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.

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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7 Responses to Outsource Your Marketing, Guest Post Edition

  1. shg says:

    That Krist is a slimebag self-promoter who hired a marketer to place garbage guest posts is commonplace and banal. Another sleazy lawyer. Big deal.

    That Bitter Lawyer, owned by Sam Glover, who also owns Lawyerist (“a mile wide and an inch deep”), posted this dreck is what shocks me. Sam is neither a babe in the woods nor unaware of marketing scams. So the fact that he posted this ignorant scam garbage reflects his deliberate choice? That’s a pathetic disgrace that’s not so easily forgiven.

    • Sam Glover says:

      I’m not involved in the day-to-day operation of Bitter Lawyer, for what it’s worth. That said, I’m obviously responsible for its content in my capacity as an owner.

      This one got by our editor, who is an actual real lawyer distracted by lawyering. He’s not happy with himself. That said, I’m not all that sorry it got posted. Sometimes the worst thing you can do to someone is give them what they ask for. Krist asked for this ridicule, and it is well-deserved.

      • shg says:

        Excuses are easy, Sam. It doesn’t get by me. It doesn’t get by Mark. Nor any legit blawger. But your editor is “an actual real lawyer distracted by lawyering”? Bullshit. We’re actual real lawyers distracted by lawyering, yet somehow this never happens. It’s not an accident.

        It’s embarrassing to Krist for sure. Don’t ignore its reflection on you. At least Krist knew what he was doing. You have no excuse.

  2. Robb Fickman says:

    Mark – I agree with you. But there are lots of sleazy lawyers. Outsourcing their reputation is at no cost to them as their reputation is either non-existent or for being unethical scum. My 29 years in Criminal law have taught me to guard your name. It’s all you have.
    Robb Fickmam

  3. Max Kennerly says:

    Hello [webmaster name here],

    I’m criminal defense lawyer in [jurisdiction here]. I would submit a guest post titled, “the 3 reasons why everyone the DA files charges against is guilty of every charge and deserves the full sentence,” with a link back to my combined Criminal Law / Online Poker website.

    Thank you for time and I look forward to the interesting benefit of your readers.

  4. Adam Nikulicz says:

    While I agree, most ‘guest posts’ are rehashed garbage, I would like to note that when we ask other attorneys if they are interested in a guest post from our attorneys… we DO ACTUALLY make the attorneys write the content, themselves. We dont have ‘staff attorneys’ writing on their behalf and claiming to be them.

    Next, you as – Why would you post it? For links and self promotion for us, but free content for you. What do you bill, $250 an hour? $350 an hour ? How long does a blog post take you? 30 minutes? an Hour? More? You could extrapolate this and determine a blog post written by one of my attorneys would be a somewhere in the neighborhood of a $200 – $700 value. That is, if you want the content.

    Why do you want the content? You get eyeballs on your page. That why you are blogging isnt it? If you don’t believe in SEO and don’t believe in getting eyeballs to see your phone number and your pretty picture, then why have a blog? Why have a website at all?

    For the record, I left a message at your office with my number should you wish to continue to conversation – we’d love to. Thanks. Adam & Lauren

  5. At some point Bitter Lawyer made the back links in Krist’s article resource box no-follow, a kind of moth ball remedy against SEO writers. They may have done this from the beginning, or as a way of saving face later on. If at the beginning, I’m surprised Krist chose to use their blog for a guest post, unless he was meeting a quota for the lawfirm he works for, and believed the firm wouldn’t check the follow status of the links he created.

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