Ed. Note: This post is from John so I’m the subject. When I need John to give me social advice you know things are going downhill …
After reviewing a few of his recent post(s) I had to take a moment to drive down to Bolingbrook and reassure myself that Mazy hadn’t stop taking his medication and had no weapons within reach. The man needs a hug… the scathing letter he wrote to the New York Times is typical of someone yelling in a forest where even the animals don’t care. Loud, but not really effective; much like his farewell editorial in the June 2006 issue of the DCBA Bar Brief. Despite little outbursts like that … I must admit to a fondness for the guy. See, this is the time of year during which lawyers always seem to have a little extra time on their hands, which they inevitably use to read, reflect, and revisit past efforts (both good and bad). So we revisited some points of conversation yesterday such as
Monetizing a Blog: simple in principle (solicit advertisers or just use Google Adwords) but hard to execute and often of questionable value. Part of the problem is that Adwords displays any vendor – including your competitors – so it’s often not appealing to advertisers who want exclusive reign. Then there’s the problem of volume: unless your traffic is in the stratosphere (like say … porn), your payout is in pennies and hardly amounts to a hill of beans, besides which Google won’t even send a payout if it’s less than a certain threshold amount. But there is hope; often your web host will have a ready-made affiliate program in place so you can seamlessly move ads onto your blog. In the end however, since the PM blog is in the legal space the focus of the discussion should probably be legal work or technology consulting for lawyers. That is the real question … does blogging bring business? Different discussion altogether.
The Domain Name Lottery (what’s old is new): This is a blast from the past. Remember when someone paid $3,000,000 for “Alta Vista.com?” Well apparently the domain name gold rush is back on and people are buying up snappy phrases once again at a feverish clip. But wait … isn’t that cybersquatting? Isn’t that illegal? Actually no; don’t confuse domain speculation (a “legitimate” way to make money) with cybersquatting which is illegal. See, squatters will take a domain name that is “actively sought” based on the number of related search inquires and redirect those who visit the site to another site altogether (such as a porn site or what have you). Domain speculators on the other hand buy up names to either sell or use them – even if not for what you’d expect. You might say this second category of speculators is buying and selling futures of a sort – Internet domain futures if you will.
Example: Take my work with Mazy on the subject of bankruptcy. Economic conditions being what they are, bankruptcy is once again a hot issue. Take the 3 words: bankruptcy, attorney, Illinois. Those 3 words in some combination or other have grown to over 2.3 million listings. The trick is creating a name that fits into a growth sector like that.
Example: BioMedMedia.com is a name we own. We can activate a site anytime but instead of doing all the work, letting our competitors know what we’re doing, and invite new ones as well, it makes sense to first develop a business model and establish the company. It’s just common sense, and buying a domain name ahead of time is just good planning.
That said, one of the biggest problems for lawyers is not that they lack choices, but rather that their industry throttles itself (or at least threatens to squelch the younger, more tender practices) by being too restrictive. But you should still make an effort to break from the break with the institutional format, especially if you’re a small firm or solo. Take for example names such as ScottFreeMe.com or DriveThruLegal.com. Of course asking Mazy to push the edge is like watching a cat walk the fence viewing both sides, this is when I throw something and say damn it choose. Use your background, culture, professional experience hell your a lawyer for peat-sakes, buy the way my find friend you just missed another: iraniangreencard.com is taken. I was thinking Iranianlawyer.com, we’ll see how long it takes for Mazy or someone reading to purchase this…