Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 2 – Keeping Two Blogs (How Did That Happen?)

For most folks, one blog is enough to keep up with. But for those who are dabbling with the thought of more than one blog, is it something I suggest?

Possibly, but only if you’ve got the time to invest and a reason for doing so. The reason could be that you want to write about a topic/niche so far afield from your original blog that you can’t justify merging the content. Or maybe you’re writing for a totally different audience and you don’t want to lose the audience you’ve already built on your first blog.

It’s a slippery slope, so let me tell you why I’m running Blaugust on my “second” blog this year. I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can.

Spoiler: It probably won’t be short.

Where It Started

It was the summer of 2018. I had two things in mind:

  • I wanted to nudge myself to write for Camp NaNoWriMo
  • I was looking for a creative outlet in FFXIV

At that point, I’d played FFXIV for almost five years without a drop in my sub. And while I still enjoyed the game, I was pining for a creative project to enhance my enjoyment with it.

Prior to playing FFXIV, I’d rolled up a couple Guild Wars 2 Tumblrs for this very reason. White Charr had been my more “general” GW2 Tumblr while Snaff Savant was my story and “RP” Tumblr.

Both of these had a pretty good following and strong engagement with the GW2 community at the time. While I’d fallen out of sorts with GW2 itself, I remember having a lot of fun interacting with folks and writing stories on my Tumblrs. I also had a decent idea of what I’d done to build an audience on Tumblr, and felt with the right character/story, I could replicate that for FFXIV.

And so, I launched Spot of Mummery as a Tumblr where I could post the fiction I was writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. What started out as a short 15 chapter experiment has turned into a full on webserial.

Tumblr Uncertainty

I was, indeed, able to replicate building and audience and interaction on my new Tumblr. It now has well over 1,000 followers. For a little FFXIV fan Tumblr, that’s not bad. However, as time has gone on, I’ve become more and more uncertain about Tumblr as a long-term platform for my content.

I don’t need to go into any detail on the fact that Tumblr doesn’t have the best reputation as a social media site. Even the folks who use Tumblr know what the Internet in general thinks of it. And while I’ve met plenty of really nice creative people there, and Tumblr itself continues to work towards focusing on those creative types, a number of things have nudged me away from Tumblr over time.

A major one is just uncertainty with Tumblr all together. The platform tends to make controversial choices that upsets its user base. For example, the banning of adult content back in 2018 (though I was actually on board for this as I have no interest in being associated with a site that permits child pornography).

Lately, Tumblr is rolling out a monetization scheme (it feels like a scheme) that the community is super dissatisfied with called Tumblr Post+. While I have no personal gripes against Tumblr looking to make some money, I don’t feel like this is going to be successful. I just can’t see that many people on Tumblr ponying up subscriptions (sorta like Twitch subs) to individuals on Tumblr.

Heck, I have a hard enough time just getting people to reblog and like my stuff much less asking anyone to pay for it. But that’s a topic for a different post.

While I’m not particularly upset about these things, it concerns me as to the longevity of the platform. Especially when I’m seeing the devs rolling out features that the majority of the community are vocally telling them that they do not want. Despite asking for user feedback on the issue. It’s fairly obvious that the feedback isn’t really being taken into consideration.

Making the Leap to WordPress

So, all of that is to say, I certainly didn’t feel great about leaving my writing and screenshots only on Tumblr. It’s also a platform where if you cross whatever line, you can get banned and your Tumblr blog can get wiped without notice.

As far back as the adult content ban in 2018, I’d already begun backing up my story onto a self-hosted WordPress just for safe keeping. I didn’t want my content stored all in one place, and out of my hands to restore, should something weird happen to Tumblr or to my blog.

Originally, this WordPress only contained the story, and it really didn’t see much in the way of traffic or interaction. But fast forward to December of 2020 – I had a lot more content on my Tumblr at that point, and I felt it was time to move a bulk of this to a platform that felt more secure.

After going back and forth on whether to make it a self-hosted WordPress or a WordPress.com blog (I’ll write a post on that later), I chose to host it on WordPress.com. And the blog you’re reading now came to be.

Transitioning Content

At first, this WordPress was a repository for my old Spot of Mummery FFXIV content. As I posted new screenshots and writing, this was the main site with Tumblr being a mirror to the audience I’d built there.

But as time went on, I decided that it’s a shame to have a nice new WordPress and not really take advantage of it. The blogger in me wanted to do more with the site than just post screenshots — that kind of content works well on social media, but a blog needs more meat than that (also a post I plan to write later).

So, I started to write a bit about what I learned about creativity and role play in FFXIV in my years of interacting in game and on Tumblr. This brought about posts such as:

Some of these have become my top-read posts (yet again, another post topic I plan to write on).

I’ve also begun to experiment with repurposing old content (you guessed it, another topic for later) and have learned the importance of making my WordPress.com blog known on Reader (and… yeah… another topic for later).

Basically, much of Blaugust 2021 is going to center around many of the things I’ve learned in making this transition from Tumblr to WordPress, as well as my experiences trying to start a “new” WordPress blog in 2021.

Some Drawbacks With a Second Blog

I do want to note what you can already guess: that upkeep for more than one blog does have drawbacks. This is both time and money (since neither of my blogs are on a free hosting package).

I know that for sure my main gaming blog took a bit of a new-content hit, especially back in 2019 and 2020 when I was much more involved in Tumblr than I was writing about games. However, that blog has established some pretty strong pillar posts, so the traffic there remains fairly stable even when I’m not adding a lot to it. (You can’t always rely on that, though, I know!)

Secondly, my two blogs somewhat “compete” with each other since this one is mostly FFXIV related and my main blog’s major topics can also be FFXIV related. One of my goals is to get this blog back to writing in the “Amon persona” it began with to differentiate it from my main blog. That could be a topic for another post… ๐Ÿ™‚

Should You Keep More Than One Blog?

The answer is: it depends.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the time and the organizational skills for a second blog?
  • Is the topic of your second blog so far apart from the first that they absolutely can’t be one blog?
  • How much time and attention will the second blog take from your first?
  • Does your first blog already have steady traffic and an audience?
  • Is the topic for your new blog sustainable long-term?

Do you feel like you want to start a new blog because your existing blog isn’t performing the way you’d hope? I’d say it’s better to repurpose and rebrand what you already have than to jump ship to something new. At least then, you have a foundation of content and what bit of readership you’ve already worked to find.

Starting back at square one is much harder than pivoting the direction of an existing blog and experimenting with what you already have. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck!

Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

7 thoughts on “Blaugust 2 – Keeping Two Blogs (How Did That Happen?)

  1. I have two blogs and I don’t recommend it if you value your free time. My gaming blog hasn’t been updated since… Somewhere last year. Blapril probably? It’s tough and a lot of work. I do want to get back to it soon though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Balancing is always tough with more than one blog. Then there’s the guilt of ignoring one over the other. Like… I keep telling myself I need to still write for my main blog even though I’m doing Blaugust here!

      Like

  2. The last time I ran two blogs side by side, it was a fairly popular thing to do to have your gaming/hobby blog and then also a more of a ‘real life’ or ‘real you’ blog. So I kept my gaming — sometimes solely on WoW, although at various points in my blogging history I had other general gaming blogs too — and then ‘everything else’ in the RL one. NaNoWriMo efforts, book reviews, general happenings, etc etc.

    The longest run of this, I think, was when I was running both Fun in Games and Fun IRL side by side, and as you said — the time commitments and conflicts between the two blogs is definitely a thing to be mindful of.

    The general wisdom at the time was also that separate topics *had* to be separate blogs. Otherwise you just annoyed everyone. It seems to be the case that our community is now *much* *much* more accepting of versatile blogs and reading for the author rather than the particular niche — even if it is a particular niche that joined many of us in the first place.

    So I think for almost any hobby blogger, a single blog ought to do. If you’re a little more aspirational than that — and have the time and resources — then a split might be a bit more important.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with it all though, Aywren! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’re right. Having a somewhat catch-all blog is much more acceptable now than it used to be. That’s why I made my main a rather vague “Gaming and Geek Blog” – that way, I can claim video games and playing fiddle are all geeky hobbies under one roof, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve gone back and forth on whether to merge this into my main blog, but I’ve decided to give it a run and see what I can do with it on it’s own. This is mostly because it started out written from a specific persona – not my own. As I noted in this post, I’m puzzling how I can get back to writing like that (it’s super fun to write posts from my character’s POV) but probably not until after Blaugust!

    Liked by 1 person

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