Your first blog will always be the hardest one to start. As you jump into the blogosphere looking to create value and community on the web, you are starting with an empty slate, zero subscribers and nothing but hopes and dreams of making it big.
Those first 500 subscribers to your first blog are going to be the hardest subscribers you ever convert and you are going to learn the most you ever have about online communities during that time period. After some success, you are going to naturally look into other blogging outlets to continue the trend. Blogging is addictive as much as it is lucrative…so your mind is just going to steer in that direction without you really even realizing it.
A little while back…I wrote an article on “Blog Expansion – How, Where and Why“. Within that article, I mentioned starting your own blog network as a way of expanding your income streams and offerings online. While it is great to do this (and most successful bloggers do), I want to go into a little bit more detail on how you can make this successful.
Building Your Blog Network – The Easy Way
As I mentioned earlier, that first blog will always be the hardest. As you troll through the internet looking for new subscribers, it can be frustrating at times until the snowball effect of blogging really kicks into gear. As you look for other blogs on other topics, do you really want to put yourself through that pain again? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could…somehow…build off the success of your growing blog to start building up another successful blog?
Let’s take a look at a couple of tips for choosing new blog topics that will make growing new blogs even easier.
- Listen To Your Readers – When I started RobbSutton.com, it was actually a response to the dozens of emails I was receiving because of my blogging exploits on Bike198.com. After answering the same questions over and over again about blogging and getting in free review product for blogs, I decided it would actually be easier to blog about it rather than answer the same questions over and over again. (This process is actually the best way to release online informational and physical products as well.) RobbSutton.com was born and my blog network was expanded. Now…the natural “thinking” for bloggers is to start a blog about blogging after seeing some success online (some do it first…without another blog…and that always baffles me)…just know…it is a highly competitive niche and you will probably have to throw even more resources at it to really grow a network of bloggers. What are your readers asking you repeatedly that can not be covered on your current blog? Would that subject matter be worth blogging about on a separate domain?
- Off Topic But Highly Targeted – When I set out to start another blog that sparked my interest, it was actually a natural progression that does not appear like one from the outside. Recently, I went live with Coffee Obsessed. While it may not look like a related field to cycling and blogging, the reality is that cyclists and bloggers are obsessed with coffee (me included). After the initial launch of 2 articles, a couple of tweets and a Facebook status update, I was already having a lot of conversation on Coffee Obsessed with just two articles! As you can tell, it is a natural conversation that surrounds the readers of my blogs…so success and beginning adopters comes much easier. On top of that…potential review product companies see a lot of comments even though it is not as well established, so they are more willing to throw review product at the opportunity. This also makes beginning growth much easier.
The Blog Is Launched…Now What?
Like with Coffee Obsessed and RobbSutton.com, you listened to the needs of your current readers and got up and running with a new blog. The temptation is going to be to spam every single social media outlet at your disposal with your brand new idea. Don’t do it! Subtle reminders do much more for converting your current network than in your face advertisements. Here are a couple of things you can do to push your current audience to your new project.
- Link In The Footer of Your Current Blog – Not only is this great for search engines as you will get indexed much faster, but it will also be a nice flow of traffic to your new site.
- Link In Your Newsletter or RSS Feed – By linking in both of these outlets…you are using your audience but in a way that is not intrusive.
- Launch Article – If your new blog is on a subject that 80% of your readers will find useful, write one launch article on your current blog with the why and where information. With RobbSutton.com, I did not write a launch article on Bike198.com because it did not relate to enough of my readers. That is a personal preference of mine…so you might want to write an article that doesn’t apply to a lot of your readers, but I like to keep things pretty targeted from a blog article perspective.
- Twitter, Facebook and Other Social Media – Your social media profiles are going to be your biggest asset when it comes to new blog launches. By design, social media is about your life and what you have going on…so your audience is going to be much more receptive to off topic ideas. Mention your new blog launch, tweet new articles…do everything you can to get it off the ground and running without putting off your current audience.
A Final Word On Blog Network Expansion
There are a lot of bloggers that get the “new blog bug” and hit the ground running on a new project when they do not have time to manage it correctly. While you have some great ideas floating around in that head of yours…remember…one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is jumping from project to project. Do not take on more than you can chew. If the only way you can start a new project is by neglecting your current…hold off until you have more time to give both projects the attention they need to grow. A blog network is no good for anyone if it goes un-attended because the managing blogger is spread to thin.