While there is something to be said about creating a niche website based on a single topic, you can build a successful blog about more than one topic.
While it may be easier to grow and monetize a single topic blog when you’re starting out, there’s more than one way to succeed at blogging. You can absolutely find success and make money with a multi-topic blog.
How To Succeed with Multiple Topics
The key to success with a multiple topic blog? Bring value to your audience. Let’s say you currently blog about three topics: cooking, design, and hiking. You’ll need to decide which one will be the overarching theme or focus. In this example, cooking is the main topic while design and hiking are secondary topics or categories for posts.
To help bring a cohesive feel to your blog, you might place a new header image on every post with the theme being the primary focus of each story. This will help visitors understand what they can expect from content on your site.
In addition to helping visitors understand your content, you’ll want to make sure all posts are cross-promoted in an effort to drive traffic from one topic to another (and back again). This is pretty easy with most blog platforms. I use Link Whisper, an internal linking tool that suggests links on each blog post.
Adding Secondary Topics
You might also consider taking the secondary topics further by adding them as tags to posts. Tags are very popular with Google, which means they can help you rank for topics that aren’t directly discussed in your posts but may otherwise help people find relevant information.
In addition to helping visitors from other sites find yours, tags can also be a great way of driving traffic back to a post about a secondary topic. For example, if you wrote a blog post about grilling steak and then tagged it with “grilling” and “steak,” both words would appear in the tag cloud to help visitors quickly navigate your site.
Use Categories Correctly
Categories can provide a great way of further organizing your blog. If you’re using multiple categories for each blog post, be sure to use them correctly in order to manage expectations and help visitors find the content they’re looking for.
Do this by creating separate categories when there is a difference in topic or theme. On my website, I have a category for real estate articles that help real estate agents generate more business. I have another category where I provide written guides and video tutorials on Affiliate Marketing.
Doing this helps me manage expectations and lets visitors know what to expect when they click on a certain category.
Categories can also have sub-categories, and posts can also have tags. Learning how to use WordPress taxonomies can help when blogging about multiple topics.
You can still create topical relevancy on a multi-topic website by publishing content in topic clusters, or SEO silos. For example, if you were to cover the topic of baking on your blog, website readers might be interested in learning more about cake decorating or wedding cakes.
You can create a topic cluster of various cake recipes and link them all back to one pillar post about baking caking.
In the future, as Google learns about your topic cluster through internal links and other methods, you could potentially see a boost in search rankings for that particular series of posts.
Multi-Topic Blogs for Niche Sites
While most bloggers choose to focus on one specific topic, there is no reason why you can’t be different. You might find success with multiple topics if:
You already have a large, diverse audience. If you have an email list of 20,000 people who are interested in your topics, there could be value in publishing content on all three.
Your blog is relatively new and not widely accepted yet. Publishing content across multiple topics can help increase visitor traffic at first while you work to establish yourself as an authority.
You are comfortable with the idea of publishing content that isn’t 100% self-serving.
The Main Theme Matters Most
Try not to get too hung up on creating a multi-topic blog with an equal focus across all topics. While it may be easier to gain traction with a blog that has a single focus, you can still be successful with multiple topics as long as you bring value to your audience.
The main theme for your site is most important, so make it the focal point of each post by including an image or header near the top. For other topics, consider using cross-promotion and establishing a tag cloud to help users quickly navigate your site.
Use categories and sub-categories to organize posts, and write about topics in clusters as a method of topical relevancy.
The Spaghetti Approach
Another option for managing multiple topics is to publish content to see what Google likes. The Spaghetti Approach involves publishing a variety of topics in various categories, and seeing which posts begin to rise in the ranks.
Once you’ve identified which topics Google is raking, you can use those as a basis for future posts. Basically, you are allowing Google to decide which niche you should be blogging more in.
The Spaghetti Approach is a great way to test out multiple topics without first committing to a single one. You can find success with your multi-topic blog as long as you stay committed to serving the needs of your audience and use SEO best practices to ensure you’re creating valuable content.
When to Create Another Website
If you are serious about creating a business that generates income from multiple topics, then it might be time to start another website. When speaking with many people in the blogging community who blog about more than one topic, they often have up to five websites under their brand.
This is because most of our interests fall into specific niches which can be different from one another, which makes blogging about multiple topics easier. For example, if you like to travel and hike with your dog on the weekends, you might have a website about travel and hiking with dogs.
Even so, publishers will often create entirely new brands for each niche they are passionate about. So while it’s possible to blog about multiple topics under one brand, it’s usually best to use your main site as the anchor that ties all of your other niches together.
I spent two years dividing my main website up into seven niche websites, only to bring them back together again. It was my experience that multiple websites were expensive to maintain, and time-consuming. I also found myself favoring one over the rest, which meant the rest got neglected.
If you have the time, and resources to hire content writers, and website managers, you have no limitations. But if you are doing much of the work yourself, it’s wise to focus on one at a time until you can (or want to) hire leverage.
Conclusion: You can absolutely find success with a multi-topic blog. The key is to focus on quality content and provide value for users across each topic. If you want to be successful, do your research
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.