Stem client John Hochfelder is the host of this week’s blawg review, which comes with an interesting personal touch – the review is both dedicated to, and the theme guided by, the life of his late father. The publication date was also timed nicely for today, his father’s birthday.
And before anyone guesses wrong, the theme idea and craftsmanship was all John – So full credit to him! And really, you don’t contrive a story like this.
What I would like to write about, web strategy wise, is the opportunity Blawg Review provides for legal bloggers looking to establish themselves. Around since its first edition in April 2005, Blawg Review is one of the oldest and can certainly now be described as one of the strongest rotating blog carnivals. Each week someone new hosts the review on their blog, offering a personalized round-up of commentary (in this case, legal blogs) from the previous week.
Hosting a blog carnival has always been a solid web-marketing tactic, but like most things that work well in the online space, isn’t always easy to pinpoint why.
Two of the big issues I see with many new bloggers is that they are often: link-poor and (web) relationship deprived. Getting past those barriers, while difficult, requires: 1) writing commentary that is substantive & genuine in tone and 2) having the personal web-network of relationships that can help increase exposure. Gaining attention in the blogosphere, simply put, requires both ‘the steak’ and ‘the sizzle’.
So how does hosting a carnival like Blawg Review help? A couple of ways. First, there’s a benefit on the link front – the host blog usually receives its fair share of quality incoming links. Links, I might add, that are based on substance (not schemes) and links that are strong on subject relevance.
And second, the host blog puts itself on the radar of the legal blogging community. At a number likely over 5000 now, that’s not always an easy task.
Now let me make my confession (’cause Ed’s waiting for it) – I’ve never actually hosted Blawg Review. So now that I’ve told you what a great idea hosting is, let me remedy my cobbler’s kids routine and say that I’m signed on to host while the Olympics are on in Vancouver (as is the Canadian Trademark Blog).
This is something I regret not giving priority to when I first started Stem, and probably a lesson to be learned by others who are looking to raise their own blogging profile.