10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 2, getting high-value feedback

Cute Title: 
Blog ROI: Get into the feedback loop


In this second part of a 10-part series, find out how blogs can earn their keep. This post, we look at the value of the feedback you can get from your blog's readers.

Think for a moment about how much your organization spends to find out what its audience (a term we'll keep using until something better comes along, but it really isn't adequate in a social media age) is thinking.

Maybe you're doing opinion polling or focus groups. Maybe you have labs where your prospective customers are testing your newest products and services. Maybe you've hired consultants to mine your customer service logs for golden nuggest of insight.

Maybe you're just thinking of getting a psychic on staff. (Hey, we're located in Vancouver; we can hook you up with someone.)

Feedback is tremendously valuable stuff. And you don't just want to hear reactions to what you're doing and saying; you want to know what's on your audience's mind about the whole range of subjects that could touch on your organization's products, services or mission.

Enter blogging. More to the point, blog comments -- where your readers respond to your posts and, often, alert you to issues, opinions and ideas you need to know about. Sometimes you'll find a valuable nugget in response to something you've said; other times, a side conversation between readers about something completely different will reveal an important insight; and on still other occasions, people will volunteer something to you from out of the blue.

This is a conversation you aren't going to have through the feedback form on your web site. There is a lot that your audience will share with an actual person -- especially someone they feel they have a relationship with -- that they'd never even think of dropping into your virtual suggestion box.

Some suggestions for getting valuable feedback through your blog:

You'll know you're getting valuable feedback when: