Do you enjoy pro blogging so much that you can’t decide on a single niche? Maybe you’ve toyed with niche tasting. If you’re like me, you enjoy keeping up with multiple niches, or simply don’t want to settle on one or two just yet. Rest assured that there actually are ways to blog in multiple niches and make a living. I’ve previously said that it’s best to focus on 1-3 active blogs, but you can apply a reduced posting schedule for a few more blogs.
The key thing to consider is that you cannot easily keep several blogs active simultaneously and expect to do a quality job on each. But you can write for multiple niches successfully, if you approach it right. Pick one blog and make it stand out, and start developing the other blogs for the future. Add some paid work to the mix to keep yourself going financially, until your sites take off.
Multi-niche Blogging Process
Here’s a suggested process for building up to a state where you can successfully blog a number of niches.
- Brainstorm. Create a list of niches that really interest you, not just because you read somewhere that such and such a niche could earn you a lot of money. Fact is, blogs that are written with passion tend to be the ones pulling repeat visitors. If you’re really not that interested in a topic, you will not be writing about it with much passion.
- Determine niche viability. Do some research into CPM, CPA, CPC ad networks for each niche. You can’t always rely on Google AdSense, and some niches just don’t have lots of suitable CPM ad inventory. CPA (typically affiliate) ads can pay well, but it often requires that you have copywriting skills and write about the products.
- Take your pick. Shortlist the niches based on the potential of each niche, as well as your real interest level. Keep in mind how much effort it is to keep your knowledge updated for a single topic. And also keep in mind that you are approaching this as a personal business, with little difference than if you were a small print publisher. If you’re only blogging for fun, then these tips won’t mean anything to you.
- Split your shortlist. Divide your shortlist of niches into two lists – one where you blog for hire, the other where you blog for yourself. I always blog for hire in the niches I know best, and which thus require the minimum amount of effort to stay knowledgeable. That leaves time for researching in niches that I’m still learning. It’s also easier to convince content buyers that you’re worth hiring for the niches you know.
- Find some clients. By clients I mean anyone interested in buying content for niches that you’re already comfortable in. It might take time to find someone that wants you to blog, copywrite, or linkbait regularly, depending on your personal skills and niche experience.
- Define your blogging schedule. You’ll obviously want to put your focus on projects that are earning you the most income. That is, if you intend to run a profitable business. For hired work, I’m now doing a small number of higher-paying weekly client projects instead of the large numbers of daily blog posts that I used to do. While a weekly project might take me 60 hours one week, it might take me 10 hours another week, if I leverage my research. What’s more, in some months I might be able to do a month’s work in a single week. That leaves me the rest of the month for my own projects, both blogging and offline, as well as time to socialize.
- Be a weekend blogger. Further to defining your schedule, split up your personal blog niche list in terms of posting frequency. My suggestion is that you not try to handle more than 2-3 daily blogs, depending on how much stamina you have. For the other blogs, master the art of weekend blogging, where you might post over some combination of Thurs-Mon (i.e., such as on Fri-Sun or Sat-Mon by time-stamping your posts into the future).
- Seed your content. Another approach I’ve taken is launching a blog with 10-20 posts and afterwards posting only when the mood strikes – usually on Saturdays. If I’m having a productive day, I might write a few at least partially complete articles for future Saturdays and use them later. These are “long-term investment” blogs that are not going to provide any income immediately. However, they satisfy my urge to write about a certain topic, and when I have more time to devote to them, I have a base of quality content to work with, as well as a bit of search engine traffic and sometimes even a Google PageRank.
Application of the Multi-Niche Blogging Process
While achieving that fabled 4-hour work week is a noble goal, let’s be downright honest. Most people are not going to achieve it. It’s a gimmick used to sell books no matter what anyone says. Even at the most productive times in my life, when I could write 2000 lines of computer code in a day or two (by leapfrogging on older code I’d written), there was always something else that needed doing.
But that said, you might be able to come close to part-time week simply deciding to spend less time working. Sounds crazy, but I’m finding once again that forcing myself to work on a reduced schedule neither affects my productivity nor my output. In fact, because I’m less emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted, my work might even be better.
We’re social animals, and working at home non-stop is bad for your emotional health. This schedule reduction was a necessity for me, after two years of blogging long, long hours. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a new work schedule through a really progressive “client” – a schedule that is very conducive to making a good living and simultaneously freeing up some time to work on my own projects, including blogging and even pre-production for future short films. Here is an approximation of my new schedule:
- Write high-end linkbait and flagship content for clients. I assign 70-90% of my weekly work time to this, and give it priority. However, I have more freedom as to what time of day I can work on these projects.
- Do some daily blogging in the late evening, Mon-Thurs, in niches that I’m trying to “own”. I spend as much or as little time as I feel like for a given week.
- Enjoy some time out on Friday evenings, and run errands on Saturday or Sunday early afternoons.
- Do weekend blogging on Sat-Sun (posting Sat-Mon by time-stamping) for the blogs that I’m prepping for the future.
I’ve only recently adopted this schedule, and I’m still working seven days, but I’m actually working less total hours and getting a wider array of work done. It also beats the 80-100 hours per week that I’ve done in the past.
Do you blog multiple niches? How do you manage it and still balance a life, possibly with a partner and kids and pets?
Markus: thanks. I haven’t heard of Pivot before. Will have to check it out.
I love Drupal for its sheer power. I hate Drupal b/c it requires special database privileges that many hosts don’t allow.
Despite the availability of some good blog editors I would also love to see some recommendations for a good multi-niche software.
If your budget is small I would recommend Pivot because of its multi-site capabilities. The actual stable version doesn’t even need a database. And the multi-niche blogging workflow can be realized from one admin interface. I am playing around with Pivot at the moment and the multi-blog features are astonishing simple to realize. Even a little tool exists which allows to copy existing weblogs. This way a new blog is setup in minutes.
If your plans and your budget is bigger then I would recommend Drupal. But because of the nearly ‘everything is possible’ nature of that beast a multi-site installation needs some deeper Drupal know-how.
Heh, yeah. I fell into that trap, starting a new blog every time I blinked. But after nearly three years, I’m finally prioritizing and covering the niches I really want to work in.
I LOVE the “weekend blogging” idea, im so all over the place because of multiple blogs. I think i have a blog start-up addiction. Help!
But seriously, you bring up several solid points here for niche bloggers. Organization is so key when you run more than 1 blog. Its also good to have a plan early on when starting a new niche blog.
Blogger Mantra = Organize, Prioritize, Socialize, and Execute.