It was St. Patrick’s Day in 2006 when I first sat down and wrote my first blog post. It was a free blog on Blogger called "The Call Center QA Guy" and it was sort of an experiment for me and our group. Would this "blogging thing" be a viable marketing tool for our consulting business? A month later, our group moved the blog to Typepad and it became QAQnA (Quality Assessment Questions aNd Answers).
It’s two years later and this is my "State of the Blog" post:
From the beginning, I approached blogging with the mantra "slow and steady wins the race". I have never been out to be #1 in Technorati rankings. I’m not about winning the award for the most posts, the largest number of subscribers or about generating lots of ad revenue. I have tried to post regularly, provide valuable content for readers, and cultivate profitable relationships. To me, "profitable" encompasses relationships that benefit me spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and intellectually as much as it does those that may ultimately benefit me financially.
So where has two years of blogging brought me? For those of you who like to crunch numbers, here are my humble stats – gathered from a combination of Typepad, Feedburner and Google Analytics:
Absolute Unique Visitors: 65,000*
Percent of Visitors who Return: 25%*
Average time spent at site: 2 minutes 10 seconds*
Links/references to our site from other blogs/sites: 550
Trackbacks: 114 (a linked reference to a particular post within another blog post)
Technorati rank among 4.5 million blogs world-wide: 74,992 (top 2%)
I’m not exactly burning up the blogosphere, but I haven’t been stagnant either.
What’s the Return On Investment (ROI)? That’s always the million dollar question people ask about social media. I sat down and calculated the total amount of money our group has invested in QAQnA. I then made an estimate of the time I’ve spent blogging and translated that into the total amount in billable days, had I charged a client for it. To this day, our group has generated new client relationships directly attributable to the blog and has billed over twice the amount invested in projects.
Of course, that calculation does not include the potential client relationships and written proposals that have not (yet) been accepted. It also does not include the number of speaking engagements or PR opportunities (being quoted in SmartMoney magazine; featured on the cover of The Des Moines Business Record).
What can’t be calculated is the number of friends and networking contacts I’ve gained through the blog. These relationships may never put pennies in my pocket, but they have refreshed my spirit, fed my brain, sharpened me as a person and have a worth that is beyond value.
What have I learned from blogging? Blogging has been a constant reminder and practical illustration of timeless truths:
- Give and you will receive.
- If you want to lead you gotta serve.
- Slow and steady wins the race.
- The only way to have a friend is to be one.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Be yourself.
Here’s to the next leg of the journey!