If you’ve been working a freelance hustle writing online content for blogs, you might be curious about learning to build your own blog. There’s a lot that goes into building and maintaining a blog, but if you know how to write great content you’re already halfway there. And, actually, there’s no reason to stop with just one blog.
I have done a lot of freelance writing for other bloggers. It can be a nice side hustle, but it’s really difficult to find blogs that pay fairly for content. What many people don’t understand is that a blog post is marketing content. Done correctly, it provides an incredible amount of value (and income!) for the owner or business.
Unfortunately, by the time you set aside taxes on what most people want to pay, you will be lucky to come out at minimum wage. This is not as much of a problem if you are married and have kids (hello, tax breaks), but if you are single and child free (like me, woo hoo!) then be prepared to part with your hard earned money.
I started out blogging as a way to earn a little extra income on the side. When that proved problematic for tax reasons, I eventually I sat down and figured out what I would need per word to make a living wage after taxes.
Ouch! Yeah, most companies just don’t want to pay that. Especially frustrating because I know from experience that their blog is making them money while they sleep. They want you to write for “exposure” which is even more ridiculous considering that your byline is relegated to a wimpy sentence at the very end of the page where no one bothers to look.
Anyway, my goal then became to cut out the middle man and determine how to make blogging work for myself. Here’s why I ended up with multiple blogs.
Seasonal Ebb and Flow
Even if you write absolutely amazing content, it’s likely that you will experience ebb and flow of income. This can vary by season, such as an outdoor gear blog that might peak during nice weather or see a huge burst of income from holiday spending.
Often, I find that my blogs see a boost of visitors during January and February (when everyone is online and hygging hardcore after the holidays), but that there’s usually a summer slump.
Some of that can be mitigated with marketing and solid content. But even with your best planning and lots of evergreen content, you’re likely to see dry spells from time to time. Having multiple blogs can help even that out somewhat.
More Room to Experiment
I’m probably the world’s most cautious entrepreneur. I HATE risk. That’s why I focused on writing for other people for so long. Also, I am not an early adopter when it comes to new social media or the latest and greatest infopreneur’s change-your-life rhetoric. I don’t like a flash-in-the-pan approach at all. I put a lot of work into my blogs, so I want them to last.
When I have a concept that I want to work with- for example, creating info products like courses- I can look at my blogs and decide which one is most likely to benefit from it. If it works, I may decide to adopt it as a strategy across several. Or if I hate it, no harm done.
Regardless, I can focus on generating a baseline income with affiliate sales and diversify my blogs’ income streams from there.
Diversifying for Long Term
I think of my blogs as a writing portfolio and, in a sense, an investment portfolio. Compared to writing for someone else, blog writing is fairly passive in that I can create an article and see returns for a long time afterward.
So, as with an investment portfolio, diversifying is good. It’s not all in, ride or die. Thus, I have several different types of blogs. This blog is mostly a lifestyle blog, but it’s also a writer platform. Actually, I almost always combine categories, now that I think of it.
My blog Teacup Alchemy is a hub for an herbal podcast and courses (info-preneur/niche blog). Indie Herbalist is the blog I have had the longest, and it’s an author platform + niche blog (and how I got my book deal). There’s another niche blog currently in pre-launch that focuses on creativity and art journaling (that’s also an art supply review blog), and I’m planning to round out the portfolio over the next year with a food blog (yay, gluten free baking!).
Trends and Pivoting
Having multiple blogs also gives you peace of mind when trends shift. Because trends do shift. Yes, camper vans are super cool right now. But a few years ago, yurts were all the rage. Houseplants might be a super big deal today, but tomorrow everyone may decide that aquariums are much more interesting.
That’s another reason that I build my blogs around a couple of broad evergreen concepts, and why they tend to be hybrids. It’s insurance against becoming suddenly irrelevant! Mommy blogs are a great example of this. If your baby is the sole focus of your blog, your blog has a bit of a time stamp.
Blogging Like a Freelance Writer
If you start out taking freelance blogging gigs like I did, you will be perfectly positioned to transition into managing your own blogs. It gives you a chance to experiment with developing different styles and voices while mastering content writing.
Your content is the heart of your blog! You can have all of the marketing chops in the world, but you have to have good content to market. Also, find more information about how I manage multiple blogs over here!