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Weekend Project: Get Focused With Your Multi-topic Blog

It’s standard professional blogging wisdom that to succeed in blogging, you need to choose a niche. This is a point that I’ve made many times, and it’s advice I still stand by.

That said, there are many, many bloggers out there with multi-topic blogs who aren’t about to “niche down” any time soon. They love their blogs, topics, and readers too much to narrow their focus. Take, for example, Dooce. It’s not just a multi-topic blog, it’s a personal blog too—and one that’s monetized. Also, it’s just one of millions.

So there are plenty of bloggers out there who thoroughly enjoy multi-topic blogging, and many are making a living from it.

This weekend is designed for them: we have a weekend project that will help all the multi-topic bloggers out there get their blogs in order, help them focus on those topics they love, and assist them to gain more readers and followers through more creative, strategic thinking.

Though it seems like this weekend project is just for multi-topic bloggers, I have the feeling it’ll help any blogger who has more than one content category on their site. Like me, you might have been running your focused blog for a few years, and you might be finding that a topic spring-clean and strategic re-focus might help.

In that case, this weekend project is also perfect for you.

Today’s article, the first part in the series walks you through the process of conducting a topic inventory, and working out where your passions lie, who your readers are, who you are, and how you should focus your efforts.

Tomorrow’s article, the second part, looks at the way multi-topic blogs can really excel on certain platforms. Author and blogger Natalie Webb will profile five multi-topic blogs that are making the most out of Pinterest (as well as other social platforms). It’s an intriguing case study even for those with the most niche-specific blogs.

I think you’ll find this a really intriguing project. And if you have—or have ever had—a multi-topic blog, we’d love to hear about it in the comments. What’s your blog about? How long has it been going and where’s it heading? Share your stories with us in preparation for the first post, which will publish later today.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Graham Lutz says:

    How “multi-topic” are we talking? are we talking Harley Davidson’s and Birdwatching with a little UFC thrown in, or are we talking bird watching in the north AND bird watching in the south?

    • Natalie Webb says:

      Harleys and Birdwatching could totally go together! It’s all about the great outdoors after all. Might be a little harder to add UFC, but it’s all about the message.

  2. Tim Dahl says:

    I’m looking forward to this helpful topic! My blog started as a personal online diary of sorts. Since I’m a pastor, there has been a fair amount of posts oriented around that sort of stuff. I’m also a father (eldest is 5 yrs old), and many of my posts now have to do with parenting. So, I guess you could call it a theological/daddy blog!

    Tim Dahl
    http://www.tikesbestfriend.om

  3. Raquel says:

    I am looking forward to your article. I am new to blogging and would probably be classified under the “Moms” blogs. My blog is about my experiences and tips regarding raising kids as well as some organizing and planning tips I have gained being a former productivity manager. I have a few areas that I blog about, but honestly, what I would call my niche, it is still a work in progress. I wish blogs had been around when I was a new parent but heck, email was the new thing back then.

    Love your insight and blogging tools!

  4. Frank Lennon says:

    Hi Darren, I am one of those multi-topic bloggers you refer to and have a Blog entitled Disparate Ireland on the go since April 2012. Although I have a number of interests, I have never really considered creating a niche Blog. I hold the view that a digest of disparate articles could have broader entertainment potential than single channel content. Apart from the broader entertainment prospect of digest, I feel this approach also spurs me on to expand my research for prospective post content thus broadening my own knowledge in the process. All of this of course is not to decry the niche Blog product which of itself has a huge educational role to play.

  5. Matt says:

    Wonderful! My personal blog is badly in need of a spring cleaning and a better strategy, so for me, the timing couldn’t be better. Looking forward to it!

  6. This sounds great – I have a multi-topic blog and I just can’t force myself to narrow it down (or split it into two blogs). I mix travel/photography with craft/sewing and have a smattering of everyday life in France in there too. Every now and then I wonder who’s coming for what (topic) but I get the feeling that most people enjoy the mix. Most importantly it keeps me excited about updating my blog so it’s not a chore. Looking forward to this weekend’s posts.

  7. se7en says:

    Oh I so need to read this – looking forward to it!!! So often I think – yikes I don’t fit into one niche – I need to downsize. But multi-topics keep me interested and fresh, I like the chop and change… and then a reader will say – I love your monday posts and another will say don’t stop your Friday posts… I am starting to think that the thing about blogging is: “the only way to blog right” is to blog your own way!!!

  8. This is definitely relevant to me. My blog mostly focuses on fiction writing (mostly in YA). But on the weekends, I review music, mostly because I want to yet I’m too tangled up to maintain two blogs at once.

    So far, while one of my music reviews somehow managed to accumulate 200 views, I’m still trying to take advantage of the SEO aspect of it.

  9. Hello Pro Blogger,

    My blog is a multi niche blog, so I think this weekend project will be very useful for me.
    Thanks

  10. GjiVan says:

    I am also in a multi topic or specifically said a multi niche blog where me and my frens focusing on creating unique and value contents related to health, technology, disease, how to, burning solutions, computer etc. hope this series will be much more helpful!! Thankx Darren!!

  11. karina says:

    My website covers topics that I am interested in which is writing, design, and technology. I have had this site for about a year and I am hoping to make my content have more defined areas.

    I am looking for ideas to improve my blog so this series is perfect! Looking forward to the next in the series.

    Thanks!
    Karina

  12. It’ll be interesting to see what’s said. I was advised to disregard two blogs before I totally niched down. I’m happy I did because I think I’ll see results quicker, but I can’t wait to find out how others will tackle it.

  13. Toni Gatlin says:

    Thank you for this series; I am looking forward to learning a lot. I don’t have so much a multi-topic blog as much as simply a new blog that has yet to find a voice; perhaps your tips will help me get past the scattered feeling and focus on a few core things that I can do really well.

  14. J. Delancy says:

    Hello Mr. Rowse;

    My blog is a multi-topic blog based around a single theme. http://www.writingsofamidlifeman.com covers the concerns of men between the ages of 45 and 65, Health, Money, Women etc. I have lots of ideas but still need focus.

    • Natalie Webb says:

      I like the midlife aspect – that’s what you call a unifying thread right there! If you nail down some of the other aspects of your ideal reader (Maxim audience vs. Esquire, for example), you could have something that really speaks to people.

  15. Laura says:

    Trying to limit myself to writing about only one subject would be like trying to cork a soda bottle that had just been shaken! Fortunately, I am practically held in check by time and space needed to engage in and learn about things to write about. :-) I’ve always greatly enjoyed communicating through writing, but began my blog when we went to live in Taipei for a few months in 2008. I’ve only recently been learning about monetizing it, thanks to help from my daughter and her husband. Very fun!

  16. Deborah says:

    I’m excited about this weekend’s topic as I have two blogs and posting in both with some regularity is cumbersome. My diet one has become the focus with my original one floundering in the background. I’d like to combine them but struggling to do that given their different audiences….

    So, learning more about multi-topic blogging is v.timely!!!

    Deb

  17. Andrés says:

    Great article! Finally I don´t feel so lost and alone in the world of multi-topic blogs. Now I know why I have had so many blogs, trying to narrow myself down to one topic and it never worked for me. I am really looking forward to this weekend project.

  18. Nayan says:

    I have multi-topic blog too. I love to post things which I personally like. I don’t much concentrate on one category, I keep posting things which people would search. I don’t post each and everything related to single category, I only post things which I like for e.g. I have category of mobile phones. I don’t post all the mobile phone news or specs. I just post on the phones which I really like (only selected models) same applies on other categories.

    Here’s my blog http://twrix.com

    Few categories are new so it would be empty.

  19. Perfect post for me and my current crisis! My blog http://www.lifeonnanchanglu.com has, for the last three happy years, been about life and food in Shanghai. I’ve loved writing it, people have loved reading it, and yet suddenly I find myself on a six month road trip in a campervan around China’s remotest parts. How do I reconcile these two seemingly disparate streams?

    This weekend will hopefully bring me a solution, so thanks! (or should I say 谢谢你!)

    • Natalie Webb says:

      Wow, you’re living quite a life Fiona! From an outside perspective, It sounds like if you keep China, food and exploration front and center, you will still be on a very similar path. Good luck to you!

  20. Delancy, my recommendation is have your blog focused around a niche rather than an age group, because I think that will work better overall.

  21. Ayaz says:

    Hi Darren!

    Well its a great idea to have multi blogging topic writing on the blog and I am really looking forward to it as so far I ran only one topic blogging posts and looking to get some help from that post :-)

  22. krishna says:

    Hey Darren,
    nice site veryhelpful for me since am very new to blogging at first i consider why not to create a niche blog but my research say there are already tons of blog out there so i narrowed down to just three niche topic but my dream shattered when i came to know about searchengineoptimization(seo) is a must to all site out there, also on top of the backlink,outboundlink,metatag,keyword, are just few to name. Since i wasnt able to generate profitable traffic on any particular blog so i now think why not combine all the three niche blog into one multiblog.thx am right now in the process of it.would really be glad if you let me write a guest post or linkback to my site since it will help my ranking thnx in advance.