“Should I have more than one blog?” is a question that I’ve searched for the right answer to — both online and within my soul. The Good Blog Angel on one shoulder says, “Thy must havest just only one blog. One shall be the number of your blogs, and the number of your blogs shall be one. Tidy up your blog; keep it clean and niche.” The Bad Blog Devil, on the other, says, “Hell with it! Create TEN different blogs. Do what thy wilt!” Which one is right? Which answer have I come up with to this question? It depends. There’s no one correct answer. Like most things, it depends on you, what you want, and the time and resources you have. But here are my thoughts on the matter.
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How many blogs and babies will come out of COVID-19 inducted quarantine and social distancing? Here I sit, writing on this blog, and several others, some of which I’ve just started during this exile from travel and in-person social life. But, even before, the question “should I be doing this?” weighed on my mind when I found myself picking up my laptop and starting to add another WordPress installation.
The problem is, I already had a blog. I write a local and travel blog and was running a small local event calendar. Then COVID-19 hit. Suddenly: no events, no travel. I still had plenty of travel posts on the back-burner to write about but suddenly could not find the motivation to finish writing them when I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d get on an airplane or even take a trip into the city would be.
But, even with extra time on my hands, I asked myself, shouldn’t I just be working on improving my existing blog? Taking the advice that I usually give others and focusing on this ONE THING?
Why did I start writing a second (and third and…) blog?
Two things prompted me to start writing multiple blogs. It wasn’t that I felt like I had a “message” the world just needs to hear. There are plenty of very talented people putting out great content on the Internet now, sometimes so much so that it almost discourages me from writing online when I think about it.
One was boredom. I love the excitement of traveling — both going abroad and exploring local places, and I feel compelled to write about things that I do. However, my travel posts were sounding to me more like “go here, do this…then this” With photo editing and the occasional video (and the maps I started adding to posts) were taking me a disproportionately long time to write. It’s fine to take as much time as you need if you’re going to write something extraordinary and stunning, but my travel blog posts don’t exactly fit into that category (nor do most that I read.) And listicles are fine, and often fun, but listicles aren’t literature.((nor are most informative blog posts, including mine))
I had other topics I itched to write on. So I started another blog, then another. I felt kind of like it was blog philandering. I was cheating on my beloved only blog and creating sort of a blog harem, so I had somewhere else to indulge my passions when I got bored writing blog #1.
Why didn’t I just start writing about other subjects on blog #1? The second reason I started writing other blogs was to make the content of that blog more focused. While I’m a proponent of the idea that it’s your blog, and you can write what you want to, my blog already had a particular audience, and that audience seemed to have particular interests. And I had set up my email list so that some of those subscribers would get automatic email notifications of new posts. It didn’t feel right to me when I suddenly started to write about everything from WordPress tips to what to do when there’s no more toilet paper.
So here I am, with this blog about WordPress, a food blog, and another blog with no niche whatsoever.
Right now, at this moment, I feel happier for having a place to write about whatever I want and think that it will make me feel more focused and energized when I, inevitably, get back to blog #1. But I’m also concerned that blog #1 is suffering for lack of attention. And I know that likely, one of these blogs may end up getting absorbed by the multi-topic
blob blog. Which one, if any, will it be? Here’s a recent comment my spouse made to me: “Gordon Ramsey would yell at you for this.” Which one do you think it is?
Advantages of having just one blog
My advice to a new blogger would be this: if this is your first blog, and you’re tempted to write more than one, just force yourself to focus on the one for a significant amount of time. Give that initial blog AT LEAST a year before you start branching off to blog #2 (or even 3 or 4). If you’re new to using WordPress, you are going to make some mistakes. It’s better to make these on one blog than to make them simultaneously on multiple blogs.
You also might think blogging will be a fun adventure, only to find that you hate it. Sticking with one blog for a while is a chance to try it out and see what you think.
Besides that, some advantages to only having one blog are:
If you’re writing a blog and working at another job full time and you want to write relatively regularly on that blog, stick with one.
Blogging may be harder than you think. And if you only have evenings and weekends to work on it, especially if you have a family, having more than one blog may be too much of a challenge.
- Your Life:
A blog should have regular content. It’s your blog, so, of course, you can write on it twice a year if you want. Seeing posts on Medium and other places that declare “You must write something EVERY DAY!” exhausts me. They seem so demanding, like a pushy boss, so I mute them from my feed.1
While you don’t need to publish every day, your blog will suffer from starvation of content if you don’t post something relatively regularly. By “suffer” I mean in terms of readership and states. And publishing regularly, especially if you’re interested in writing decent posts, takes time (See #1). There are always people who don’t fit the norm, of course. I can think of some successful bloggers who’ve written less frequently. But these people are using that time not posting to create exceptional content.
There’s something else that takes time that is more important than your blog: your life. If you are focused on the one blog, you can do your very best and still have time for relationships, fitness, and other interests. Your writing will also benefit from your having a life.
Just blogging doesn’t need to take a ton of money — you can get a cheap hosting account, use free WordPress themes, free plugins, and have a blog.
While it’s true that content is #1 and you can add the same content using free themes and plugins, you’ll likely be tempted, at some point, to invest in premium themes and plugins.
Many of the “big” bloggers have got there by investing more than time in their blogs. Advertising takes money. Photo and video equipment are costly, though iPhones now do an excellent job. Many bloggers (not me, but perhaps I should) have invested quite a bit in blogging courses. Some websites pay for content — guest posts or even ghostwriters. Yes, I’ve seen things on Upwork like “write about my travel experiences as if you were me.” Yikes! I think if you need to do that, you should stick with one blog.
If you have any budget for advertising, you can invest it all in that one blog. You can promote the hell out that one blog instead of diluting your pool of funds between multiple blogs.
- Social Media Sanity:
While you can use your personal social media account for your blog, you might find that you want to create an account just for the blog. That way, you can share what you had for dinner that night with your family and friends. Because they definitely want to know about that. And you can share your 50 best things to do in Paris with your travel followers. Because they’ve never read about that before.
That can work well if you have one blog. But if you want to drive yourself crazy, especially if you’re social media averse, try juggling multiple accounts for several blogs. It can be done, but to so — and to post and even (*gasp*) engage regularly — without it being insanity-inducing can require tools like Meet Edgar or SmarterQueue.
Reasons for (and advantages to) having more than one blog.
But, sometimes, blogs are like potato chips, to use a cliche expression, and you can’t just have one. Oh, yes you can just have one, but you don’t want to.
Here’s an explanation of why you might want to have a second blog and what some possible advantages might be to having more than one blog:
- You have a business/portfolio website and a separate blog.
If you are a writer or a web designer, having a website to showcase your best work can be very beneficial. If you have a blog already, it might be tempting to tack on your portfolio. But it’s better to show prospective clients or editors a website that’s all about you and your work. Personal/business promotion can be an excellent reason to have blog #2. Adding a blog section with some related content (i.e., on copywriting if you’re a copywriter, for instance) can be a way to market and bring eyes to that portfolio site.
- You want to keep your blogs “niche.”
Having more than one blog means that your audience of blog #1 who is ONLY interested in retro “Don Draper” style media consoles does not have to read your post about the ten best friends’ islands you’ve visited in Animal Crossing during self-quarantine.
- You are getting bored writing about the primary topic of your niche blog.
Do your friends’ beautiful Animal Crossing islands tempt you to write posts about them on your blog that is all about retro media consoles? It’s likely because you’re either having writer’s block or finding only so many ideas for writing about those consoles. Or you’re just plain bored.
Hopefully, you started writing your first blog because its topic was something of interest to you. If you now can’t bring yourself to write one word about its subject, perhaps taking a break and stretching your writing muscles on a different topic will inspire you. Maybe exercising your blog design skills by working with a new palette (or set of fonts or theme) can get you energized to get back to the website that you, initially, loved.
- If you’re using premium themes and plugins, it’s often not that much more expensive for a multi-site license.
If you’re concerned with expenses, having several blogs is often not too much more expensive than having a single blog. Many hosting accounts will let you have multiple blogs on that account. Just make sure your plan has enough resources — if you need to upgrade that is, of course, an additional expense. And, often, if you’re using premium plugins or themes, you’ll find that the developer offers a package deal for a multi-site license. Often, it doesn’t cost significantly more than a single-site license.
And premium themes often offer packages that extend to more than one site. Elegant Theme’s membership package has been well worth the money I’ve spent, given the use I’ve gotten out of it.
Of course, if you plan to spend money on advertising or use social media tools, as I mentioned previously, it will be more expensive, the more blogs you run.
Of course, another common reason people may want to have more than one blog is to earn more. Will you? It depends.
If you’re running Adsense Ads, it’s easy to add another blog to your existing account. It’s usually easier and faster to get approval for additional blogs than it is for the first.
If you write a niche blog, you’ll likely be more successful with affiliate product promotions than you would on a non-niche blog. Prospective sponsors will also be more likely to spend money on posts for a blog that attracts their target audience.
But, both to attract those sponsors, or to qualify for some of the more premium advertising programs, like Mediavine, you need a significant amount of traffic (last time I checked, Medavine’s requirement was at least 25,000 sessions/month. Oops! As soon as I wrote this, I found out that they had just changed their minimum requirement to 50,000/month.) To get to that requires a considerable investment of time, energy, and, frequently, money in your blog.
So, should I write more than one blog?
If you ask this and need someone like me to give you a pat answer, I’ll just say “NO!” Writing one blog, designing it, optimizing it, maintaining it, writing decent content, and promoting it can be fun and rewarding. It can also be an exercise in exhaustion. Again, if you’re creating your first blog wait a while to find what works for you. Learn from the inevitable mistakes you’ll make before you start blog #2 (or #3 and 4.)
However, if you then find that you truly love blogging and are itching to write on topics that don’t fit into your primary blog’s niche, consider creating another blog.
But remember, first, that alternatives exist. Alternatives that can help you exercise that second blog urge without going “full-blog.” Guest posting on other blogs is one possible option. It can also be a great way to market your blog. Platforms like Medium offer nice interfaces for publishing your writing. You may even earn a bit of money from publishing your writing on Medium if you do it the right way.2
If you love WordPress, though, like writing on a blog of your very own and feel blog #2 calling incessantly, go for it!
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- However, I do think that it is beneficial to develop a habit of writing.
- And if you don’t mind their “pay per clap” system.