Spurred by this post by blogmaster, Grant Griffiths and my recent sixth birthday, I’ve been rethinking the role of my blog roll as I begin a significant overhaul this site. Originally, my blog roll had two components: resource links, intended to provide information on other sites that would provide useful information or insights to my readers and other shingles links, intended as a way to highlight solo and small firms and share my SEO.
As originally designed, the shingle link wasn’t a freebie – I’d ask every person who wanted a listing to commit to reviewing at least three of the other listed blogs and to actually contact at least one other person on the list. It was an honor system, of course, but I did hear from several participants who found the experience worthwhile.
These days, however, linking isn’t about building community or resources. Instead, it’s all about SEO, building links to build exposure and as such, the links are growing meaningless. At the same time, I still remain committed to giving exposure to solo and small firm lawyers. So….
As part of my overhaul, my Other Shingles blogroll will come down from the front page. I may create a stand alone page for it, or adopt the submit yourself option that Grant recently implemented as his site. For the time being, however, the best way to gain exposure at my site is to earn it! I am running two contests — an essay contest (with a choice of Why I (a Solo/Small Firm/Independent) Lawyer Matter or How Technology Has Improved the Way I Serve Clients and/or Practice Law) and Twitter the Day Away. These are real contests, with real prizes – an Asus computer or bottle of wine (not just a free ebook or even a copy of my book, Solo by Choice). You’ll get a by-line in the post header that is likely to wind up on the first page of Google search ranking (of course, this isn’t a guarantee) And I’ll publish all the essays that I deem worthy, not just the eventual winner.
Not to be cynical, but I’m betting I won’t have many takers. Why? Because many people don’t want to work for SEO. They’d rather spend money and hire someone to do it for them (often, with embarrassing results) or spam the top bloggers with requests for links or submit a canned, promotional post. Those practices won’t work here.