Single Topic vs. Multi-Topic Blog: Which is Better and Why?

This post is part of our question& answer series, and discusses some of the most common questions asked by new bloggers:

  • Should I blog on one topic or should I blog on multiple topics?
  • Should I create one blog for multiple topics or different blogs for each topic?

In blogging, we often refer to a blog’s topic as its “niche”. In the way of examples, the SEOMOZ niche refers to blogs related to search engine optimization, Dailyblogtips falls within the niche of blogging, Labnol’s niche is technology, and ShoutMeLoud’s niche is small business and internet marketing.

Among the most important questions you should ask yourself before starting a blog is: What will be the topic of my blog? (What will I be writing about?)

Single or Multi Niche Blog

Often when I talk to a new blogger about his blog’s niche, I hear an answer similar to this:

“I have an interest in lifestyle, fashion, photography, travel and health –  and I want to write about all of these topics on my blog. I think that’s going to be the USP (unique selling point) for my blog, as I will be covering all these topics at one place, and this will attract more readers.”

Prior to answering this in detail, let me make this clear: This is the wrong approach to take when you are planning to monetize (make money from) your blog. If you are planning to create a personal blog in which you write about many different topics, then this is fine, as money is not the primary reason you are blogging.  If you’re blogging because you love to write and want to write about multiple topics, and any consideration of earning money from the blog is secondary to that, then by all means write about anything and everything you wish.

However, if you are creating a blog from which you wish to earn an income, a multi-topic/multi-niche blog is a bad idea.  Let me explain:

Why a multi-topic blog is bad for readership, SEO and making money:

We’ve established that if you’re blogging for fun and not for money, you can write about anything. This is because you do not need to be concerned about traffic with a personal blog.  However, traffic = money.  So if you are blogging as a means to an income, you have to take a proper business approach.

Making money from blogging is not as easy as it looks, but if you do it properly you can make good money, or at least enough to cover your cost of living. In fact, I earn my living from blogging.

Let’s see what the downsides are of multi-niche blogs, and how you can identify a topic for your blog.

If you write a multi-topic/multi-niche blog:

It will be difficult to define and create a readership for your blog.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What inspires you to subscribe to a blog?
  • If you have an interest in a topic like “relationships”, what kind of blog will you subscribe to and ready daily – a blog which is dedicated to relationships, or a blog in which the author posts about relationships, blogging, the forex exchange, etc.?
  • If you subscribe to a blog which has “blogging” as its topic, and suddenly you start seeing posts about dog care on that blog, will you remain subscribed to that blog or will you unsubscribe?

Surely once you answer these questions, you will have a clearer understanding of the fact that multi-niche blogs have difficulty holding the general subscriber’s interest.

When searching for a blog on any given topic, we have thousands if not millions of options. As a blog reader myself, I like to subscribe to blogs dedicated to topics of specific interest to me. I don’t want to be bombarded with information overload on a wide variety of topics when I set out to read about a particular topic. I prefer to keep my focus on those topics which I enjoy reading and learning about. If I subscribe to a blog related to SEO, and later I start finding posts about the author’s dogs, his cats or new house – subjects with no connection to the main topic of the blog, I will click the unsubscribe option straight away, and some other blog related to the topic of my interest will get a new subscriber.

SEO of your multi-niche blog will be tough:

Search engine optimization, particularly for a blog that is created and maintained as a source of income, is very important. Here’s why:

Let’s say you operate a search engine like Google, and you have to rank a blog for a topic like “How to take the best photo in the daytime”.  You can rank it related to either of the following blogs.  Which would you choose?

  • A blog which is dedicated to photography tips.
  • A blog which contains posts about Facebook tips, photography and dog care.

I would certainly select the first blog, as it is likely to offer more quality content (because it is a blog dedicated specifically to the topic of photography), and it will offer a cleaner and better user experience.

The face of search engine optimization is changing, and search engines like Google are ranking blogs based on brand and authority. A single-topic blog has a better chance of creating a position of authority on a topic compared to a blog containing posts on multiple and varied topics.

As a matter of fact, I recently created a blog on a niche-specific topic, and with 12 blog posts and almost negligible SEO, that blog is getting 7000-page views per day.

Takeaway: A niche blog always performs better.

Making money from your blog will be tough:

Now let’s consider the final and most important question: Which will make more money for you — a single or multi-niche blog?

Remember this important point: Income from your blog is directly proportional to the quality and targeted traffic your blog is getting.

You may previously have assumed that with multiple topics a blogger can drive more traffic, but you now know that is not the case.

Let me explain further with an example:

Let’s assume you are a company that has developed a camera, and you have a limited advertising budget. You are creating an advertising plan and you have two blogs before you for your consideration in terms of advertising space:

  • Blog #1: This blog gets 10,000 page views per month, and all of the traffic is coming to the blog for topics related to photography and cameras.
  • Blog #2: This blog gets 50,000 page views per month, and traffic is coming for various topics including photography, dog care, baby care and more.

Which of these two blogs would be ideal for the advertisement of your product, a camera?  My answer would be #1, as I will be getting better ROI (return on investment) for my advertising budget.  Why? Because I will be getting targeted traffic from blog#1, whereas blog#2 will be sending me traffic which might not be relevant to my product.

Now that you understand what kind of blog you need in order to drive more traffic and thus create more income, let me address more specifically how to choose topics for your blogs:

How to find a topic for your blog and more:

If you wish to write posts on multiple topics, you can take one of two approaches:

Create different blogs on different domains:

  • ShoutMeLoud – (topic = blogging and internet marketing)
  • ShoutMeTech- (topic = technology)
  • ShoutMyDomain- (topic = domains)

Or you can create different blogs with sub-domains:

  • Tech.ShoutMeLoud.com
  • Domain.ShoutMeLoud.com

Tip:  If you are just starting, don’t start multiple blogs. First create one blog on a particular topic/niche, and once that blog is well established and is driving lots of traffic for you, only then should you start a second blog.

If you are confused about how to choose topics whcih you can write about regularly and consistently, here is a very simple approach:

Take a notepad and paper, and create columns for topics that you wish to write about. For example, dog care, baby care, Facebook tips, photography, etc.

Once you have created your columns, write down 20 post ideas for each topic. When you are writing down the post ideas, think about what you are going to write in those posts. This process is likely to help you to remove 2-3 topics from the list.

Now start blogging for two weeks on the topics that remain on your list, and in two weeks’ time you will be able to determine which is your strongest topic, and thus the one you should use.

If you are completely new to blogging and this is your first attempt, create a blog on BlogSpot.com which is free, allowing you to start blogging with zero investment while you learn.

I hope this will answer these important questions as you begin your new blog project.

If you have any remaining questions, feel free to ask them via the comments section below.

If you find this article useful, consider sharing it on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Subscribe on Youtube

Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a professional blogger. He loves to read & write about Blogging, SEO, WordPress, Make money online & technology. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives more than half a million PV in a month, and is an award winning blog.

RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE BLOGGING TIPS

COMMENTs ( 47 )

  1. Mayo says

    First of all thanks a lot Harsh!
    This blog has sorted many confusions that came across my mind before starting a new blog.
    As this blog was to the point(related to my intrest) which i found useful….my single topic blog will be useful to others!!!

  2. says

    Hey Harsh,

    Creating different blogs for different topics is a sure-shot recipe for blogging failure. Not only ordinary bloggers, world’s top bloggers like Darren Rowse of Problogger.net has also gone through this phase and finally repented.

    Time has changed now. People want all sorts of information on one place; bcos they want to spend less time reading blogs and more time with their family/near and dears. There are 1000s of successful multi-niche blogs earning in millions. Don’t you think multi-niche blogs like Mashable and HuffingtonPost are successful? And they always rank ahead of any so called niche blogs for any topic.

    So, this article is completely misguiding to newbie as well as established bloggers. You can easily earn loyal readers, good money and of course SE traffic with useful and quality content.

  3. says

    I have an entertaiment blog, i write for fun, of course i would like to make money from it but it´s not my priority.

    I write about several topics but all of them are linked to entertaiment, some times i write stories, some times i do reviews about movies or places, sometimes i write advices about stupid things, with a particular sense of humor.

    I´ve tinking about doing several blogs, one for each topic, but i like writing about several things and i dont write very often, so i think i´m gonna leave it that way.

    I´m thinking about opening a new blog about one single topic so i can make more money about it and leave this just for fun. Meanwhile i have google adsense on it but my views are so low i´m making cents per week.

  4. techiit says

    Hello harsh,

    Firstly thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post,i have already removed few niches on my blog after reading this article, and still working on it narrow down to reduce categories on my blog

  5. says

    Thank you for this tip and it really suits my problem right now with my current experimental blog site which covers multiple topic. I have been successful with my tech blog and trying out new topics which I can’t post on my tech blog.

  6. says

    We all can agree on this. If you go for a multi niche website or a large scale news portal you are going to need to produce large amounts of content on a regular basis. Your advantage is getting into a service like Google News which drives an extremely large amount of traffic. There are only 2 ways that you will be able to create a large scale news website.

    1. You have a lot of friends with specific talents.
    2. You have a lot of talents information and redbull :)

  7. Bhawana says

    Its really nice information infact I have opened around 10 tabs of shoutmeloud. I am thinking of making a blog of lifestyle as I dont have tech knowledge much, but entertainment, relationship, bollywood, fashion ,beauty … I can write but at the same time its very difficult for me to choose one topic or subtopic.

    What to do? Now I m reading your articles without googling ( as I have bookmarked you earlier) and slowly I am getting my answers but still some confusions :

    How to select only one or two topics from lifestyle?
    Lifestlye kind of magazine blog has tough competiton.
    and in your one article you said that if you are targeting Indian readers, revenue will not come easily.

    Harsh can you plz clear my confusions or any suggestions…

  8. sagar shirsat says

    what’s you opinion about Yourstory.com ? why seo or niche not affect to their traffic ? that is not news site like timesofindia ?. please help me about this things, because i am very much new to this world to the blogging ?

  9. anwar says

    If you have authority in different niche then you can create a niche research blog on which you can teach new beginners to which niche is important and what potency that have for there blog.
    All the other information about keywords , affiliated product related to niche ,offer them niche related free eBook, and cast your every artical on different niche.
    So you can make a blog for those who searching for a specific niche and scope in that.
    Make your research and tell them about wherefrom they can get all the information for there new niche blog.

  10. Piyush Ranjan says

    Hi Harsh,

    My blogging journey is not that old and I learnt many things from your blog. Single niche is always the best way to attract returning visitors. Because you will work in a single niche. Perhaps, multi topic blogs are also able to attract good visitors but with respect to single topic blogs it is a bit low. I think the first impression about any blog comes from its domain name. Because people first read your domain and then reads you.

    Your articles are really helping newbies like me and thank you for this kind information.

    Thank you
    -Piyush Ranjan

  11. says

    These are really useful tips. Though I have a multi niche blog and there’s no way you can convince me to stop working on that and stick to one niche, I did like your arguments. The points you have discussed does have weight-age and you are the only blogger I came across who in one way supported the concept of multi-niche blogging by talking about the ‘love to write’ or having a blog just coz you like it and not for money thing.
    I blog not for money but coz i like it and that’s why having a multi niche blog isn’t an issue for me. And in case i would want to earn money from a blog, i would make a niche specific one and work on it ;)

  12. Reena says

    Hi Harsh great post! Thought provoking.

    Can I ask you about my blog. I am just about to rebrand it into three topics which the strapline will state:

    Deep thinking
    Natural health
    Blogging

    Is this too multiple in terms of topics? The first two are connected but I really want to blog about blogging too and work in digital marketing. Its my personal blog but I want to start making more income from it.

    Thanks.

  13. Maria says

    Thankyou for this post. At this point it was very helpful for me personally. I am just getting started. I do have some experience but SEO is something I have never paid attention to. ThankYOU for recommending Yoast SEO plugin. I hope it will help me.

    About this topic..I was always thinking.. what is the way to go…thankyou very much for making me see clearly.

  14. Ramon Thomas says

    Who can help me determine the focus of my blog? I have been writing on a nice for years now that used to bring me inquiries for my speaking, coaching and training services. For the last two years my comments have dropped to zero even through traffic has increased consistently. Please click on my name and view my blog and use the contact form to send me feedback.

  15. Varinder Pal Singh says

    From my experience creating different blogs is the best way which we can focus on the multi niche blog and topics. This will not making burden in mind and also give a peace of relaxation. So you can choose which one blog today I write with a fresh mind. Correct me if I am wrong. Very nice post, this post even cleared my mind why we don’t need to write on a multi-niche topics on a single blog.

  16. Pankaj Mondal says

    Thanks man. This is something useful but how do multiple niche sites like mashable and many others pull in such a huge amount of traffic?

    Thanks

  17. Gaurav says

    Awesome article Harsh Bro….Before Read this article i confused about what is niche blogging and how it works,…Now I got perfect article for me..Thanks For Sharing This Awesome Article…Thanks Again

  18. Raspal Seni says

    Hi Harsh,

    When I started blogging last October, even I thought of having multiple niches as I have many hobbies and interests. I still have these as categories on my blog since I have posts in most of these categories, but now my blog is just about blogging and two related topics to blogging – WordPress and webhosting.

    I had heard from a big blogger to have separate blog per niche or topic, so I separated the tech part out of my main blog and started two different tech blogs; though had to stop posting on these lately and am wishing to sell those two blogs.

    Do you think blogging, WordPress and webhosting can go on the same blog? Or is webhosting better for another blog? I found it very hard to keep up with three blogs eespecially because I didn’
    Have another income source.

    When did you start the other blogs? From the start or many years later? When you started SML, was it in the same two niches you wrote above or a different one? Would be interesting to know answers to these questions.

  19. naveen rajput says

    Harsh Sir, you are great .!!!
    This article have cleared my all doubts about ,what topics and how to do
    thanks a lot for guiding all youths and bloggers of this world ,i am very fortunate to be a continues reader of this awesome website.

  20. says

    You wrote that SML is a Blogging and Internet Marketing Blog, but you write tech articles too and same is the case with Labnol Amit Sir write articles on Blogging and Tech both, and he ranks for it too!
    so writing Blogging+Tech article is good in my opinion :)

  21. Daria Wheaton says

    Would multi-topic blog be a good idea for promoting other other topics? I have a wedding photography blog on my website that gets almost no traffic, this is my business and what I do. I was thinking about starting blogging about travel (photography + tips) as it has better potential to be interesting for google searcher, and when travel will start generating traffic to my website it may be better recognized by Google. My main goal is to promote my business. And I think my clients wouldn’t mind to get some personal stuff too, like travel. Getting to know your wedding photographer is important.

  22. Anurag Jain says

    Very helpful article….. because I was thinking of writing the post on Multiple Topics….thanks a lot .

  23. Ashish Gill says

    Really useful post. But, this can take some time to establish your blog on one niche as various other wordpress sites are being developed on same niche. So, it gets difficult to attract traffic from the word go. However, to have a blog with one niche will be very beneficial in long run.

  24. says

    Yes, It will also decrease the count of the visitor on webowner..Because he will consider that may be the information which he gave could be wrong, b’cuz he think that he writes for earning money not for giving right info…!!!!!!!!

  25. sunil sharma says

    Hi! Harsh, your post nicely told a very great tip that will be very much beneficial for a beginner as taking too many topics in hand creat problems. i am also just want to add that it is good to take a single topic because we can consentrate more in much better way n get best results to succeed.

  26. Fahad Zahid says

    Fantastic Tips for a new bloggers! Niche based blogging is the key for success; rather than devoting efforts on multiple topic blog it is batter approach to devote yourself for a niche base blog!

  27. Rajeeb says

    Agreed with Suresh
    itis the most common mistake made by newbie blogger. and harsh is ahead of solving it
    Thanks for the post

  28. Ravi kumar says

    Really superb article Harsh.When i started blogging initially,i tried to write on multiple topics but later on realized that being a specialist in particular field is much better because visitors also appreciate a specialist rather than an allrounder.Your idea of starting a new blog on sub-domain is awesome.

  29. Abhinav Jain says

    I think single topic for your blog is much better ideas as you can represent yourself as authority in your niche or else you might feel lost

  30. Amandeep Singh says

    Having a blog dedicated to a particular niche always works – I have seen that when you segregated SML to have only blogging related topics and moved other topics to new blogs… have experimented the same for my blogs and it is working quite well…

    You have made some noteworthy points for the newbies….

    Cheers!

  31. says

    Completely agree with you that instead of selling in various groups by identifying your potential clients it is better to first attract your potential clients straight away and then convert them into your real clients. For this there is not choice but to focus on one niche. Apart from a few exceptions most of the world top blogs including ShoutMeLoud have single niche with powerful voice in their niche market. Well done Harsh, an eye opener post for those who want to grab all hot cakes but actual get not a single at the end of the day

  32. says

    Wow Harsh, I am convinced. Just when I was planning to start yet another couple of blogs, i get to read this post. Just pondering that if one is successful with his niche blog, what would happen if he decides to expand the it for more subjects like Mashable? Just a thought. What do you say?
    … and anyways harsh, seems too busy to proofread ha? Saw couple of misplaced characters in your last two post (including this). Hmmmmm… even smallest of the errors don’t look good in SML :)

    • says

      @Koi
      Once you have a wider audience-base, you need not need to worry about search engine in general. About mashable, even they expended from Tech to Social-media, they are covering all the news/topic in that niche, and with great readership, it works. Another good example is Lifehacker.

      Thanks for pointing about proof-reading, that will ensure I will out extra pair of eyes next-time. :)

  33. Krishna chaitanya says

    Hello harsh
    But they are so many websites which are running great with multiple topics…….

  34. says

    Hey Harsh,
    You have bought an interesting read here!
    I have a question. Is it good to write about technology and blogging on same blog? I found many bloggers are doing that.

    • says

      @Istiak
      It depends how deep you getting into Tech niche. Bloggers work is online, so it’s good to tell them about various apps, software’s, how-to’s, which help them to blog better. Ex:

      Smart apps for smartphones
      Photo-editing apps
      What Camera to use for making videos
      Websites to take screenshots and so on..
      Video editing apps

      Idea is to give something which will be useful for your target audience. Though it won’t be a great idea, if you running a hard-core technology blog, and writing articles like:

      How to get more comments on blog post and so on, as in this case your reader-base is different.

      • Shreeetej Purandare says

        Hey harsh, a great article indeed..I have also seen many blogs having technology and blogging as their niche on the same blog.
        Considering your first point in this post, I would like to ask you a question that,

        Is there any way or rather any plugin which can help readers to choose their niche while subscribing?? For example- On E-commerce websites like jabong or flipcart there is a option while subscribing that whether you want to subscribe for men or for women..
        so similarly subscribing for blogging or technology here….

        • Raspal Seni says

          Hi Shreetej,

          I have seen this option when subscribing to some blogs, but it depends whether the blogger offers such options if his blog is a multi niche blog. We can’t force them to offer these options. But, if you have a multi nich blog, you can surely offer such an option. Depends on what you use for the optin form.

          Harsh might have a better answer for you.

  35. says

    Hi harsh,
    I absolutely agree with you that a niche blog have many advantages and chances that it will succeed fast.With good good revenue also.

    But i want your suggestion or advice for a general blog with 4 to 5 categories. As i am running a blog with 4 to 5 catagories. I find difficulties alot but could you tell me what the best thing i can do to make it do well.or any tips for general blog.

  36. says

    It is better to start a different niche blog on an entire new domain as you Google no more consider a subdomains as different blog. If there is any Adsense issues or SEO penalty then every blog on the domain will be affected… So, better to use different domains for different niche blog. It will help in easier SEO implementation as well.

    But if your blog is already a big one in the blogsphere then, starting different niche blog on subdomains will help in branding and getting easy referral traffic.

  37. Arup Ghosh says

    Cleared the fact about multi-niche and single niche and showed the right path to newbie bloggers.

  38. keyur says

    Harsh,this post will help me lots,as i am going to start a new blog relatdd solar energy.also suggest me good looking free themes for energy related blog.

  39. says

    Very hones and useful tips for anybody interested to start a new blog. A newbie blogger will try to span his blog to all the directions possible because he feels there’s nothing to discuss on a small niche for long. But to the contrary, starting with multi topic blog, it will be almost impossible to optimize and get any benefits out of it.

    Agreed with you here and thanks for the post.

ADD COMMENT