The effectiveness of an attorney's blog is only as good as the number of people it reaches. If no one is subscribing to your blog what's the point? Kevin O'Keefe addresses this issue in his CLE at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting last week. O'Keefe says he has managed to push his blog to the top of the Google search engine ranking by doing three things: updating his blog often, linking to other highly ranked blogs by embedding their URLs in his postings and closely monitoring who is visiting his site.
Let's start the how-to portion of this discussion by addressing the "update often" rule. Many attorneys shy away from blogging because they are already so busy they don't want to add one more job and they can't bill the time. But marketing is only effective if it is consistent. That's why mega-corporations like Coca-Cola and Xerox spend the most marketing dollars- just because right now you are at the top of the heap- doesn't mean you will stay there without disciplined marketing. That said- a blog should be short, not a lengthy paper encompassing citations and numerous facts. A blog should take no more than 15 minutes to write and post. Everyone has time to do that.
Linking to highly read blogs is simple as well. Looking for a topic to blog on today? Search for it! Chances are, some other blogger has put a great deal more time and research into a topic thats relevant than you have time for, reference their blog (as long as they are not a direct competitor) add some comment and enjoy the fruits of their labors while your ranking improves.
As with any marketing program, a measurement system must always be in place to determine how sucessfully your campaign is being received. There are services you can install that can tell you all about the traffic on your site. They range from simple hit counters that just display a total number of visitors, to more advanced statistics services that can give you information about referrers, browsers, visiting times, and more.
There are a number of sites that offer free services to help you track visits to your blog. Start by checking out some of these links:
Bravenet Hit Counter