You Gotta Say Thanks!

One of the best lessons a new blogger can learn early is to let their blog ‘be social‘. Why? Well, from a web marketing perspective you must understand that blogs are more than an easy publishing tool. The word ‘Blog’ may be short for ‘web log’, and it may frequently be described as an online diary, but the process is anything but solitary.

For many new bloggers, this process can be a leap of faith. It’s very easy to get caught up in one’s publishing agenda, to *think* you’re losing your subject focus, or come to the conclusion that social engagement somehow doesn’t look ‘professional’. But the truth of the matter is, blogs are a unique phenomenon, and most blogs will not build up any kind of substantial readership working alone.

Plus, remembering the mantra of web marketing – that links are a currency, and denote value – and that your blog needs to be cited to build connectivity. Increasing the number of inbound links to your site will not only drive more direct traffic, but will also have the ancillary benefit of driving Google’s trust of your website, and very likely deliver higher rankings.

For me, the social side of blogging involves a number of tactics, things like:

  • blogroll links to your peers;
  • not just writing your own thoughts, but engaging in blog-to-blog discussions;
  • commenting on other blogs;
  • email discussions beyond the blog;
  • giving your fellow blogger a ‘hat tip’ when you cite their work; and every once in a while,
  • just saying thank-you.

So let me finish this post by practicing what I preach. Kevin O’Keefe & Larry Bodine, thanks for the recent coverage on my legal seo post! and yes, I’m subscribed to both their blogs, and yes, I’m going to continue to read what they say. … The lesson? When we link out to the substantive content we enjoy, and then add value to the conversation with our own perspective, we get rewarded.


  1. Kevin OKeefe said:

    Most welcome Steve.

    You keep posting great stuff to your blog, you’re going to have no problem getting others like Larry and I to reference the content – as well as refer clients to you. ;)

    @ 3:20 pm
  2. […] is one of the leading thinkers when it comes to web marketing for lawyers. He has this to say about how to “be social” with blogs: For me, the social side of blogging involves a number of tactics, things […]

    @ 5:19 am
  3. Steve:

    Interesting comments…I think the whole social side of the web and blogging is just beginning to be understood – particularly when it comes to lawyers.

    I think our past history is responsible..we read a magazine and perhaps a few of us would do a letter to the editor. But that would be about it. But in a blog – after reading the post….you can enter into a dialog with not only the writer, but also with the readership at large. The collaborative and interactive power of web 2.0 is not only transformational, it is synaptic. Bloggers write about other blogs …and lines of communication are developed…linking not only ideas, but people and thoughts. People who would not normally come into contact, do so. Ideas are shared. A knowledge velocity is at work – speeding the dissemination of thought and innovation – and connections.

    There is something at work here that mirrors the internet itself – but rather than just connecting computers…we have connected minds.

    Who knows where this will lead. But certainly professionals..and lawyers..need to be considering this and in particular, their role in this future.



    @ 11:50 pm
  4. I am new to the Blog area but recently gave up all marketing efforts and now have my blog as the only tool. I am taking a gamble and your site andd blog is a great inspiration.

    My question:
    blogroll links to your peers;
    not just writing your own thoughts, but engaging in blog-to-blog discussions;

    How do you do that? link to peers and engage in blog discussions. Can you explain.

    Great info thanks for your site

    @ 3:28 pm
  5. Hi Jacob,

    The answer to your question isn’t that different from academic circles – citation rules! In terms of value, citation within blog commentary is more valuable than any blogroll link. It also gets people’s attention quicker.

    The principal strategy is to respond & link directly to the other person’s post. Agree or disagree, but cite them by name, recap/quote their commentary, and then – most importantly – add something valuable & original from you to the exchange.

    Blogs that do this are winners – over & over again.

    Your blogroll is still a valuable tool. My advice on creating your ‘dance card’ is to make it unique & subject targeted. And remember these 2 things: 1) read the blogs before you link up, and 2) the sites you link to make up the subject sphere of your website. The tighter your content focus and linking focus (SEO factors aside), the better Google will be able to place your site for ranking purposes.

    @ 5:31 pm
  6. […] I’ve said many times the social side of blogging is where the value is. Blogs aren’t magazine articles, and […]

    @ 2:18 pm
  7. […] a strong law blog presence has always been to mix authenticity with the social side (see my ‘you gotta say thanks post‘ for more thoughts). What do I mean by the social side? Mostly it’s about identifying […]

    @ 10:19 am
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