Does Your Blog’s Brand Have Dual Personalities?
By: Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

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By Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society

You see yourself as Peter Parker by day and Spiderman by night. It’s a common blogger and entrepreneur problem. You have oodles of ideas, passions and talents. And you’re convinced they can’t all be under the umbrella of one brand. In your own head they’re far too different to marry. You’re not alone. I’ve counseled many an entrepreneur who’s said the same thing. But I’ve yet to find someone who wasn’t ultimately just building one multi-dimensional rockstar brand. Here’s what happens:

You start a style blog. You also really love food. But you figure your readers come to you for style. So you start a separate blog for foodies, where you’ll try to grow a whole other readership, and double your efforts in both places, because both sides of you needed to be out there in the world. But if your favorite blogger shared style posts 4 days a week and “Fridays From the Kitchen” recipe posts, would you stop reading?

You start a style blog. Your day job is at a record label where you always hear the coolest new bands first and wish you had a place to share them. So you start a new Twitter, Facebook fan page and Tumblr just for your music insights. But if one of your blog crushes started doing “Music Monday” posts that included a playlist download and images of the band style that’s inspiring them right now, would you be disappointed?

I recently sat down to do brand consulting with an aspiring blogger. She laid out 5 different things she’s interested in, exclaiming, “Ah! I don’t know which to choose!” To me they all sounded like she was telling stories, sharing stories, and uncovering stories. She’s a blogger who’s a storyteller. One blog, one following.

Before you expand your brand or split it in two, sit down with someone who does branding or business consulting and see if there’s a bridge you’re missing. We all know how hard it is to run a top-notch blog and build a strong readership. Don’t try to do it twice. We all have a million awesome ideas we hate not exploring. So explore them. None of us thinks about clothes and only clothes 24/7, so don’t be afraid to share your other passions or your day job. Just find the wording to describe that umbrella they’re all sitting pretty underneath and maintain the throughline of your brand. After all, MaryJane loved him for both the Spidey and the Peter parts. I bet your audience will feel the same.

Have you ever tried to run multiple blogs? Do you have another interest you haven’t been able to convince yourself has a place on your style blog?

 

Split personalities image from Shutterstock.com

Comments

  1. Avatar of Filipa
    Filipa says:

    I used to have many blogs. First on tumblr, I had a blog where I “collected” black and white fashion photos, but then I wanted to add some color and I opened a new blog for color pictures. Now, both of these blogs are deleted, because I realized that I was just wasting my time.
    When you own a blog, it’s yours and you should post whatever you want to.
    I have a new blog now, and I’m pretty satisfied with it.
    I write about fashion, photography, share my personal style, use it as diary sometimes etc. I’m sure my readers won’t stop reading it because I don’t post fashion 24/7. Nobody likes to read same things over and over, it’s good to add new content. At least in my opinion.
    x
    Filipa from http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com/

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Filipa, thankfully with a site like Pinterest now you can just curate boards there of images you want to “save” instead of having to start a whole blog! Though I do think Tumblr can be a great source of traffic if you’re repurposing material you’re already using on your main blog. For example Fred of Unabashedly Prep reposts most of his images plus some extras on his Tumblr once they’re up on his main blog.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  2. I can very much relate to this topic! I have only recently started blogging and so far the biggest struggle for myself has been to figure out who exactly I am in the blogging world. I love fashion and style, but I also love sharing pictures and experiences from my travels.

    I am finally coming to terms with my ‘split blogging personality’, though, because I realized that the two things I really love are writing and – as cheesy as it sounds – finding beauty in the things around me whether they’re fashion-related or not. I’m still not sure how exactly the content of my blog will turn out in the long run, but I guess I’ll have to stick around and keep trying to figure it out.

    Great post and helpful insights!

    xx Melanie

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Melanie, I don’t think that sounds cheesy at all! I love lovely things, so I’d definitely enjoy someone whose blog had a great eye for beauty, & I love stories/people/travel so I’d love seeing beauty in those ways too. I think you can give “beauty blogger” a whole new angle. ;)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  3. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    This is something I’m still struggling…what if I want to talk about lots of things though and not sit down with someone to kind of pin point one? Decisions…decisions…

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.ie/2012/11/embellishment-trend-day-1-embroidery_28.html

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Nasreen, you definitely don’t have to pin point just one! Check out my blog post from yesterday where I gave 7 examples of how what I love or am all about informs what I do & don’t blog about. It’s just about creating a brand story where everything ties together & you just let go of the things that are really in left field. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  4. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    I’ve never tried to run multiple blogs before, but I definitely have had this inner struggle. I ultimately just posted whatever makes me happy, and if none of my readers like it, at least I have somewhere I can go that is truly me.

    x lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  5. Avatar of Chaucee from Streets and Stripes

    I’ve tried to run multiple blogs but it was just too much of a headache with all the social media management I had to do for both. Now my blog just focuses on life and style in Philadelphia.

  6. Avatar of Lexi
    Lexi says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because I’m really girly fashion-wise but I’m also really into video games and I like writing reviews about new games and insights into the culture… A lot of the time I just can’t imagine most of my readership having any interest in reading about how I bought the Assassin’s Creed 3 collector’s edition or anything in that vein.

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Ooh Lexi you’ve definitely found a unique challenge m’dear! Haha. I’d say that you can do both these things, but you have to admit it will be a very tiny niche of girls who also love both. Or, you could try to get your fill of one of those areas simply by commenting on blogs, forums, attending conferences — & let your blog fulfill the other half of your passion. Of course, ultimately you can do whatever you want! It’s your blog! I’m just giving advice from a business perspective if you’re really wanting to be intentional about the time you’re investing & growing it into a larger following or portfolio. :)

      with grace & gumption,
      Hilary

    • Lady T says:

      I am kinda in the same boat. My fashion is not uber-girly per se, but I work and am studying to be a lawyer so the outfits I post are usually work related and more on the dressy side. However, I’m a bit geeky and nerdy and love video games and pretty much all things sci fi and tech-y. What I’m going to try and do for my blog for the upcoming year is pick one day out of the week each month and do a recap of say an episode of The Walking Dead or a review on a new video game or piece of tech I have. I won’t necessarily gain a bunch of fashion conscious followers with those types of posts, but it is part of who I am so I figured why not share it lol. With all that being said, right now I’m not really trying to make money off of my blog…I’m just doing it because I enjoy it. So this advice is coming from a casual blogger. Hope you can find a happy medium. :)

    • I notice this comment is rather old now; I hope you found a method that works for you. But please: if you’re not sure if you can combine geeky interests with stereotypically female topics, please do both together! There are lots of women into tech and gaming (with all due respect, I disagree that it’s a “very tiny niche”). The more we embrace this and make it visible, the better.

  7. Avatar of Onianwah
    Barbara says:

    This is so true. A lot of people start a different blog too because they want to share something else. I have a tumblr blog in addition to my blogspot and even though it does not have as much viewership as the blogspot, I keep it but it does not take up most of my time.

    Next year I want to explore other facets of my personality and I will be doing that all on my makeup & beauty blog.

    Like you have said Hilary, i am sure my readers won’t stop reading because I have added a different type of occasional content. Instead, it will bring me a different kind of audience.

    Barbara
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/
    Lagos, Nigeria

  8. I know I said so on Twitter, but thank you for writing this, Hilary! After 5 years of “Fashion” blogging, I find myself conflicted by my own personal changes and how to integrate them into my site. This on reaffirms some of the feelings I’ve been having, and helps drive my focus.

    xx

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Ashe, I love that! I think it’s also very natural that you’ve changed over the course of five years & that in & of itself can cause growing pains. But one good thing to remember is that your readers have grown along will you & will continue to. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  9. Alessia says:

    WordPress is amazing for personal blogs covering lots of things, you can use categories and the target even more with the tags.
    I think most people tend to open more blogs with the idea of making them look more about the topic than about themselves, while mixed topics are typical of personal blogs. In the end they all track back to yourself and your expertise, no matter in how many websites you split it. Unless they are collaborations.
    I like it when the webdesign makes it look like many websites in one, and the unifying link is the person. I wish I was able to build one like that.

  10. Avatar of Anastasia Goenawan

    I once had 2 blog, one for my style journal, one for my complicated-and-pretty-unwanted-ideal-or-personal-thought. Yeah, basically i tried to pour my weird thought on the other blog. And it’s hard to maintain, so what i did was mix them all together.

    Since that time, i write my thought on only one blog, and i still share my style post (sometimes in one post with my thought). It makes my post looks long and i know not all people read word by word and tend to see the photos and then left comment. But still. Some real follower read all (or almost all).

    That’s differentiate the real reader or someone who followed you for more follower on their blog or just followed you back out of duty. :) the real reader might be only 5-10 out of 100-200 follower i have, but that 5-10 people are the source of my motivation to continue running a blog. :D

    And sometimes i also share my love for food, beauty tools, nailart and beautiful place. All in one blog. LOL~ that’s why, rather than calling my blog as fashion blog, i call my blog as life journal. :D

    • Avatar of moiminnie
      moiminnie says:

      You, girl, just read my mind! Although I’ve never run 2 blogs, if you don’t count my personal tumblr (http://www.whatminniedidtoday.tumblr.com) as a separate blog, but I feel you. And I did exactly what you did, mashed everything together! I have the same philosophy as you as far readership vs. followers go, and I’ve always said my blog was more of a personal diary. Which, if you think about it, is really great because that way readers can get to know you better as a person and not just what you like/don’t like fashion wise.
      http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com
      xx

  11. Avatar of Devon - InformedStyle.com

    In the last little while I’ve come to think of my approach to InformedStyle.com as being similar to the approach I want to take in my offline life as well.

    Working to combine my creative side (fashion, art and culture) with my professional and analytical side (strategy, supply chain and sustainability) on my blog has helped me see that I can embrace both of those facets when it comes to how I’m living and working. They’re not mutually exclusive – even though they’re very different.

    Devon
    http://www.InformedStyle.com

  12. Avatar of MonicaP
    MonicaP says:

    Well, I was just thinking about this .. hmm, will think on it some more. It’s already hard working full time and writing my current blog .. perhaps adding another would be blogging suicide …. lol.

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Monica! Don’t do it! Haha. Truly though, with working full time & already running a blog, I think you have to know there’s a HUGE financial/professional pay-off that taking on a whole other commitment would lead to. If it’s just a hobby/interest/passion, perhaps find another way to channel it like commenting on other blogs on that topic or curating a Pinterest board. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  13. I have 2 blogs. One is for my photographs, one is personal style. I had first photography blog then it just happened when I wanted to post about fashion, sharing shopping haul, giveaway and entered blog directories, styling polyvore, it just somehow didn’t fit to my first blog so I made fashion (personal style) blog. It’s like going where the wind blows. Now I don’t know how it would be in the future, I even don’t know how to suddenly turn one of them down hahah :) ). Both of them have been connected to some accounts. Now what I need is how to manage multiple blogs better!

  14. Stella says:

    I am working for a client and he is blogging for his e-commerce website. He has divided each category of his site in a blog. Rather tha creating mutiple blogs we should concentrate on single blog and must try to promote it.

  15. Amit says:

    Dual personality always lead to some harm. Either it is for person or blog dual personality does not work. When I was new in blogging I have created my blog on blogspot. And then after some time I purchased my domain and stopped working on blogger as it is wasteful to consume your energy in two different things.

  16. Avatar of Ashley Randall

    I totally struggle with this. I love music, photography, personal eclectic style, vintage AND bargain shopping…all of these interests inform each other. For example I love finding vintage records for cheap, and music inspires me clothing choices….and I find inspiration in locations for my outfits because I’m planning a photograph. How to really tie it all together I’m still unsure of. Great post. Good to know we aren’t all alone in this!
    xo
    ashley
    http://www.thephotogramps.blogspot.com

  17. Our blog is owned by two people, and while we share a lot of the same passions, we also have a lot of different passions too. I, for example, love decor, organisation and crochet. Kobi loves origami, music and food/party planning. We are trying to keep the blog symbiotic to always keeping with our theme, but we are branching out. We shouldn’t be afraid of introducing other interests.. it’s likely that our readership may very well be excited about the same things we are!

    Thanks for another amazing article :)

    – Kate

  18. Avatar of Amanda.
    Amanda. says:

    This was extremely insightful and uplifted my spirits! I recently reconstructed my fashion blog, http://www.amandaluxe.blogspot.com, and my brand is AmandaLuxe. It’s an illustration of my lavish persona and quirky character. The content of the blog describes my multiple interests such as love, beauty, business, and writing; and they’re all tied together in a fashionable bow. I always wanted to be a screenwriter so I started working on my fictional novel, “Making Love into a Suit” and I was a little skeptical about putting inserts from my work on the site. I was thinking “No one is going to read this, the blog is supposed to be about fashion and my love for it.” But then I realized that’s who Amanda is and what AmandaLuxe stands for: Fashionable Love. So, I decided to incorporate all of my interests into one. This article assured me that there is nothing wrong with your style blog having dual personalities…and I have to say, AmandaLuxe suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder.

    Thanks so much for this outstanding article!
    xxx
    Amanda.

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