By Kevin O'Keefe

ROI of blogging : Framework to measure

Charlene Li, a principal analyst with Forrester Reasearch, and her colleague, Chloe Stromberg, have created a framework for measuring the ROI on blogging. Though just in the process of interviewing medium- and large-sized companies, the framework established provides some ROI measurement guidelines for you.

They’ve broken down measuring the ROI of blogs into three components: 1) Benefits; 2) Costs; and 3) Risks.

Here’s the grid for measuring the benefits.

Blog Benefits & Measurement
Benefit Appropriate Measurement
Consumer self-education Higher conversion rate for blog visitors
Greater visibility in search results Increased traffic from search to blog
Lower the cost of public relations Generate the same level of awareness as PR
Reach an enthusiast community Lower cost communication tool
Address criticisms on other blogs/news stories Measure the slow down of bad news spreading
More responsive to consumer concerns Track customer satisfaction and retention
Improve employee innovation and productivity Track employee satisfaction and retention
Improved stock price with greater visibility into the organization Connect improved investor sentiment to blog readership

Measuring costs is pretty straight forward. Charlene mentions platform costs, training, policy creation, and employee time for publishing, maintaining, and troubleshooting.

Charlene believes the risks of a corporate blog can overshadow the benefits. She offers a sound approach in evaluating the risks.

One best practice I have seen is when the senior executive asked the blog champion to come back with a list of the top five things that can go wrong – and to also include the training and policies he would need to have in place to mitigate that risk.

Charlene shares a formula for calculating the risk and the ROI into hard numbers. I don’t see the need for a number, nor do I believe a number can be used to calculate the ROI of blogs.

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Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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