You don’t have to spend too much time surfing the Internet before you find someone questioning the value of writing a blog. All those negative articles could make you wonder “Why even bother blogging?”

Compared to more traditional types of marketing, it can often be difficult to determine the return on investment for any given blog post, or even for your entire blog. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother. Blogging has real value, even if sometimes that can be difficult to measure.

When you are sitting at your computer writing a blog, it can feel like you are shouting into a void. But in fact, there is a lot of value in blogging both direct and indirect. Just because you can’t track a client back to a particular post doesn’t mean they didn’t read your blog before deciding to call you.

Instead, your blog posts will gain visibility online. Like the billboards you see on the highway, the marketing piece itself isn’t always designed to make a person pick up the phone. Instead, it can build brand awareness. This will show up in your intake from clients who answer “how did you hear about us?” by saying, “I don’t know; I see you everywhere.”

Other clients will come to you because they “found your website.” Usually, this means that you showed up in their search on Google or another search engine. That doesn’t happen by chance. A well-written blog containing the right keywords boosts you up the rankings using search engine optimization. This increases the chance you will be “found” by Internet-savvy customers.

Sometimes, you will get calls directly relating to a particular blog. Even more than page visits or click through rates, this is the proof of your blogging success. Usually such calls can be traced back to a link shared on social media or a particular set of keywords. For example, a while back, I wrote a blog article about how surrogacy agreements aren’t quite illegal in Michigan. I now receive calls, sometimes several a week, saying they found this article on Pinterest. Given the age of the article, this means the post has been shared and redistributed across the web, reaching people far beyond the original audience.

There is one simple way to track your blog’s ROI: ask. When a client comes in, ask them how they found you. If they say they “found your website” ask if they have had a chance to read your blog article on their area of concern. You will be surprised how many of your clients browsed your blog feed before ever picking up the phone.

Not every blog post result in closed business. Some will simply help build your reputation and brand awareness. That too is a very important part of your web marketing strategy. Sometimes you will hit it big and a post will go viral (if only in a small way) or land you a big client. If so celebrate. But if not, at least you’ll know your blog was worth it anyway.

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Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She ghostwrites blogs and web content for law firms and small businesses. If you want to build your online brand reputation, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.