Business Blogging ROI

“What’s the ROI?” is among the most common questions people in business have about social media (right after (Isn’t that risky?”) and as P.F. Anderson says, many of the benefits and costs are intangible.

I’ve previously written about my experience connecting with Tom Vanderwell and how I saw one of his tweets about being a Mayo Clinic patient, which led to me meeting him in Grand Rapids, MI a few days later. This post summarized some of the outgrowths from that first interaction. So I thought it would be helpful to share another video interview with Tom Vanderwell, who has used his Straight Talk about Mortgages and Real Estate blog (and Twitter) successfully in his mortgage lending career.

Tom doesn’t get into the exact dollar return he’s seen through blogging, but he gives examples of the business he’s gotten in states far beyond his western Michigan home base. I would venture that just one of those deals would pay his out-of-pocket costs for blogging for, to be conservative… 50 years.

Of course that doesn’t take his time into account. But in a business like his, where word-of-mouth matters, I’m also betting that some of the loans he has made have led to recommendations for others.

But most importantly, he’s finding a way to grow beyond his narrowly defined geographic base (and one where the economy is even worse than the rest of the country.) And he’s finding an outlet for his passion: he’s able to have a business that’s about helping people instead of always just pushing more loan volume. He can serve his customers and feel good about it.

I say that’s a great return.