Any smart marketer will tell you to always measure your results. How else will you know what's working and what isn't?
The problem with blogging, especially blogging for authority, is that its results are not always measurable. Not in the way we're used to, anyway, such as counting traffic or clicks.
Let me explain.
There are results you can get from your blog, which you can link directly to your bottom line. Let's call these the…
Assuming you use your blog to build you list and you monetize your list, then you can calculate how much money your blog brings.
You can track how many of your blog visitors become your list subscribers, and then compute the value of each subscriber. The simplest way to do is this by taking the monthly income from your list and dividing that number by the number of subscribers. For example:
$2000 (income from list per month) / 3000 (list size) = 0.67
This means every subscriber is worth 67 cents to you per month.
If your blog brings in 100 new subscribers per month, then you're earning $67 per month from your blog.
Another way to measure the monetary results of your blog is by tracking how many sales or clients come in through your blog. This is trickier than figuring the value of your subscribers, because you need to trace which blog visitors eventually end up on your sales page and become paying customers — without becoming subscribers first.
It's even harder when you're selling services. It usually takes more than reading your blog to convert a visitor into a client. However, you can sometimes deduce that your blog helped you get a client when a prospect says something like, “I like your blog,” and then eventually hires you.
Another result you can measure is the number of advertisers, sponsors, and joint venture partners your blog attracts. Once you've established a high-traffic, high-quality, and high-authority blog, you'll be surprised how many people approach you to advertise on your blog.
Having a good blog will also make it much easier for you to acquire sponsorships and JV partners. When you can demonstrate that you can provide exposure to a significant size of an audience they want to reach, then they'll be willing to work with you.
With a good blog, you'll also have marketers offering you their products for free, for you to review. Remember to factor in the dollar value of these products when determining your blog's ROI.
It's all well and good to count dollars and cents when you're actually making money with your blog. But what if your reputation is bigger than your income?
You shouldn't discount the non-monetary benefits of your blog. The increased goodwill and authority your blog generates for you will ultimately contribute to its profitability. Some non-monetary results you may see (even before the money comes in) are:
When you publish excellent content, other blogs will find you and link to you. You may find yourself being invited for interviews on other blogs, podcasts and traditional media. Blogs with bigger traffic than yours may invite you to guest blog or contribute. All of this leads to greater exposure for you and your business.
One of my clients' blogs became syndicated in a high-authority blog. She has also been recommended on various lists, mentioned on top blogs, and interviewed by A-listers. I'm sure all this wouldn't have happened before we optimized her blog with high-quality content, SEO and other tools.
Your blog can also help you attract other opportunities to reach your target audience with your product or service offerings. For example, you may be invited to speak at live or virtual events, and be allowed to make a pitch.
Opportunities you never even thought of may land on your lap, because of your blog. For example, a publisher could offer you a book deal, because they like the quality of your posts. A high-quality blog of your own is also helpful to get paid blogging gigs.
An authority blog is your online resume. It demonstrates your expertise, and helps your prospects connect with you. Done correctly, your blog will boost your authority, attract new opportunities, and allow you to reach bigger audiences and make a bigger impact.
All these benefits won't always be directly linked to your income. But by being aware of blogging's non-monetary results, you'll come to better appreciate how your blog is helping to boost your bottom line.
What benefits have you experienced from your blog? Are they mostly monetary or non-monetary?
I'd love to hear about your experiences and insights on this topic. Share them in the comments below. Thank you!
PS: Are you wondering how YOU can have the kind of blog that gets the results I described above? The most cost-effective resource I know for creating a high-quality authority blog is 31 Days to Build a Better Blog by Darren Rowse. If you own it, I suggest you go through the ebook for a month. If you don't own it yet, why not? Go and get it now, because Darren's increasing the price on May 10th.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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