Last week at the writing group I run as part of my Chasing Driftwood Writing Group business, we ended up having a discussion about blogs. One of the members had announced his decision to have more than one blog, due to the fact he wanted to keep his writing related blog separate from his other passions in life. This was an interesting and very timely discussion, as I had just been thinking myself about another blog I started and soon neglected roughly a year ago. (I do technically have two blogs, as I have the Chasing Driftwood one, but I basically use this like a website, where all I really do is update the workshops I run every now and then.)
Last year, however, I started a third blog. My Self-Sufficient Challenge started for two main reasons. One, as a family we were making conscious efforts to change the way we lived. From raising ducks and chickens to composting, growing our own fruit and vegetables, reusing, recycling and reducing our waste output wherever possible. It seemed like a good idea to blog about something I was becoming very passionate about, which wasn’t necessarily related to writing. (Oh, how this has changed! But more on that later…) I thought writing a weekly blog about my efforts to become more environmentally friendly and more self-sufficient would actually encourage me to keep at it. If I felt like people were reading the posts and rooting for my efforts, then I’d be more likely to get better and better. The second reason was perhaps more altruistic, or business savvy, shall we say?
I had read somewhere (don’t ask me where as I have absolutely no idea!) that creating other blogs apart from your main, author related one, was a very good marketing idea. The idea being that if you had other interests you were passionate and/or knowledgeable about, you would inevitably draw in other followers, who would then soon realise you also write books, and would perhaps be interested in them, due to the fact they had enjoyed your posts and writing style. This made great sense to me at the time. Why not reach out to more people? Why not write about a subject you are passionate about? It seemed like a win-win situation to me.
If you’re also thinking about multiple blogs, here are some reasons it could be a good idea for you;
- It can be hard to create a following for your blog if it is multi-niche, or in other words, if you talk about anything and everything
- People tend to subscribe to certain blogs because they are interested in the subject matter. They might lose interest if you flit from subject to subject
- If you wish to monetize your blog (and many people make a living from doing just this) you will need it to have a single focus. Your SEO (search engine optimization) will be pretty poor if you cover too many subjects for people to find you
- If you wish to have paid ads on your blog, again it is going to have to have a narrower focus
- If the other blog you have in mind is work based, ie you’re a dog trainer and the blog is about dog behaviour and so on, then you’re going to need it to be a single focus in order to look professional
- If one of your blogs is for work/business and one is for fun, it may be better to keep them separate. Writing about what you enjoy could provide a welcome relief from working on your money orientated blog
And of course, there is no reason why you can’t share and cross-post your blogs so that both audiences (or more) get the opportunity to see what else you are up to.
So, what happened to my self-sufficiency blog? Well, like many things in life, the good intentions were all there but it soon faded fast. I think I managed about four posts. The aim was to post once a week, but back then I wasn’t even managing to post once a week on this blog. This wasn’t for lack of content at all. There were plenty of things to talk about, and I took loads of photos of the things we were doing and growing. I just never quite found the time to upload them to the blog!
Once a few months had drifted by, it got harder and harder to return to it. I had in that time revamped and renamed this blog, with the aim of ‘branding’ it, so to speak, and making sure people knew what they were getting.
This is a blog that talks about writing. A lot. This is a blog that talks about being proud to be an outsider. My books and my character all have this theme in common. I welcome guest posts along the same theme, and I read books that also fit the criteria.
The other day, (just before writing group) this got me thinking. I miss my self-sufficient blog but know I don’t have the time for it. I just do not have the time to run two blogs. It’s just not ever going to happen. So I started to think about how I could possibly post things that might have gone on the self-sufficient blog here. I’m still thinking about it.
What led me back to this thought the most, was the direction my writing has taken in the last year or so. The Tree Of Rebels is waiting for a final edit. The book is set in the future where nature is banned, owned and controlled. The connection with nature and growing your own food has been totally severed. Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature is also awaiting its final edit. This is a book about a young boy who attempts to prove to his mother that people are not all bad, by befriending perfect strangers. His mother believes that the world has never been as corrupt, cruel and doomed as it is right now. Several of the other characters in the story share her beliefs to varying degrees. They feel helpless and afraid and like the end of the world is very near. And finally, in the four book series I have plotted and planned, (but cannot possibly start for at least another year!) the end of the world has happened. But the cause was not humans, it was nature itself. Only the children have been spared the cull, but how will they survive in this hostile new world where all the rules have changed? All of these upcoming books have a common theme. Environmentalism. Mother nature. Human nature. The state we are all in! In other words, the things I think about constantly.
Now, every now and then I write a piece on here that is not at all related to writing. Every now and then I just feel the urge, start writing and see what happens. Sometimes it is related to my family, sometimes to society or politics. I suppose what I am trying to say is that as long as the theme remains in adherence to glorious outsiders, then perhaps it is okay to post about things that are not writing related? Especially if you find your writing is being shaped more and more by the frightening world we live in?
You might have noticed, I haven’t quite convinced myself yet!
What do you all think? Do you already have more than one blog? If so, why? And how do you find the time to manage more than one? Perhaps your blog is multi-niche or quite personal. Do you ever think about creating other blogs and dividing the subjects up? I would love to know your thoughts on this, and so would my writing group! So please feel free to comment!