With the end of the year approaching, I am looking forward to this coming year with anticipation and hope for the future. One of my major goals, of course, is to make more money. I definitely enjoy making money (I’m hardly unique in that respect), and anything I can do to bump up my income will get my attention and due consideration.
And so I read The Financial Blogger’s guide to running multiple blogs (while maintaining his sanity and working less than twenty hours each week, no less) with a great deal of interest. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t given much thought to adding another blog to my repertoire; it’s been quite a challenge just keeping up with one blog, although, perhaps if I follow the advice on hiring out some of the work, it would be more feasible.
So, I though I should consider some of the pros and cons of running more than one blog. It’s not something that should be undertaken lightly; after all, I’ve put hundreds of hours into my blog over the past two years, and no matter how much I outsource the work, another blog would mean many, many hours of more effort. So, do the potential benefits of starting another blog (or two, or three, or…) outweigh the hassles and expenses? Let’s start with some of pros, the reasons why more than a few bloggers run multiple blogs.
The Pros of Multi-Blogging
-You can create your own network of related blogs…: You can call it ‘synergy’ as The Financial Blogger does, but the idea is simple: you can expand your influence in a particular area by increasing the number of blogs you run. It also gives you a chance to move beyond your particular niche and explore other aspects of your blogging field; I could started a blog that focused on ways to save money, or started to cover more on alternative investments, while I could continue to focus on investing and money management basics with The Amateur Financier, thus expanding the subjects I cover.
-…Or go in a completely different direction: On the other hand, you can also opt for an unrelated topic; I could start a blog that covers organic chemistry, for instance, or maybe one that looks at anime (both subjects that I enjoy that have nothing to do with personal finance). While this option offers less opportunity for cross promotion, it does enable you to break into different fields, and exercise your creativity. (It also might help you preserve your sanity, if you care about that type of thing.)
-It’s easier the second time around: There’s a lot of things I’ve learned while creating this blog that would enable me to make another blog much more efficiently the second time around. It would still be a lot of effort, but the year or so I spent learning the ropes and getting my feet wet here would help me to get another blog up, running, and (hopefully) turning a profit in much less time.
-More blogs mean more opportunities for more money: Let’s get to the heart of the matter; if you want to maximize your money earning potential with blogging, one method to do so is to set up more than one blog. Two blogs means twice as many opportunities for advertisements and other money making techniques, three blogs triples the possibilities, and so on. It’s not a guarantee that you will multiply your earnings as you increase your number of blogs, but the opportunities will exist.
So, plenty of benefits are possible with multiple blogs. But by now I’ve learned, there’s never benefits that come without some downsides. So, some of the cons of having multiple blogs include:
The Cons of Multiple Blogs
-More blogs require more time…: Probably the biggest reason most bloggers limit themselves to just one blog is that increasing the number of blogs you run increases the time needed to run them. While you won’t necessarily double your work load by doubling the number of blogs you run (there are economies of scale to consider, and you can combine some of the tasks you do for your blogs), it is certain that writing out more articles will increase your time expenditure. There are ways to avoid spending all your time on your blogs, but they usually require…
-…Or more money: You can solve the time issue, at least in part, by opting to outsource some of your blogging tasks, from technical support to marketing to even writing blog entries. However, none of this comes free; if you want to outsource the work required for your blog, you’ll need to have money to pay the people who do that work. This is fine if you have the money available, but if you don’t have much money and little ability to go into debt to get more, it is a stumbling block.
-Good help can be hard to find (and manage): Even if you have the money you need to hire others to help you keep multiple blogs running, you still need to find employees or partners with whom you can work on the blogs. Even after that, you need to be able to motivate, work with, and generally manage your new blogging compatriots. If you, like me, you’re not that good at socializing and aren’t really a natural leader, that’s almost a more daunting task than trying to do everything yourself. It’s definitely a different skill set than blogging as an individual, which you may or may not possess.
-Your personal situation might make it impossible: Because of the aforementioned time and money constraints, it can be impossible for you to start another blog at a particular point in time. Being a grad student, I’ve found myself short on time and money this past semester, which has cut into my blogging; starting another blog is almost out of the question right now. And then there’s the fact that your family or significant other might resent you putting even more of your efforts into another blog. (My fiancée has threatened to castrate me if I start another blog, for example. I think she’s joking, but until I can start a blog without greatly increasing my work load, I don’t want to take that chance.)
My Plans for Further Blogs
In the short term, my lack of available money (and limited time when I’m not working on the Amateur Financier, doing housework, or studying) limits how much more I could do in starting new blogs. If I get far enough ahead on my blogging here (far enough ahead that I can avoid that whole threatened castration thing),though, I might consider starting another blog. (Probably not one closely related to personal finance; I like the idea of stretching my writing wings a bit).
In the longer term, I do like the idea of creating an online empire all my very own, and working to generate an income that I can manage fairly passively. My first step will probably to look into hiring a virtual assistant when money is not as tight (and I’m creating more of an income through my own efforts), and seeing how that works out; it’d be nice to expand my ability to get things done online. After that, I’ll slowly build my online kingdom from there.