Bloggers these days spend more than four hours writing a typical blog post, on average — up from less than 2.5 hours in 2014.
And with about half of bloggers publishing weekly posts or writing several posts per month, all of this effort begs an important question:
Is blogging worth it?
Fortunately, there are plenty of stats out there to suggest the answer is a definite yes.
For instance, a survey of small and medium businesses from Exposure Ninja discovered that:
- 43% believe having a blog enhances their brand
- 37% see a blog as a way to build relationships with new and existing customers
- 21% say their blog directly generates leads and sales
But surveys don’t tell the full story. They don’t help you understand why blogging is important (or, perhaps, less important) for your specific business.
In this article, we’ll try to help you answer that exact question.
How to Measure Blog ROI
The only way to confidently answer the question “is blogging worth it?” is to start by defining what you want to achieve from your blog.
That way, you can set clear KPIs related to your blogging objectives and measure performance over time.
As long as you track the right KPIs — ones that are closely tied to your marketing goals — it should be easy to understand whether or not blogging is working for you.
For most businesses, the overarching goal of their marketing activity will be to grow revenue. That might mean generating leads or even driving direct sales.
But that’s not the only valid objective for your blogging strategy.
It’s also pretty vague, because there are countless ways you could increase revenue, such as:
- Improving retention
- Reaching new audiences
- Upselling existing customers
- Launching a new product
- Entering a new market
Each of those more specific objectives could be measured through a totally different KPI.
Let’s take a look at some top-level goals and the types of blogging KPIs you might track to assess performance.
|Goal||Relevant blogging KPIs|
|Build brand awareness||
|Increase website engagement||
|Grow organic visibility||
|Generate more leads||
|Support a product launch||
Is Blogging an Immediate Priority for Your Audience or Industry?
Tracking KPIs can help you understand if your existing blog is working out for you.
But what if you’ve never written a single blog post before?
What if you don’t have the resources and you’d need to hire a content creator or agency?
How do you make those sorts of decisions without any performance data to back them up?
At Content Conquered, we offer a managed content marketing service, so we’re naturally of the view that blogging is an extremely valuable tactic.
However, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the most valuable thing you could be doing right now.
The fact is, businesses have a wide range of goals and priorities. That means there are plenty of scenarios in which other content types beyond “traditional” blog articles will be more effective.
While far from an exhaustive list, here are a few examples of times when blogging might not be the best approach:
- You’re struggling to convert leads. Perhaps you have a pipeline full of leads, but your conversion rate is terrible, so none of them end up as paying customers. In this case, it might be better to put your immediate focus on mid- and bottom-of-the-funnel content; things like reviews, testimonials, and case studies, instead of blogs.
- Your subject matter isn’t suited to blogs. You might find that the topics you plan to create content about are extremely hard to explain via the written word. In which case an interactive or visual content format — like a video, infographic, flow chart, or quiz — may work better.
- You don’t have the authority to rank organically. If you’re a young company in a competitive niche, it’s likely your rivals have built up a lot of domain authority, making it near-impossible to rank for the keywords you want to target. The smarter move here might be to focus on growing your authority by generating backlinks, such as by running a creative content marketing campaign or writing guest blogs for other websites in return for links.
- Your audience is highly educated. If buyers in your industry already know exactly what they’re looking for, there’s little point creating top-of-the-funnel blog posts. You’ll see better results from writing lower-funnel content like case studies, and by supporting your sales team by creating the collateral they need to nurture leads or attend pitches.
- You need hyper-personalized content. If your sales and marketing strategy relies on creating regular, highly personalized content, it likely won’t be appropriate to publish as many blog posts. As long as you’re targeting high-value accounts, you can likely afford to create high-value, personalized content targeting a single buyer or account.
This isn’t to say blogging isn’t important — just that other content types are important too.
Producing the right assets at the right time will give you the best chance of achieving your objectives. And remember, in many cases, you can repackage those assets and publish them to your blog anyway, so you still reap the SEO benefits.
Why Blogging is Important for Modern Businesses
We know blogging has the potential to deliver results in the form of traffic, leads, and sales.
So let’s continue our blog-related thought experiment and consider precisely why blogging is important.
For the vast majority of modern businesses, it’s pretty much a requirement to have a blog.
A blog makes your website more visible in search, it makes life easier for buyers by answering questions at all stages of the user journey, and it adds credibility by demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about.
Perhaps most importantly of all, buyers like reading content.
According to Demand Gen Report, 41% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content before they’re ready to reach out to a sales rep. So if you need to create that content anyway, why wouldn’t you publish it on your blog?
There’s also evidence to suggest that blogging has become more important over time.
Research from LinkedIn found that decision-makers are spending more time each year reading thought leadership content — one of the most valuable blog post formats. Most spend at least one hour a week consuming thought leadership content.
In other words, the demand for content has never been higher.
Buyers in all industries are increasingly used to researching problems and solutions on Google. Blog posts are the perfect way to provide the answers they’re looking for.
And if you don’t provide those answers, there’s a strong chance someone else will.
If you’re going to succeed and grow in a competitive business environment, blogging is very much worth it.
Convinced that blogging is worth it for your business, but lack the resources to do it all yourself? We’d love to help! Get in touch with Content Conquered today 🙂