How does one quantify the return on investment of something like blogging?
When you add up the hours spent crafting and searching for ideas and content, along with the time spent responding to comments and e-mails, it represents a significant investment.
Those who host advertising on their site can measure advertising sales, but those who don’t (like me), and who use their blogs for other purposes, you have to look at other metrics.
Back in January, I outlined my goals and objectives for this blog, which you can read at the original post.
After eight months of blogging, and a challenge from Darren Rowse, I felt it was time to revisit these goals and objectives and see how it was going. Hopefully, you can adapt them to your own goals for writing and participating in social media.
- Professional Development: To continue in my education of social media, its tools and its culture.
- Feedback: To build an international network of smart and insightful peers that I can call upon for advice, feedback and support.
- Research: To collectively develop and explore public relations ideas and practices with the readership of Communication Overtones
- Lagniappe: To build a repository of knowledge and approaches to public relations that can be shared with clients. In New Orleans, this is called a lagniappe, or a “little something extra.”
My original objectives, in support of my goals, have gone much better than I imagined:
Objective 1: Network. “Develop a relationship with at least five other active bloggers by June 2006.” Relationship is a big word, but I feel I have a working relationship, and in some cases a friendship with many bloggers. In general, bloggers are accepting and open to new voices in the discussion. So many have been supportive of me, from Shel Israel, Scott Baradell and John Wagner in the beginning, to Andrea Weckerle, Phil Gomes, Constantin Basturea, Neville Hobson, Robert French, Shel Holtz, Todd Defren, Susan Getgood, Ike Pigott, and many others who have linked or commented.
From the hard numbers strandpoint, in Technorati, I have gone from 18 links from 11 sites ion January to 415 links from 159 sites today, which is honestly hard to believe, thanks for reading and linking. As for traffic, according to Google Analytics, you have visted 9,482 times, 5,436 of those unique visitors, meaning you come back often. And 62 of you have subscribed, for which I am humbled and grateful.
Objective 2: Comments. My objective was to comment on at least five blogs per week in order to expand my network and support other bloggers. I probably comment on more like 10 or 12 a week. I track my comments at delicious, which helps me keep track of the conversations I have joined.
Objective 3: Learn Social Media Tools. I have learned a lot about the tools, but I have a long way to go. Though I have been blogging with pictures from Flickr for quite a while, yesterday, Andrea helped me understand why I need a profile there.
I also put together a podcast about Marketing Disruption with Social Media and I used the free tool Audacity to edit it. I have not done a vodcast yet, but my objective is to complete one before next June.
What are your goals and objectives for your blog or podcast, or for taking the time to read, listen and watch and comment on blogs and podcasts? How do you measure these goals to know you aren’t wasting your time?