I have a confession to make. I’m used to engage in multiple blogging. When Freelance Writing Jobs began to become successful, I figured blogging for myself was the way to go and approached it the wrong way. Instead of working my hardest to cultivate one blog, I began several different types of blogs. Only one achieved a smaller level of success and that’s because it’s a joint project with another blogger.
I found that by focusing on too many different personal projects, I wasn’t devoting enough time to one individual blog and they all suffered.
I also made the mistake of taking on several blogs for one client, a very popular blog network. The problem is, they all require quotas. When you’re blogging for six different blogs, all requiring two posts per day, plus trying to get your own stuff off the ground it’s not going to happen. In the past couple of years I’ve come to the conclusion that multiple blogging didn’t work for me, not if I wanted to give my best effort to my readers. The blogging became mechanical. I figured because one blog was a success, multiple blogs would mean multiple success. It was impossible. I just couldn’t give each blog the attention it needed. Even when I began hiring bloggers for FWJ, it suffered. Blogging is more than writing and I wasn’t being realistic.
Here’s why I’m not into building up multiple blogs at the same time:
Can’t give my undivided attention to each blog: My blogs deserve better than a cursory update and my readers deserve more than just going through the motions blogging. If folks are going to take some time out each day to see what we’re talking about, we owe it to them to put 100% effort into what we do. It’s hard to put 100% into ten different things. I tried it and (for me) it doesn’t work.
It’s easy to burnout: Two posts per day times twelve blogs equals a lot of writing. It’s not always easy to keep fresh with one topic, let alone a dozen. I love what I do and I’m passionate about what I do, but I don’t want it to consume me. I don’t want to hate it or not want to do it because I can’t get it under control.
Blogging isn’t just writing: Blogs require a lot more than writing. When you blog for someone else, that person generally takes care of most of the advertising and promotion. The blog’s owner handles technical issues and server outages. When you blog for yourself you have to deal with all of the little issues, whether you’re up for it or not. This is hard enough to do for one popular blog, let alone three or four or more. Multiple bloggers have multiple issues.
I can’t feed my addiction anymore: My passion for blogging is more like an addiction. As soon as I finish one post I want to write more. When I’m doing other things, my mind comes back to my blogs. When I’m watching a movie, I think about blog posts. When I’m at a school event, I wonder how my traffic is doing. When I’m shopping in the supermarket, I’m making a mental list of advertisers to contact. Having multiple blogs would give me more voices in my head than Sybil.
I want to do other things: I have ebooks in the works, an accompanying webinar, a book proposal to write up, and more. The research on how to do all of these things is consuming enough, but if all I did each day was blog for five different blogs, I wouldn’t get these non blogging projects off the ground.
Here’s a question for you:
Take a look at the most successful bloggers in the field. Not bloggers who work for someone else, but bloggers who own their own profitable blog. Now tell me how many of these bloggers spend a full time effort on several blogs at once? I know of one or two bloggers with two successful blogs, but I don’t know of any with more than one or two amazingly successful blogs. They spend their time cultivating their blog and their brand. They work on their flagship blogs and use the rest of the time to develop accompanying revenue boosters, but they don’t have ten different blogs.
I think one of my biggest mistakes was in thinking I could manage multiple blogs at once. I would either give one blog my full focus or get so confused at where to start, they’d all languish. I know multiple blogging can be done, but can they all be successful?
Are you a multiple blogger? How’s that working for you?
This is a question I have been asking myself over the past couple weeks. As a freelancer starting my own website about my services – should I have a blog about my specialty? I already have a personal-ish blog where I write about life and being a new entrepreneur. I don’t really want to give that up, but I don’t want to be a slave to my blogs or accidentally neglect one or both.
I’d be curious as to what you think. Would my blogging about being an entrepreneur get in the way of my business’ blog?
.-= JillPR´s last blog ..Wednesday Win #1 =-.
Susan Hamilton says
Deb, I really enjoy your writing. I think you’ve got great personality and offer an interesting, honest perspective. We do a little content marketing, including blog post writing for multiple blogs. We’ve begun to offer it less and less and require more from the companies desiring that kind of writing because it can burn you out and suck your time and energy away from the larger, more interesting, and better paying writing projects. Even with a team – like you said – it’s imperative that you take on writing work that can be managed, and I believe … enjoyed. That’s why we follow our hearts and write for a living, right? I always want to produce quality work.
Multiple blogs can be managed, but at what cost to your spirit?
.-= Susan Hamilton´s last blog ..How Much DO You Spend on Marketing? =-.
Hamza Balol says
Hello Ms. Susan Hamilton,
I am not sure if you are the one who wrote the wonderful story “The Cost of Hope,” from the Single Parent’s book of the Chicken Soup for the Soul or not. The story, however, touched my heart and soothed my soul in a very positive way. It was the most beautiful heart-warming article I have ever read in my life.
[email protected] In Freelancing says
Darn it, Deb, you know I hate it when you point out what I already know. My poor little blogs all really suffered when I was writing for others. Now that I’ve started dedicating myself to redirecting my writing career, I still have been at odds with which blogs to let go and where to focus my energy. Susan makes a great point that we all really want to enjoy our writing. I’m at a crossroads right now, trying to figure out just how to do that. I truly admire that you’ve found your way!
.-= [email protected] In Freelancing´s last blog ..Communication Is Crucial In Freelancing =-.
Simple Observer says
I gotta echo Mary on this because I’ve been thinking the same thing and have just finished up a burned out kinda week. I love financial writing but have decided to narrow blog writing down to just one site and leave it at that. It’s hard because I like what I do but good blogging takes time and research. Too many blogs = crappy article posts = further confirmation for the pessimists to chant, “See, I told you so! Blogging isn’t writing!”
KEITH BIRMINGHAM says
At the moment I have five sites of my own. My sites are not commercial sites yet. Like most people I am too busy earning a living to make any money. My blogs are supposed to be filled with articles of subjects that are of interest to me. In reality they are currently filled little tidbits of what I am trying to do. But, even at this stage I realize that if I am going to become successful I will need to build my brand one blog at a time.
As a capitalist I know that nothing that is popular in our society today will be popular tomorrow. Blogging can either be a business or a hobby. As a hobby you don’t have to worry about whether it makes a profit or not. As a business it either makes a profit or turns into a loss. Life is about change. You either change with it, or get left behind by it.
I am now in the process of sorting out the priorities in my private life and my professional life so that they are integral parts of one machine. I can already see that in order to become successful I will need to have input from other writers who are involved with the subjects of my blogs. My blog will become a major part of my lifestyle. My lifestyle will become a major part of my profession. I will be concentrating on one blog at a time until that blog becomes successful enough that I can put other people to work producing it. And, as long as it is profitable I will probably want to be the owner until I get bored with it, or until I see that the blog has had it’s run at life.
I realize that I can own more than one blog. But, I cannot do all of the work for every blog that I own. I can look to my former profession and know what I must do. I can own one truck and make a living with it. Or, I can own 100 trucks. But, I cannot drive 100 trucks. So, each truck becomes a business in itself. It then becomes my job to supervise the staff that runs each truck. So, in essence, I will become an executive, a leader. Hopefully I will guide the blog in a direction that produces a profit. Like any other business the blog will either grow or disappear. This is the publishing business.
.-= KEITH BIRMINGHAM´s last blog ..Travel and Landmark Gallery is Up =-.
Brendan Thatcher says
That makes a lot of sense. I too have that mentality- start a blog, then find someone to take over it while I manage as a sort of “umbrella” organization that is made up of more than just that blog.
.-= Brendan Thatcher´s last blog ..Jumper- The movie it could have been =-.
Deb Ng says
This is interesting, I expected more disagreement because I know so many members of the FWJ community have started multiple blogs. I’m sure it can be done, I just don’t know of anyone who has made it work. The only one I know to come close is Darren Rowse with ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. Darren accepts a lot of guest posts, so maybe that’s the key?
Lucy Smith says
@JillPR – For sure you should have a blog on your business site, for a number of reasons: first, potential clients get to see that you know your business. Second, they also get to see the person behind that business – and nobobdy likes doing business with a faceless corporation. Thirdly, it’s fabulous for your SEO to keep fresh, original content. Search engines see blogs.
Personally, I’m not that fussed about blogging as a career option, but a blog is a very good thing to have as part of your marketing strategy.
.-= Lucy Smith´s last blog ..Tempting gadgetry =-.