When you are a practicing lawyer, the beginning of the year means that you are thinking about financial goals for the year, including your marketing strategy. Not too long ago, though, you were a law student, and this time of year meant the beginning of the spring semester. The beginning of a new semester probably meant lots of stress, so think back to starting a new semester as an undergraduate.
Where did those innocent days go when your writing only had to be understandable and grammatically correct, instead of conforming to all of the requirements to law school? This new year, adding a blog to your law firm’s website can be a way to get that innocence back, that time when you could just write to communicate. Just like the best undergraduate writing, though, the best blog posts cite their sources. Here are some guidelines for linking to reputable sources on your law firm website’s blog.
Beware of Ipse Dixit
When you were on the high school debate team, you thought you were so cool because you knew the Latin names for rhetorical fallacies that your debate coach cautioned you to avoid in your speeches. Today, one of those, ad hominem (attacking the speaker instead of the assertion), has crept into the mainstream, as it is ubiquitous in today’s so-called informational media. Just as dangerous, though, is ipse dixit (“he said it himself”), simply asserting that something is true without giving proof.
The best way to prevent your blog from becoming an ipse dixit chamber full of windbag rants is to cite sources, and even better, to cite the sources that your sources cite. It may sound like common sense to someone who has been to law school, or even someone who has been to a high school debate club meet, but the volume of unfounded assertions online is astounding.
Don’t Feed the SEO Gimmick-Mongers
Including links in a blog post helps its SEO rankings and also helps the rankings of the site to which you link. Therefore, it is contrary to your interest to link to the blogs of other law firms, especially law firms in your geographic area, which are your direct competitors. In fact, it is best to link to non-commercial websites when possible. These sites devote their meager budgets to providing the best possible content and not to playing search engine ranking leap frog with other websites that deal with similar subject matter. Link to sections of the law code and to the text of court decisions when you can find publicly available versions of these online. Even if your readers don’t follow the links, it will mean that you have cited your sources. Those links will boost your SEO rankings just as well as the sleazy, commercial ones will.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Have you made the resolution to add a blog to your website but don’t have the time to write posts? You can count on Law Blog Writers to provide thoughtful content with links to reputable sources.