Yesterday I wrote about the ROI of some content creation activities. Make sure to check out the comment section on that post for a discussion on how to measure blogging ROI.
Today I’ll go over some marketing activities.
Blog commenting (medium ROI)
Blog commenting is the bread and butter marketing method for many bloggers. Your ROI goes up if you’re one of the first commenters and you comment on a popular blog. Also, blogs without the nofollow tag increase your ROI.
It works well because you get traffic to your site and you also get on a blogger’s radar. If you comment enough, they may check out your site and comment back or even give you a link. Just remember to add value in your comments instead of only writing, “Great post. Thanks!”
However, don’t expect too much from blog commenting unless you do it consistently for a long period of time. Many bloggers use this method so your ROI is diminished because of the competition.
Social voting marketing (low to high)
Marketing on social voting sites like Digg and StumbleUpon is either a hit or miss for many bloggers. Here are a couple questions you need to ask before spending a lot of time on these sites.
Does your target audience hang out at the social voting site you’re using?
If not, it’s probably not worth it to use the social voting site. I have a blog that targets the collectible card game, Magic the Gathering. This game is pretty popular worldwide. However, most of the players don’t know about social voting sites. Therefore, it would not make sense for me to try to market the blog on a social voting site.
Do you have a large enough network to get enough votes so your content will go popular or viral?
Social voting works if you’re willing to commit to the site for a couple of months. This allows you to build a good reputation. That reputation will lead to friends on the site that can vote for your content.
Until you get to that point, unless your content is exceptional, you won’t get much traffic.
Is your monetization model based on page views or conversions?
Unless your monetization model is based on page views, the traffic from social voting sites may not be worth it for the work you have to put in. Social voting traffic is usually lower quality than other types of traffic like search or link referrals. The users from social voting sites have a high bounce rate and don’t usually come back to visit your site. This is a problem for blogs looking to sell stuff or build an email list.
Social voting users are looking for cool, useful, or entertaining stuff. They are not really looking to purchase anything or sign up for an offer.
Here are two links to check out especially if your monetizaton model is based on product or affiliate sales.
Do you have viral content?
To get the most out of social voting sites, you need to create viral content – content that people will naturally vote on and pass along to their friends.
Asking webmasters directly for links (high)
The reason this method is a high ROI activity is because many bloggers don’t contact webmasters directly. I occasionally do freelance SEO for an internet marketing firm. My client has great content, but so do our competitors. However, our competitors don’t get the links we’re getting. I’m pretty sure it’s because we email webmasters and ask for links while our competitors don’t.
As long as your have linkworthy content, you should definitely do this activity. If you’re not sure how to word your email messages, check out this sample email template.
Also, links from quality sites are the main currency on the web. If you have links, you’ll get direct traffic from the link and indirectly your links will increase your search traffic.
Forum marketing (low to medium)
If your monetization model is purely based on traffic volume, then I would stay away from forums. They just don’t drive enough traffic.
However, if your model is based on conversions, then forum marketing is worth it because forum traffic is high quality traffic. Forum users are invested in your niche. They are willing to join a forum and converse with other niche fans. These users are much more likely to convert to a sale, lead, or email list.
To make forum marketing work, choose a popular, active forum in your niche that allows links on your forum signature.
What marketing activities occupy your blogging workflow?