I have been having many conversations with myself, friends and colleagues and on this blog about where I am heading.
Since the beginning of the year I have been talking about setting up a new blog, Solo Home Business about Having Fun Making Money Online. “That’s a crowded market” I hear you say. I heard Darren Rowse say it the other day too.
I also hear focus your blog on one topic. That has been my stumbling block. I want this blog to focus on the Law of Attraction in Action, AND I want to write about lots of other things that I am passionate about, including cooking, blogging, making money online, my art, people and causes, to mention a few.
I was delighted yesterday when Des alerted me to this fantastic article 45 Ways to Power up your blog by John P over at One Man’s Blog. The whole article is a must read,and as long as you are using wordpress gives you the tools to take your blog to new heights.
John’s take on the question of whether you should have just one topic in you blog spoke to me. In fact, it made my heart sing:
Don’t Believe the Hype
I’ve been hearing people advising authors to stick to only one topic per blog for some time now. And they are just plain wrong.
Any possible SEO advantage is more than outweighed by the fact that authors and readers become bored by the same subject after a while and content becomes stale and painful. Not to mention the fact that you’ll only keep a regular subscriber for so long without some variety. (Oprah doesn’t talk about the same thing every day, so why should you?)
Instead, write about what you know and love… all of it. As an example, my blog has 42 categories and 2,300 tags. I average 15-20,000 page views each day, with a record day being over 140,000.
He acknowledges that Darren Rowse disagrees with him. I am planning to go on the call today introducing Darren and Andy Wibbels course 6 Figure Blogging today to see if I can be persuaded otherwise.
So what to do? Look at why I blog and why this blog? That was what Des asked me yesterday as we were walking on the beach.
- I started the blog seriously last year to share my story and my journey to freedom- that is for me total financial freedom. The freedom to have the choices to do what I want, with whom I want, where I want.
- To share the many tools and processes with you my readers along the way
- To build a community focusing on the practical side of The Law of Attraction- You might have noticed I have changed the tagline to Law of Attraction in Action
- To generate income
- To have fun in the process.
I would love some imput on this so please leave a comment below.
If you liked this article, please share it on del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or on Digg. I’d appreciate it.
Gratitude to Massimo Visona for the delicious photo.
I love this blog.
I think The Law of Attraction applies to every area of life, especially those which bring us joy.
By writing about ALL the things that bring you joy, you’re attracting more of the same. To me, that is more genuine than limiting your articles according to other people’s idea of a ‘successful’ blog.
I will keep writing about what brings me joy
I agree. I’m not a big fan of the “niche” push. I like a bit of variety in the blogs that I read.
I do think though that for some blog niches it is more important than others. If people are interested in what you have to say on blogging, they’re probably not going to want to read your menu plan for the week as an example.
I’ve read though that you can deviate from your “niche” about 20% of the time without putting your readers off.
In your case, because this is something you’re interested in and is about YOUR journey, I think you can deviate from the main topic quite a bit without putting readers off too much. Those that are interested in the topic of Abundant Living are also likely to be interested in your life journey and You as a person which gives you quite a bit of scope to go “off topic” without a problem.
Of course, this is all simply my own opinion. From someone who is not all that great at staying on any particular topic. 🙂
Thanks for the reassurance and I relate to your final comment, it has been so reassuring to get such positive feedback.
There’s only once piece of blogging advice I’ve ever received that I feel is worthwhile:
Write about something you really truly enjoy.
Too many blogs die young, and though there are a number of reasons why, I would wager that the vast majority of blogs die because the blogger lost interest.
If you think that you will be able to mentally sustain a blog about having fun and making money on the internet, then I would go for it.
Personally, I could probably only go about 2-3 months with it before fizzling out and never posting again, but you’re the only one who can honestly say what your interest level is, and whether or not you can sustain your interest in the subject.
I recently heard that blogs should be a little more diverse. I have been thinking about making mine that way and this article just emphasises that thought.
I think one of the points that really set some blogs apart, and its not apparent at first, is that true commitment to what you are writing and it show if its something you love and value. Otherwise its falls into the category of “information” that is all over the net.
Thanks for that very nice advice! Right, to become an effective blogger, you should follow your passion. Write about your interests.
I cant agree more with Wags.
And yet there are so many out there forcing themselves to write about things that have no real affection towards themselves. It is evident in the posts.
I agree that too much niche focusing will bore readers. While writing diversely is good, there must be balance of not putting ridiculous, totally unrelated content on one’s blog.
Thanks for your encouragement and words of wisdom.
Wishing you all a delicious day
Even if you are passionate about one particular niche topic you can lose interest at times, run out of ideas and become stale. You are not going to write to the best of your abilities then.
When you are in a niche that is crowded with popular bloggers I think you have to bring something different to it and that can be by diversifying in a way that will bring readers to you. – as long as your basic topics are still well covered. You have a diverse range of bloggers as readers so you can look at their interests and cater for that based on your own passions.
If you create multiple blogs one or all may suffer because of the time commitment involved.
My thought exactly, how do you maintain more than one blog well? I notice that there are some bloggers who seem to do it well.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments, also your very useful blog
You’ll know Suzie that I have a low opinion of most of the “gurus” and the stuff they spout. The problem is simply who and what do you believe. Are they talking from experience or is it just hype to get you to believe thee viewpoint and buy their products.
I like the quote from John P and have a great deal of sympathy with that argument. The downside I guess is that too many subjects on one blog may be confusing to a first time reader who may not “get it” and move on. If you have enough loyal subscribers or someone finds a post they really enjoy first time then it shouldn’t matter.
In the real world a business man doesn’t talk about just one subject – very shallow – so I see no reason why a blog should be any different.
I fact most subjects are inter-related in some way because that’s life. As long as there is a main theme to the blog I think it is great to show more of your personality.
Love this comment by you Mark
In the real world a business man doesn’t talk about just one subject – very shallow – so I see no reason why a blog should be any different.
Seems like the readers have spoken and I will expand what I am doing here.
BTW love your blog.
Suzie – follow your heart and blog about the things that interest you. As a result, you will continue to find and grow an audience who is also interested in these things. I like the idea of having several different topics- it keeps things fresh and exciting!
Alex Blackwell’s last blog post..Seven Practical Personal Development Strategies
Thank you Alex,
I like your fresh and exciting concept
A few thoughts:
1. good post, I appreciate your thinking out loud on this one – I always learn a lot when people think aloud 🙂
2. It is possible to have a successful blog that has more than one topic. There are bloggers that manage to do it – however there are a few reasons why I advise against it if you’re wanting to develop a blog that makes money. I went over theses in the call yesterday but here they are again:
a. I found on my own personal blog that the more topics that I added the more complaints I got from readers and the less engaged they became. I started my blog on the topic if ’emerging church’ and grew a reputation for that. Then I started to talk politics, then I talked movies, then I talked photography, then I talked blogging….
what I found is that each time I widened the topics I decreased the chances of my readers sharing the same interests as me. Readers started skipping more and more posts – started kicking up a stink when I talked one topic more than another and my reputation became less focussed on any one thing. Traffic did grow from Search Engines as I kept adding new content, but the community aspect of the blog dropped.
b. monetizing a blog on 10 different topics became more challenging. For one I found AdSense didn’t know what ads to serve on many of my pages because from one page to the next the topics were quite random. The front page was a mess in terms of relevant ads.
Selling ads directly to advertisers was virtually impossible because when I approached a photography advertiser they didn’t want to have their ad appear on a blog that talked politics or church.
They were the main two reasons. The third was SEO. Back then it was particularly hard to rank well on a site that was quite random in topics. These days it may have changed – I can’t really speak with authority on that as I’ve not had such a blog for a while.
3. Having said all that – it can work to have a random blog – but I guess if you want to build your profile and authority on a single topic then it would make more sense in my mind to develop a web property that showed you specialized on that topic.
I like to think about what my blog projects to the first time reader. If someone arrives on your blog they make a snap judgement about what it’s about and whether they’ll engage with it. What message does it convey if you have posts on two different topics on the front page? For some they’ll think ‘cool – a post about XX next to a post about YY – I’m into those two things – I’m coming back.’ but I’d hazard a guess that for most people if the posts don’t relate that they might come away feeling a bit confused and go and search for a site that is focused upon the topic they’re searching the web for.
4. I didn’t talk about this yesterday but another thought that I had last night as I lay in bed is about building momentum on your blog. One of the keys to building long term readers and growing your blog is to take your readers on a journey. I wonder whether posting on various topics could disrupt this process a little. I’m sure it’s possible to build momentum on a few topics at once at the same blog but wonder if it could be difficult for both readers and the blogger themselves?
5. I think Lightening makes a good point that my niche approach applies more to some niches than others. I think it also partly depends upon the voice that you blog in.
6. The Anti Hype makes a good point in that a business person talks more than one subject – however I’d also say that in most cases those topics do relate to one another. I think blogs that cover related topics can work quite well. In a sense this is about choosing a wide niche. The gadget blogs do this by talking about everything from laptops to cameras to phones – ProBlogger does this by talking everything from SEO, to blog platforms to design – Lifehacker does this by talking ‘life hacks’ that go from photography, to time management to mac hacks. These blogs all cover a wide variety of ground but have unifying themes or wide niches. I think that this is something you might find helpful in working your way forward if you do choose to keep all your blogging in the one place. The only danger with this wide niche approach is that it can sometimes burn a blogger out as they feel the need to keep so many different areas covered. This is why most of the big wide niche blogs (engadget, gizmodo, lifehacker etc) employ multiple bloggers
OK – I’ll leave it at that. I hope my comment isn’t too random or widely focused! Whether you join up for SFB or not I wish you luck in this journey – keep sharing what you learn!
Darren Rowse’s last blog post..Who Cares How Many Subscribers You’ve Got?
Thank you Darren,
I really appreciate your comments and your thoughtful approach. I think sharing my thoughts is something I should do more often.
I am thinking that 6FB will be a good thing for me. I liked the sound of the forum and I want to have a blog that makes $ and I want to have fun doing it.
If I do SFB I will share my learning as I go, maybe not here, but on one of the many other blogs sitting around waiting for content. Maybe I can use Solo Home Business?
Thanks for encouraging me share what I learn.
Great comment posted Darren 🙂
The Anti Hype point makes a great explanation!
Chetan’s last blog post..How to setup feed for feedburner
There is some excellent advice in this comment from Darren.
I feel there does need to be some variation in your posts, just like a magazine so that your readers have an enjoyable variety of topics to read about. I agree totally however that they should not be too diverse.
It’s great to see a well respected blogger take the time to make such a lengthy comment on a lesser known blog.
Thank you for this.
Mark’s last blog post..Recognising Postpartum Depression
I’m sold by the niche concept but I’m wondering the best way to ‘package’ multiple blogs from the same author. I suppose if you’re writing about wildly opposite topics you’d want to maintain blogs on separate domains with little or no cross-referencing. But what if you want to leverage yourself as a brand to promote your blogs? Say I have a blog about cameras (on a domain I own) and in the process learn a lot about blogging. Should I start a blog about blogging on the same domain as the camera blog? Would this hurt SEO and monetization for the camera blog or have no effect?
you’re welcome – as I said – good discussion you’ve got going.
Darren Rowse’s last blog post..Who Cares How Many Subscribers You’ve Got?
There are some very interesting comments that this post and your comments have sparked. Thank you for keeping the discussion going here
Well, looks like I attracted some more good news into my life. Been wondering what I can do to bring some more life into my blog and here it is.
While in the process of converting over to WordPress, this has also given me some ideas work into what I’m doing now and in the future. I’ve always seen the interrealtedness (is that really a word) of everything, now just got to weave it all together.
Thank you for this timely article.
I think the passion for your subject shines through and that is what makes your blog successful.
As to whether or not you should stick to one theme … I think it depends very much on your topic. Chris and I have a wine blog that necessarily focuses on one topic – although wine certainly has a wide field for discussion.
I like your take on The Law of Attraction … In Action and I’ll enjoy following your journey.
Alison’s last blog post..42 Degrees South Pinot Noir
I think you need to do – what feels right to you — Follow your heart, Follow your passion!
So many people start out with their passion and then change their course because of what the “gurus” said would or would not work!
Many of those people are still scrambling around trying to make something work because of that – because of throwing someone else’s opinions and ideas into their passion!
I know — “been there – done that” — and it don’t work!!
When I finally honored My Passion — when I stopped letting other people’s opinions be more important than mine — That is when the pieces fell together for me… And now I see that happen all the time with my clients!!
I still read about marketing, business, etc… I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to – and now I read and then I let it sink in and I decide – What Resonates with Me — That has made all the difference!!
Follow your Inner Voice – it will not lead you wrong!!
Ellie Walsh – Living the Law of Attraction’s last blog post..Law of Attraction Carnival #31 Posted & Next Topic….
@ Ellie I value what you hav written and I certainly have lots of material to mull over. I like your words
What Resonates with Me — That has made all the difference!!
Follow your Inner Voice – it will not lead you wrong!!
These are excellent points, and I thought Darren’s rebuttal was interesting, too. I have a hard time tying myself down to one topic, and I find that, of the two blogs I really work on, one is more focused on a single topic but has a lot less of “me” showing through. I stick mostly on topic but I therefore don’t really get personal/chatty with my readers. On my other blog (obstensibly a knitting blog), I talk about knitting and spinning, but also about my dog, the books I’ve been reading, vacations I’ve taken, and just about anything that piques my interest.
Which basically means that lately I’ve been trying to inject a little more of my “real” self into my other blog. Because, while it’s informative and all, the other one is more fun.
And, heck, it’s not like I’ve tried to monetize either one of them (yet) anyway….
–Deb’s last blog post..Handwriting: Is Italic the Answer?
I really agree with the post from Ellie, you have to blog about what you’re passionate about. If you’re writing about something you enjoy, people reading it will most likely enjoy it too. Like attracts like. You can’t fake it.
BTW I just stumbled upon this blog and really like it. I’m planning on checking in regularly. I’m interested to see what you’ll be blogging about!
Suzie, for the first 6 years of blogging, I posted anything and everything that caught my attention. In January 2007, I decided to narrow the focus on Ian’s Messy Desk to productivity and personal development. The increases in traffic, subscribers and advertising income was significant.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote the post, How Niche Blogging Increased My Earnings, outlining the benefits I realized from niche blogging. Over the past three months, those numbers have continued to grow. For example, today I’m showing over 2,000 subscribers via Feedburner.
Ian McKenzie’s last blog post..10 “Practical” Anti-Crime Slogans
This is a very valuable comment for me and I ‘ll be heading over to visit your blog and read your posts.
I also find the change you have in subscribers interesting.
My blog covers a variety of categories and topics. I love writing about many different and not necessarily connected things I find interesting.
I don’t have a niche, so I find it challenging to qualify for inclusion into any category, by which social sites list blogs and by which people are looking for something new to read. I do get a lot of visitors referred by Google search, though.
And, as Darren Rowse already mentioned, it’s difficult to keep readers and challenging to monetize the blog (and a few other things, as well).
Wow – it is amazing when you see passion poured into a subject. There is some amazing perspective here.
In my opinion it all boils down to what your goals are for the blog. If your motivation is financial rewards I would say follow the experienced advise. Not to say that success cannot be achieved in a multitude of ways, but there is certainly something to be said about a proven system that works. Why reinvent the wheel?
If your goal is personal satisfaction and entertainment than blog till you can’t blog no more on anything and everything.
Success becomes a measure of what your goals are.
ourmonmouth’s last blog post..Attributes of the Great Salesperson
Good point about your goals and the saying
“Success becomes a measure of what your goals are.” I may quote
I also like ow you have you goal clearly stated on the blog
I was facing the same dilemma and decided to break my different interest areas up into different blogs but to keep them all in a cohesive network, linking liberally across sites. This way people who know me (or want to know me) personally can read my personal rants on Marina’s Musings, Guinness fans can read Guinness Globetrotter, and productivity folks can read Sufficient Thrust (motivation) and Freedom From Organization (productivity tips).
I’ve written a lot of the content for my blogs but haven’t published them yet as I’m wrapping up a couple other big life projects first. However, I’ve found that even the little bit of posting I’ve done across my 12 blogs has been more positive and plentiful than one blog spread across multiple topics (or worse, a great post to write and nowhere to put it!).
It’s funny, because I expected my Guinness blog to have the least interest and be hardest to promote, but it’s by far my most popular and successful blog. You may be surprised.
I am blown away by your site and so inspired.
Very interesting the one you least expected to be a winner is .
I’ll be heading back over there- you have given me some ideas.
that I am curious about is how you maintan so many sites?
The decision of whether to stick with a single topic or niche can also have much to do with what your blogging goals are.
In our case, our blog is not intended for generating revenue – and that changes quite a few things. Since our blog is more personal in nature, it tends to bounce around a bit – basically, its niche-less. There are themes or topics that we revisit routinely, so there’s some sense of continuity, but there are also lots of posts that veer off on (relatively, not literally) radical tangents.
If it makes you happy (or fulfilled) and you can continue to keep your readers interested and still roam across multiple topics or areas of focus, I’d say go for it.
I was linked over here from Darren’s blog, but found this discussion to be pretty engaging and interesting.
@Suzie, I really think you’re onto something here, and you’ve offered plenty of reading material that I wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise. I’m impressed with your blog otherwise, because it’s simply so well-thought. Everything you’ve put up is well put together.
On the subject of limiting your blog to a niche, it really depends on what your goals are. If you’re writing as a very casual blog, random is good. People like random. I find a random blog much harder to come up with content for, though. Having a niche (such as a cult classic car) makes figuring out what to write about very simple and straight-forward. It may be more difficult to keep a long-term flow of posts going, but I think it’s better to have defined borders between different types of writing. A random blog only has categories.
There are some topics that I follow very closely, and when a niche blog posts something that’s off-topic, I get a little upset. A good example is Applied Game Design”, which is specifically about designing games, generally video games. It’s well-written, and generally stays very on-topic and informative. Brenda could easily write for a few different blogs, but keep her readership happy by only posting on-topic for this particular blog.
I’m getting a little verbose here, and wanted this to stay pretty short, so in closing:
a few consistent blogs are preferable to one big pile of posts, from a reader’s perspective.
Jesse’s last blog post..Reincarnation of the CRX
Suzie I haven’t read all the comments so apologies if my view has been expressed already. Firstly, don’t fear the crowded niche! Funnily enough I blogged about this yesterday – if you want to blog about making money online then go for it!
Secondly, regarding the multiple topics.. from a financial / “success” point of view it would be better to separate them into different blogs but ONLY do this if you can seriously dedicate your attention to all of them. Not many people can do that so I would say just blog about whatever the hell you want to but perhaps try to clearly mark the topic of each so those not interested in a particular topic can clearly skip those.
I am hugely into LoA but not art for example. As long as I knew what your art posts were i could skip them and would still read for the LoA information.
Caroline Middlebrook’s last blog post..Be Prepared to Change Strategy At Any Time
I like what you are doing, and this maybe the way I go, One focused and one where i ramble. I think the point you make about injecting a little more of you into the blog is important. I know there are blogs I read because of who and what they write and I want to know their story
I understand your challenge Lana, does look like you have the potential for a gift niche?
Thank you for sharing you experiences, I can see it has been very worthwhile for you to narrow your focus.
Who knows maybe the way I choose? It was encouraging
@ Dean My pleasure, look forward to seeing you new blog- you are making a good move. it’s the weaving together that can be a challenge
you make a good distinction, I love the dolphins and have swum with them- a magical experience
I have found your comments really thoughtful and the sites you have referred me to, were good to look atThank you for you wonderful feedback it gives me joy
@ Caroline Middlebrook
Thank you for your imput and having read your post, which i found very helpful. you made points that were very relevant to where I am at, A lot of similarities
Good luck in the project area.
I started a blog related to my industry, design software, but also wanted to write on other topics. After a while wanted to post on totally off topic stuff so my solution was a “personal blog”. I have a common homepage with a few headline/summaries from both, automatic using FeedBurner, but separate URL’s & Feeds.
Occasionally I cross post if think one topic will interest the other group. My industry blog has many more RSS sub’s (700/70) but the personal blog gets far more Search visits so traffic is actually similar!
I like your thinking and interesting what you have done with your front page thankyou for sharing
I feel pretty strongly about one topic, one blog – I’ve run into some trouble with worrying that my conservation talk distracts too much from my research reviews (for me as an author, as well as the reader) but I’ve opened a whole separate blog just to talk about blogging.
I sort of feel like it’d be unprofessional to get TOO reflective or personal on a blog that has a different dedicated theme.
I wonder the same thing about my “personal” blog. I have two main ideas and I vacillate between which one to follow: science and faith, or investigative reporting? Perhaps the answer is to create more than one blog if you really want to acquire a following on more than one topic. I have sort of done that – my link above points to a site I run that gives readers a free daily puzzle (crossword variation, cryptogram, etc.) and which uses Blogger. My “personal” blog is at ginkgo100.blogspot.com and is currently following a thread on the show Wife Swap, but has a bunch of posts on religion, science, health care… Focus is difficult!
Ginkgo100’s last blog post..#10 Wordnet – Extension
I was especially interested in Darren’s comments. On my own blog which is in the field of personal growth (with a spiritual touch), I have found that I get more reader comments when I write exactly for that subject. Last week, for example, I wrote a a post called From Lust to Losing Your Mind. I liked it 🙂 But it seemed to be slightly outside the range of topics my readers expect from my blog.
So, it does seem as though it’s important to keep within the parameters that the tagline indicates. I must say, I do feel slightly constricted by this…
I want to echo a comment above: the Law of Attraction applies to every area of life, so in a sense you have a green light to talk about whatever interests you. Thus far, if you look at the Law of Attraction on the Internet, you will notice that it really should be called “The Law of Attract…ing MONEY”.
What would be incredibly valuable to your readers (well, at least this reader) is: How does the Law of Attraction apply to:
Your blog is abundance highway, and abundance means a lot more than more dollars.
My two cents. Good luck!
Tom Stine’s last blog post..Spirituality and Money
@ Tom thanks for your 2 cents worth I agree abundance encompasses life in general.
@ ginko I understand your challenge, but as several readrs have said FOCUS is paramount
@Mary I really value your comment on writing on topic
@ Jeff Your blog looks great and very focused
While the idea of separating your topics sounds nice, one thing to consider is the extra time it would take to maintain and promote two or more blogs. I’ve got several blogs going right now, and I always have the nagging feeling that none of them are getting the time/focus that they need.
And actually in your case, I think your two proposed topics are pretty closely related. Having fun building a home business, and the law of attraction should go hand in hand … don’t you think?
… just my two pennies.
Todd Morris’s last blog post..First Pictures of Jayden Taylor
Interesting take Todd, I like your 2 pennies, still think they are not quite hand in hand for the blogworld
I find it very difficult to write consistently engaging posts on one topic. If you are suitably qualified to take on a range of topics, I’d say go for it. (Otherwise, though, be aware that the cost of subscribing to someone else’s viewpoints instead is very low!)
Chris | Martial Development’s last blog post..Ordosclan, The Grumpy Savant of rec.martial-arts
i’ll follow the conversation over here as i’m definitely in the same boat. i agree with writing about what your most passionate about because i find it easier to write. but sometimes as you’ve said suzie, you’re passionate about a LOT of things.
my blog is broken up into 4 main categories that have sub categories, all revolving around entrepreneurship & building an internet business.
being that there’s many different components to running an online business, is it bad to cover all of them?
thanks for talking “aloud” as darren said!
My pleasure, I have discovered thinking out loud moves me forward. this discussion has given me a lot of food for thought.
i will be reporting back on what i decide
I have a bit of a ‘random’ blog and it’s definitely a struggle to build a loyal audience. Individual posts can do well in completely disconnected niches but the overall subscriber level is increasing only very slowly. After pondering this dilemma for a while I came up with the idea off offering RSS feeds for specific categories of posts, but I don’t really cover each topic frequently enough for that to be substantial so despite it seeming like a good idea to me, in practice people either subscribe to the whole blog , or not at all.
Andy Roberts’s last blog post..New UK statistics authority web site
I think Darren’s words “Widely Focused” is something I’m going to take home from this discussion.
Thanks for the insights!
Rudy’s last blog post..Good People Day 2008
Yes I too like widely focussed
As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, I hadn’t really given it much thought until after we started to attract attention. I tend to think in terms of “whatever floats your boat.”
When I soon realized that people related to my own personal experiences, I also soon realized that sticking just to my own personal experiences could get pretty monotonous fairly easily. However, I did have a purpose, and the attention made me realize that there were a lot of topics important to me that could be discussed with my own personal experience as the “center of that universe.”
There is more than one way to skin a cat?
For me (for now) the “niche” thing works because of what I want to accomplish. If I were to branch off into unrelated topics, it wouldn’t lend itself to the main topic. Nor would it relate to discussions based on the experiences of others.
I can’t effectively discuss my psycho ex-wife, cooking, fashion, child support, family court, laws, interior design, shoes, parental alienation… get it?
I figure I’ve helped none. I think it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and the message (if there is one) – you’re attempting to send.
Mister-M’s last blog post..Look Out! A Femi-nagger Is Angry With Us!
How fabulous! You’ve got a great discussion going here with some very strong points.
As for me, I feel strongly that the reader can sense if the writer, is or isn’t, connected to their blog topic. You know me its all about energy.
If you are passionate and believe deeply in what you write about then the essence of this shines through and makes a connection with the reader.
If I’m not excited nor inspired about an article I’ve written then I won’t post it.
So I guess what I’m saying is, even if its a bit off topic but the article is written with passion and inspiration then it will be well received by the reader as they will be drawn in by your enthusiasm.
Peace, love and chocolate
This might be kind of obvious, but I think that if you are really into a specific topic (ie televisions) then you can probably come up with a wide variety of posts within that particular niche as long as you are delving pretty deep into the specifics.
On the other hand if you like to blog in a fairly general way about topics (not as many specifics) then you will need a lot of topics or the blog will die pretty quickly.
I actually published a round-up article on this topic with thoughts from everyone from more than a dozen topc bloggers and marketers, from Seth Godin to John Chow and Leo Babauta.
Seth’s and Leo’s advice really resonated most with me.
Seth said, in his trademark short form, “One story per blog. Your story could be the “everything is interesting” story of boingboing or the very narrow story of hackingnetflix.com. But just one story per blog.”
And, Leo added, “The question, to me, isn’t the topics or their common thread … it’s your target audience. Does your target audience want to read about all of the topics, or are you really speaking to several audiences.”
I agree with these guys, it’s about the story and the common thread nt so much among topics, but audience interest.
On my blog, I write about a lot of different topics and its been good for traffic, but I have to agree with Darren, it’s not been so good for subscriber growth, which is a proxy for regular community size.
In fact, I am about to break my topics into 3 different blogs to allow each community to be able to better expect what they’ll find in any given post.
Jonathan Fields’s last blog post..By: Find A Niche .org
I think it’s a tricky balance… having at least a loose sort of theme can actually inspire post ideas. But I get tired of READING one trick pony bloggers, too..
I’m particularly enjoying this thread of comments and the way everyone’s riffing off of Darren’s tagline! Great idea (one I’ve not seen before) but what the heck..
One of Almostgotit’s most fabulous posts is Woman, mother, career, and other floating definitions
Oh, but look! Your “CommentLuv” software does it for me! So let me edit the above just a bit…
almostgotit’s last blog post..Friday Favorite: In the Motherhood
I was thinking Darren had really started something with his post tagline (what magic blog-trend-setting power does this guy HAVE, anyway? ) and I’d even coded in my OWN tagline to match everyone else’s until I saw your cute “CommentLuv” feature.
In short: You look pretty blog-savvy already to me! Go with your heart.
Almostgotit’s most FABULOUS recent post is Woman, mother, career, and other floating definitions
almostgotit’s last blog post..Friday Favorite: In the Motherhood
I covered this very same subject this week as I have been wondering if I should narrow my subject matter. I, like you, am passionate about a wide-range of subjects, and it is difficult for me to lock myself to just one of those fields. My final conclusion is that my blog niche is “me”. Sure, I don’t make a lot of money (actually, I make next to none), and my subscribers have been slow to climb, but it makes -me- happy at the end of the day.
The one caveat to all of this is that my passion for blogging helped me get several paying jobs, leading eventually to working for one of the biggest blogs currently out there. So while your gains may not be immediate, the dividends pay off in different ways down the road.
Sean P. Aune’s last blog post..And, So It Begins…
I’ve been wondering about this with my blog. I started out focusing on local issues, then expanded to more national issues with a localized spin. When I did that, my traffic increased.
When a local singer made it into the Top 24 of American Idol, it allowed me to write about that topic — there was a local woman on the show, as well as two other contestants from the state.
I think you can go all over the place with your blogging as long as you figure out a way to tie it into your central blogging mission. It’s easier to write something interesting when you have some variety, while keeping the issue tied into what your readers are interested in reading. Newspapers do this all the time when they take a national story and go out and interview local people to get their reactions.
Chris’s last blog post..Clintonian Meltdowns
In my view, covering multiple topics in a blog is Not a good idea. There are chances for conflict. Some topics cannot naturally coexist together (for example “Make Money Online” and “Meditation”). It is only possible to cater the needs of a single reader base. Covering many different topics can confuse your readers.
Recently, I wrote post in my new blog called “What bloggers can learn from Barack Obama”. Even though, I am very proud of my post, I sometime question myself on whether I made the right decision to relate politics with my technology blog.
Aaron’s last blog post..What bloggers can learn from Barack Obama?
ok, so here’s my 2 cents..
keeping a blog “focused” can help a lot with monetization, as the ads will be more targeted and therefore get more clicks and the visitors will be more targeted so more responsive to what you’re recommending, but..
there’s nothing wrong with going off at a “tangent” now and then and just writing about what you’re thinking/feeling, and the odds are that if you just have one blog, it will be relevant in someway and bring in some new traffic.
the important thing (imho) is to concentrate on one blog until you’re happy that you’ve got the whole “blogging” thing.
with time and experience you will know when you are ready to set up seperate blogs for other “topics” and post seperately.
as for “SEO”, it’s one of the reasons I love blogs!
as long as you get your permalink structure right (video: blogtactics.com/seo-friendly-permalinks-for-wordpress/) and have the right plugins, like the “all in one seo” plugin and a good “ping” list (another vid on BlogTactics), you can just get on with making good quality posts.
That’s the point with using WordPress, get it set up right and you can concentrate on posting interesting and useful stuff, without having to become some “SEO Geek”…
If your content is good and your blog’s set up right, the “SEO” should take care of itself.
If you want some proof, go check out the earlier posts, i think the 10th or 11th is by some guy called Darren Rowse, any one heard of him…?
so how did Mr “ProBlogger” come to comment on this post..?
simple, Suzie used one of the in built blogging “SEO” features of wordpress, she mentioned him and included his blog url in the original post to make a “trackback”, which Darren noticed and came to check out the post.
the important bit is that he decided to post a reply because Suzie posted something “useful and interesting”, see how important the quality of your content/posts is…
matt garrett’s last blog post..Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
I think it’s a marketing issue, not a topic-count issue.
For example, someone made the point that Oprah talks about many topics. But really, she’s only about one topic: how to make your life better.
I believe any combination of topics can be distilled to their essence. And it’s that essence that I believe you should tell your readers that you’re about.
Having said that, the more diverse those topics are (e.g. Darren’s comment on writing about photography, church, blogging, etc.), the more challenging it is to stitch them together into a single vision.
Using a corporate analogy:
Apple is a company with a very narrow focus, and they’re successful with that.
GE on the other hand, has no product focus and for a while its CEO (Jack Welch) almost lost control. But then he realised that GE is really about leadership. Great leaders and industry leadership. So he spent his 20 years as CEO doing performance reviews, and shutting down operations that weren’t market leaders in their niche.
You gotta find the common vision that unites the topics you want to talk about.
LifeLoveSushi’s last blog post..What should you do before turning 30?
Thank you for you very thoughtful post, I like your blog too and I love sushi!
Your analogy is great
Being focussed is probably more important for a business oriented blog than a personal blog … you wouldn’t expect to find a post about goat breeding on a software development site/blog! But on a hobby blog by an individual, there is less expectation of a narrow focus. After all, how many real people are only interested in one topic?
Some of the blogs I subscribe to are by regular non-professional people who write about numerous things that interest them. The common factor is that they are clearly interested in their subjects, and write well.
I’ve contemplated limiting my very diverse website/blog to a niche, as the experts advise, but it would be impossible as I have too many interests. The only way would be to split it into a number of niche blogs, but I don’t have the time or energy to properly develop the number required. Hence my blog covers many topics – but I do it for enjoyment, not money, and the variety of topics reflects who I really am. I’d rather be myself than change my writing to make the search engines’ jobs easier.
The only proviso I would suggest to a “widely focussed” (thanks Darren for that term) blog would be to:
1. Have a tag line on or near the header which gives some idea of what the blog is about,
2. Have a list of categories (or tags) prominent in the sidebar, which lists topics covered.
If visitors know what to expect, and where to find what interests them the most, then unfocussed content need not be a problem .
Thanks Suzie for thinking out loud, and starting this interesting discussion. I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who has questioned the don’t stray from your niche “rule”.
I think the point you make about doing it for enjoyment is very important.
The saying do what you love and the money will follow does not always go hand in hand
I think your suggestion about readers knowing what to expect with categories in a prominent place a great suggestion.
This blog design has them in a drop down.
Thank you for contributing to the discussion
I do think that niche blogs are most effective when they do operate solely with a specific niche (as the, erm, name suggests).
Many of us subscribe to dozens of feeds, and it can be offputting and confusing to have to pick through irelevant content when you are quite specific about what you have the time to view.
That said – the very appeal of the blogosphere is the freedom it allows. As bloggers we all face many of the same challenges – we ARE all human, and it’s nice to see what’s inspiring or frustrating those we share our blogs with.
Lol – this is great. You mind if I add to my blog? I’m subscribing to your email feed too – I can’t risk missing anymore like this 🙂 Have a great weekend!
Nantucket Art’s last blog post..Free Nantucket Art Wallpaper
I don’t have the time to keep several blogs up and running although I do have more than one.
One is very focused. Easy to keep up, and haven’t put time into promoting it yet. I love photograghy, and turn many of my photos into greeting cards with a cool system that is my home business. So I post images that I’ve made into cards, more visual content than words, was surprised at the traffic which comes in from the search engines, esp. as I haven’t really promoted my HeidisCards blog yet. Just a trickle but it seems to grow on its own. But not much interaction over there.
My main blog I struggle to keep on topic although I’ve made it broad. There are other things I want to blog about from time to time, but not enough to commit to making one more blog. But I have friends who blog, so if I have something to say that doesn’t really fit, but fits a friend’s blog, I give that post to their blog. And often their readers will find it interesting and follow the link back to my blog to learn more about me.
When I write from the heart, or share something I found useful, I find those posts become the most popular. If I write for search engines, it becomes flat.
Learning that when I visit various forums online and answer a question, that there are many more asking the same thing, and I should take my answer and turn that into a blog post. Next time I see the same question asked I can just link to my blog post. Beats writing it all up again.
Heidi Caswell’s last blog post..Take the Shot When It Presents Itself