I’ll Squish Your Head…

Ian Lurie

…if you ask me what the ROI on blogging is. I. Am. Sick. Of. That. Question.
Augh. The Pain! Ian is squishing my head!
Seth Godin said it very well today. Few blogs earn a measurable sum of money. So, if you’re in blogging for the wealth, give it up.
My blog directly earns me $1.50/day. Seriously. That’s it: One (cheap) Kit Kat.

The Kit KatPossibly the Greatest Food Ever Invented

So Why Blog?

Yet I advise most of my clients to add blogs to their sites. And I can’t seem to shut up on my blog, either. Why?
Because blogs have some lovely side effects:

  • They are networking tools. I have connected with more cool people via my blog than almost any other source.
  • A blog can generate business, even if it doesn’t directly put dollars in the bank. I’ve gotten at least four contracts in the last two months because of this blog.
  • It’s fun! If it’s not fun for you, do something else. If you don’t enjoy it, it’ll show.
  • It’s, ya know, sorta, like, communication.

No ROI. Forget it!

So forget about ROI. At least direct ROI. Forget it’s even possible.
Write because you like it.
Write because it helps you build your reputation.
Write because it’s good practice.
The rest will come in time, or not.

If you still dream of striking it rich, don’t feel bad. I should squish my own head, too. I once believed I could Make A Million Dollars Blogging. I failed so miserably I still use a different name in some parts of the USA.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Hi Ian, I love what you’re saying here. So true. And once you come to terms with the fact that your blog will probably never earn you much direct income, you can start to really enjoy the blogging process, lol.

  2. Ian,
    Personally, I would redefine ROI to encompass the entire business.
    Blogs as you are more than aware are a form of marketing and income as a result of marketing actions is ROI where the “I” is the investment you placed into your blog on behalf of your purpose. If you make connections, increase your profile as an expert, convert a visitor into a client or at least partly, you have your “R”.
    Again, I know I am preaching to the (likely more wise) preacher here but in my experience, business owners find themselves asking questions like what is the ROI because they feel that they have to ask the question, but we rarely correct the application of the term and say well there isn’t one.
    I would submit that even mediocre blogs hold significant capital and potential if used consistently. If they [business owners] were able to track [their] leads, conversions, and referrals that were attributable to your blog they would have a large % of income as the ROI from the blog.
    Another great article. Keep making $1.50. Always a terrific read.
    All the best,

  3. @Jay I definitely agree. I could’ve put it much, much better than I did in this article: If you’re blogging you have to broaden your definition of ‘ROI’.

  4. Great post. I want Google to add an option to measure conversions in snack value. I can picture the board meeting now:
    “We experienced a dramatic spike in sales as a result of our email campaign. As you can see on this chart, we now have two Kit Kat Chunkies and a packet of Monster Munch.”

  5. @Alex hahahaha I love it! But really if you’re using Kit Kat bars to buy things inflation is probably bad. They’re worth at least 100000 packets of Monster Munch.

  6. My blog is my branding and networking tool. It is strictly a marketing vehicle. I place ads on my blog to offset any monthly expenses including hosting and domain registration.

  7. Excellent!
    I wonder if 70 years ago, people would ask,
    “What’s the ROI on having a business phone?”
    On a related note, I overheard someone ask how they could find local area Twitterers, so that they could get together for coffee. I wanted to butt in and ask if they use the phone book to find other people who have phones in the area… so they could get together for coffee??
    Bond through communication channels. Not over communication channels.

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