My Shingle

My Blogroll Is Rolling Away But I’m Giving A Better Alternative

by Carolyn Elefant on December 11, 2008 · 2 comments

in MyShingle Solo, Tech & Web

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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.

  • Grant Griffiths

    Thanks for the mention and links Carolyn. I have been kicking around the idea lately whether a traditional “blog roll” has nearly a such value as it use to. Quite frankly, I don’t think it does. And that is one of the reasons we started the “Profitable Bloggers” page on Blog For Profit.
    Additionally as you know, I am more of a fan of using what some are calling, an organic link. Where you are actually linking to a relevant blog in a relevant post. Just linking makes a lot more sense than putting up a blog roll of blogs that might not even be relevant to your readers.
    Which brings me to my finally point. Keeping your post and the links you do relevant to your readers is what really matters. In the end, and IMHO, the only thing that matters is our readers. Are we serving their needs by providing them with the relevant information which matters to them? If we are not, change has to be made. If we are, then lets keep it up.
    Thank you again for a great post and the mention.

  • Kimberly Alderman

    I just wanted to comment that when bloggers are very selective about which comments they approve, it makes me shy about trying to comment on that blog in the future. I might still read, just not reach out again. Sometimes what might seem like a canned, promo post might have been the person being organic but in a sadly unoriginal way. I only mention it because its happened to me!
    And I entered your contest! And it WAS hard work Twittering all day! But I can never resist a good contest, especially one with amazing prizes.

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