One Multi-Topic Blog vs Multiple Blogs with a Single Topic

email question

Should I start a blog that addresses multiple topics or have a different blog for each topic?

This is a question I get emailed about all the time and as such I thought it would be a good way to kick off a new segment here on Blog Tyrant where I publicly answer your blogging and online marketing emails (with permission!) so that everyone can read them.

If you’d like to ask me a question just send me an email, leave a comment on this post or shoot me a Tweet with the hashtag #askblogtyrant so I can find them all.

So let’s dive into this first one.

Today’s question on multiple blog topics

Here’s the latest email I got on the topic of running one blog or many blogs:

multiple_blogs_single_blogs

I did a quick search in my inbox and noticed that I literally get asked this question at least once a week. When you do start a new blog it can be a really confusing process, especially if you aren’t entirely sure what your blog’s topic should be.

Here are a few thoughts on this issue based on my own experiences.

Single topic vs multiple topic blogs

Generally speaking it is quite difficult to find small to medium-sized blogs that successfully cover many topics.

For example, if you look at a blogger like Heather Armstrong who writes about lots of different things, you’ll notice that even then all of those topics fall under the brand of “Heather” in that it is all from her own experience and that’s why people read the site.

mamamia

Similarly, the popular Australian site Mamamia covers many topics all under the brand of “what everyone’s talking about” which allows for quite a diverse range of subjects.

But the thing you usually notice about successful multi-topic blogs or websites is that they are usually run by a large team of writers and staff the focus quite heavily on a vast quantity of articles.

This type of setup can be extremely difficult for a new blogger to work with.

Why?

  • It’s a lot of work
    Firstly it’s important to note that running a multi-topic blog is a lot of work if you want to do it correctly. It’s a lot of information to be across.
  • It can be boring
    If you’re thinking of a “personal” style blog it often comes across as being quite boring. People don’t often want to read about your thoughts on everything unless there is some point of difference involved.
  • It has a highly-varied audience
    If you are writing about gluten intolerance and politics all on the same blog, it’s going to be very hard to find your target audience which can make it hard to monetise and find ways to grow traffic.

So what is the alternative?

Well, to me it seems like the most successful bloggers are ones that focus in on a very specific niche and approach that niche in a way that is really distinctive.

nerd fitness

One example that I often refer to is Nerd Fitness – its broad niche is fitness but then it goes even further and just focuses on being about fitness for nerds.

This might seem like cutting out a large audience but it actually does the opposite – it becomes hyper relevant for a large group of nerdy people.

What if I have many topics to write about?

The next problem in this process is if you really want to write about multiple topics.

Then what?

Well, if you are just starting out I think it’s a good idea to really focus in on only one blog with one topic and make it as successful as possible.

The reason is that if you start many new blogs all at once you’ll often find that you do all of them in a half-baked way. By focusing on one big blog you can learn about what makes it successful, and then you can actually invest money from that first blog to get help with the second and then the third.

One of my favorite examples of someone who does this well is Darren Rowse who runs multiple successful blogs.

There’s Digital Photography School, ProBlogger, Feel Gooder and TwiTip. If he were to put all of these on to one blog it would be a branding nightmare.

darren and his team

But it’s also good to remember that he doesn’t run all of these himself. He has a large team that he’s gradually grown over the past decade. You can see them in the photo above.

What do you think?

I’d really like to know if you have experience running multiple blogs, or whether you added multiple topics to one blog. Did it work? Was it a mistake? I know everyone has different opinions about this one so please leave a comment below and let me know.

Top photo © Hermin Utomo | Dreamstime.com

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