“We Help You Publish Content”

ContentDear Marketeers:

The word you use is like nails on a chalkboard: Content.

You send me emails by the bushelful, you even call me, everyone wanting to provide “content.”

Content is another word for crap. Dreck. Nonsense. A keyword stuffed, Google-friendly, collection of words thrown down on paper. When the messages come by email, even the sales pitch is poorly written.

So to all you “content” publishers out there let me say this:

I do not create content. My words are not some generic commodity.

I report news. I offer opinions. I laud and and I criticize. I may do it well or I may do it poorly.

But it is unique. It has a point of view. Regardless of whether it’s good or awful, it isn’t some generic piece of commoditized “content.” My words are a part of me.

I am not interested in your “content,” because as soon as you use the word I know that you don’t know jack about my blog, or about me. You’ve sent me a form letter.

The same pitch might be made to a doctor, a rocket scientist or a quirky sanitation blog. Why anyone would trust you to write something when you’re too lazy to even read the existing forum is utterly beyond me. But I guess there are plenty of suckers out there, allowing the likes of you to write crap for them. Or perhaps, there are just many desperate pseudo-writers who think peddling crap is the way to make a living.

Let me be clear about this: I am not interested in your “content.” Not in reading it, not in publishing it, not even in considering it. Because I already know from your use of the word “content” in your pitch to me that it’s going to suck. Big time.

Affectionately yours,

Me

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18 Responses Leave a comment

  • shg 2013.10.14 at 15:12 | Quote

    As much as I sympathize with having to endure the hourly offers of “content,” and occasionally ridicule those making the offer, my ire is reserved for the lawyers who partake of the dreck and the marketeers who tell them to do so, because that’s the path to wealth and prestige on the internet.

    If quirky sanitation blogs want to fill its pages with “content,” who cares. I care that lawyers do it. It embarrasses me, disgusts me and sickens me. And it makes people who read their “content” stupider.

  • Old Geezer 2013.10.15 at 07:56 | Quote

    BTW, if you DO run across “a quirky sanitation blog” please post the URL. Could be good times!

  • Eric T. 2013.10.15 at 08:19 | Quote

    Originally Posted By Old GeezerBTW, if you DO run across “a quirky sanitation blog” please post the URL. Could be good times!

    It’s the web. You can find anything.

  • John Day 2013.10.17 at 10:14 | Quote

    Well said, as usual, Eric.

  • Brian Gomez 2013.10.17 at 11:28 | Quote

    Really good post. I have a confession, I’m in the SEO business. Before you delete this comment as spam though, hear me out please.

    I, as an internet marketing professional HATE the “C” word. Especially when referred to, as you put it, as a commodity. Content should be from the heart, authentic and REAL otherwise it lacks value.

    I can’t tell you how much time I spend staying awake at night trying to think of ways to help my lawyer client’s market their practice in an effective and ethical manner in a world where my competition is unethical yet highly effective. So your post (and blog for that matter) rings true, though it stings me a bit being that I am in this industry. For anyone who has the always helpful ‘find a new profession [expletive]!!’, I would remind them that just like all the crappy, unethical lawyers out there only increase the value of a good lawyer, the same is true for my industry.

    I’m curious as to your opinion on something; how should lawyers who lack the wit, narrative skills and tech savviness that you have, market themselves online?

    I’m really interested in hearing your opinion. I have clients who I implore to find their ‘voice’ online and on their blog/social etc., but to no avail. Kudos to you for doing that.

  • James Williams 2013.10.17 at 17:37 | Quote

    Good post I agree as well. I am also in the SEO business, although I believe in a results oriented approach though rather than the “I can get you to the first page of Google with great content.”. As someone on the other end I have to ask how do you suggest we offer our services to you? I genuinely would like to reach out and help individuals bring in traffic from the web, As someone with number one ranked sites but most times I am not even given the opportunity to show a lawyer how much they would save on organic results rather than ppc advertising. And thanks the “c” word is quite annoying even I receive the emails from marketers promising great content and page one results. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2013.10.17 at 19:25 | Quote

    I am also in the SEO business, although I believe in a results oriented approach…I genuinely would like to reach out and help individuals …As someone with number one ranked sites…[blah, blah, blah]

    Have you noticed that I deleted the url you provided? Want to guess why? If you can’t guess, I’ll help you: My little blog doesn’t exist for you to pitch your services. I know, I know, you thought you were being subtle with your sledgehammer-over-the-head approach. Perhaps the crap works elsewhere, but not here.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Done.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2013.10.17 at 19:32 | Quote

    as an internet marketing professional

    Marketing is a job, not a profession. There isn’t anything wrong with jobs, of course, but you still shouldn’t confuse the two.

    I’m curious as to your opinion on something; how should lawyers who lack the wit, narrative skills and tech savviness that you have, market themselves online?

    I’m not in marketing, I’m a practicing lawyer. But I will say this, narrative skills are critical to being a good lawyer. If someone doesn’t have them, they ought to damn well learn them. Because one day you may need to tell “the story” to a judge, jury or others. Someone that doesn’t have that skill doesn’t have a marketing problem, they have a legal skills problem.

    See, for example:
    Personal Injury Opening Statement — Telling the Story from the Middle

  • James Williams 2013.10.17 at 20:09 | Quote

    @Eric Turkewitz – I actually didn’t leave a link in my comment nor did I leave any info about my company I was simply trying to get your opinion on the matter. Your comment system asks for a website but I did not put insert a link in my comment as that is not the response I was trying to illicit. I was more so trying to understand how you as a lawyer would prefer to be contacted.

  • Brian Gomez 2013.10.17 at 22:19 | Quote

    If we are being legalistic (which it looks like we are lol), marketing, by definition, is neither a profession (an argument I never made but don’t disagree with) or a job, as you argue. It’s either an action or an industry/business. Again, legally speaking.

    As far as me being a marketing professional, I assure you that by definition, Internet Marketing is much more profession for me than it is a ‘job’ as you put it. I haven’t had a job in years.

    But I don’t think that was your point. I think you were trying to condescend, which is fine. Your blog, your world. You are a successful (I presume) personal injury lawyer and you don’t like these guys who spam you. I get it.

    I’m sure you can relate to my frustration of being condescended to since there is no shortage of people who thumb their nose at personal injury lawyers as well (chief among them, other lawyers). That’s despite your obvious efforts to set yourself apart from the ‘ambulance chasers’ of the industry. So I’m digressing here, let me get back to your answer to my question.

    I’m ignorant to the importance of these narrative skills in the court room, but I am sure you are right. Unfortunately, that is not the only skill required to run a blog as successful as yours (again kudos to you), another big thing is having the time, something you clearly have enough of to write these long, thoughtful, engaging blogs. Some lawyers (who are very successful and very good lawyers – at least based on the cases they’ve won for their clients), simply do not have the time to do this because they are busy practicing law. Again, this is all stuff you know.

    My question was more to get advice for these types of lawyers, because quite frankly, these are the guys who hire me. If your argument is that any lawyer who doesn’t blog like you, or handle their own marketing like you is an inferior lawyer, then I have to disagree. I would argue it doesn’t make you a better lawyer than any those individuals, it, ironically, makes you a better marketer.

    I sincerely appreciate your blog. it’s very insightful and entertaining. Please keep up the good work :)

  • James Williams 2013.10.17 at 23:28 | Quote

    @Brian Gomez – I agree with Mr. Gomez not all lawyers are bloggers or seo experts. I apologize if I came off as advertising earlier it was not my intent. I was merely trying to come across as someone who knows marketing and how I try to set myself apart. I do not spam, nor do I simply cut and paste. I enjoyed reading the article and saw it as an opportunity to get a genuine view from a lawyer who is an active blogger something I have not seen too often. We share similar frustrations on both sides trying to get our points across and the barrage of solicitors. Just tried to use this to bridge the gap. Thanks though and keep up the good work.

  • Old Geezer 2013.10.18 at 08:55 | Quote

    As usual I checked in this morning with my favorite show, “Internet Blog UFC.” This is what I saw.

    – begin transcript

    Well, Howard, this bout has turned out to be more interesting than we predicted.

    Yes, Frank, it has. We’ve seen divergent styles so far from a few experienced fighters.

    Right Howard. First Eric comes out swinging with a round-house attack. “The likes of you” and “pseudo-writers … peddling crap” are moves sure to earn points with the judges.

    Yes, Frank, but then Brian comes in low by ducking and weaving. He’s trying to get under the round-house by feigning conciliation. His “HATE the C word” is a great opening gambit.

    This isn’t chess, Howard. We don’t use the g word.

    Sorry, Frank. But Look how skillfully Brian inserts “crappy, unethical” into the fray while still appearing to be conciliatory.

    True, Howard. And then we get the tag team in play, and James enters the ring. He, too, uses the indirect approach. Is that Aikido or Capoeira?

    Aikido uses one’s opponent’s forward momentum in order to throw the opponent, Frank. Capoeira appears to be dancing when it’s actually a form of fighting. I’d say it’s a combination here.

    Thanks, Howard. It looks like both Brian and James are masters of those skills.

    Well, they’re both in marketing, right, Frank?

    Right on, Howard.

    Thanks, Frank. And then Eric jumps back on the offense. He cuts out James’ URL with a bold slashing attack, and then caps it with a return to the “crap” theme.

    But he’s not done yet, Howard. He quickly pivots and goes for the decisive kill on Brian by the use of “Marketing is a job, not a profession.” But the blow is a glancing one.

    Right, Frank. It gives Brian an opening and he takes it. A flurry of lightning jabs is the result, and they are certain to sting. Consider “you were trying to condescend,” and “successful (I presume).”

    Ouch, Howard.

    Ouch indeed, Frank. And then comes the swift kick, “Some lawyers (who are very successful and very good lawyers – at least based on the cases they’ve won for their clients), simply do not have the time to do this because they are busy practicing law.” And this all the while coated in the syrup of seeming good will. A telling stroke, Frank.

    Was that a high kick or a low kick, Howard?

    The judges will have to decide that one for us, Frank, because we need to break right now for a commercial. Marketing, you know.

    – end transcript

  • Eric Turkewitz 2013.10.21 at 14:24 | Quote

    @Brian Gomez

    I think you were trying to condescend

    You think I was trying to condescend? You mean this wasn’t clear enough?:

    Why anyone would trust you to write something when you’re too lazy to even read the existing forum is utterly beyond me. But I guess there are plenty of suckers out there, allowing the likes of you to write crap for them. Or perhaps, there are just many desperate pseudo-writers who think peddling crap is the way to make a living.

    But kudos to you for making a funny, or at least an effort:

    another big thing is having the time, something you clearly have enough of to write these long, thoughtful, engaging blogs. Some lawyers (who are very successful and very good lawyers – at least based on the cases they’ve won for their clients), simply do not have the time to do this because they are busy practicing law

    Time management is always an issue…which I addressed here:

    The Importance of Blogging

    If your argument is that any lawyer who doesn’t blog like you, or handle their own marketing like you is an inferior lawyer…

    Nope, it wasn’t my argument. Never has been.

  • Brian Gomez 2013.10.21 at 15:52 | Quote

    @Eric Turkewitz“Why anyone …”

    Hold a second. Are you quoting someone here? Are these your thoughts or are you randomly alternating between italics? Forgive me but I’m going to use italics for your quotes so that there’s some cohesion to my comment. Let’s pick it back up:

    you’re too lazy to even read the existing forum

    So I’m lazy now lol? And what ‘forum’ was it that didn’t I read? Please, educate me.

    You think I was trying to condescend? You mean this wasn’t clear enough?

    I said ‘I think’ because I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that PERHAPS you weren’t so obtuse about marketing, in the general terms you were using. I was wrong. My bad.

    Time management is always an issue…which I addressed here:

    The Importance of Blogging

    What’s that? Time management is an issue? Great. We agree. Awesome.

    Nope, it wasn’t my argument. Never has been.

    I have to disagree with you here. You are definitely assuming the ethical high ground against these “suckers” out there that hire people to write content for them. Am I wrong in that assessment? Can we not agree that you marketing yourself as a more ethical lawyer, also a ‘better’ lawyer? I think that’s exactly what you’re saying in many of your posts. Great marketing by the way.

    And just for the record Mr. Turkowitz, I never peddled anything to you. I never asked for a link or anything like that. I have a great deal of respect for the time you put into crafting your voice through this blog. I thought I was nothing but respectful in my initial question. I didn’t even subtlety add a link to my comment like our buddy James did (lol poor James).

  • Eric Turkewitz 2013.10.21 at 16:06 | Quote

    Hold a second. Are you quoting someone here?

    yes, my original post.

    So I’m lazy now lol?

    You wrote that I was condescending, and assumed you were referring to my original posting, from which that quote came.

    You are definitely assuming the ethical high ground against these “suckers” out there that hire people to write content for them. Am I wrong in that assessment?

    Actually, this has more to do with quality than ethics, but attorneys certainly run the risk that if they outsource their marketing they will also outsource their ethics. See, for example:

    Outsourcing Marketing = Outsourcing Ethics (5 Problems With Outsourcing Attorney Marketing)

    Can we not agree that you marketing yourself as a more ethical lawyer, also a ‘better’ lawyer?

    I’m just writing about things that matter to me, the way lawyers have always done since the dawn of newspapers and op-ed pages. If the same substance that I write here appeared in a NYT op-ed, would you call it marketing? From my viewpoint, I’m often trying to get my thoughts and ideas in front of legislators and judges because I think they are important and matter to my clients. See, for example, my piece today:
    Dear Judge Smith — You gotta be kidding me.

    It’s a very rare day for me to write about me, and it if happens it’s likely to be an off-topic post about running or something other than law.

  • Brian Gomez 2013.10.21 at 16:40 | Quote

    My apologies, I read your first statement incorrectly. I didn’t realize you were quoting your blog (which I read initially before commenting but not since).

    It’s great you write about topics that are important to you and you have a powerful voice when you do so (as evidenced by your April fools joke being taken with such seriousness). But I also think you are keenly aware that your platform is, without question, great marketing for you. That’s not to say it’s not genuine and authentic. The best marketing is just that.

    So yes, to me it is marketing when you get picked up in the NYT. It’s extremely high brow marketing at that. One that establishes you as an authority without question.

    My question to your blog was ‘we agree, but what’s the solution to this problem’? Essentially, do you have any actionable help to combat this problem for those lawyers who can’t get into the New York Times? Because I can promise you, many of them only hire SEO companies to beat down your metaphorical door begging for links because they feel they have to. They need clients and are losing out to competitors who are doing the same. And so the vicious cycle continues. Maybe you just want to rant and not offer a solution. Hell, you have every right to do that. But if you really wanted to help the problem your voice would go a long way in doing so.

    Obviously, it’s not your job to help anyone, especially others in your industry. I just thought it was worth a try to ask.

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