The Pros and Cons of Having More Than One Blog
In today’s lesson, I want to talk about having more than one blog on the go at once.
Regular listeners of this podcast know I have two main blog – ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to build them up so that either one of them could be a full time venture which is great – but having two businesses to focus upon not only comes with some benefits – but some costs.
In this episode I want to share:
- The story of how I built them to the point they’re at today
The pros and cons of having more than one blog or business
- Some tips on juggling two things like this at once
Lastly – today’s episode is proudly presented by this year’s ProBlogger events. This year we’re holding three events – one in Brisbane Australia, another in Melbourne Australia and a third in Dallas Texas.
These events are designed with very similar goals to this podcast – to help bloggers to grow blogs with world changing content, with lots of readers and which are profitable. All of these events will have some amazing teaching from experienced bloggers (people like Pat Flynn who i speaking at our Australian events) but also have opportunities for masterminds and really drilling into the blog and business that you have to help take it to the next level.
If you’re interested in the Aussie events head to problogger.com/events and if you’re interested in the Dallas event head to problogger.com/success but please don’t wait too long as these events are selling quickly and the early bird price ends in the coming weeks.
Hi there, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here. Welcome to another episode of the ProBlogger podcast, this is episode 188. For those of you who are new to ProBlogger, ProBlogger is all about helping you to start a blog, to grow your audience of your blog, to create content that’s gonna change that audience’s life and hopefully to make some money from your blog as well. You can find out more about ProBlogger and what we do at problogger.com.
In today’s lesson, I want to address a question that I’ve been getting quite a bit lately and that is, “How do you juggle two blogs and should you have two blogs?” A lot of regular listeners of this podcast know that I do have two main businesses and they both center around blogs. It’s ProBlogger which you are listening to right now, which is a blog podcast event and numerous other things. And then there’s Digital Photography School, which again is a very similar model in many ways. It’s centered around the blog, and then there’s ebooks and courses and other aspects of that business as well.
I’m fortunate enough to have been able to build up these two businesses so that either one of them could really be a full-time venture, which is great. It also presents with some interesting challenges, to say the least. Having two businesses comes with benefits but it also comes at a cost.
In this episode, I wanna share with you the story about how I built up these blogs to the point that they’re at today, the pros and cons of having more than one blog and business. And then for those of you who are considering juggling two businesses like I am, some tips on how to do that and how to approach that if you do decide to do that.
Lastly, today’s episode is proudly presented by this year’s ProBlogger events. This year, we are holding three events over in Australia; Brisbane, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia and the third event in Dallas, Texas in the United States. These events are designed with very similar goals to this podcast, to help you to grow your blog with world changing content, to grow your readership and to build profit around your blogs.
All of these events have some amazing teaching from experienced bloggers like Pat Flynn who’s speaking at our Aussie events but also we have opportunities for master minds at all of our events as well. These help you to really drill down with some experts, with some experienced bloggers to drill down into your business and to really pick apart your business and work at how to take it to the next level.
If you’re interested in our Australian events, head to problogger.com/events. If you’re interested in coming to our Dallas event which is in October this year, head over to problogger.com/success. Please don’t wait too long on either front because the events are selling out quickly and we do have some early bird pricing on these events that end in the coming weeks.
Today’s episode really is inspired by a question that I had over in the Facebook group this week from Sandy. Sandy wrote to me, “You blog on ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. I have heard that you had many other blogs in days gone by. Can you give me some advice on whether having more than one blog is a good thing or not?”
Thanks so much for the question, Sandy. I do appreciate it. It is a great question and as I mentioned at the top of the show, it’s one that I’m getting increasingly regularly at the moment. I know a lot of you as bloggers are wondering whether you should have one blog or more than one blog. That’s really what I want to talk about today. I want to tell you the backstory, the pros and cons of having two focuses, and then some tips on how to juggle two businesses really I guess is what we’re talking about today.
First, the story. I’m not going to go into great detail. The first thing I really do wanna say is that most people when they come across me, and dig into what I do, see a snapshot of how things are today. Two blogs that are established with thousands of blog posts already in the archives and a decent readership with multiple income streams, that’s what you see as the snapshot. This is just the reality of today.
What you don’t see is the whole journey of almost 15 years behind what you see today. I guess what you see today wasn’t the reality when I first started. It had to evolve. I guess why I wanna tell you the story today is that it didn’t just arrive like this, it actually was something that evolved over time. To be honest, it started completely as accident, and it really is not something that I’ve planned to be like it is today.
To go back in time, 2002 is when I started my first blog. That first blog’s name was The Living Room. It was a blog about my experience of being involved in a new church. As well as many other aspects of my life, it started off as me wanting to tell the story of that church. That church was called Living Room as well.
As I began to blog, as I began to find my voice, I realized that I really enjoyed writing about all kinds of things. I wrote about life in Australia, politics, television, movies, sport, blogging, photography, getting married, all of these different things that were going on in my life at that time. It became I guess an extension of the different compartments in my brain as I began to talk about these different things.
Back in 2002, it was very normal to have a blog that covered such a wide spectrum of topics. That’s why I did it, it worked. My readers didn’t really push back too much on me covering that diverse spectrum of topics.
But gradually over time, as blogging matured and as other people begin to niche down with their blogs and focus upon specific things, and as my audience grew and different groups in my audience came for different things, I did began to have some tension on my blog. There were readers who came because I wanted to hear about the church that I was involved with. They were interested in photography and they were interested in blogging. And then there were other people who began to read that blog, Living Room blog, because I was writing about blogging and not many other people were writing about how to make money from blogs at that time. Those readers really were interested in hearing about photography or church.
I began to feel this tension. It began to constrain my blogging in many ways as well. I began to think, “Well, I’ve just written about blogging yesterday, can’t write about it tomorrow. I need to throw in another topic there to serve those other people.” I began to feel constrained. I didn’t really have the freedom to write that blog in the way that I wanted to. I began to take some of the categories in my blog and start new blogs based upon those categories.
The first one I did was a camera review blog which I started late in 2003. It was about a year after I started blogging. It was a blog where I reviewed cameras and many of you have heard me talk about that blog in the past. It worked really well, it’s actually the first blog that I began to make some money from by putting some Adsense Ads on and referring people over to Amazon with affiliate links.
It worked so well that I decided that I’m gonna start to replicate this and so I started a camera phone review blog. This is right when those first phones came out with cameras, Nokia cameras have little tiny camera on it. I began to do reviews of camera phones. Then I thought, “Okay, I’m gonna do another one on printers.” Printers are kind of related to photography and so I began to review printers. I think the next one, I’m kind of a bit fuzzy here about the order of it all but I did another one on the Olympic Games. Was it the Athens Olympic Games? It must have been 2004-ish. And then I started ProBlogger, that was in 2004. I definitely remember that one. That was where I began to talk about making money from my blogs. I began to share what I was learning about making money from blogs.
At this point, I already had four or five blogs going. Some of them were making good money. The camera review blog was making good money. The camera phone blog was doing okay. And then ProBlogger came about, and it completely took off. It was really about the timing of launching that blog. No one else had a blog about making money from blogging back then. A few people are beginning to explore how to do it, but no one had a complete blog about it.
When I announced that I was making a full-time living from blogging and six figures a year from blogging, that became big news. A lot of other blogs linked to it. Some because they didn’t like the idea of people commercializing blogs and other people because that’s what they wanted to do. ProBlogger had this tipping point moment, it was even just a few months into the blog and it already had a fairly sizable audience. It began to make a little bit of money. And I began to explore different ways of monetizing that blog.
Around this time, I also started my first blog network, it was called The Breaking News blogs. I did that with some friends over in New Zealand. By 2005, I think I had about 30 blogs including that network of blogs that I was involved with at that time.
The reality though was that only three of them were really working very well at all. The Camera Review blog was doing well. The Camera Phone blog was doing okay. The Athens Olympic Games blog did really well for the two weeks of the Athens Olympic Games and then it died away. And then there was ProBlogger.
Whilst those blogs were working, there was really one that I was enjoying. I wasn’t really enjoying the camera reviews, I wasn’t really enjoying camera phone reviews, I was enjoying ProBlogger. I decided that I needed to make some changes because I knew I really was gonna have to be at this for 10 or so years to do anything significant with blogging. I thought to myself, “I might as well enjoy what I’m doing.” I decided to make some big changes.
Luckily, ProBlogger by this stage was at the point that it was starting to make a decent income from it. I was doing some affiliate stuff, I was launching some of my products. I decided to focus upon that more and to start killing off some of those other blogs.
The first thing I decided to stop doing with my partners was to stop the Breaking News blog network which freed up a lot of time from me. That enabled me to put more time into ProBlogger, and it grew ProBlogger even more.
In 2006, I decided I was gonna stop the Camera Review blog and the Camera Phone blog. That was a big risk because those blogs at that point were my main source of income. In fact, they were making over $100,000 a year in income but they were killing me. They were soul sucking kind of blogs to run because I’m not a techy kind of guy, I’m not a review kind of guy. I didn’t really feel satisfied with the quality of what was going on on those blogs either.
I decided to transition from being a Camera Review blog to being a How to Take Better Photos blog, which is something I really was much more passionate about. It was something I was much more interested in. The other aspect of it is that I knew I could build my audience over time with the how to blog more than a review blog. People I knew read review blogs when they’re in a buying mode, when they’re trying to work out which camera to buy. But people would subscribe to a how to take better photos blog for a longer period of time. I kind of knew that was a better business model and opportunity around a how to blog, and so I decided to make that switch. Felt risky, but I did had the back-up plan of ProBlogger by this stage. It had been going for two years.
I guess that’s one of the reasons I wanna share this story is that I didn’t launch Digital Photography School and ProBlogger on the same day. I actually did ProBlogger first. I got it up and running, I got it to a point where it was profitable which enabled me then to start something new as well. That, I guess, is one of the big lessons that I wanna get across to you with this story is that you might have two things in mind, you might have two blogs in mind. I would encourage you to really invest into one of them first, and put one of them on the back burner perhaps for a little while, you might want to get the domain, might want to reserve some social media or accounts but put it on the back burner and really focus on one thing.
I personally find that I’m much better at launching one thing at a time. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of creativity, a lot of thought to launch something. Don’t try to launch them both at the same time.
2006 came around and I decided to make the switch. To be honest, when I started Digital Photography School, it was really tough. It was the first year or two of Digital Photography School, the growth was really slow, it was completely different to ProBlogger. ProBlogger had this tipping point moment and I’ve gone into Digital Photography School rather naively thinking that I would just be able to grow that blog really quickly and it didn’t happen. There was no big tipping point day like there being with ProBlogger.
My readers from my original photography blog weren’t interested in the new blog. Not many of them came across, hardly any of my ProBlogger readers were interested in the new blog, that was too different of a topic I guess. I had to work for those first two years on DPS to really grow the archives up, to write a lot of content, to grow traffic to the blog through writing sharable content, through networking, through writing guest posts, through collaborating with other bloggers. Eventually, to get some traffic in from Google and some other social media sort of sources.
I was doing it all myself, particularly for the first year, and most of it for the first two years. Initially, I was doing all the writing, all the promoting, all the comment moderation and all the partnerships and all the monetizations as well. There were numerous times during that first couple years of DPS where I almost gave up because it just wasn’t taking as fast as I wanted. There was growth, but it was really slow growth.
In hindsight, I look back on the stats and I actually see that the growth was steady. I guess that’s the reason that I continued with it is that even though it wasn’t spectacular growth, I knew that if I could keep growing that blog by 10% per month or even 10% every two or three months, over the long haul, I could see that that would grow to a point where it would be a significant amount of traffic and a significant amount of income.
I kind of tried to take this long term view all the time knowing that I had ProBlogger already at a point where it was doing reasonably well. Eventually, Digital Photography School did grow to a point where it got to the same size as ProBlogger and then it grew bigger than ProBlogger. Probably took about three years to get to that point where Digital Photography School was bigger in terms of traffic and income than ProBlogger. It continued to grow. To this point, I haven’t looked at the stats for a few months but Digital Photography School is probably about eight or nine times larger today than ProBlogger. It’s where I put most of my time and resources today.
ProBlogger’s still something that I put a lot of my time into because it’s a personal brand, I’ll talk more about that later. Digital Photography School is where most of the focus of my business goes to.
Now, I should say at this point before I get into some tips that both DPS and ProBlogger are more than just blogs today. They both started out purely as blogs but today the blog is at the center of other things. Digital Photography School today has a range of products around it, ebooks and courses and software. It’s also got a little sister business called Snap and Deal that runs alongside it. It’s more than just a blog and the same is true with ProBlogger. Of course you’re listening to the podcast today but we also have a job board and events as well. There’s lots of moving parts with both of those businesses and either one of them is a full-time thing in terms of income but also both of them could be quite overwhelming. There are a lot of parts to run. That’s the story.
Let me talk a little bit about the pros and cons of having more than one blog or more than one business. Let’s start with the good stuff, the benefits of having multiple blogs. I’ve kind of picked up on some of these already as I told my story. The first benefit that I would say of having more than one blog, and I guess the reason that I started having more than one blog is that it brought a certain amount of freedom to my blogging.
One of the reasons I decided to have more than one blog in those early days is that I felt like I had something to say on more than one topic. I’m a multi-passionate kind of person. I know a lot of you as readers and listeners of ProBlogger are on the same boat. I talked to many of you who say have multi-passions. You’re interested in travel as well as food, or you’re interested in technology or science or you have this multiple kind of interest. For me, in those early days and still today, I have multiple interests. I’m interested in spirituality, I’m interested in photography, I was interested in blogging, I was interested in communication. All these things were things I wanted to talk about.
To have more than one blog enabled me to do that with more freedom. I didn’t have to worry about my readers so much and whether they wanted me to talk about the different topics. I knew that they could just really drill into the blog that they wanted to read rather than have to wade through all the other stuff that they weren’t interested in. If you’re a multi-passionate person, then maybe that is one reason why you might want to have more than one blog.
Second benefit of having more than one blog from a business perspective is the income diversification. Another advantage of having more than one blog, if you’re blogging for income is that by having more than one iron in the fire can be a good thing. It can increase the chances of one of them working for you.
Most bloggers know that there are no guarantees that a blog is gonna work. There’s no formula for a successful blog that will guarantee you’re gonna have success. And more so, I teach a lot of principles of building successful blogs. There’s no guarantees that any of this is gonna work, or any of it will hit them up with your readers.
I had 30 blogs and two of them really worked, 28 of them didn’t. That kind of gives you the kind of chances of having a successful blog. Having more than one blog and my strategy was, “Okay, I’m gonna start lots of blogs. Let’s see which one works.” Which one works for me as an author but also which one works with my readers as well.
This is one of the reasons that you might wanna have more than one blog. To actually have a couple of irons in the fire, to test which one works best and then to be able to focus on that.
I knew really quickly after studying all my blogs whether they had a chance of success. I knew when I started that printer blog that I talked about before that it was not gonna work. I knew within a couple of months of starting that blog that it was not getting traction. I got no comments, I got no emails, I got very little traffic. I knew it wasn’t gonna work. I also knew that it wasn’t giving me any energy as well, it wasn’t something I enjoyed at all.
I knew that even though Digital Photography School was slow, and it was tough and I felt like giving up at points, I knew it had a good chance of working even after a few weeks of having that blog because I started to get comments. I started to get emails from people going thank you. I also felt a lot of energy. Having numerous blogs and starting those blogs, it was good in that regard. It showed me what I wanted to do. It unveiled my true passions, but it also showed me where my audience was responding in different ways. It’s good for testing different ideas and diversifying your interest in that way.
Also, it can help in terms of the actual income and diversifying that income as well. I’m having different income streams on those different blogs, I guess spread the risk a little bit. Digital Photography School in the early days, I monetized it mainly using Google AdSense and a little bit of affiliate marketing on Amazon. Whilst ProBlogger, the income from that was more about ebooks and promoting software and tools.
There were quite different income streams and I guess that diversifies the risk in some ways as well. If AdSense was to go away, I still would have other income streams by having those other blogs. I guess in terms of topics as well, there’s some diversification there. By having more than one topic that you’re blogging about, if one topic was to go away, if blogging for example was to be a trend that disappeared after a couple years, I would still have another topic that hopefully would have sort of an increase in trend as well. Diversifying I guess the topics, the income streams they could be some benefits of doing that.
The other benefit for me of having more than one blog is that as a multi-passionate person, I tend to get a bit bored if I just have one thing to do. This is why before I started blogging, I’d had 20 jobs in the last 10 years before my first blog. I was someone who just needed to switch around, needed to try new things. Having more than one blog enabled me to switch. There’s times over the last 10 or so years where ProBlogger has been my passion and there’s been other times where Digital Photography School’s been something that I’ve really served myself into and enjoyed. By having two things to really focus my energy on, I’m able to mix things up which for me keeps my interest and helps me continue to be passionate as well.
Some of the cons, some of the costs, I think you could probably work it out. Firstly by having more than one focus, you run the risk of lowering the quality of what you do. At the height of my diversification, when I had 30 blogs going at once and I was creating content for all 30 blogs, I know for a fact that the quality of what I was doing was not great on most of those blogs. In fact, on most of those blogs, it was pretty boring. I think back and I kinda cringe at what I used to put onto those blogs. I remember putting press releases up onto my blogs, it was not good content though. It wasn’t personal, it was robotic, it was machine like. It was formulaic, I was rehashing the news that was being sent to me by camera manufacturers and printer manufacturers. It was more about trying to gain the search engines and trying to get AdSense clicks than anything else. It was boring for me and it was also boring for my readers in hind sight. It was never gonna lead to a sustainable business because the quality just wasn’t there. It wasn’t interesting, it wasn’t meaningful, it wasn’t really that useful to anyone at all.
As it turns out, I’m glad I got out of that kind of model because Google has put more and more emphasis onto ranking quality content. Back then, you just had to have the keywords in the content and work at how to get a few links to your site. Today, Google’s so much better at it and same with the social networks as well.
Thirty blogs for me, it was never realistic if I wanted to keep the quality up. Even just having two blogs at times has led to me having to decrease the quality as well. That’s been one of the struggles, particularly when I was writing all the content myself for both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. I was really aware that by having those two focuses, the quality at times did suffer. That’s one of the reasons I began to get some help in terms of building a team around the blogs as well. Having more than one blog, it’s something that you’ve really gotta be aware of. It may be that you have to write less content but to keep that level of quality up again.
In terms of cost, I guess it could be that you not only lower the quality but you could be lowering the quantity of the blogs. For me, quality is always more important than quantity but quantity can help as well. The way I kept the quality up on both of those blogs was to really pull back on how much content I produced, and that’s fine. When you’re first starting a blog like Digital Photography School, one of the ways that you can really grow a blog faster is to produce more content, to begin to put more content out there because every piece of content on your blog is a new doorway into your site. You really aren’t able to produce as much if you have more than one blog.
I guess the other cost of having more than one blog is the risk of burning out. When I had 30 blogs, I was living a crazy, frantic life. I was working 12 to 14, 15, 16 hours a day just trying to get content up onto all of these different blogs. I was trying to produce content on every blog everyday which just wasn’t realistic. Reducing my efforts to just two blogs really helped me a lot in terms of work-life balance, my own health, my own passion for what I was doing. Even just having two blogs, there’s been times where it’s been a struggle as well.
These are some of the costs. The risk of burning out, the risk of lowering quality, the risk of lowering quantity and all of these things can have an impact upon whether the blog has a chance of working as well.
Some of the things that I would encourage you to do, if you really do have those two passions and you really do wanna explore having two different businesses, I think it can work. I’ve made it work. I do sometimes wonder whether if I just focus on one of them, will I build something bigger? That’s something that possibly the answer would be yes. If I just focused on ProBlogger, could I build ProBlogger into a better thing for my readers, for me? Same with Digital Photography School, if I didn’t have ProBlogger, could I build Digital Photography School into something bigger as well? I think the answer would have been yes. I probably would have built bigger businesses, but I’m also someone who’s fine with that.
Big isn’t everything for me. I don’t want to be a multi, multi-millionaire. I don’t wanna have a business with a hundred employees. I like small. I think I can make something meaningful on both fronts, for myself but also for my readers. I guess really you’ve gotta do some analysis on what’s your ultimate goal. Do you wanna be a multi-million dollar company? Do you wanna just build something small, that’s meaningful, that sustains your life? For me, it’s the latter. That’s probably the first tip I could give you, is really think through: what are your goals? If you want to build something massive, if you want to build something like Telstra or Google, then you probably wanna just pick one thing and really go after that thing. But if you’re happy to have something smaller, something that’s sustainable perhaps, and you wanna explore different passions in your life then maybe two things.
Firstly, consider what it is that you’re trying to achieve, what it is that is your goal, what it is that’s your dream. Secondly, if you really do wanna explore two things, as I mentioned before, spread out the launches. Don’t launch two things at once. I’ve talked to a number of people who’ve done this, it’s possible but you’ve probably got a much better chance of both of them working if you spread things out. For me, the reason I told you my story earlier is that I wanted to show you that things were spread out.
I started blogging in 2002, spent two years really learning the skills. I started ProBlogger in 2004. After I had the skills, after I’ve had some experience, I started Digital Photography School in 2006. It was really two years after ProBlogger that I started. There were other things that I started in the midst of it but I think the reason that Digital Photography School worked is that even though I had that all idea when I started ProBlogger, I could have done it in 2004 in terms of an idea, but I really allowed myself to get ProBlogger established first. That meant I didn’t have as much pressure on me to make Digital Photography School work straight away. I didn’t have to make an income from that blog straight away, because I already had ProBlogger up and running.
Spread out your launches, if you can. Give yourself a period of time where you can just focus upon one thing to get it established, to make it operate as a business, to be able to build some systems and procedures and to build a team so that first thing can run relatively independently so that you can then give a lot of your attention to that new thing.
The next tip I’ll give you is to build a team. I did okay at launching both Digital Photography School and ProBlogger with largely just me working on those businesses. I learned very quickly that I could only really scale those businesses to the point that I was willing to let go and bring others into what I was doing. This is probably a topic for a whole other episode as how to build a team. But for me, it initially meant bringing on some other writers. My first writers were guest writers and then I began to build a team of paid writers.
That also meant getting some administrative support, getting someone in. I think the first person I actually hired was to do comment moderation. Now I’ve got someone to help me with some email and customer support, I’ve hired people to help me with design and tech. And then also some more managerial type roles. I’ve got someone working for me at the moment who helps me produce new products and do busdev.
Again, this is not something that just appeared, this is something that really evolved. That comment moderator, I think they were earning $10 a day for 10 minutes of work. It’s really tiny kind of stuff. It’s gradually growing over time.
Today, I’m fortunate enough to have an amazing little team of seven or eight people who I talk to most days. They help me with different aspects of the business. They’re all part time, but they all do things that either free up my time so that I can do what I do best. I don’t have to answer emails or I don’t have to moderate comments or do these things that they can do. They’re either freeing up my time or they’re doing things that I could probably do but they can do it better than me.
Editing this podcast, the team of PodcastMotor helped me to edit this podcast. They do a much better job, they do it faster than me which frees up my time but they also do it at a high quality. That’s really the kind of hires that I make, they either free up my time and free up my mindspace or they have skills that I just don’t have. Keep in mind, all of these hires didn’t just happen, they were all tiny hires in the early days. Some of them actually started as me bartering services and giving exposure and that type of thing and then growing in that relationship.
While I’m also talking about team, I guess the other thing I would say about teams, this is something that’s become more important to me over the last couple of years. If you do have two businesses and you’ve got teams, you probably in the early days will have team members who are working on both of the businesses.
To give you an example, Jasmin who today manages Digital Photography School, Jasmin actually for a while there was working on both sides of the business. She was producing and I hired her to help me produce products for Digital Photography School. She was also working on the ProBlogger event and helping to manage that. She was doing an amazing job on both of those things and did really well.
One of the things that we’ve tried to do with the business over the last little while is to separate the teams out. This is something you probably won’t be able to do in the early days but there are some real benefits of being able to have different people on your team to focus on different aspects of the different businesses. The problem with having people working on both of your businesses if you’ve got two businesses is that there would be times where they would feel torn between the two businesses in terms of what they should be focusing their time on and you will as well. This is one of the things that we’ve really worked on over the last years, we now have two separate teams. I work on both of the businesses but all my team members work on different aspects of the businesses except for our developers. Our developers are kinda working on both aspects, and again that’s got some cost, there’s some tension there at times. I think that’s certainly been something that’s been really beneficial for us to have different people working on different parts of the business.
The second last thing I’ll say is to think really carefully when you’re launching your businesses about how much personal branding you put into the businesses. One of the best things that I ever did was to make Digital Photography School a non-personally branded site. Digital Photography School, if you’re gonna have a look at it today, you find it really hard to find many references to me. My name is not really on that site much at all. It’s only the about page I think as the founder. Occasionally, we’ll write a blog post if it’s more of a sales type blog post. But 99% of the content is written by a team of writers, the editor is someone else, not me. I’m really not there at all. It’s not a personally branded site.
The benefits of that is that I don’t need to really do much to keep that site running. In the early days, I did it all. But even in those early days, I didn’t really promote myself. I promoted the brand, Digital Photography School. It wasn’t really a Darren thing. I knew that that would enable me to scale it and to get others involved in that. Right from day one, I knew I wanted to have other people writing most of the content on that site because I knew I just wasn’t going to be able to invest heavenly in that for all eternity because I had ProBlogger which is much more personally branded.
Again if you look at ProBlogger, you see my face on the front page. You see videos of me every week, you see my name on a lot of places. I’m the voice of this podcast. It’s much more personally branded. As a result of that, there’s a lot more that I have to do to keep ProBlogger running. I’m committed to that, I enjoy that so that’s not a problem. But if you had two personally branded sites, that’s gonna be really tough.
I encourage you if you are gonna do two things, maybe consider making one of them or both of them non-personally branded if you can. It will enable you to scale things a lot bigger. It will enable you to be less involved in the day-to-day running of one or both of those businesses. It’ll really help a lot. It will also help you if you eventually wanna sell what you do. I think I would have much better chances of selling Digital Photography School one day than ProBlogger. ProBlogger I think could be sellable as well but there would probably be conditions that I would have to hang around because my name is associated with that brand a lot more. Think carefully about your personal branding.
The last thing I’ll say is one thing that helped me a lot is to really work on my routines and batching what I do. I‘ve talked about batching in the past. One of the biggest challenges that I faced having to have my head across both of my business even though I’ve got Digital Photography School to a point where it almost runs itself in many regards, there are dead lines that loom for me every week on both of those blogs.
It could be hard when you’re involved in the day-to-day of two different businesses to keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing at any given time. Particularly when you got a personality type like me which is not the most organized type person, I’m not great at diaries and these types of things. That’s an area that I’ve really had to work on.
I had to build routines and I’ve talked in previous episodes about my routines but Tuesday afternoons for me is the time that I create the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter. Thursday afternoons, until about a year ago, I always did the Digital Photography School Newsletter. I separated those two things out onto different days. Today the DPS one gets done by a team member. Monday afternoons I’ll record this podcast. Every Monday afternoon I’m recording this podcast, it’s Monday afternoon right now. Wednesday is a day that we have our DPS team meetings. On Fridays, we have our ProBlogger team meetings.
Actually having these rhythms, these routines to your week actually enables you to remember, to create a rhythm that helps you to be productive as well. It also helps your team, when you do build a team, to know what it is that you’re working on. My team knows that Wednesday is the DPS team meeting. If they’ve got something they wanna ask me, they can just hold off until Wednesday morning and when we have that if it’s a non-urgent thing so they’re not pinging me all week, they’re putting things onto the agenda for that particular time.
Conversely, the ProBlogger team knows that Wednesdays is the time that I spend more thinking about DPS and so they don’t tend to annoy me as much on that about the things that are associated with ProBlogger and vice versa. The more you can set-up those sorts of rhythms where you focus upon different aspects of your business, the better. That’s good for you but it’s also good for you team as well.
Alright then, my tips and some of the pros and cons of building two different businesses simultaneously, I don’t know that I’ve got all the answers on this particular front but I hope that somehow what I shared today is some wisdom you can apply to your particular business.
If you’ve got anything that you would like to add to this conversation, I would love to hear it because I love to learn from you. That’s a completely selfish request. Let me know what you found to be useful for you if you’ve got two businesses. You can do that over on the comments at problogger.com/podcast/188, or you can head over to the ProBlogger Facebook group, just go to problogger.com/group and you’ll find the group. We’ll forward you over to that particular Facebook group where we’ve got just over 3,500 members now interacting with each other every week and discussing the episodes but also sharing the tips that we’ve been picking up on blogging as well.
Lastly, if you’ve got a moment, head over to iTunes and leave us a review if you haven’t already, I love getting those reviews, it means a lot to me. Helps me to actually stay on track and create podcasts that really serve you. If you’ve got any reviews that you wanna leave, head over to iTunes or your favorite podcast network to do that as well. I look forward to chatting with you in next week’s episode, Episode 189 of the ProBlogger podcast.
How did you go with today’s episode?
Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below.