Unlike hundreds of other websites, we’re not desperate for sponsors or advertisers. Quality counts. As we explained here, we welcome and actively solicit sponsorships from vendors, associations, businesses and law firms who support our mission, set a model of excellence and offer value-priced and ethical products and services to the solo and small law firm community.
But, quality doesn’t just count; it also costs. In most cases, inability or unwillingness to pay automatically signals to us a lack of respect for this site, our mission and solo and small firm lawyers generally. After all, isn’t that the same reaction we lawyers have towards clients who expect us to work for free — impatience or annoyance that they don’t value our services? So why is it that marketers or service providers, (many of whom ironically cater to or advise lawyers) feel entitled for something – ad space or a mention in a post – for nothing? (Sure, there are exceptions – and if your company or product is one of them, you’ve probably already heard from us).
Still, because so many marketers are either obtuse or persistent, let me make things easy. Below are the types of “schemes” that not only don’t interest us, but are likely to arouse so much annoyance that you’ll receive a rude response:
Affiliate Arrangements: We rarely, if ever agree, to affiliate arrangements where we receive a share of revenue from any sales resulting from ads or mentions placed free at our site. In our view, affiliations are too one-sided; they give coveted ad space or exposure to affiliates which bear no risk or investment. Pay for a Google ad if you want cheap advertising!
Moreover, affiliate relationships aren’t fair to our paid sponsors. We’re not willing to allow free-riders to display their ads adjacent to sponsors who pay good money for exposure. Finally, the FTC’s disclosure requirements for bloggers, which penalize bloggers for recommending products without disclosing a financial interest for doing so, are one more good reason to maintain a bright line policy and steer clear of involvement with affiliate relations altogether.
No “Windshield Washer” Schemes. Back in the ’70s on family drives into New York City, a guy would invariably jump out in front of our car while we were stopped at a traffic light, suds up our windshield and then demand payment to clean it off. Though I don’t know if that happens anymore in the real world, virtual forms of the “windshield wash” scheme are common online.
Here’s how it works. Essentially, an author will create a “top ten list” that includes a particular blogger that the author has been trying to reach, or will write an unsolicited bio about the blogger. The “hit-up” for payment comes after release of the list or bio, when the author contacts the subjects and suggests that they link to the story or list. My view? Feel free to write about this blog and me all you want. Or not. But if you do, don’t expect mention of here because you did.
Principals Only, Please for Pitching A Story. We’re open to doing stories about inspiring solos or interesting companies that serve the community, or publishing guest posts that meet our quality standards (watch for guidelines soon). If you’re a lawyer or head of a small company, please don’t have your marketer or PR person who’s never met me before contact me about getting you interviewed for the site or writing a story on a particular topic. I strive for authenticity and featuring solo and small firm lawyers and products, from the well-known to unsung, who deserve mention. Only you can make the case for yourself, not your PR guy or gal.
Reciprocal Links or Text Links. As solos, we revere Lincoln, but we loathe linkin’ – as in reciprocal links, text links, SEO enhanced links. Don’t even bother contacting us about these kinds of links because we won’t respond. (If you’re a solo or small firm interested in a link on our site, that’s different. We’ll be announcing our link policy shortly, so please check back).