Single Big Blog vs. Numerous Niche Blogs? Or Both?

Over at Performancing, Ahmed Bilal posts about the argument between running one big blog about a wide array of topics, or numerous blogs that focus on specific niches. He presents the pros and cons to both.

A single big site benefits from economies of scale, is cost-effective, allows for a focused use of resources, requires less manpower to manage, can easily dominate search engine rankings in the long run, and can perhaps earn more revenue thanks to direct advertising deals.

On the other hand, if you have several small sites, it is easier to build a passionate user-base, it’s easier to be #1 in the sub-niche and there is no single point of failure where income, traffic or search engine rankings are concerned.

The recommendation is that it’s best not to side with just one end of the argument, but both–a balanced, somewhere-in-the-middle approach, which Ahmed calls the “hub and satellites” approach. This is something explored before by Nick Wilson on Performancing, as a better way to structure blog networks.

The idea is to create many small, tightly focused blogs within a broader niche, that feed the uber blog – you sit an editor or 2 on each satellite, and have 2-4 people work on the uber blog – the uber blog would also cover more “industry news” type stories that may not relate to any particular model.

So enthusiast readers get specialized blogs, and general interest readers get the best of those stories (not all!) in the uber blog. Making the network much tighter, and more attractive a buy for advertisers.

It’s actually the approach we use on our network, with our few big blogs, and several very focused ones. This technique is best done subtly, in my opinion.