Dried hay or feed, for cattle and other livestock

Gyi Tsakalakis
January 16, 2014

You heard that if you simply started a legal blog and began pumping out posts, Google would reward you with traffic and business. You heard wrong.

I've carelessly tossed around the word fodder to describe the content on many lawyer websites and blogs for years. I always thought of it as something expendable related to cannonballs. Shows what I know.

Content farming is certainly nothing new. And like other web marketing strategies designed to game search engines, it might work, at least for a little while.

But most of the time, it won't do much of anything. Except maybe tarnish your professional reputation a smidgen or get you into hot water with your state bar.

What you failed to consider is that the "stuff" in your posts and pages matters.

The words. The images. The video. The design. They all matter.

But you thought that if you filled search engines with enough "stuff" you could "catch" some people who entered some long-tail search query into Google and clicked-through to your page.

And again, maybe that worked a few times, at least for a little while.

But then it stopped working (or more likely never really worked at all). Maybe you got one of these or one of these. Now you're trying to figure out how to fix it.

But most of the time, there's nothing there worth salvaging. It's really time to start over. And by start over, I mean:

  • New approach
  • New domain
  • New content
  • New design

You might wonder:

But can't I save all the posts I've already published?

Don't bother.

But can't I use the same domain? After all, hasn't it built up authority and equity?

It has not.

But do I really need a new design? What's that got to do with anything?

Your design looks like someone's nephew's 5th grade web project. Well is it?

Let's cut through the, "if you write it, they will come stuff."

You're either not good at writing, or don't have the time to do it. Or maybe you're in the minority of lawyers who is an excellent writer and is willing to commit the time to writing. Good for you! But there's still a good chance no one will see your website or blog.

You see, writing for the web is different. It's not like writing a legal brief, a contract, an opening statement, a cross-examination or a treatise.

It has to motivate people online to take some kind action. If one of your goals is to attract attention from search, these actions must include:

  • Linking to your posts and pages
  • Liking your posts and pages
  • Sharing your posts and pages
  • Emailing your posts and pages
  • Mentioning your posts and pages to other people

If that's not happening, it's going to be very difficult to get a lot of people to find your posts and pages online.

The internet is big. Really big.

The only way that a lot of people are going to notice and find you is if other people spread the word.

Stop making cow food.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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