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June 17, 2008

If I've Ruffled Your Feathers....Well, Too Bad (Only Kidding :-)

I apparently ruffled some feathers with my last post advising those who are serious about their web marketing presence to not use Blogger or Blogspot as their main blogging platform.   What some commenters failed to take into account, in their comments and via e-mail when challenging my opinion on using these platforms for marketing their business, is I am giving my advice as a consultant to new bloggers. I am paid to advise current solo practitioners or those who are going to start their own practice what tools or platforms will work best for them based upon today's options.  I have an affirmative duty to advise them as to what will satisfy their short and long term web marketing goals while working within their current budget and technological skills.

There are several legal bloggers who are held in high regard who use Blogger and Blogspot.  But ironically, it is generally not their main web presence geared towards bringing in paying clients.  And if it is, then I would question how long they have been blogging and whether or not they would make the same choice today? 

You have to understand, regardless the platform, if you have been writing great content, are linked to in great numbers and by influential thought leaders, chances are you have created Google roots and it would not be wise to disturb that root system.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of bloggers who are well known who realize, much to their dismay, changing platforms now to something more robust and with greater flexibility would be too costly in terms of their hard-won Google rankings and links.   Those who were ill-advised and did make the transition have deeply regretted their choice precisely for this reason.

My comments are not an attack on others.  It is advice for the new solo practitioner to heed....or not.  I am paid to think both in the present and future in terms of cost-effectiveness and ease of growth as well as to stay abreast of technologies and to advise accordingly.

So, my position stands.  If you are a new blogger who is currently a solo or going solo I would strongly advise against using Blogger or Blogspot to build your professional web marketing presence and I would definitely discourage the use of any advertising on your site if it is your main marketing vehicle for your services. 

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Comments

Adrian

Thank you for all the advice and ideas you provide. What I did learn yesterday from the link you provided was some of the risk involved with Blogger's terms of service. To that I can add my experience with Blogger's frequent downtime. I am indeed planning my first professional blog and can make use of your advice.

cat dirt

i wanted to chime in on this subject since i'm a solo/blogger etc. i'm not exactly sure how this works, bit i'm inclined to think that google favors blogspot blogs because they own blogspot. in terms of generating search word referrals, google returns are important.

second, i think the kind of either/or proposition you're making with professional/non-professional blogging represents a certain lack of imagination as well as a failure to really understand how people use the internet.

to take me as an example, my blog began as a "local music blog." during the san diego fire my readership spiked due to current events. both of these subjects had nothing to do with law or my practice, but they helped with my google search returns.

when i began to blog about criminal justice issues (my practice are) i was successful in generating referral's both through key word searches but also through people who read my "non-legal" blog.

And as for adwords, I suppose you're entitled to your own opinion, but unless the ads are creating an asthetic eye sore, I really don't think people care- that's just based on my two years plus of blogging experience....

in conclusion, this is a great blog!

Pam

To some extent, I agree with you about Blogger, but it does depend on what you are doing. I have two practice area blogs, one on Blogspot and one on Wordpress through a blogging community. The Blogspot site was my first, and when I started it three years ago it was the easiest I could get - which was really important to me since I did not have tech support help at the time to get me going. It is very sparse in terms of design, but it serves a highly targeted client base, is the only thing out there like it, and as long I frequently use what I know are the common search terms for this group, I get lots of traffic. More importantly, I get lots of potential clients, because I am the only lawyer serving these clients in this way.

The Wordpress blog is far less targeted, and brings me little to nothing in the way of clients. It does, however, serve as a kind of credibility building tool for potential clients in that area. It seems to cement the deal, rather than locate the deal.

Susan Cartier Liebel

Pam, thank you for joining the discussion. You made a key distinction. You have been blogging for 3 years and three years ago you found blogger to be the best option. In those three years you have 'cornered' a particular market and built google roots, all of which I discussed as a reason one should consider not changing...the cost would be to great in terms of client generation.

I am discussing the options available today and going forward. Given those options I would not recommend starting out on Blogger UNLESS you are able to take advantage of all the advanced features which some are currently doing and which was pointed out by Graham in the comments to the original post.

Glad you are getting such a great return on your blogging investment!

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