you do not believe this, read a legal memorandum, letter, or other document you have recent written in your professional capacity, and then read dirt cheap web content on a similar subject.
Think about how much you got paid per hour or per word to write it, and then think about how much the authors of dirt-cheap web content get paid. The way you get paid may not simply be per hour of writing, and it almost certainly is not per word, but do some calculations. You will see that writing with the expertise of a lawyer is a specialized skill, and is rewarded as such. Therefore, if you put the effort into writing a blog, you will want to make sure that it is protected from copyright infringement. An article on Social Media Examiner discusses ways to protect your intellectual property on your blog.
Registering the Copyright for Blog Posts
Technically, one does not copyright a blog, since a blog is a place online, namely a page on your website, rather than a literary work. The posts do, however, fit the legal definition of literary works. The Library of Congress has new rules about registering the copyright for groups of creative works, including blog posts; you can now register up to ten posts with a single copyright application. Registering the copyright to your posts will give you more leverage if someone tries to republish your blog content without your permission.
If You Write It and Post It, You Own the Rights to It
According to U.S. copyright law, the rights to written works automatically belong to their authors; it begins as soon as you save the Word document with your post, before you even post the content online. If you plan to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you must register the copyright to your work before filing the lawsuit. The copyright application form includes a question about when the work was created.
You or Your Law Firm Can Still Own the Rights to Your Blog Content, Even If You Hire a Content Firm to Write It
“Works made for hire” are an exception to the “you write it, you own it” rule. Your agreement with the content marketing firm you hire to write your blog content contains a provision that the content it provides for you constitutes a work made for hire. Likewise, if employees of your law firm write the content in the context of your professional duties, the copyright can belong to your law firm.
Legal Content Writing
Whether you write your own blog content or hire a content marketing firm to write it, copyright law is on your side. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original, well-written, and well-researched content for which you will be proud to own the rights.
Old generation geeks remember a time when you had to type in website addresses exactly in order to reach a website. No one found this tedious, because in those days, it was also necessary to memorize phone numbers and enter them one digit at a time in order to make a phone call. The only way people could reach the website of Walter Bloggins, Esq. was to type in its URL as it appeared on the business card. If the website was www.walterblogginsesq.com, and you types www.walterbloggins.com, you would get an error message. Gimmicky web addresses like www.getoutofjailfreewithwalterb.com did little to solve this problem, because they still depended on prospective clients having reasonably accurate keyboarding skills.
Enter the search engine. Over time, these wondrous inventions have gotten better and better at guessing what information you are looking for, even based on vague and misspelled search terms. As search engines get better at helping consumers find what they want, businesses with an online presence compete for the attention of the search engines. The process of getting Google to consider your business the most appropriate, reliable, or important response to a user’s search term is called search engine optimization (SEO), and keywords are an essential part of SEO. Just how many keywords is enough, though, to convince Google that your website is a genuine article?
What Is a Keyword?
SEO keywords are words and phrases that you think that users will type into Google when trying to find your site or other sites like it. For example, “Florida DUI defense,” “Modify alimony agreement,” and “establish an LLC” are all search terms that users who need the services of a lawyer might enter. The keywords relevant to your law firm include your practice area and your geographic area, as well as other phrases related to the types of cases you accept. Some law firms try to include keywords on their sites that will respond to search terms by users who have not yet decided to hire a lawyer. These search terms include things like “Michigan alimony laws” and “how to write a will.”
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is how frequently a keyword appears on a page. For example, if the keyword “alimony” occurs ten times in a 500-word blog post, that is a keyword density of two percent. The formula is a little more complicated for “keywords” that are more than one word long. How often should you use keywords in a blog post, though? Too infrequently, and Google will not give your site enough importance. Too frequently, and Google will determine that your post smacks of charlatanism. The conventional wisdom is that the ideal keyword density is 3-5 percent. That means using the word “alimony” five times in a 500-word post or the phrase “estate planning” three times in a 600-word post, for example.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
You didn’t go to law school just to obsess about keyword density. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, original content with just the right number of keywords.
As a lawyer, you have probably gotten so used to writing certain types of documents that you can turn out a nearly flawless draft on the first try. A big part of what makes you more productive than your younger self, the self that used to write for fun, before time was money and before you constantly operated under the assumption that anything you say can and will be used against you, is that you don’t experiment with your writing anymore.
If, as it has been said, law school takes the fun out of reading, imagine how much life after the bar exam takes the fun out of writing. In a recent post on Copyblogger, Stefanie Flaxman reminds us of how the true gems of our writing often come encrusted in what she so eloquently calls a “necessary mess.”
Let the Mess Shine In
In Flaxman’s post, even the phrase “necessary mess” is itself a second draft; she originally called this indispensable aspect of writing “the ugly draft.” Your baby boomer English teachers probably called it a “sloppy copy.” Many writers use this phase of writing to help themselves overcome writer’s block; they write the first thing that comes to their minds.
Flaxman says that she sometimes just writes the word “something” again and again until her mind starts producing other words. In the age of instantly visible word counts, you can set yourself the goal of writing a certain number of words and resolve to call it a day even if you have written 1,000 words of gibberish, as long as you met your word count. Many times, if you keep writing “something something something,” you end up with something brilliant by the time you reach your word count goal. Then you make the brilliant part the starting point for your much better organized second draft.
What About Blogs?
Much of the blog posts on the Internet deserve their reputation for being poorly thought out. Some writers just write gibberish until they reach their word count goal and then click “post.” Sadly, this even includes professional writers, especially those who work for low-paying content mills. If you are only getting paid a dollar for every 200 words, typing a slightly more grammatically complex form of “something something something” until you reach your target length is all you can afford to do. When you read the blog on a business website, you can usually tell whether the blog content is the result of several drafts or was simply outsourced to the lowest bidder. If you are writing your own blog on a law firm’s website, though, your blog is an opportunity to publish some of your best thought-out writing.
Legal Content Writers
In a perfect world, lawyers would have time to spend writing and revising blog posts, but the reality is that most don’t. The next best thing is to entrust your blog content to experienced writers knowledgeable about the law. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, accurate content for your law firm’s blog.
The biggest factors in the success of your small law firm have nothing to do with marketing. Being a competent lawyer and charging your clients fair prices are more important to building the reputation of your law firm than any amount of advertising or any promotional campaign. Marketing does, however, help prospective clients become aware of the existence of your law firm, and even the smallest law firms dedicate part of their budget to marketing. Even if yours is a small law firm with a modest marketing budget, spending your marketing budget wisely can make the difference between whether the money goes to waste or whether it does its job of raising awareness about your law firm and the services you offer. Here are some law firm marketing strategies that have a good return on investment and some ineffective ones to avoid.
Do Have an Informative, User-Friendly Website
Many new clients will make the decision to contact you based on what they read on your website. These are some important things to include on your website. Please note that these are things that clients will want to see on your website; these components help with SEO rankings, but SEO is not your primary reason for including them.
· A list of your practice areas
· A page for each practice area, with a few paragraphs describing the laws related to that practice area
· Short biographies of the attorneys at your firm
· A blog with posts about common questions related to your practice area or news about laws and cases related to it
· Your contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email address
Don’t Waste Your Time and Money on Gimmicks
Many of the mistakes that lawyers make regarding how to allocate a law firm’s marketing budget have to do with wasting money on gimmicky advertising strategies. Following the advice of advertising firms that promise miracles probably will not decrease your client base; the problem with pursuing pie-in-the-sky marketing strategies is that your efforts are better spent elsewhere, such as serving your current clients. Here are some examples.
· Don’t obsess over which SEO keywords to use on your site and where to use them. Make a website for clients, not for Google.
· Don’t pay marketing firms to post fake reviews of your law firm. Google can tell the difference between real reviews and fake ones, and so can clients.
· Don’t waste your money buying clicks. No matter how many bots click on your site, not a single one of them will hire you to represent it in a court of law.
· Don’t resort to black hat SEO tactics. They will harm your site’s rankings instead of helping them.
Legal Content Writing
Your law firm’s website is the best place to invest your efforts to market your law firm, but most lawyers do not have time to write web content. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create an informative, professionally written website for your small law firm.