With the success of “multi-bloggers” like Problogger‘s Darren Rowse, there’s a tendency for new bloggers to want to build ten, twenty or more blogs in rapid succession, hoping that the volume method of blogging will somehow pay off. It’s scary to some people to have to focus on just one niche, wondering if it can pay off, worrying about whether you’ll miss the boat if you ignore niche X.
One Niche, Two Niche?
However, here are a few things to consider. Firstly, Darren Rowse is a rare individual who could post up to fifty times a day on the weekends while holding down three part-time jobs. From all accounts, he had a lot of support from his significant other and he started early on (over four years now). The blogosphere is significantly more competitive now, and there’s no guarantee that building multiple blogs will result in better online career income-wise. Of course that’s true for building a single blog as well.
Still, my non-scientific research over the past four calendar years suggests that more bloggers who focus on a single blog tend to have greater success than most bloggers who do not. Focus allows you to be more passionate in your writing in general. It’s hard to be passionate when you write in ten different niches. (Even I rarely write in more than five niches at any given time.) Passion is what holds readers, not necessarily posts about “hot topic X”. This is something that all successful writers pre-Internet days understood: passionate writing works.
The Right Niche?
If you’re worried that you’ve picked the wrong niche, just know that various members of Performancing’s Hive have shown that earning $4-6K/month is possible in a wide variety of topics. I’m referring to real bloggers who’ve achieved some success and discuss what they are doing. (Join the Hive!)
Regardless of the topic you pick, the key to a successful blog is achieving high web traffic. Seems sort of obvious, right? That means that your blog can have either lots of posts per day or just a few per week. It really depends on your topic and how indepth you plan to get. Newsy sites simply must have lots of content daily, and because the posts are short, they’re easy to absorb for most readers. Indepth posts require more time to read, and sometimes read again. So you’ll want to limit how many indepth posts you intend to publish weekly.
Clearing the Rubbish
Are you having trouble focusing? Here are a few tips:
- Drop the clutter.
Do you have a lot of sites? No problem, but get rid of useless, non-performing domains and websites. They just clutter up your operation. It’s hard not to worry about the money and time you are putting into them. Even if you do all the writing yourself, you are spreading your efforts over everything. If you prefer to have a portfolio of websites, keep in mind that people who build stock portfolios regularly replace underperformers, and not necessarily with another stock. Sometimes they take the loss and put the money into a different investment vehicle. Maybe some of your money is better spent in a long-term, high-interest savings account.
- Don’t try to be all things to all readers.
Don’t try to write about the day’s fad topic, just because 3,733 other bloggers did too. Focus on the topics you enjoy and cater to those readers who would appreciate your content. As mentioned above, focus allows your passion to come through, and passion makes readers feel like you care about the information you’re sharing.
- Writers write.
Writers are people who write, not just talk, Twitter or Plurk about it. Likewise, bloggers are people who blog, not just plan all the posts they’ll write someday. If you’re having trouble writing, here are some tips for breaking writer’s block.
Ultimately, you have to decide whether you’d rather have a stable of blogs or to focus on just one. I’ve done the multiple blogs thing and realized it’s not for me, outside of freelancing work. So I’m brutally whittling down my own web properties and currently focusing on just one site, building up towards premium content. But that’s a discussion for another post.