Blogs, while older and substantially more mainstream than most social media platforms, are still an important form of social media in their own right. Blogs can play a perfectly good role in email marketing and other tactics. And the can serve many business goals and respond to the questions target audiences have.
They are more in depth than Twitter and more powerful for spreading ideas than Facebook updates. Furthermore, they serve as more important ‘thought leadership‘ tools than a mere LinkedIn profile or online resume.
Blogs are social media platforms reduced down to core components — a dedicated audience, your thoughts, and a small but significantly more powerful audience than your Twitter followers or Facebook friends. While many people pass them over entirely, blogs are the most powerful form of social media around.
For many people, blogs are separated from the rest of the pack by the lack of concrete numbers and analytical tools built into them. It is easy to see how influential anyone on Twitter is — just look at their followers, the amount of people that they are following, and the amount of @ replies that people send out about them. Blogs are much more difficult to measure. They are more tricky to calculate, especially when trying to determine revenue and influence. After all, there are hundreds of ways to monetize a blog — from the direct to the indirect — and it is a lot more difficult to track its value than a Twitter profile.
The best way to gauge a blog’s value is to track its sales and compare it against other similar blogs. How are you monetizing your blog? Are there Amazon links in the sidebar? Simple affiliate sales links embedded in the text and conversations? Or are you running a more simple CPM advertising network on your blog’s free spaces? While the final form is not great for tracking true value, it is a good way to simplify your marketing metrics.
Start with an input-output comparison. How much does your blog cost to run? In terms of hosting and maintenance, it is likely to be very little. How much does it cost you directly both in terms of input and opportunity cost?
Remember that time spent blogging is time that could be spent on other profitable pursuits so you need to factor that time into your analysis. Then, run that beside your income. How much does your blog bring in? How many affiliate sales do you make per month? What are your commission amounts and how much fees are deducted from them?
This should be a standard exercise for blog owners and operators. If you are running a busy and regular blog, you need to make sure that you are making money from it, or at least experiencing the secondary factors that you desire. Whether that is an extended audience for your other online actions or simply more traffic for your other websites, you need to be sure that you are achieving your goals.
Focus on directing traffic to your blog, measure how effectively that traffic converts into sales success, and micro-test extensively to get that ratio to just how you would like it.
Your blog should be the foundation of your social media presence, and without the secure foundation, your entire empire is at stake.