Long-time readers of Tim Peter Thinks may not know this, but I actually run two blogs (well, if you want to be completely accurate, I run a bunch of blogs, but let’s keep this simple for now). My main blog, Tim Peter Thinks is the blog you’re reading right now and can be reached at the following URL: timpeter.com/blog.
My other blog, called Travel Stuff (I know, great name, right?), focuses on, well… travel stuff and is available via travelstuff.timpeter.com. Specifically, I use it to look at marketing, e-commerce and distribution in the hospitality and travel industries. These represent a significant customer segment for my business and have somewhat divergent needs from e-commerce and online marketing generally.
While the two blogs share many similar ideas, it’s handy to keep them separate — and, as I’ve mentioned in a past post, it’s a pain in the, um… tuchus to consolidate them into a single blog.
So, here’s the question: Should you have more than one blog for your business?
And, here’s a quick answer: Probably not.
Most businesses should focus on creating one really strong blog that connects well with their customers. If you’re not sure how to do that, take a look at my “Small Business Blogging Guide”.
Now, I realize that I’m telling you “do what I say, not what I do,” so let me explain the cases where more than one blog makes sense.
When Multiple Blogs (May) Make Sense
There are at least 2 reasons why you might consider having multiple blogs:
- You serve multiple distinct customers. This is actually more common than you might think. For example, in the travel industry, the needs of business travelers, travel agents, and “ordinary” consumers (usually called leisure or transient segments, if you’re curious), often require distinct messages. Similarly, companies like IBM market to C-suite executives and developers across a variety of industries. Assuming you want to have a blog for each group, it’s unlikely only one would successfully service the needs of such widely divergent groups.
- You offer more than one distinct brand in the marketplace. This often (but not always) follows from #1 above. For instance, Chrysler offers separate blogs for its Jeep, Fiat, Ram Trucks, and Chrysler brands. Additionally, many independent hotels and hotel chains set up distinct blogs even when owned by the same parent company.
While it may be obvious, reason #1 is why Travel Stuff exists separately from Thinks.
The key here is that, if you’re going to have multiple blogs, the reasons have to make sense for your customers and your brand. Even with the examples above, many companies effectively address the needs of their customers and their brands using a single blog. For instance, Ford does a great job of offering distinct messages to distinct customers about its many brands while directing customers to a single site, Social.Ford.com (run by the exceptionally savvy Scott Monty [@scottmonty on Twitter]).
So, how many blogs does your business need? Well, at least one, certainly. But if you’re thinking of having more than one, make sure you’re doing it for your customers first.
 — Technically, Tim Peter Thinks can be reached via timpeter.com/blog, timpeterthinks.com, thinksblog.com and a handful of other domains. But, from a branding perspective, timpeter.com/blog is the only URL I promote.
 — Yes, I know subdirectories are better than subdomains. I’ve explained why I use the travelstuff.timpeter.com subdomain for that blog as part of as part of my series on subdomains vs. subdirectories for branding and for SEO.
 — Of course, this then begs the question why I put yesterday’s post about Google’s 2012 Traveler report on Thinks instead of Travel Stuff. I’ll get to that tomorrow. Promise.
 — There’s at least one more reason for having multiple blogs, though it’s far more rare than either of the two main ones above. In my case, I’m continually evaluating blogging platforms to serve the needs of my customers. So some of those “bunch of blogs” I mentioned way up above exist only to help me (and others like me) learn about different platforms. In this case, “do what I say, not what I do” reflects that my business model is very different from my clients’ .
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