One Blog or Two?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately. I don’t like the way it’s laid out. I moved across from Blogger in October and I’ve not managed to successfully categorise my posts and organise my content since. I’ve also been posting a lot more about blogging, social media and work lately.
This month I’m doing a 31-Day blogging challenge which involves a different challenge each day. Yesterday the challenge was an exercise designed to help you come up with new blog post ideas, but it involved focusing on who your ideal reader is, and what you want them to get out of reading your blog. I found that I had two ideal readers: first, the one who has been reading this blog since it began in 2012, a parent, possibly a single one. The second reader is one who is self employed or trying to grow their blog or business.
I’m not sure what to do about this. It’s entirely possible that there are several single parents out there who are also self employed and looking for tips on running a business, being productive, and promoting their business on social media. But the two topics don’t exactly overlap very much.
Earlier this year, I set up VickyCharles.com with the intention of using it for my business. I got part way through setting the site up, and it all went a bit to pot. I couldn’t get it looking exactly as I wanted, I couldn’t decide on how to display my services or charges, I didn’t like my logo. I kept meaning to start writing weekly blog posts for the site, but never got around to it despite having a massive list of post ideas languishing in a notebook somewhere.
It occurs to me that I could split this blog in two, and put all the posts about blogging, social media and work onto my other site. This blog would be about personal aspects of my life; the other would be about work. Except… by its very nature, this blog is both business and personal. Also, by removing the business/blogging aspect of this blog, I would be taking traffic away from here – which may affect my income from the blog.
I’m trying to decide how I can make this work. I do need to start putting content on my business site, or there’s no point in having it. But if I take that content from here, I risk adversely affecting this blog.
I’d love some feedback on this; do you maintain two separate sites? Do you direct your clients to your personal blog? How does it all work for you?
I think having two sites is fine - you'll just need to prioritise and be organised. You'll engage with a completely different audience and have a "fresh start" Lizzie Dripping
From the perspective of someone who has set up and closed down blogs constantly over a number of years, the simple (and slightly glib) answer to the question of one blog or two is: it depends. I started blogging as a sports blogger who then developed a focus on cycling, from which grew a fan-based cycling-specific blog which I now run with a team of seven writers. That was an example of a specific vision growing out of a vague one, so it made complete sense to have its own dedicated blog. I subsequently closed down the original one. By being more focussed (we also developed specific Twitter, Facebook and podcast), we could target marketing the blog more effectively, and that now has a much bigger audience than it would have had as a general sports blog. My personal blog also started out as a general-purpose affair, until I realised that I was blogging only about two specific areas - family and TV. So I repositioned Slouching towards Thatcham as a parenting blog and launched a separate TV blog (again with separate Twitter and Facebook accounts). It took me quite a while to rebuild the audiences on both, but it was worth it. STT is now far better known in its new guise than it would ever have been as a hotch-potch of random categories, and within seven months of starting the TV blog I had been approached by two major entertainment sites and the website of a national newspaper, for whom I am now paid a (small!) monthly retainer to provide reviews and features for their blogs section. I'm 100% convinced that would never have happened had I not gone down the route of splitting the blogs. (I'm also much more visible to advertisers, who can specifically recognise my audiences as 'parenting' an d'TV'.) I guess the upshot is that you shouldn't allow the fear of splitting your readership in the short-term be the reason you don't start a second blog. Having a smaller, focussed audience can open up lots of additional opportunities, even if you never get your page views back to what they originally were. But what I would say is that to get the most out of it you will probably need to do more than just separate your blogs - I would do the same with your key social media channels too to create two distinctly different 'brands'. Which means quite a lot of additional work too. But I'd say it will be worth it. Of course, if the worst comes to the worst, you can always recombine the two blogs back into one further down the line. Tim recently posted...Not forgotten
Thanks Tim, I knew you had the TV writing side but I didn't know about the sports too! I feel like a lot of the "tips" stuff I do is aimed at bloggers rather than businesses but I suppose going forward I could always tailor the content. I think I just need to be more organised about it all!
Really interesting post. My wife and I are about a month into writing consistently on our blog and I'm trying to figure out the same thing. Mostly I like to write about parenting but have other interests that I think I could spin off into independent sites of their own but I don't have the audience for either at the moment. I also really like the idea of integrated marketing under a common brand but perhaps that won't work and at the moment I kind of just like writing and reading the blogs. Good luck with whatever choice you make.