After you've been blogging for awhile, you're probably going to hit a point where you want to step back and ask, "OK, what am I actually making off this?" After all, while business blog writing is certainly inexpensive, it's not truly free. You need to make sure from time to time that it's not draining your budget.
It's fairly easy to calculate the strict ROI (Return on Investment) for a blog, although there are a few things to watch out for if you're only looking at your blog in terms of dollars. We'll get to that in a minute.
First, let's go over the basics of figuring out the ROI on your business blogging.
Calculating the ROI on Business Blog Writing
For starters, calculating the ROI on anything uses an extremely simple formula:
(Revenue - Investment) / Investment = ROI
In plain language, you just subtract your costs from your income to get the gross profits, then divide by the costs to get the percentage of the returns on your labors.
Calculating your blog's investment costs are simple enough. If you're already using a Internet marketing firm, your blogging fees are probably a line item on your bill. Otherwise, you need to figure out:
The cost in manpower (hourly wage) for your blog. Even if you're doing it on your own, remember that time is money, so don't undercharge yourself.
Any overhead costs, such as internal power usage or web hosting fees.
Any other fees you might be paying to outsource your content.
Then, it's time to look at revenue. This is trickier. First, you need either a way to access your server's records directly, or you need analytics software like Hubspot or Google Analytics. Once you can see your customers' behavior, like what "path" through your website they take, you can figure out your returns.
First look for any clear instances of people going straight to a sale after reading your blog.
Then look at instances where one or more blogs were stopping points in a longer browsing session. You'll probably want to pick a minimum threshold for how long they were there, perhaps under thirty seconds, where it can be assumed they weren't looking closely at the blog.
Then you also need to work out what the blog nets in terms of leads. Your analytics software can tell you easily how many people clicked on Calls-to-Action while on a blog, and how many went out to convert. If you take an average of how many leads go on to become customers, you can get a good idea of what the blog is netting you in terms of lead conversions.
Lastly, if you run paid advertisements on your blog, add in whatever extra they net you.
Then, once you've got your investment and returns worked out, plug them into the formula above. If you get a positive number, congratulations, your blog is officially profitable.
Well, Don't Be Too Hasty
Even if your business blog writing isn't directly profitable, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a waste of money. It's still a valuable communications tool, and a good tool to assist in spreading your brand awareness across social media. These are the intangibles of marketing: you can't quite put a dollar amount on them, but they definitely make a difference in the long run.
So, you might also want to look at your blog, not in terms of sales, but in terms of PR potential. How many impressions does it get, versus your other channels for public communication? If the cost per impression is lower than other forms of media you utilize, there's another way to demonstrate its value.
In short, while calculating the strict dollar worth of your business blog writing is easy enough, remember that it serves many functions and its value should be weighed accordingly.
How do you measure the returns on your blog?