About two months ago I launched Traffikd as my second blog, in addition to my primary blog at Vandelay Website Design. I started Traffikd so I could cover some different topics outside of web design. My experience with the primary blog has taught me volumes about what it takes to run a profitable blog as well as how to market one. I still have a long way to go, but I felt that I would enjoy writing about many of the things I am learning. As a result, Traffikd is essentially a side project, at least for now, but still an important part of my long-term plans.
Launching and maintaining a second blog has been exactly what I expected in some ways, and in others it has been a real eye-opener. I’d like to cover some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the process, although they are not all necessarily things that were surprises to me, rather just observations in many cases.
Something must/will take priority
When working on multiple projects at one time, ultimately one of them is going to become a priority over the others. In my case, as I said earlier, Traffikd is really a side project for now. Although it is a side project, I had intentions of putting much more effort into marketing and growing the blog than I have been able to do. In fact, a high percentage of the posts that have been published to date were written before the launch. I knew time would be tight, so I made sure that I had 2-3 months worth of content prepared in case I simply didn’t have time to write.
Because of the leg work I did prior to the launch I have been able to post with about as much frequency as I had planned. Unfortunately I haven’t had opportunities to do some of the things I wanted to do to promote the site, like writing guest posts to grow inbound links and drive some traffic.
I believe that even if I had planned on spending an equal amount of time on each of my blogs, one of them would wind up taking priority over the other. Readers who have run multiple blogs can share their opinions on this issue, but my guess is that this happens to most bloggers in the situation.
Growing a blog with limited time is difficult
Finding time to write for two blogs (plus some freelance writing) is difficult, but finding time to do promotional work is even worse. Content creation still fits into the schedule, but many other things don’t. During the first few months of my primary blog I was very active commenting on other blogs and writing guest posts, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 a week. I still write for other blogs, but now it is on a freelance (paid) basis, so I’m not building links and making the rounds to a lot of different blogs to get exposure. Traffikd has grown over the first two months, but certainly not to a point that I am satisfied. Most of the subscribers have come as a result of my primary blog or through finding the site via social media (primarily StumbleUpon).
Growing a blog without marketing is difficult
As I already mentioned, my efforts at Traffikd have been limited to writing posts and responding to reader comments. That’s it. Content is obviously critical for growing a blog, but if people aren’t seeing it does it really matter? I’m not saying that no one is reading, there were over 20,000 visitors in the first month, but the audience that is being exposed to the content here is far lower than it could be with a few hours each week dedicated to marketing the blog.
StumbleUpon loves new sites
Most of those 20,000 visitors in the first month came from StumbleUpon. I consistently check on thumbs up and reviews at both of my blogs, and although I am no algorithm expert, I can say with confidence that the thumbs up and reviews received at Traffikd during the first week had a greater impact than I have even seen on my blogs. As a new site, it was the first time that each stumbler had given a thumbs up, and I believe this is a factor in how much traffic SU sends. My advice to you is to take advantage of this as much as possible when you start a new website or blog.
People who already know you are quick to subscribe
While I didn’t gain hundreds of subscribers instantly, I know that many of my friends from the blogosphere and regular readers from my primary blog subscribed right away. This is a huge advantage from starting a second blog once you’re established, and it’s definitely something I was hoping for. In fact, the day I launched I emailed a number of friends just to let them know about the new site and to say that I would love to have them as a reader. Many of you reading this post got that email, and I thank you for your support!
Upkeep and maintenance takes time
When you start a second blog you are doubling the amount of time that you’ll spend responding to comments, checking email, analyzing stats, upgrading WordPress, installing plugins, etc. It all takes time. Unfortunately, every blog that you add will increase the amount of time you spend on these activities. They’re certainly not bad things, but for must of us time is very limited.
Diversity is fun
Although I haven’t had nearly as much time as I would like to focus on this blog, it is still been a lot of fun already. I really enjoy writing about some different topics and interacting with more readers. Now, if only I could increase the number of hours in a day.
What’s Your Experience?
How many blogs do you run? What have you learned through the process?