I received an email a month ago from one of my readers who seemed a little bit distressed:
Hey Anta, I wanted to start a new blog for 2021 but I was kind of stuck. You see, I have a bunch of different stuff that I like. I like go-karts, space travel, cooking, and budgeting. Is it possible to make a blog around all of these or can I build one website for everything?Jon K.
I wanted to answer this question in-depth because it actually comes up a lot and I wanted a link I could just send to bloggers when they are just starting.
People are multi-faceted beings. Very few people only have one particular interest and nothing else holds their fancy. I personally struggle with trying to accommodate all of my interests within my working day and I rarely do. Additionally, our interests change over time. I’m sure my younger self would have been heartbroken if he knew his older self doesn’t really feel like collecting hot-wheels anymore, or that having a level 99 necromancer in Diablo 2 is the pinnacle of existence. It’s perfectly okay to have many interests; that just means you’re normal.
If you’re making a blog to be a personal journal to explore yourself, sure, go right ahead. Nobody will stop you. Creating a space to collect one’s thoughts probably something everyone should do. If you’re making a blog to make money, it’s a bad idea and in order to understand that fully, it’s important to examine what drives traffic to websites in the first place.
Why People Visit Blogs
A lot of new blog owners see massive sites like Reddit and want to create websites that mimic them. It’s certainly possible to build a repository of various interests and you’ll probably gain some traffic if you know SEO well and are able to market your site. However, unless you have a multi-million dollar ad budget, you can forget competing with other established general websites. There is also an additional problem:
It’s difficult to cultivate a large, loyal fan base of readers when you’re talking about growing cabbage one day and then the latest iPhone the next day.
In my experience, people visit websites – even large aggregates like Reddit – because they like listening to experts in whatever niche they are interested in as well as the general consensus. It’s also difficult for advertisers to spend money on your website if they can’t tell what kind of product would be suitable for your audience.
If you’re making a journal that details all of your interests, you will likely attract an audience that is interested in your overall personality and not necessarily any products that anyone has to sell. This is frequently the problem that news personalities have when they are trying to sell advertising; unless your audience already fits a general pattern, it’s going to be hard to sell them anything. This is perfectly okay if you’re making a blog purely for yourself.
Advertisers Like Niches
And they like working with people who understand a niche and are able to capitalize on it. They love audiences that fall in love with a particular author and aren’t able to get enough of them. Additionally, if your blog frequently (and in an organic, non-artificial way) mentions certain keywords, it is more likely to rank higher for a broader set of terms. That means you will eventually get a larger audience than you may possibly have had with a large number of topics.
An old adage states that the jack of all trades is the master of none. Unfortunately, it seems to be fairly true. Both businesses and consumers place a higher value on specialized information and are more likely to trust it than information that is passed to a “general” audience.
Just Make Multiple Sites
I told Jon the same thing I would tell anyone who wants to start a new blog: pick a niche. If you can’t decide between multiple interests, make a site for each niche. Why not? I have many websites. I don’t update them all with the same amount of regularity, but I also value some interests more than others.
Over time, you’ll find out that some passions were just fleeting fancies, while others ran deep and true. You’ll also find out that fans of some interests may occasionally be interested in other things you like, and will be able to syndicate your websites across a growing network of rabid fans.
Would you agree with this analysis? Comment you opinion below and we can chat about it!