My blogging mistake

Daniel from Daily Blog Tips ( one of my must-read blogs, by the way ) is hosting a group project – and you all know I’m a sucker for blogging group projects. This time around, the topic is blogging mistakes. My biggest mistake was one I made early on when I started blogging. It seems so simple now, but it nearly led to me hanging up my hat and leaving the blogging world altogether. What was that mistake? Overextending myself.

Back when I started, I launched several blogs in rapid-fire succession, all within a few months of each other. It seemed like an ok idea at the time – after all, with more blogs and more topics, I could get more readers and make more money, right?

Wrong. By trying to juggle a total of 5 blogs ( remember, this is a very-much part time for me, with 80 hour day-job weeks and a family at home to take care of ) , I was losing focus on all of them. My posts were spread out very thin, and the content suffered pretty badly at times. And the real kicker, none of them were making much money. Without time to dedicate to a blog, it can’t grow initially, and it won’t flourish. The first few months *at least* are very important, and require heavy focus.

Rather then quitting altogether, I decided to make a drastic change. I shut down several blogs, and officially retired them. I didn’t delete them, and funnily enough, several make significantly more money today than they did when I actively posted. By shutting several blogs down, I was able to focus on the remaining core group. As such, I was able to build content, readership, and income. The results were fantastic, and continue to improve. Since blogs tend to grow readership at an exponential rate, it’s important to give them lots of focus at the beginning. Once the core group of readers is secure and growing, you can start to branch out, slowly.

So what’s the moral of the story? Start slowly, and retain your focus. Exercise patience before starting a new blog. The extra time you have on your hands can probably be put to better use by focusing on your existing projects. And participate in the group project – they’re always a blast.

59 Comments

  1. Daniel said

    March 27 2007 @ 3:23 am

    That is nice one! I guess a lot of people forget to focus their energy, and as mentioned the result is a lot of projects with average results on each of them.

    Thanks for participating!

  2. Cory OBrien said

    March 27 2007 @ 3:50 am

    Great post. I’m glad to hear that things have worked out well for you now. I’d definitely agree that a single focused blog will do a lot better than a few unfocused ones, though the time you can dedicate does play a large role in how successful you can make each one.

  3. Leroy Brown said

    March 27 2007 @ 8:30 am

    Cory you’re right – it’s all about the time. If you have the time to dedicate to 3 or 4 ( or even more ) blogs and not neglect them, then by all means go for it. However, most of us are in a sort of time crunch with work / family. That means we have to cut out the fat and focus on what we think will be successful.

  4. George said

    March 27 2007 @ 12:47 pm

    Rats,

    I made the same mistake. That’s what I was going to write about. Hmmm… I might still write about that mistake, but I guess now I will have to see if I can come up with a different mistake.

    Nice post.

  5. Leroy Brown said

    March 27 2007 @ 1:43 pm

    Sorry George! I’m sure you’ll be able to put a good spin on it – it just goes to show that time is a problem for many of us.

  6. George said

    March 27 2007 @ 1:58 pm

    That’s alright. It’s forcing me to think of other mistakes, which undoubtedly will help me not make them again. In other words, I am glad you posted this.

  7. Leroy Brown said

    March 27 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    Admitting your mistakes can be humbling for sure, but keeps you honest, and helps you remember not to repeat them.

  8. Shawn Knight said

    March 27 2007 @ 4:00 pm

    Good post, and I totally agree. I would perhaps even condense it more into a single blog. People tend to forget that a blog is whatever you want it to be. That is why I didn’t particularly start mine up with a categorical name or title. I just used my own name as the URL. That way, you arent limited to only posting about relevant topics. You are free to post whatever you want, have a wide scope.

    Oh, and I think you should be very personal in a blog. Other people are naturally curious and enjoy seeing what happens in your real, day-to-day life.

    Ok im going to stop here lol :)

  9. Shankar Ganesh said

    March 30 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Good Post! I am gonna shutdown some of my blogs now… :)
    Really finding hard to manage!

  10. Leroy Brown said

    March 31 2007 @ 9:09 am

    Shankar – good for you. Just remember to take that extra time that you’ll have and pour it into your remaining blogs, so they can continue to grow.

  11. Bret said

    April 2 2007 @ 8:02 am

    Interesting insight. You mentioned that the blogs you shut down continue to make money. Can you share what it is those static blogs are doing that they are generating an income?

    Thanks

  12. Madhur Kapoor said

    April 2 2007 @ 10:02 am

    Starting a lot of blogs can be tough and time consuming , i started a second blog once but had to shut it down because i wasnt giving it much attention .

  13. Aniela said

    April 2 2007 @ 10:11 am

    I always say, never bite more than you can chew. I think you made the right decision :)

  14. Leroy Brown said

    April 2 2007 @ 12:40 pm

    Bret : The retired blogs still earn through adsense, and since the domains are aging, they rank better for some searches than they used to. In addition, they earn money through Text Link Ads.

    Madhur : Better to have one good site than 3 bad ones. Good call on maintaining your focus.

  15. Andrea said

    April 3 2007 @ 2:49 am

    I made exactly the same mistake. I had so many ideas for blogs I put them into action straight away. That didn’t work! You’re right, it’s better to get one going well and then start the next one if you can.

  16. Thom said

    April 11 2007 @ 1:54 pm

    I can this point however I’m so caught up with all my blogs and web sites to shut them down would be a major shame which is why I’m choosing to outsource some of the work. I wish you the best.

  17. Leroy Brown said

    April 11 2007 @ 3:32 pm

    Outsourcing is something I’ve tossed around a few times. My concern with that is the quality of work. If I keep a blog active and outsource the actual content creation, I’m potentially damaging my name. If the new author isn’t up to par, and pumps out some low quality content, then guess what? My name is still plastered all over the blog.
    If you can find a trusted person to outsource work to, and you know their quality, and it will still be profitable, then I think it’s a good strategy. It’s just not something to go into lightly.

  18. Freelance Forum said

    August 12 2007 @ 6:22 pm

    I think it might have worked if you decided to hire some people to write the content for you.

    It’s hard to manage 5 blogs no matter how you put it, unless it’s a full time job.

  19. Leroy Brown said

    August 13 2007 @ 1:06 pm

    No question you’re right. Even now I hesitate to hire / outsource writing though.. I’m no writing magician, but I think I have a decent “written voice”, and I don’t want to dilute it with another.

    But I know that outsourcing is in the future for me…. I cannot do everything, no matter how much I’d like to. Know any good writers? :)

  20. mylo said

    January 31 2008 @ 5:01 pm

    thanks for letting us know about your mistakes , it will help me on my next blog

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GreenLlama

    Green Llama is a place to learn about making money online. Any ideas or walk-through's I have, I'll post here for your enjoyment. I also do product and online service reviews.

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