The content marketing calculator

Use this calculator to explore how the resources you use in your content marketing efforts will affect your growth in visitors. This calculator allows you to model your growth with a selection of financial investments as well as via time distribution of work.

Glossary

Initial monthly visitors

The amount of unique visitors that you are currently averaging on a monthly basis.

Growth rate

Your expected month-on-month growth rate to be used in the calculations above.

Growth variance

A percentage figure that creates random variation in your growth rate, determined by the value you set.

Monthly budget

The budget you expect to allocate each month for your content marketing efforts.

Content team

The number of people that you will have working on your content marketing.

PR efforts

A monthly paid public relations budget that your brand will spend in order to support your inbound marketing.

Sponsorships

A monthly paid marketing budget to be used for sponsorships, real-life events, conferences and trade show attendances.

Tooling

Any tools and software that aid in your content research, creation and distribution process.

Time distribution

The division of time that your content marketing team will have available to them during their working hours.

Content creation

The actual writing and publishing of content. This includes articles, blog posts, guest articles, and newsletters.

Interactive content creation

The creation and publishing of quizzes, polls, videos, games, interactive infographics, games, courses etc.

Research

Time spent understanding your subject field, fact checking, and finding citations. Research ensures your content isn't rubbish.

Outreach

The effort spent networking and building relationships with journalists, newsletter owners, bloggers, influencers, and experts in your field.

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Calculations

Initial conditions

In order to calculate growth, you start with 3 inputs, your expected month-on-month growth rate, the monthly growth variance, as well as your initial visitors.

The growth rate is a monthly rate, not a mean growth rate over the 24 month period. This means that the expected visitor value will consistently grow by that amount month on month. This is not actually realistic as such consistency is ridiculously unlikely.

This is why you are able to set a growth variance that will be applied every month in order to add an element of randomness. The value here is a range from -x% to +x%. This means that if you set your growth rate at 10% and your variance to 5% then your variance will be any number between -5% to 5% for any month. This means that your effective growth rate before any additional factors are applied will be any number from 25% to 35%, calculated randomly.

Future months are calculated by the calculated growth rate multiplied by the value of the month preceding it, so your initial monthly visitors value will act as the base value.

Monthly budget

You can explore the effects of marketing expenditure by adjusting the budget sliders. Each of the 4 marketing expenses act as multipliers and each adjustment forces a recalculation of what will eventually be the final effective growth rate.

The formulae for the multipliers are as follow (where n is the value for each slider):

As mentioned above, the variant-based growth rate (pre-budget factoring) is determined by multiplying the set growth rate with the variant range. Each of the 4 multipliers are then multiplied by this variant-based growth rate for each month in the graph. This provides us with a total multiplier value.

Because month-on-month growth is exponential and not realistic in the real world, a growth diminisher penalty is backed into the overall formula. Each month, the total multiplier value has a 33% chance of being decreased.

The value of decrease depends on the month being calculated. The second month can be decreased by 3% all the way up to the last month being decreased by 60%. The step in decrease is around 2% per month.

Time distribution

Your growth can be both positively and negatively affected depending on how you distribute available time. Your initial time distribution multiplier is 1.0. The total multiplier value from above is ultimately multiplied with the growth diminisher value as well as this time distribution multiplier to give the final and effective new growth rate. This is multiplied by the visitor value from the preceding month to give the expected visitor value for the new month.

The time multipliers are calculated as below. Please note that your total content creation ratio consists of both content and interactive content.

Notes and corrections

You'll notice that your graph will not be the same if you toggle back to a given value. This is due to the random elements baked into this calculator. This is meant to serve as an illustration and not as a true form of prediction.

If you have feedback about the way that any of the above steps are calculated, I would absolutely love your feedback. You can find me on Twitter.