Contact meQuestions about your life after PhD?

Better to have one blog with multiple topics or have multiple blogs with specific topics?

multiple-blogs-300x199In addition to LifeAfterPhD, I also keep TheChinaImage and T2TCrafts.  These three blogs are very different.  LifeAfterPhD is more Science/Career focused, TheChinaImage is on news and tidbits from China, and T2TCrafts is on recycled crafts.  The audience for these topics are very different.  In addition, being in Vancouver, there’s tremendous amounts of amazing food and Asian stuff everywhere.  Thus I’m considering starting a blog about delectable eats such as desserts, baked goods, and dim sums.

Problem is managing multiple blogs is a hassle.  It’s so much easier to log into one control panel and manage one website.  When wordpress updates, I’ll have to update every one of my blogs.  I’ll have to do design elements for each.  I’ll have to keep track of traffic and comments for each separately. With each additional blog it’s another layer of hassle.

Having one blog with multiple categories will allow it to have more content, increase traffic to the site, have more cross-over between posts, and make your life easier in all.  Thus, if the topics you wish to write about are somewhat similar, or share a similar audience, I’d suggest to have one blog with multiple categories.  For sure.

But what happens when the things you want to write about are as different as Science, China, and Crafts?  Do I go for Marketing Mondays, China News Tuesday, Delectable Sundays, or do I keep 4 separate blogs (which I really don’t want to do).  Do blogs with vastly different topics exist, and if so are they successful?  And this started my more serious quest to find the answer to this question that I’ve been wondering about since I first started my separate blogs a year ago.

After a quick search of “blogs with multiple topics”, these are the blogs that came up on the top page.
hollabackhealth is a blog about fitness training, food, sewing, and life and events in Trinidad.  What seems to be completely divergent topics with vastly different audiences all come together in an interconnected way best described in her post “Can You Have a Multi-Interest Blog?

ProBlogger has a great post on Success Secrets of 5 Multi-topic Blogs.  They relate multi-topic blogs to Pinterest, which I don’t think is quite the same thing.  But what got me is the idea that as varied as your topics may be, it’s your lifestyle, your personality, who you are and what you represent.  It is you and how you see the world, in the various facets of your life.  I hope what it comes down to is that if your interests are as varied as mine, it means that you are an interesting person.  But what it comes down to is if you have an unique viewpoint to share, that represents all the topics on your blog in a way that pulls them together and attracts your reader base.  Check out ProBlogger’s post to see a list of successful multi-topic blogs.

So yes, why not have it all… all your interests that makes you who you are, and much less of the hassle of keeping multiple blogs (which honestly have been one of the main factors that have discouraged me from keeping up with my blogs in the past few months).

But there has got to be disadvantages of keeping multiple topic blogs.  goes through a few.

  • Search engines might rank multi-topiced blogs lower than topic focused blogs.  Although I think for certain popular posts, the chances of getting on first page of google searches is still pretty good.
  • Subscribers unsubscribing because they are not interested in all the topics.  But there’s tools in place that allows your readers to subscribe to specific topics on your blog.
  • Advertising.  That’s one that made me go hmm.. for a bit.  Having a blog with multiple topics will have visiters with very different intersts. adsense might have a hardtime matching the right ad to a specific blogpost.  The workaround is to specify what kind of ads you want for each topic… this means more work.  Although it’s probably less work than keeping multiple blogs and there should be some sort of plugin for that.

In the end multi-topic blog still wins out for me.


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