The term ROI (return on investment) is from the finance world. Basically, it calculates how much return you get on your monetary investment.
Other niches like business management took the term and applied it to time. I’ve applied the term to blogging activities. How well are you using the time invested for your blog? Is your blogging workflow conducive to bringing you a high return or a low return?
I’ve separated blogging activities in two categories: content creation and marketing.
Monetization is another vital category, but I think you don’t need to spend as much time on monetizaton as content creation or marketing. This is especially true for new blogs. New blogs need traffic before they can focus on monetization. And Content creation and marketing are the necessary activities to drive traffic to your site. Some bloggers have gone as far as saying not to monetize a site unless you have 1000 daily visitors.
Anyways, back to content creation and marketing. You definitely want high ROI activities in both categories. If you ignore content creation or marketing, you blog will be unbalanced. Marketing helps you get new visitors while content creation helps you get return visitors.
Let’s look at a couple content creation activities. Tomorrow I’ll deal with marketing activities.
Blog posts (medium ROI)
These are the 200-400 word posts that are a dime a dozen on the blogosphere. Every new blogger starts off writing these type of posts.
The reason they have a medium ROI is because they don’t really differentiate your blog from other blogs. Still, if you consistent create these posts for at least a year and add good marketing, you’ll slowly build a following and improve your branding. These posts are like the pawns on a chess board – not very powerful but with a good number of them, they provide a stable blogging foundation.
Linkbait is usually content that takes you a much longer to create than the average blog post. It’s a product of researching your niche well. It contains other elements instead of just text like images and video. Occasionally, it’s a useful or entertaining web application.
Linkbait is a high ROI activity because it sets your blog post apart from the crowd. Most blogs in your niche are probably not doing any linkbait, so you’ll capture a lot more attention from your linkbait than your normal blog posts. Also, linkbait is much more likely to attract links, which then increase your search traffic.
To learn more about linkbait, check out these posts:
- The Art of Linkbaiting
- The Link Baiting Playbook: Hooks Revisited
Guest posts (medium)
This activity could also go under marketing. However, I put it under content creation because most of your time in this activity is spent writing.
Your ROI goes up if you find a popular blog to guest post on.
The reason I don’t think it’s a high ROI activity is because you only get one link and you’re spend time creating content for another site instead of your own. Compare this to linkbait, which can get you multiple links from different sites and the content is published on your site.
Article submissions (low to medium)
Your ROI depends on how well you can find a low competition keyword that still has a good amount of search volume. If your niche is very competitive, it may be hard to find those type of keywords.
In my experience, these three article submission sites have done a good job sending traffic:
The advantage of this activity over guest posts is that article submission sites accept all quality articles. With guest posting, you have to spend time looking for a quality site willing to publish your article.
What content creation activities occupy your blogging workflow?
Ideally, ROI should be measured in terms of income but I think Ryan is right to measure it by traffic. Focusing too much on money (like having too many ads above the fold) especially in the beginning can take away from your focus on making an authority, well-branded site. Plus, if you increase your traffic consistently, you’ll increase your profit too.
Linkbait can be very high, but it can also bomb. The key is to do everything you can to ensure success before promoting.
Also, regarding Jeff’s questions: I think you should think of ROI in terms of eyeballs. What will ultimately drive more eyeballs to your website?
Let’s see, I still do guest blog posts on occasion. The part about creating numerous 200-400 word blog posts is true. I did this for one year on my own blog and after awhile, I gained a following and was receiving a good number of backlinks. Too bad I let the momentum slide. I have little to no linkbaiting experience and need to work on those skills. I’ve never done any article submissions either because I’ll just end up publishing those on the blog.
But what is exactly considered ROI in terms of blogging? Is it comments, links or something else?