Pros and Cons of Multiple Blogs

Pros and Cons of Multiple Blogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the pros and cons of having multiple blogs? As bloggers, we like to create. It is not unusual for bloggers to write in two or more completely different niches because they like both these areas. This is as true of small bloggers as the top names in the industry (Darren Rowse has two blogs, both one of the most popular ones in their niche: ProBlogger and Digital Photography School). There is no reason you can’t do the same. Besides, we all have varied interests and we like to blog about different things.

However, having multiple blogs obviously can spread you too thin – we have limited time and probably cannot do justice to all blogs if there are too many. Here are some pros and cons of having multiple blogs –

Pros of Multiple Blogs

1. Different Topics/Interests

We all have several interests that we would like to blog about. If you have just one blog about fashion and now want to write about cooking, chances are your audience will find the content being diluted because they are on your blog for fashion not cooking (not that this cannot be done, as Cupcakes and Cashmere has shown, but that’s how the blog started off).

When you have something to contribute in two dissimilar fields (think finance and gardening for instance), you’ll need multiple blogs. When you think you can be a pro-blogger in each field, there is all the more incentive to try to create multiple blogs that you can monetize, which can potentially increase your income.

2. Diversification of Income

When you have multiple blogs, it is easier to diversify your income. Investment 101 states that you should diversify. This is also true of your online income opportunities. When you diversify, there is a lower chance of you being affected. For example, one of your blogs could be a great success but most of the traffic is from Google. If Google changes their algorithm, you can literally lose half the traffic overnight. No, bigger sites are not immune to this either – just ask EzineArticles.Or one of the monetization methods might not work anymore (think Amazon affiliates in California) and might affect one blog disproportionately.

By having multiple blogs, you know that such impacts can be limited or minimized. Things that can adversely impact one blog might not do so to the other. You are not putting all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you are relying on a bunch of blogs to provide you with smaller income streams, each of which can potentially be scaled up.

3. Numbers Game

A lot of success stories are numbers’ games. Yes, there is skill but there is also luck. If you have multiple blogs, then there is a higher probability of one of them taking off and becoming highly successful. However, even if you are an expert in one field and start to blog about it, that is no guarantee of success.

Several pro-bloggers manage more than one digital property. If your first blogging experience is a huge success, good for you. If not, you can always start another one and keep trying until one of the blogs becomes immensely popular.

It is always hard to predict success in blogging. The landscape is in a constant state of flux and easily keeps changing form. So if you have more blogs, that increases your odds of success.

4. Out-of-the-Box Problem Solving

As much as I would like to tell you that all blogging is essentially the same – you write something that provides value to readers – the truth is, every niche is very unique in its own way. Once you seriously blog in one niche, you’ll learn all the tricks and techniques that bloggers use to succeed. However, since you own multiple blogs, you can now learn about several different niches.

You can apply things you learn from one blog to another and keep experimenting. Your repertoire of tools to help you succeed have just multiplied. And indeed each niche is unique. Fashion blogs seldom have a lot of written content but are very beautifully created and contain a ton of photographs. The opposite is true for blogs in the niche of internet marketing.

You can learn from every niche and then experiment what might work in a different niche. Remember that you are an insider and outsider at the same time, which is a great position to be in.

5. Learning and Networking Opportunities

Never underestimate the chances of random connections. You might get an opportunity of a lifetime through a source that had nothing to do with your field. May be your travel reader is also a successful entrepreneur who wants to learn more about promoting his business online. You’ll never know.

When you blog in multiple niches, your circle of friends, connections and acquaintances increases and these circles can seem very disparate. However, you will be surprised by how connections are made. If you have your spheres of influence and can act to make connections among these circles, you are already on your way to forming greatly helpful relationships for the future.

Cons of Multiple Blogs

1. Limited Time

You have limited time to spend on your blogs. You probably have other engagements or a full-time job or school to attend. Time is always a constraining factor. If you have multiple blogs, then you get to spend smaller amounts of time on each. This could actually hamper the progress of your blog.

There are certain things you really need to do in order to promote your blog. For example, you might want to comment on similar blogs to gain some readers. However, if you have multiple blogs, then the time you can spend doing this decreases for each blog.

2. Not Taking Your Blog Seriously

It is human nature to look for escape routes. This is why cutting off escape routes can actually result in giving your 100% to a project. If you have multiple blogs, you can easily slack off, telling yourself “if this one fails, I have another one to work on”. However, if you don’t have that excuse, then you will spend all your creative energies into making your one blog successful.

—Slack off – if not this blog, then I have another blog that might succeed!

3. Thinking of Costs

Time is not the only cost associated with a blog. There are real costs of being successful as a blogger, depending on the niche. Domain, hosting, images, attending industry events, buying things to review, etc. are all potential costs that can add up based on which industries you blog in. Also, you might want to hire a (logo) designer, programmer or writer to further your blog as a business. All these are costs you should be aware of.

4. Losing Focus is Easy

When you have multiple blogs to write and worry about, you can easily lose focus. There are lots of little things a blog needs to grow beyond the initial cocoon and ultimately make a decent amount of money. It is hard to keep track of all this when you have several blogs. It does get easier with time though – you learn to chalk out a blueprint that works best for you.

Still, sometimes you just need to spend a substantial amount of time on blog, experiment, learn, rinse and repeat to truly make it successful and work.

5. Single Authority Blog is Powerful

Even though there is an advantage of having 10 blogs earning you $100/month instead of 1 blog earning you $1000/month, a bigger blog can have several advantages that a small blog just cannot have. A big, successful blog is a whole business of its own. It has authority. You can be quoted in newspapers and magazines about your blog. You are a brand in yourself. You can get speaking assignments in industry conventions. The potential to grow into something substantial is huge. There are real rewards for wanting to own a blog that is a pioneer in your industry. This is easier to do with one focused blog rather than several smaller blogs.

What are your thoughts on having multiple blogs? Do you have more than one active blog? How many? What was your experience managing them all?

Photo Credit: mosabua

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

6 Point Guide to Diversifying your Online Income Streams

Online Income Streams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of online income streams that bloggers and webmasters employ. Some find great success with one method and stick with it. However, diversification is good. It means you won’t be at the mercy of one corporation or one law to make your living online. That’s not being paranoid though – look at what happened when Amazon closed its affiliate program in California. Thousands of bloggers who made almost all their income online from Amazon affiliates saw their incomes drop overnight from living income to pennies. That’s never a good thing and you ought to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen to you.

Another importance of diversifying your online income that is often overlooked is that you know what works and what doesn’t and you can direct your future efforts in that direction. It is alright to try a method of monetization and fail because that’s not what your readers want. That’s fine – it is always a good learning experience. You’ll realize that not all online income streams work for you, but you’ll get better at guessing which ones are worth the try.

So what are the different ways you can diversify your income online? Here are some ideas. Not all of them are passive, but every method can be lucrative depending on your online presence and your audience.
(write pros and cons below each)

1. Direct Advertising

Direct advertising is when you contact companies relevant to your website or blog directly and let them buy advertising space on your blog. In most cases, this is in the form of a banner, the size of which can vary greatly. Direct advertising gives advertisers a medium to reach out to your audience, and depending on how much value that can add, can be priced accordingly.

Pricing banners can be tricky and varies greatly (I wrote a post previously on how to price banners). In general, the more targeted your niche, the higher you can charge and the more engaged your audience with respect to social media shares and comments, the better you can expect to get paid. Obviously it also depends on how many impressions the banner gets – the higher the better.

Pros: Banners can be a great source of revenue and generally pays better than other advertising (e.g. see pay per click advertising below). Also, you get to form relationships in your industry that can be very useful in the long run.

Cons: Finding businesses that want to buy ad space on your digital property can be time consuming and you need to learn good negotiation skills. It is also a little more active than passive if the businesses don’t want to advertise on your blog for a long time, in which case you have to again go out and look for other businesses. Overall, this can be time consuming.

Example: If your blog is really popular, you can make a good amount of money by this method. Here is the banner pricing for Freelance Switch, the popular online blog and board for freelancers to give you an estimate. Here is John Chow, the famous dot-com blogger and his advertising rates for his blog.

2. Pay-per-click Advertising

In pay-per-click advertising, you get paid a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on a link. This means the pay is variable, unlike a banner ad. If a lot of your visitors click through to these ads, then you get paid more money.

Although there are alternatives, Google Adsense is the most popular option out there. The way it works it that you plug in a small code in your site and Google takes care of the rest – you don’t have to worry about issues like getting advertisers, pricing, etc. Ads can be configured to be text links, images, videos.

Pros: Very easy to set up and doesn’t require any work from you except the initial posting of the code on your blog. If your click through rate is high and you have a good amount of traffic, you can make good income through this method. It is one of the most passive online income streams you’ll find.

Cons: You don’t have control over what links are being displayed. Your pay is dependent on how your audience reacts to advertising – if less people click on ads, you get paid less. A lot of people use software to block ads in which case they won’t even see the advertising.

Example: Plenty of popular sites use Adsense to monetize their websites. Think of sites like EzineArticles that make hundreds of thousands of dollars through Adsense.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is both the blessing and scourge of the internet. You need to do this absolutely right to make it sustainable and for it to add any real value without driving away your visitors. Affiliate marketing is promoting products to your readers that might appeal to them. You get paid only when they complete a purchase and you get paid a certain percentage of the sale.

For digital products, ClickBank is one of the best sources of finding products to promote. Commission Junction has a lot of businesses in the online and offline world.

Amazon Affiliates is a special category in itself, being a program from Amazon, the largest online retailer. Amazon affiliates has the lowest percentage commissions per sale, but the conversions are usually very good owing to its brand popularity. Also, Amazon affiliates is a great way to promote a book you’ve been reading.

Before you involve yourself in affiliate marketing, it is absolutely necessary that you promote the right products. Since there can be a conflict of interest with your role as a blogger who wants to provide accurate information and the marketer who wants to complete a sale, you need to tread this area very carefully. Promote only the products that you have personally used and can vouch for. Never ever try to promote something that will turn out to be bad for your readers but gives you good commissions. Remember, it is all about building relationships with your readers. They need to find great value in what you promote.

Pros: Can be a potential goldmine depending on how well your recommendations work and how much your audience trusts you. Many bloggers make the major chunk of their income from affiliate marketing and can be far more effective than pay per click or banner advertising.

Cons: If you recommend bad products, you’ll lose your authority. Also, you don’t get paid until the sale is completed, which means you get nothing for impressions and clicks, which can be frustrating especially for beginners.

Example: Pat from Smart Passive Income shares his income reports every month. For October 2012, you can see his income report which shows affiliate sales at just under $39,000. Yes, that’s for one month alone. Yes, affiliate marketing can be lucrative. No, it isn’t typical (unfortunately!)

4. Freelancing on the Side

This isn’t passive income, but can be good income nevertheless. Generating significant passive income from your blog can take time and isn’t something everyone can do. However, taking your blog as a starting point, it is much easier to enter the freelancing world which can mean very lucrative assignments if you do it right.

You can work as a freelancer for specific skills, like a web-programmer, writer or graphic designer. However, don’t feel limited by these. If you are really good at something that doesn’t fit the traditional job routes, you can always consult for some of the bigger names in your industry and help them understand the market and position themselves better.

Pros: Higher pay for a lot of bloggers than waiting on passive income, immediate income stream. It is also a great way to brand yourself and your blog and get your name out there.

Cons: It isn’t passive and getting freelance assignments isn’t always trivial. Depending on what you do, it can be tough at times.

Example: Oni of YoungPrePro easily earns a 5 figure income just from freelance writing, mostly supported through his blog which is quite popular as well. It is a great way to leverage your skills.

5. Paid Social Media Campaigns

If you have a huge social media following, brands and businesses will be willing to spend money to promote to your list. It is not just about the numbers though, although numbers certainly help. If you write in a very targeted niche and your followers are passionate about what you write and show a level of engagement, you don’t need tens of thousands of followers to make a decent amount of money through this method. Twitter is the favored medium of social media advertising, although feel free to break such rules.

When you are doing this, be sure that you don’t alienate your audience and sound hypocritical. This is very important – there are enough such gaffes already in the celebrity world, the most recent being when Oprah pitched Microsoft Surface, tweeting from her iPad! Please avoid such blatant mishaps, else you’ll lose your credibility – that’s more important for bloggers than celebrities. This can be a good addition to your online income streams even if you don’t have a huge following like Oprah because it is so simple to do.

Pros: Once you have followers, you can promote multiple products without overdoing it.

Cons: You don’t want to lose your followers by pushing it too much and sounding like a salesman. It can also reduce your overall quality of engagement with your audience. You need a strong number of followers to really make decent money.

Example: Freelance Switch has about 40,000 Twitter followers and they charge $200 for a sponsored Tweet (http://buysellads.com/buy/detail/107/zone/1272970). My best guess is their followers are semi-targeted in the niche. If your blog is more targeted, you can get away with fewer followers.

6. Creating your own Product and Selling Online

Creating your own product that helps people solve their problems is a highly rewarding thing in itself. Every creator feels great when their brainchild is being used by people and provides them with helpful solutions. It isn’t easy to do though. However, if you can sell your own product to your audience who find value in it, that can be a source of great online passive income.

What you create will be up to you, but most people prefer a digital version of their knowledge and expertise. This can be in the form of an eBook that people can purchase or an online course or forum where you personally help people out. You can sweeten the deal by scheduling an online Skype call with your members for a set amount of time (though it isn’t completely passive again, but that shouldn’t deter you) where you can directly speak with them and help them out.

Pros: It is highly satisfying and something you create yourself and can be a nice source of passive income. It is also possible to let others promote this for you through affiliate marketing so you pay them a commission on every sale they make for you. Once you have enough engaged readers, this can scale up nicely.

Cons: Needs a lot of initial work and the quality needs to be top-notch. You need to genuinely know what you are talking about.

Example: Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing does this very well. She’s an expert in her field and has created digital properties that she sells through The Freelance Writers Den.

Update: Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has written a really nice article about whether it is practical/realistic to make money blogging and there are ideas about how others do it. Read it here.

Photo Credit: Newton Free Library

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

5 Places to Find Freelance Writing Gigs

Freelance Writing GigsYou can find freelance writing gigs in a number of places that you wouldn’t normally suspect. Finding them is an art and a science, so follow these steps and you can find some really good freelance writing gigs. If you are serious about being a freelance writer, you should probably ‘graduate’ from these writing gigs soon. However, there is no harm looking for short-term gigs that provide you with an immediate income. You might just find this freelance writing gig turn into a long-term project or may be it improves your writing portfolio or simply gives you an income boost.

1. Freelance Marketplaces

These are the easiest places to find freelance writing gigs. They usually have a good selection of gigs, which means you have variety to choose from. The most popular freelance marketplaces are oDesk and Elance but there are also alternatives if you like.

Job boards essentially provide the same features except they usually have a one-time fee as opposed to a percentage of a project’s worth and don’t handle payment, so it can mean higher risk to the freelancer.

Pros: High number of gigs, easy to apply to, variety of jobs, based on feedback system so good for long-timers, flexibility with respect to working on a project on your own terms.

Cons: High competition, quality and pay of jobs can be lower, you need to pay commission to the marketplace, hard to enter into the system (due to feedback system).

2. Craigslist

Did you cringe already? Don’t! I’ve seen surprisingly good quality and genuine job posts on Craigslist and have personally worked on a few freelance writing gigs posted on Craigslist and had a great experience. Of course, you need to be aware of potential scams, so use your best judgement. Even though it doesn’t have the best reputation, give this a try. If you don’t live in a big city, you can certainly look for other places like New York that accept remote work. These will be fewer but definitely exist.

Look for these in two sections – writing/editing section under Jobs category and writing section under Gigs category. For example, if you’re from New York, these sections would be writing jobs and writing gigs.

Pros: Can be surprisingly good quality, immediate interaction with the person or team mostly being from the same city, localized writing gigs can be highly suited and pay better (jobs that cannot be outsourced, like attending a local event and writing about it), ability to form local connections for future work, higher degree of trust in a local business with direct interaction with the business.

Cons: Not the best reputation, higher probability of a spam posting, limited variety of jobs, smaller cities don’t have as many job postings (and not all jobs can be done remotely).

3. Paying Guest Blogging

There are quite a few blogs that pay for guest posts. You need to find one in your niche and then contribute to it. For example, I have written articles for Freelance Switch in the past which has a paid guest blogging program, paying $50 per post.

Pros: No research time needed for finding the freelance writing gig, easy to build a portfolio.

Cons: High quality and well researched articles required which can take time, limited in scope, finding the blogs can be an initial hurdle.

4. Regular Blogs you Read

Always look out for opportunities. If you have any favorite blogs and websites that you visit often, chances are, you already know the style and content they expect from their writers and therefore you can easily contribute your own article. Even if these sites are not explicitly looking for a guest blogger, many will accept if you pitch a good idea to them. This is quite an under-utilized method but works very well with several blogs.

Pros: Highly specialized articles and thus better paying (usually), can create a portfolio, can lead to longer and more interesting projects, networking and building relationships in your field.

Cons: Can be hit or miss, need time researching, limited in scope of blogs and websites that you regularly read.

5. Let Them Find You!

This is actually one of the best ways you can find some really great freelance writing gigs. Just get your name out there, produce high quality content, sit back, relax and wait for the emails to come pouring in. Well, that’s too optimistic, but you get the point. If you can get your work out there, through guest posting or through your own blog and let potential employers see your work, you may be contacted directly for some freelance work or gigs.

Guest blogging is quite a powerful technique here. It is also important to have your own freelance writer website so potential employers can contact you directly. Your website should contain some samples, portfolio, and contact information at the very least. You can make it as colorful as you like.

Pros: No direct work from your side, better bargaining position with respect to pay and other details.

Cons: Need a long term strategy, less control over types of gigs.

Photo Credit: koalazmonkey

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS