The ROI of Blogging

Blogging_1
One of the most common questions I’ve encountered by businesses and professionals who are considering a blog is "what is the ROI"? I understand the concern. It was a question that I had to grapple with when I began QAQnA six months ago, and honestly I considered the first few months of blogging an experiment.

I’m happy to say that blogging has resulted in putting business on the books that we would not have if it weren’t for our active presence in the blogosphere. But beyond the "hard numbers", I would point to additional benefits that are just as crucial for us long-term:

  • Extending our reach. The number of unique visitors to our cob-web site each month has tripled. We’ve received calls and contacts from around the world from companies that found us through the blog, learned more about us on our cob-web site, and then contacted us.
  • Findability. Prior to blogging, our cob-web site was nowhere to be found on search engines. Blogging continues to improve our findability on the web and offers two channels through which we can be found.
  • RBI. Mike Sansone coined the term "Relationship Building Intentionally" and it’s not without merit. The relationships (both professional and personal) that have resulted from blogging will, I believe, have significant long-term impact for me and our group (and it happened without spending thousands of dollars to travel around the globe attending conferences, seminars, workshops and networking get togethers). Just a few of the profitable relationships that have sprung from blogging (in no special order, forgive me if you were left out – I typed this quickly off the top of my pointed head): Liz Strauss, Phil Gerbyshak, Service Untitled, Starbucker, Anonymous Cog, Zane Safrit, Michael Wagner, Mark True, Mike Sansone, Ann Handley, Maria Palma, Jam Mayer, Easton Ellsworth, Harsha Raghavan, Chris Cree, Ellen Weber, Robyn McMasters.

As an aside, last Friday night my wife Wendy and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner and profitable conversation with Mike Sansone and his wife, Cindy – followed by an awesome concert by, and enjoyable conversation with, fellow blogger Christine Kane. Christine gave Mike and I each a hug during her intermission and we all sort of marveled at such a warm, genuine, if not surreal, moment. As Christine aptly put, it was "the power of the blog."

Has blogging offered a good return on investment? Believe me, in more ways than one.

Flickr photo courtesy of spcoon

  16 comments for “The ROI of Blogging

  1. September 19, 2006 at 9:08 am

    What a cool way to point what blogging really does. Every person I meet makes just that bit better, smarter, stronger, more confident. You are an example of just how that works. Bloggers are great for learning and taking notice of what they’ve learned.

  2. September 19, 2006 at 9:18 am

    Thanks, Liz. I think it’s important, as a business blog, to know the big picture of what blogging is doing for you. I’m always learning as I go – from my successes as well as my bone-head mistakes 🙂

  3. September 19, 2006 at 11:02 am

    Tom, Liz hit the nail on the head. I’ts been a genuine pleasure, and I’m looking forward to actually meeting you and all my new friends (I started with Phil G yesterday, and it was a total blast). I’ve never been so interested in visiting Des Moines before! 🙂

  4. September 19, 2006 at 11:06 am

    It was hilarious when Mike and I met Christine last week. She said when she flew into Des Moines the first thing she did was to drive to Panera to see if she’d catch us. Unfortunately, we must not have been there that day.
    Phil’s already making plans to come visit the “Iowa Blogging All-Stars” – you and Liz better start making plans too! Dinner is on me!

  5. September 19, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    “Iowa Blogging All-Stars”…I love it! Who knew Iowa was the Center of the Blogging Universe?
    I get that question a lot, too, Tom, and I think you did a great job defining the tangibles and intangibles. I’m glad to be part of your broader circle.

  6. September 19, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Yeah, Ann – I don’t know where that “all-stars” thing came from, but Phil Gerbyshak already has plans for t-shirts (he assures me we could sell 10 of them, of course he’s an optimist). And I don’t know about Iowa being the center of the blogging universe – it’s more like the few of us crazies are out-standing in our (corn)field 🙂
    I’m glad you choose to stop by, Ann!

  7. September 19, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Hey! Thanks for writing about the show. I was just looking up your blog cuz I’m referring to you in my post for tomorrow! It was so great to meet you guys! Iowa bloggers rock!

  8. September 19, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    Points all well made – and a nice list of positive and diverse connections you’ve got there too. I’ve found that relationships like this that are built with other bloggers provides me a generous and savvy group of feedback and insight providers. For my needs this goes way beyond bringing in clients.
    And “Relationship Building Intentionally” is a fabulously accurate term.

  9. September 19, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    GREAT post. Blogs are ones and zeroes. People are infinite.

  10. September 19, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    Tom, you add value to people from so many backgrounds — how cool. I am so honored to be cited in this list because the other people here have really been part of a wonderful growing community I too have come to VALUE. What a life Online can create and there is so much we can learn from and share with others who like to think and to play with ideas! Thanks Tom for adding gold to the mix for so many of us!

  11. September 19, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, I leave for a few hours to hack my way through the local Rotary golf tournament and comments pour down like rain!
    Christine, I can’t wait to read the post and can’t wait for your return trip to Iowa. Next time we’ll meet at Panera and have more opportunity to chat!
    Susan, I’m sorry I didn’t include your name in the post. Your visits and comments are always a welcome part of the conversation here! Thank you!
    Easton, you have a great way of saying a lot in a very short sentence. Thanks! I’m always honored when you stop by.
    and Ellen, I only wish I had you playing in my group at the Rotary golf tournament, but it’s great to know that I’ve got you on my blogging team!

  12. September 19, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    Tom – great post and very encouraging.
    This is the first time I ever made an “all-star” team.
    Does this mean I’ll be lettering this year?!
    Honored to be your friend on and off line.
    Keep creating,
    Mike

  13. September 20, 2006 at 6:35 am

    Michael, you’ve more than earned your letter my friend!

  14. September 20, 2006 at 11:07 am

    Perhaps you need to produce a series of “My All-Star friends blog in Iowa and all I got was this lousy t-shirt…”
    You’d definitely sell more than 10 of those! LOL…

  15. September 20, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Leave it to the Marketing Prof to come up with a better marketing idea! lol! You see, THAT’S why I need you around here, Ann!

  16. December 10, 2006 at 7:53 am

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