Blogging, however you view it, is fast becoming a vital part of any organisations marketing strategy. Content is king, content shows expertise, content drives traffic and opens new doors! but blogs are still viewed by many as something that is nice to have, but not a core focus...

...why? because it is very difficult to quantify the effect on the bottom line! A very senior marketing manager from a law firm told me recently that whilst she would love to have a high quality blog, to do achieve this she would need senior people from within the firm to write, and the human capital cost was simply too high.

She had a point! If you work out the (rough!) cost of a blog post written by a top lawyer, based on the average post taking two hours to write and the average hourly billing rate of a senior lawyer (£200-£400 and up). A knowledge piece will cost upwards of £500 to produce. Working on the basis that company blogs with 15 or more posts per month see more than five times the traffic of non-blogging companies, the annual cost of a high quality blog for a law firm could be upwards of £90,000 a year (give or take). Even blogging twice a week could cost you £50,000 a year!

Hard to keep up

Even if you can get over the hurdle of getting your top people to write, it’s a huge struggle to get them to do it regularly, and no one really wants to spend their day chasing the senior partners for blog posts – before you know it you are back to writing about the company outing or the team building day in London.

Hard to track

To justify these costs the blog is going to have to drive a lot of new business and you are going to struggle to justify the expense! Extensive stat tracking will help but doing it properly will have a cost in terms of money and time. You can talk to your new customers about why they chose you, but this has to be done face to face rather than via a feedback tool on your site or a drop down – these tools are now ubiquitous to the point where they are very annoying and the answers shouldn’t be relied on.

Ghost written

You could employ a ghost-writer or two? at £50-£100 and upwards for a ghosted article you’ll be paying between £9,000 and £18,000 for your blog over the year but you are going to have to factor in getting the pieces approved by one of your team to ensure they are giving our the right message and portraying your firm in the right light. You stand to lose authenticity as it’s tricky for a ghost-writer to write with the voice of a Lawyer with 30 years’ experience in their field. Depending on who you employ to write for you, there is a chance that your blog will end up full of SEO optimised posts that bring in the traffic, but don’t read very well and lead to a very high bounce rate.

But we need a blog

There are rafts and rafts of stats available that point out the benefits of blogging, traffic, search, social to name but a few. A well written piece of commentary on a recent change in the law could well act as a catalyst for a potential client to contact you rather than a competitor. A steady feed of knowledge could push your site onto the front page of Google. Regularly tweeting interesting articles and sharing knowledge written by your experts could make all the difference. A good blog really does help you become a thought leader.

Driving down the cost

The ideal situation is to find a way to have a great blog, stuffed with expertise and brimming with insight! A tool like Passle can help you get your senior people blogging regularly, writing high quality opinion pieces or giving their expert commentary on current news and events in as little as 10 minutes. Put this through the calculation above and you are way ahead of the game….