how I manage multiple blogs
Lon (who blogs over at onelife.voxtropolis.com) emailed me last week about my blogging strategy, edited excerpt as follows:
i see you’ve got quite a number of blogs/portals… I’ve been thinking of setting up my own domain/host… just want to get a feel for how you interact with all your sites. did you ever make a transition to your [current] site, or have you always had that domain? do you currently use all your sites as a funnel to your main site? or do you keep them separate and distinct generally?
I’ve already answered the question of “Why do I blog?” and noted some of my observations on some people’s concerns for hesitating to blog. So here I’ll drill-down more on how I manage my many blogs strewn around the internet.
My main website and blog is here at www.djchuang.com, and its content is mirrored at 5 other blogs/sites: xanga.com, livejournal.com, mychurch.org, ministryhome.org, and facebook.com .
From what I can tell, those mirrored blog sites barely register a blip for driving website traffic to the main site, so that’s not why I mirror my blog elsewhere. They are mirrored at those sites so I can also connect with people who are in those “online communities”. I’ve heard that some people are more comfortable being a part of a smaller online community where they can know a few people, or stay connected while getting privacy, instead of being out in the wide open of the unstructured internet, mixing it up with both strangers and friends.
I also blog for Leadership Network (one of several roles I have) at their books blog and their learnings blog and for L2 Foundation at the L2 Foundation blog to highlight insights for developing Asian American leadership and legacy.
I also staked out blogs for myself at vox.com, 360.yahoo.com, journals.aol.com, friendster.com, and voxtrpolis.com – those are mostly for random blogging, and so I can retain my own nickname there and try out their blogging tools.
As for my domain name, I had first registered my domain name back in 2001 to better define my online identity, though some may say that I’m still not that well-defined. I’ve had a web presence since 1997 or so, using free website hosts like geocities.com, homepages.com, xoom.com, aol.com; even printed up business cards with 1 of those old web addresses. When I switched over to djchuang.com, I had new business cards printed up – for free at vistaprint.com. Far as I can tell, those cards don’t drive much web traffic either.
Hey, DJ. Do you manually repost on all of those sites or do you have a program that does it automatically. I have had a lot of people pestering me to do more on Facebook and MySpace (for the same reasons you have the different venues) but I hate having to cut and paste to them all.
Ditto Noel’s question. How do you mirror your site efficiently? I’m guessing RSS has alot to do with it, but any tips for how to set it up quickly?
Hey DJ, thanks for the thorough response and the link! I third the above question. I know facebook can do automatic imports which is great.
It’s crazy how early on you established a web presence!
Helpful as always my friend! There is the added idea that each blog needs to be focused on a particular thing if you want drive traffic there. I break this rule all over the place on my main blog, but am going to try and focus more on a couple of other blogs and podcasts. We’ll see.
All my mirrored sites are effortlessly and automatically posted either using WordPress plug-ins (Xanga Cross Post + LiveJournal Crossposter) or via RSS feeds. On a quick Google search, I found 2 projects under development to code up a WordPress plugin to cross-post (mirror) over into MySpace.
While a blog’s focus can help maintain traffic, focus alone won’t drive traffic. A blogger who wants more traffic has to write compellingly (aka passionately) about something that the masses want to read, but if one writes about niche topics like I do, I’ll only get so much traffic because of limited audience size.
After a chat with Jeremy, we realized that Facebook is really clean and powerful, but some of its powerful features are kinda hard to find. So here’s how to syndicate (mirror) a blog onto Facebook. Login to Facebook, go to Notes > Import Settings. Enter the RSS link there, e.g. http://www.djchuang.com/feed – and that’s it!
Yeah, I’m doing that but was kinda hoping there was an easy way to do it in MySpace. All the solutions I have had are complicated. For now, I just have an RSS feed widget on my MySpace page. You can see it at myspace.com/noeljesse”
DJ, I think the way you run all of your blogs is that you have a company of DJ Chuangs working for you blogging away
I had a few technical questions on your site:
1) Did you create the entire site with just wordpress or did you have to do some CSS coding?
2) How were you able to have a unique side panel for every page on your site?
3) Are you hosting on wordpress or are you on your own server?
4) How were you able to add the facebook badge?
Noel, yeah, getting cross-posting over to MySpace is near impossible, b/c the software development of MySpace is rather unorthodox and can change on a whim. Some coders are working on a plugin for crossposting from WordPress to MySpace and Vox.
Peter, I run WordPress here with its own web hosting on Dreamhost (so I don’t use WordPress.com). This enables me to customize my theme and CSS, and also to use plugins and have lots of web space for hosting videos and audios. It also let’s me have a separate sidebar for my blog that’s different from my web pages. Since I have custom sidebars, I can add a Facebook badge — which is done via Facebook > Profile > go to bottom for “Create a Profile Badge” > Create a new badge, and follow instructions from there.
Sam, ha ha.. haven’t figured out an economic engine or business model for my blogging. What I want to write about doesn’t quite fit with what the mass market values.