Growing Beyond Your First Blog

 

Confession: I'm having a hard time maintaining content balance on my site.

 

Originally I created Dramatis Personae as a place to share my love of pretty clothes & covet lists — one that wasn't Livejournal.  Somehow, from the first post on, it was never really about that.  It became a site about self-love, body image, shopping, outfits, what I was coveting, and more.  Lately, I've felt that my readers aren't as responsive because I'm writing more about shopping and products I love, and less about self-love, body image, or fashion social commentary.

 

It's crossing my mind that maybe it's time to start a second blog. One where I can focus on shopping, trends I'm loving, and curating those details, and my original site can remain focused on style and lifestyle tips.  Two sides of the same coin, if you will- and two sides of the same girl.

 

In Blog Growth: Vertical vs. Horizontal Growth, I talked about horizontal growth: expanding in to secondary (or tertiary) blogs, products, taking on other full-time blogging jobs, etc.  In the comments of that post, Grechen said,

When I decided to branch out from my original blog, it was because I didn’t want to “crowd” it with extraneous “stuff” that I felt wasn’t essential to the core of Grechen’s Closet – and I'm really glad I did.

That’s really the most important thing to consider when growing your blog at all – if you’re going to dilute your original message too much by adding different/new content to your blog, I honestly think it’s better to start a new one.

When talking with Grechen more about the topic, she also mentioned how starting a secondary site breathed fresh air in to her first site– it provided new inspiration and insight.  In addition to that, she found the second blog provided growth to the first one, as readers found the sister site.

 

Now, it's entirely possible I'm crazy for wanting to expand in this way– after all, I'm working full time on top of blogging for Dramatis Personae and IFB!  It's possible that maybe you're feeling the same conflict on your site– how do you balance content? How do you expand content within the niche of your site?  Are you excited to write about something… only to find that your readers aren't responding to it?  If so, you may

 

You may need a second blog if…

  • Your readers aren't responding, consistently, to a type of post.  When I post products I love with little commentary, my readers don't respond!  They want meaty topics to chew on, and my favorite finds on Etsy don't appeal to them.
  • Your content bounces inconsistently between many topics.  You question whether it's relevant to have movie reviews, recipes, and your outfit post all in the same week.
  • You want to focus in on a completely different niche (weight loss, movie reviews, cooking).
  • You're feeling creatively stifled and mentally blocked.

 

Managing two (or more!) blogs can be challenging, but blogging has few start-up costs and the only real investment is your time.

 

Are you in the same boat as me?  Or have you launched a second blog — with great success OR failure?  Do you have any tips to keep in mind as I, and others, pursue this venture?

 

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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9 Responses

  1. NeutraKris

    Maybe add tabs to your site, where that specific content will be found under the tab, rather than on the main page when people visit?

    Great article, by the way.

    Reply
  2. No Guilt Fashion

    Great article. I’m actually thinking about starting a sub-domain or second blog for children’s fashion. My daughter is obsessed with what I do for my blog, and would love being a model for my new venture.

    Reply
  3. Courtney

    I just got done reading Pro-Blogger’s book on becoming…a pro-blogger. One of the biggest things I realized about bloggers that blog full-time is that many of them have multiple blogs.

    I recently did an analysis of which posts were working and which ones weren’t on my blog. I’m thinking about branching out to another blog, but I think it’s important not to make the two so similar otherwise you’ll split you’re audience. For example: If you have one blog about fashion and another blog makeup, you’ll probably be splitting your audience. However, if you do what B of Beautifully Invisible did, you can do a highly niched blog in addition (she does one on Tom Ford).

    Reply
  4. Steff Metal

    I currently run three blogs, and am starting a forth in the next couple of months. (hopefully that will be the last!) I do this on top of running my freelance writing business and working full time (and a busy social life, and a husband, and a cat), but it’s hard, hard work.

    The separate blogs are definitely necessary, and it can add a great set of multiple income streams. I have one blog – http://gothicweddingplanner.com – that hardly needs updating at all. The google traffic is enough to bring readers and sales.

    I’m quitting my job in a couple of months to write full-time, so I’m going to be able to devote more time to making my blogs the success I know they can be. So excited!

    Reply
  5. Alterations Needed

    Great timing! I JUST launched my second blog this week! I had somehow worked myself into a niche within a niche with blog #1, and while I love writing it, I wanted to expand into the larger niche as a whole (petite fashion). I didn’t want to dilute my content, or alienate my readers, so I started a second blog for all that content that I couldn’t put on my first blog. The most chaotic thing right now is figuring out how to handle all the different accounts. Twitter and Facebook can all be handled with a Twitter client like Hootsuite, but what about cell phone photo shares? Do I have to log out of my Twitter app each time I want to switch accounts. Ugh.

    Reply
  6. Emily

    I just launched a second blog. Not necessarily because I wanted to make a success of it but I noticed that many people had set up Tumblr blogs to go along with their fashion blogs and I was finding myself obsessed with beauty blogs, so I set up In the eye of the beholder: http://the-eyeofthebeholder.tumblr.com/

    I don’t know where it’ll go but I’m loving the outlet for my obsession!!

    Reply
  7. arathi.

    I think it requires a lot of organisation and dedication to maintain two blogs or more. It’s definitely true that separating the information provides more clarity and gives your readers the option of reacting more to whichever they prefer.

    I considered starting another blog when I was going through an all-time blogging low as well. However, I couldn’t give up my first blog (too much of sentimental value, heh), and so I just too time off to figure out what exactly I wanted and how I wanted to present it.

    Reply
  8. Heather Fonseca

    My first blog was supposed to enhance my website/portfolio. It was to be all about design, illustration and dolls, but then all this fashion and pop culture started to creep in and it felt rather unprofessional. When I realized I really wanted to do some outfit posts then I knew it was time to start a full time fashion/personal style blog. Now I have two really clear cut blogs. One is all about design, fashion illustration and dolls/toys. The other is all about fashion and mostly outfit posts. It’s hard to maintain them both but I love it!

    Great post!

    Heather

    Reply