Outsource Your Marketing, Guest Post Edition

We get the offers in our email all the time:

Hello,
I was checking out your Defending People blog and was wondering if you accept guest posts. I have original content that I am looking to post. These articles are written by attorneys focusing on criminal defense and personal injury law as well as a host of other areas.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in please contact me.
Thanks,
/Adam Nikulicz

or

Hello Mark, 
I am a legal blogger for www.nerdlaw.org. 
I am currently looking for guest blogging opportunities and I was wondering if you would be willing to write a guest post for my blog, and if possible, allow me to write an article (on the subject of your choice) for your site with a link?
I’d like to contribute a piece about Criminal Law . If you’re interested, let me know if you’d like for me to pitch a topic for approval.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response,
Donna Breen
Often the solicitations have come from outside the English-speaking world:

Dear Webmaster,

I am a blogger and interested to write a topics related in law like DUI. I would like to inquire if you’re interested to render your blog as a venue for my article. I’ve actually prepared it and ready for posting.

You can choose among these titles:

What’s Wrong with a Cop During Your DUI Arrest?

Alternatives to Avoid Imprisonment after a DUI Conviction

Can a Doubt Convict You in a DUI Case?

How to Avoid License Revocation after a DUI Arrest

Is DUI Test Mandatory for You to Take?

For reference of my works you can check out my write-ups at http://www.tampafloridadui.com. I hope you can let me know if you think this could be interesting for you.

Best,

Margo

(I emailed Margo back asking for samples; I really want to know what’s wrong with a cop during my DUI arrest. But she never responded. Oh, Margo, how can I publish your guest post if you never respond? Ken at Popehat also got no response when he responded enthusiastically to one such offer.)

Once, I even got one attributable to specific lawyers—goofy DC criminal-defense lawyer David Benovitz’s firm:

Dear Mr. Bennett,

My name is Amanda Dove and I am a fan of your blog, Defending People: the tao of criminal-defense trial lawyering. As an aspiring law student, I know how important it is to stay informed with legal news and stories. I’ve really enjoyed looking through your posts, especially the piece, “Indiana Steps Away from the Brink”.

This summer, I am interning at Price Benowitz, LLP., a law firm with locations in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. They also have a criminal law blog with high quality content that might be of interest to your readers. Would you consider letting us do a guest blog on your site? The writers here can write an article based on any legal topic of your choosing.

To give you an example of our writing style, I’ve included an article written by Jordan Ruby, a Price Benowitz staff writer, at the end of this email. This can also be accessed at: http://www.whitecollarattorney.net/2012/05/brian-banks-falsely-accused-af.html.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Best regards,

Amanda Dove

What’s in it for the guest poster? Exposure—more specifically, a link from the post to whatever website she is selling. People pay for this exposure. Benowitz is paying Amanda Dove (“aspiring law student”?) to hawk his firm by getting bloggers to publish their guest posts. Likewise, Adam Nikulicz, Donna Breen, and Margo all hope to turn my blog into a revenue source for them.

What’s in it for me? Nothing. If I were to accept one of these offers I would get something like this post on Bitter Lawyer, published over the name of Kevin Krist. Krist is trying to get links back to his website, which has four pictures of him on the front page, and his unsubscribable blog, which rehashes news articles as a mechanism for getting as many keywords into his site as possible.

Kevin Krist’s guest post is a sort of mini-Stella Awards: “3 Outrageous Personal Injury Lawsuits.” He leads off with the Stella Liebeck (“Lieback”) case, in which Ms. Liebeck sued McDonald’s after spilling hot coffee in her lap and receiving severe burns. This case is a darling of the tort-reform crowd; any competent personal-injury lawyer has the debunking facts at his fingertips. No self-respecting PI lawyer would publicize the insurance companies’ take on the case, which is what Krist’s post does.

Krist’s third example (burglar trapped in house sues and wins) is fictional. His second, Cedrick Makara’s 3.75-million suit for a defective bathroom door, appears to be about 70% accurate, as far as it goes.

We all know that Kevin Krist didn’t write this post: he outsourced it, as he likely outsources his blog. But he’s responsible for it nonetheless.

There’s a lesson here for Bitter Lawyer, which is already taking heat for publishing this dreck, as well as for Kevin Krist, should he choose to learn it: Outsource your marketing, outsource your reputation.