More Thoughts on Calculating the ROI of Blogging

In a post a few weeks back I took a stab at measuring the ROI of blogs (trackback to that post). Since then I’ve uncovered a few more ideas that might be helpful to anyone building a business case for a blog, or someone who built a grass roots blog and is looking for continued funding.

In the world of real estate there is such a thing as a “comparable home.” Home sales and mortgages are granted on the basis of how much similar homes have sold for. There’s a nifty little applet at that will tell you just how much that blog is worth (interesting note: they say this blog is worth $71,696.58 – so much for retiring early!) This is based strictly on the value of the traffic coming to the blog.

Another way to examine blog value is to look at the quantity of links, comments and trackbacks for your blog. Technorati can tell you not only the number of links, but also your “influence” rating relative to every other blog out there. This index seems to change daily and is very finicky at major inflection points like the 50,000 or 10,000 mark.

Breaking one of these barriers is often an accomplishment for a blog.

Similarly, there is the Conversation Index, which refers to the ratio between the number of posts the author creates and the number of comments or trackbacks the blog receives. The theory here is that the degree to which you generate conversation is an indicator of the value of the blog in general. So if you add 50 posts to your blog in a month and you get 100 comments, your Conversation Index is 2:1.

Market Sentinel (together with Onalytica and immediate future) released a white paper on measuring the influence of bloggers on corporate reputation. They looked at Jeff Jarvis’s campaign against Dell and showed for the first time how to measure his influence and the possible damage to Dell’s reputation.

Where’s the buzz? The hardest part for the organization to grasp is not the transparency of blogs, but the lack of control. As the saying goes; “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But the problem is you simply can’t manage what 10 million opinionated people are going to say in the blogosphere. And why even try?

1 comment to More Thoughts on Calculating the ROI of Blogging

  • Robert

    Thanks for pointing me to a more thoughtful mean for calculating the value of blogs. What I found useful to the app provided by Dane Carlson was the relative value of blogs to each other. Not necessarily the absolute value. Also you can find which blogs are considered more valuable than others. Guy Kawasaki has it made!

    You are doing a great job on your podcasts. Keep them up, I appreciate the time you are putting into them. I really liked the social media study podcast.

    All the best

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