Get the newsletter · 2018 essays (PDF) · Featured · Recent

Is blogging worth it? What’s the ROI?

Blogging is considered harmful?
Just saw this in the NYT: Some Brand-Name Bloggers Say Stress of Posting Is a Hazard to Their Health.

Obviously, blogging can be a high-stress thing if you are trying to do it on a regular basis, as a job, rather than I do, which is write whenever it strikes my fancy.

The stats

That said, I sometimes wonder if blogging is worth it from a purely ROI basis. After all, my stats are pretty measly, like so:

  Total 49,639  
  Average Per Day 443  
  Average Visit Length 2:00  
  Last Hour 8  
  Today 221  
  This Week 3,100  
  Total 72,501  
  Average Per Day 612  
  Average Per Visit 1.4  
  Last Hour 9  
  Today 342  
  This Week 4,285  

As you might guess, some of my blog posts take upwards of an hour to write, and might have been percolating in my brain for days. (Compare this to the far more efficient "publisher" model, where you selectively post links throughout the day.)

But after week in and week out of this writing, the fact is, the average # of pageviews on a visit is 1.4. Which means the vast majority of folks come to the blog, read a page, and leave. Some might click once, then leave, but it all averages out.

Is there an opportunity cost?

Compare that to almost any website I might write using the same amount of time – it’d be a path to get to millions of pageviews, rather than a blog which seems like it’d be amazing to have more than a couple thousand per month.

Furthermore, the stuff I write on this blog is pretty inside-baseball. I’m actually amazed that according to the Feedburner stats I have, I actually have over 2000 readers. Strange.

The blogging ROI
These days, I mostly think of having a blog as the same as having a
giant mailing list or CC: line on an e-mail that I might send out. In
that way, 2000 people is actually a really big number. In addition, it’s useful for a bunch of other random things, like:

  • Helping me organize my own thoughts and ideas
  • Keeping in touch with a large group of professional acquaintances and friends
  • Meeting a small # of high-quality people

All of these things, especially when really interesting folks e-mail me, make blogging worthwhile. But sometimes, I still wonder ;-)

PS. Get new updates/analysis on tech and startups

I write a high-quality, weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.