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How to Calculate the Value of Your Blog

Posted By Guest Blogger 28th of November 2014 General 32

This is a guest contribution from Tom Fanelli.

For most businesses, blogs are marketing tools. And while most take the time to measure their ROI from other marketing avenues, I’m surprised by how many don’t truly understand how their blog is (or is not) benefiting their bottom line.

Understanding your blog’s value can help you determine if you want to invest more on its development, adjust your blogging strategy to make it more effective, or simply cut back on your investment entirely.

Sound good? Here’s a guide on how to figure out your blog’s value.

Track the cost of content development.

This isn’t as easy of a task as it may initially seem. If you work with freelancers to create and upload content, their fees are the most obvious direct cost, but it’s likely that there’s still someone in-house who reviews the content – and their time is a cost to your business.

Be sure to account for time spent by all full-time employees who contribute to the blog as part of their responsibilities. Ask them to track how much time they spend working on blog-related tasks for a month.

Calculate your cost per visit. 

Okay, you know how much it costs to keep your blog going, but you want to consider that in the context of how much traffic your blog generates. If you spend money promoting your blog posts, through PPC, Outbrain, or outreach, factor this in. Don’t forget to include any associated labor costs.

Now add the cost of content development and promotion, and divide it by the number of visits over the same period. This is your blog’s “cost per visit”. It can also be valuable to determine the cost per unique visitor.

Determine the revenue of each visit. 

What direct returns do you get from your blog? You may earn money from advertising or affiliate sales. If that’s the case, calculate your total profits on a monthly basis and divide it by the number of visits during the same period.

However, many business blogs don’t have ads or support affiliate sales. Instead, your goal is likely to convert blog visitors into sales of your products or services. For product sales, you can use analytics to determine how many visitors on your blog ultimately completed a shopping transaction as well as the exact revenue from each transaction. But for most services (and some products), it may still take a phone call before they actually convert into a sale. Accounting for your blog’s influence on sales in this way is a little trickier but not impossible:

  • Track how many blog visitors end up on your “Contact” page. Figure out the average value of a new customer, and use this figure to assign a value to these “conversions”.
  • For a month, have your sales team ask new clients if they visited your blog. If the answer is yes, include that sale as part of the return you earn on your blog.
  • Use call tracking. Provide a unique phone number for those who visit your blog, so you’ll be able to say definitively that the customer was acquired in that manner.

There is also another business blogging goal that shouldn’t be overlooked, though it is not as easy to quantify: establishing your brand or expertise. The best way to account for this type of value is focus on the cost per visitor. From there, you can better determine if your investment is worth the reach you’re achieving.

Don’t forget the value of the content itself.

Many businesses reuse blog content in other ways, such as eBooks, marketing materials, social media updates, and newsletters. It’s worth calculating the cost and value of these other uses to get a more complete picture of how your blog fits into your marketing success.

If you find that your blog’s ROI isn’t bad but also isn’t where you’d like it, this is also one way that you can improve it without blowing up your entire strategy.

Now What?

So you’ve subtracted your cost per visit from your gross revenue per visit, and you now have the value of each visit. Armed with this data, you can evaluate your overall content strategy. Do you need to make adjustments? Should you double-down on your current success? Can you grow your business by driving more blog traffic through PPC ads? This figure is also important if you’re calculating the value of your domain name or website for sale.

Tom Fanelli is one of the nation’s leading experts on website development, SEO, SEM, and social media marketing. For nearly two decades, Tom has built both world-class marketing solutions and leading global marketing teams in corporate and small business environments across many industries. He has shared his insight on online customer acquisition, lead generation, and business optimization in both print and web publications, as a presenter of over 50 webinars, and as a featured speaker for companies like Intuit, Microsoft, Sage Software, and the Small Business Administration.

Follow Tom on Twitter at @tfanelli, purchase his ebook Infographics in Action, or learn more on TomFanelli.com.

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Comments
  1. Even when you try to keep track of this stuff and not get behind, it can be difficult. Finding the direct returns from your blog, to me, is most difficult. I am sure there are benefits that I may be missing or I am not taking advantage of them at all. The key is documenting everything you can.

  2. Hi Tom Fanelli,
    In these days most of the bloggers can’t calculate the value of your blogs. Because of busy schedule. They are getting good traffic from search engines and they are very happy. But most of the bloggers are working on quality and value of our blog. So that they are getting good results and good money.
    Truly speaking, I was also working on only two factors. One is link building and the second one is On Page SEO. I know link building is spam in these days. But a blog is nothing without strong link building. But now I will work more on quality. Because in this article so many points are very knowledgeable. In last I would like to say a wonderful thanks from the heart.
    Thanks Tom Fanelli
    Regards
    Monu Kumar

  3. Websites are usually valued based off how much the site itself nets per month. If someone was looking to sell their site then they could typically expect to sell it for 18-28x monthly net profit. For example, if your blog made an average of $1000 per month in net profit, you may be able to find a buyer who would pay $18K – 28K.

    I like the idea of finding $/visit to make tweaks to your strategy. The right tweaks and suddenly, your site is making you even more money (which in turn raises its sale value.)

  4. Dont you thing that in past few year bloggers network has gone down. I see the Digg, Technorati are not much moving up. They changed their strategies in pas few years. Its seems video blogging is more IN as compare to content. People like more to watch rather then reader an article.

  5. Hey Tom,

    Excellent article! I like the part where you count based on revenue earned. I use that model too and thank you for sharing!
    ~Reginald

  6. Hi Tom
    It was nice to read your take on this topic. The most important thing you mentioned here is the “time” one is putting in. That is the most valuable resource. I would like to read something on time management for blogging from your site. How much time should one invest. That is something I am not good at and would be very pleased if you make a post on that. Thank You.

    Regards
    Neil (blogician.com)

  7. Hi Tom,

    Neat read! I am stat averse yet wow, I love the simple, concise breakdown here. I go off of feel. Intuitive nudges, detaching from stats and the like hasn’t hurt me yet when it comes down to it, wow does it help to have hard and fast numbers to help dictate your direction.

    I trashed my last blog because I wasn’t clear on it.

    I also realized that I worked like a doggy dog to prosper with it. Something was amiss in the tropical isle – Fiji – where I was at the time. I knew that the revenue per visitor, or flat out, the time vs dollar bottom line was a bit off. So that combined with my lack of clarity with the blog, cause me to delete 3400 blog posts.

    Oh stop it guys….I hear you attached bloggers retching, lol! I’m attached too, but was more than happy to get rid of the dead weight because the value – relative to the time spent working it – wasn’t there.

    Nice analytical read Tom, without boring me to tears ;) Appreciate it!

    Ryan

  8. Hi Tom,

    When I saw the catchy title of your post, I thought some new tool would have been introduced to find the value of blog. And a simple click of submit will detected and reveal all info my blog ( thought of that ) . Rather than trusting a tool, your tip ( pretty mind calculation ) and well explained simple Mathematical logic calculation of cost per visit = ( cost of content development + promotion ) / number of visits has real thing to calculate the need.

    Hereafter if I want to calculate the value of blog, ill use this formula.

    Thanks
    Siva

  9. Great article,
    This is something I will definitely keep attract of. The truth is I just started blogging, but in the future I will definitely take hold of the fact that if my blog is not gaining potential readers or customers,then I may need to change what I write about or find another alternative. One thing is for sure, I will not give up just keep failing and learning until I achieve success…

  10. Thanks for the insight. I hope one og my site one day will be of value, but when that day comes I doubt that I would want to sell it, if it can bring you in money each month, I don’t see the reason to sell the blog.
    But I bet it’s still nice to know how much your site is worth, even when not wanting to sell it :)

  11. Nice article about calculating the value of your blog. I do believe there are websites out there that have calculators for figuring website value. A good starting point at least.

    • Great article Tom. @Brian: these websites that calculate the value of a blog are usually crap. They rely on easy to manipulate data like Alexa rank, PageRank and such and can never give you a decent estimate. The calculations Tom suggest in his article are far better to estimate the real value of your blog.

  12. Great article, been working on my blog for a while now would be nice to know how much it is worth!

  13. Excellent article!
    I like the part where you count based on revenue earned from particular blog and I consider revenue from blog to calculate its values.
    thank you very much for sharing such kind of idea.

    MRK…!!!

  14. If a blog just for hobby, maybe it is hard to detemine it’s value. :)

  15. hii tom

    Dont you thing that in past few year bloggers network has gone down. I see the Digg, Technorati are not much moving up.

  16. Love the article and to be honest I never thought about my blog’s worth in these terms. And I was wrong. I’ll need to re-analyze my work and see where I can improve.

  17. Hm, it’s a shame that we can’t put our labor hours into the value of our blogs. No one cares about how much work has been done, when trying to buy your blog. They’re only interested in how much the blog is making, nothing else. Great article!

  18. A really good post for people like us who are still in the process of making a self sustaining blogging environment. Tips like these help us in actually making the most out of the sites with no extra effort other than just analyzing existing data and stats!
    Thanks for the article!

  19. It’s another learning method on How to Calculate the Value of Your Blog. This is very helpful and useful for the bloggers. I learned and many great tips here. Thanks for sharing the article. Great post!

  20. Nice article about calculating the value of your blog. I do believe there are websites out there that have calculators for figuring website value. A good starting point at least. I see the Digg, Technorati are not much moving up. They changed their strategies in past few years. Its seems video blogging is more IN as compare to content. People like more to watch rather then reader an article.

  21. Excellent article! I like the part where you count based on revenue earned. I use that model too and thank you for sharing!.The calculations Tom suggest in his article are far better to estimate the real value of your blog.

  22. Great post, been working on my blog for a while now would be nice to know how much it is worth!

  23. Nice calculation of blog worth determination. Of course the number of visitors and cost generated per visit will determine one’s blog worth

  24. Creating great content is key in having a successful blog. If we did tons of promoting, marketing, etc. and then lead people to a post with bad content, the end result would be the reader never returning. Great article, thanks!

  25. Some good points. Although considering some search engines will base a pages overall rankings based on the amount the page is updated, and new, relevant content is added, That value is difficult to add into your formula.

  26. Annie Marie Peters says: 12/06/2014 at 1:55 pm

    Yes! I appreciate this analytic approach to blogging. Few people actually consider the amount of time and energy it takes to not only develop blog content, but to promote it as well. It can be a real commitment, and the ROI may not be what you expect it to be. Thanks for sharing this article. It’s been very thought provoking.

  27. Great Article. Cost of content development and delivery is very important to all small publishing sites. Does anyone know if there are any tools out there to help measure aggregate cost vs roi for publishing sites?

  28. Blogging can take away a lot of your time.I was lucky enough to come across this article.

  29. Hi There,

    Your totally right when you state “Many businesses reuse blog content in other ways, such as eBooks, marketing materials, social media updates, and newsletters. It’s worth calculating the cost and value of these other uses to get a more complete picture of how your blog fits into your marketing success.”

    It’s tough to find a site to purchase with good and valuable content on it.

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

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