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Blogging Tips: Many Topics Versus Few Topics

IMG_4156 Creative Commons License photo credit: joshuamckenty If you’re a dedicated blogger and someone who has more than one interest in life, sooner or later you may be haunted by the issue of how many blogs you should have. That’s the position I find myself in now. To give you an idea of how much I’m wrestling with this issue, today at lunch I was doing a balance sheet of the pros and cons of using an existing blog and widening it to several topics, versus spinning off yet another blog that I’m not sure I have time for.

Because that’s so on my mind these days, I was very interested in this discussion on Suzie Cheel’s blog, which is about the pros and cons of having a narrowly focused, single-topic blog versus having a wide ranging blog with many topics.

The Battle of the Bloggers

A lot of folks weighed in on Suzie’s blog, and I was hoping some of my readers might also want to discuss it here. One of the first things I did in going over it was look at who was arguing for and against specialization, and how well that model seems to be serving them. On the specialist side of the argument was ProBlogger author Darren Rowse (In fact, I learned about the discussion because Darren linked to it). Taking the generalist approach was an author that Suzie Cheel cited in her original post, John Pozadzides. John believes strongly enough in the case for blog generalization that the tag line of his blog is “Specialization is for Insects”, part of a Heinlein quote that John gives in more detail in his About Page.

Digging into the numbers for both authors, I noticed that John had about 3,700 pages indexed by Google and 1,045 Feedburner subscribers as of today. He also posted a figure of an average of 15,000 to 20,000 page views daily. The ratio of page views to subscribers in his case is approximately 17:1, which is about what it is on Inklit, where I have 1,072 page views daily and 57 subscribers.

Comparing Darren’s numbers to John’s, what struck me immediately is that Darren had less than twice as many pages indexed by Google (5,260), yet he had about forty-two times as many subscribers. I don’t know Darren’s page view numbers, but I estimate them at something over a half million daily.

That’s Not The Result I Wanted

I love that Heinlein quote about specialization. I really wanted to have a blog about everything – in fact, as of yesterday, I had decided that that’s was where I was heading, and this morning I was taking the first steps in that direction, and was pretty much prepared to make the frightening announcement that Inklit was about to be devoured by my growing Borg Collective!

Have no fear. I am a specialist again. This is a blog about Writing on the Internet. Pay no attention to those digressions about Wordpress Plugins.

Readers, What Do You Think?

Comments? Do you specialize? If you generalize, do you do it in more than one place?