Yesterday I wrote about my experience of launching a new blog and talked about some of the benefits of starting new blogs once you already have one going.
Today I want to continue to reflect upon the launch of TwiTip and share four thoughts on adding new blogs to your existing portfolio of blogs – based upon my own experience with TwiTip.
1. Leverage Previous Audiences
Perhaps the most useful tip that I can give you is to think about how you can use what you’ve already built online (and offline) in the building of your next blog.
You might not feel like your current blog has a massive amount of readers – but even if it has just a few it can be a springboard into your next project.
2. Extend Topics
The key with leveraging a previous audience is to launch a second blog with a topic or focus that extends what you’re doing on your first blog.
Let me give you two examples of my own:
1. ProBlogger to TwiTip – ProBlogger is read by a lot of readers who are also experimenting with other social media tools – one of which is Twitter. I’ve known this for a long time and have always wanted to tap into this. TwiTip was the logical way to do so and many of my readers from ProBlogger have now also subscribed to and become regulars on TwiTip.
2. Digital Photography School – DPS was launched off the back of a smaller blog that was a digital camera review aggregation blog (a blog that pointed readers to reviews that other sites were doing – and that organized those reviews for readers). I was getting a lot of readers of my camera review blog asking me how to use their cameras – so a tips related site a seemed logical extension – DPS was born.
The key with this is to not make your second blog too close in topic to the first (you don’t want to duplicate them or your readers could chose between them).
One way to chose a topic like this is to look at the archives of your current blog and to identify topics that you’ve written about that:
- Did well with readers – ie that got comments, that readers appreciated
- Are a little ‘off topic’ – ie posts that are related to your blog but which you wouldn’t want to cover in every post.
For me here at ProBlogger posts like 9 Benefits of Twitter for Bloggers and How to Use Twitter were indications that there was sufficient interest in the topic of Twitter within my readership here for a blog on the topic of Twitter. While I didn’t write those posts with a new blog in mind – they certainly revealed that it could be possible.
Another tip for identifying these sorts of topics is to look at the categories (or even tags) that you use on your blog. Is there a category there that could be a blog of its own?
3. Leverage Other Online Presence
I’ve written about this a few times lately (for example 10 Ways to find readers for your blog by leveraging other online presence) so won’t go into it in great depth in this post – but when launching and promoting new projects you should always be looking for opportunities within your existing places of online presence to leverage. For me with TwiTip the most logical place to do this was Twitter and to use my Twitter profile to promote TwiTip.
Of course it’s not always this easy (I’ve chosen a topic that obviously relates to Twitter so it’s a no brainer) but most of us have at least some involvement in social networks, social bookmarking sites, forums etc. Opportunities exist in many of these networks to help your next project.
4. Get Help
One of the things that I’ve enjoyed about TwiTip has been the willingness of readers to help produce content. When I started the blog I said I’d only write on it 2-3 times a week. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there would be enough offers for guest posts to enable me to stick to writing this amount of content yet keeping the blog fresh with 1-2 posts every day.
Many of the people who have guest posted on TwiTip have been previous guest posters on ProBlogger. Again, it’s about leveraging your existing networks (although I’ve not really approached any of them to do it – people have volunteered).
Of course I have been lucky to have a strong existing network to enable this to happen – but the principle applies to networks of all sizes with opportunities existing to work together.
For example – I was talking with a blogger recently who told me that they didn’t have a big enough blog to find guest posters. I encouraged her to write a quick post on her blog asking if anyone was interested in contributing – to test and see if this was true. She was surprised to find that she had two people offer to write guest posts as a result.