It is quite a common scenario. After deciding to start a marketting blog specifically about your favorite hobby, one evening, you find yourself with nothing about that subject to write, but there is a particularly thrilling post about a concert you went to last night just itching to be written. While you originally wanted to write travelogues on your blog, you find yourself not going anywhere this month and feel like, well, maybe you could try your hand at scribbling down some fiction instead. Why should your blog be restricted to just a single facet of your life? Why not write about other things? Should you create a new blog for every subject you want to write about?
The answer seems to be deceptively simple. It is very easy to create a new blog; and, if you are new to the whole blogging experience, perhaps creating a blog on a different platform would be quite a good idea. You would get to learn more about the entire process, decide which tools and capabilities are important to you as a blogger, and, surely, most importantly, you will be keeping your different subjects straight and separate. But is creating a new blog the right solution? It turns out this ends up being a question of identity, branding, and, perhaps just as importantly, your ability to juggle multiple responsibilities.
Time and time again, the online marketing experts will refer to the importance of establishing a brand; something uniquely identifiable about you, or what it is you bring to your web site or blog. There is quite a lot that contributes to a brand; logos, design elements, choice of colors, and so on, but it has little meaning unless it is accompanied by consistent content. Everyone knows what to expect from a McDonald’s, and would be perturbed if they one day turned up at one to find they were selling something else other than fast food.
This is the argument that usually applies to the question about starting a second or third blog; or even consolidating multiple existing blogs into one. If your first blog is established, and has a reputation for serving up one particular type of content, then posting different or contradictory content on the same blog should light up some warning signs. There are some obvious types of content that should be kept separate at all times. Corporate content should be kept separate from political or personal viewpoints, for example. If your site is already that large that it needs to be considered a brand, then the decision is virtually made for you. Your readers will be resistant to changes in your content; your brand may not tolerate different subject matter, and as a result, a new venue would be needed.
Most people, however, grossly overestimate how much branding they have invested into their site so far. The great majority of blogs are abandoned very quickly, after only a cute title, theme selection, and a handful of posts. The blogger discovers they have little or nothing to write about their chosen subject, or they do not simply have the time or the energy. Often the enthusiasm is for the writing but not necessarily for the chosen subject; perhaps the scope is not wide enough, perhaps there simply is nowhere near enough to write about that subject to maintain regular or even semi-regular posting. If this is the case, perhaps starting a new blog is not necessarily the answer; maybe simply a little renaming or redesign is all that it takes? Retitling, choosing themes, perhaps getting a better URL, are all things that can be done without splitting from the existing content. If your blog is new, there is unlikely to be much to lose from making these kinds of changes. There is not enough brand at stake.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of whether a single blog is sufficient is whether or not the blog category can be defined as personal. An example is probably best here. Suppose I started a blog about some specific aspect of my life, for instance, my recent move to the other side of the country. (Quite correctly, at this point you should recognize there is perhaps only a limited amount of mileage that can be extracted from that one specific subject). Later, I realize that, well, I would also quite like to write about other passions in my life, such as movies, video games, or eating out at restaurants; perhaps I might like to discuss what I do for a living, or what I studied at school. While these all seem like different subjects, they are in fact all different facets of myself. The subject of my existing blog was simply too specific. Writing about different aspects of myself does not require multiple blogs; in many ways, a single blog is more honest, and content can be suitably delineated if needed by the use of tags and categories. I can have a blog whose subject is me, and whose tags or categories can reflect the diversity of that top-level subject.
By far, however, the factor that will have the greatest impact on whether you start multiple blogs is whether or not you have the ability to handle the logistics. Everything is scaled up by the number of blogs you are running simultaneously; moreover, every aspect of this scaling works against you. It is better to have one blog covering many subjects that you regularly post to, rather than several blogs each focused on specific subjects that rarely receive new posts. Any promotion efforts that you do with one blog have to be replicated for others; and, perhaps a little perversely, anyone who does connect the different blogs with the same author will bring any negative perceptions from one to the other. You will need to keep yourself organized, perhaps even disciplined; commit yourself to at least reasonable editorial deadlines as to how often and when to post; partition our computer and workspace accordingly; and, in short, it might become a little too much like work – so often the kiss of death for any creative endeavor.
It is certainly not impossible. There are plenty of blogging celebrities out there with high-profile sites and well-established brands that post to multiple sites, but in many of those cases, that is the way they earn their living. If your blogging efforts are small and personal, you may perhaps not be able to invest that level of time and energy in your hobby. For the great majority of us who long to have a small blog which we maintain and nurture, one site is enough, and the work required to manage that is reasonable. If however you intend to blog or write as your career, then you will certainly need to invest more effort, and perform some serious time management.