Learn From My Mistakes: Track Your ROI

written by BlogEx on January 16, 2008 in Mistakes with 15 comments

Wow… just typing out that headline made me feel dumb. Anyway let me give you a little bit of the background info before telling you exactly how I was an idiot. After the good income from theme sales last month, I decided to advertise it a bit. I purchased one of the stripe ad spots on JohnChow.com and linked it over to the theme sales page/blog. A couple of days later, I was the subject of ProBlogger’s Community Consulting project and asked among other things for input on how to increase sales.

The result was that both popular blogs were now linking to the theme sales page and orders began to pick up. That’s a good thing right? Well, yes and no. Obviously I’m glad to have sold more themes, but the problem was, I hadn’t given myself any way to track which sales were the result of which advertisement. The ProBlogger feature wasn’t exactly an ad but I did have to pay $250 for it so for the purpose of this post, I’m calling it an ad. Now, I’ve made enough in sales to pay for both of the ads, but it’s possible that one source generated all of the sales while the other was a waste of money. I can take a guess at it from the timing of the orders but I certainly wouldn’t rely to heavily on that data.

Had I taken a few minutes to think about it, I could have easily set up a redirect in the order process and created a goal in Google Analytics. Then I’d know exactly what the return on investment was for each ad source and be able to make sound decisions based on that data. As it is, I’m stuck guessing and possibly wasting another $250 when it comes time to renew the JohnChow.com ad.

The lesson here is a fairly obvious one that many of you may be saying “Duh!” to. I know I’m certainly kicking myself for skipping such a critical step. In any case, no matter what type of site or monetization method you use, always, always, ALWAYS make sure you can track the return on any investment you make.