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.