Branching Out and Gaining Focus with New Blogs

When I created Kikolani, over a year and a half ago, it began as a site for poetry and articles on personal discoveries. As time progressed, the site moved more towards its current theme of blogging and social media. So the question became, what do I do with my personal, creative side?

The answer was simple in theory, but a bit more complex in execution – to start new sites. This way I could focus on building very specific communities for each. Because those interested in tech are not necessarily interested in creative writing, and vice versa.

Moving Select Posts from WordPress to WordPress

One of my first concerns about moving my posts from one blog to the next was that I would lose my comments. Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy to transfer posts from one site to another (including comments, categories, tags, etc.), using the Tools > Import and Export. The only catch – import file size to the new site was limited to 8MB. My export file from Kikolani was over 50MB.

So instead of exporting everything, I went back in, changed the author on the posts I wanted to export, and exported posts restricted to just that author. The file size dropped to 5MB, and everything imported into my new sites perfectly. All of the exported posts kept their categories and comments intact.

The next part of the process will be the redirects from the original posts on Kikolani to their counterparts on the new websites. While I could do it in a .htaccess file, I am instead using the Redirection plugin for WordPress that lets you handle all of your redirects within the WordPress dashboard. The bonus of doing that vs. the .htaccess file is that the plugin counts how many hits you’ve had to the original page being redirected. This way, all of the posts that were bookmarked by their Kikolani address will automagically forward to the new sites.

Troubleshooting

I have only run into two issues so far with the importing and exporting of posts. The first was a few areas of custom CSS coding I had for images in posts that I had to copy into my new site’s theme. The second was the pending / spam comments attached to the posts I imported moved to the new sites along with the approved ones, and now have to be deleted. Small things that you don’t think about until after the fact.

New Site #1: Fragile Poetry

Fragile Poetry

Fragile Poetry is a collection of poetry that covers a wide range of emotions through life experiences from teenager to adult, humor to heartache, loss to love, bliss to depression, and so much more. To become more involved with the creative writing community, I have also created a Twitter, StumbleUpon and Facebook. Keep up to date with my new poetry by subscribing to Fragile Poetry via RSS Reader or email.

New Site #2: Artistic Gemini

Artistic Gemini

Artistic Gemini is about analyzing the fusion of astrology, creativity, dreams, personality, personal development, psychology and thoughts of a Gemini with an artistic temperament. So for those of you into any of those topics, stop by and follow Artistic Gemini on Twitter, StumbleUpon and Facebook. And to keep up with new posts, be sure to subscribe via RSS Reader or email.

Have You Branched Out?

If you have a blog that covers multiple topics, have you thought about splitting them into separate sites? If you have already done a similar process, what has been your experience? (Links to multiple websites as examples are welcome and Dofollow!)

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Comments

  1. says

    Kristi,
    I haven’t branched out yet but it is in the works. I think blogging is one of those endeavors where you have to do it for a while to learn about where you want to go with it. After a period of time you have a better idea about where to focus some/part/all of your efforts.

    I have used the Redirection plugin and it works great. It’s also good if you want to change the title of a post that is used as part of a link, say for SEO purposes. Just edit the title and Redirect the old to the new.

    Excellent post. Best of luck with the new sites. I’m sure they’ll be great.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Gmail – 45 Timesaving Keyboard Shortcuts =-.

  2. says

    Hi, Kristi

    I branched out a few months ago, but still kept my focus on the main blog. By creating 2 extra blogs (iPhoneCounty and AstrologyBits) I barely was able to keep my writing on the main blog theme, but I kinda had a hard time updating those other blogs. I recently started to work more on them and they started to pick up really well. Thank you for the redirect plugin, i was just thinking the other day at something like this.

    I don’t know if I’m going to move all the related posts to the new blog. I didn’t think at the implications of that from a SEO point of vue…

    Anyway, good luck and happy to find another Gemini into astrology :-)
    .-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..39 Things =-.

  3. says

    Oh, gee, I can’t disagree stronger with your decision. Someone asked me earlier today about whether it’s important to have a niche blog or to write about everything under the sun; and while I agree niche beats everything, it’s important to inject other pieces beyond the focal subjects to add personality and to keep readers interested.

    On the other hand, I also have two blogs. One is where I offer strategies and tips on social media and online marketing and the other is for my political and community commentary on being a city councilor–which I’ll start up again in January when my term begins.

    It was nonsensical to combine my social media advice with my city council blog — but poetry? I dunno. I would have kept them together unless your customers wanted separation.
    .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..Teachers Beware: Facebook May Cause Firing =-.

  4. says

    I always find it better to stick to a theme, of course publish something every now and again out of the norm but stick to a general theme. Does blogging and social media connect to poetry in anyway? I would say not, so you have made the right decision.

    The redirect plugin is a good choice, however I remember having problems wih it only a few moths back, if there permanent redirects I like to use ht.access, just preference I guess, just dont ever use the Meta Refresh.

  5. says

    I currently have two blogs. As much as I try, one usually suffers a bit more than the other with regard to attentiveness. It’s a brilliant idea…this branching out…but it can monopolize a considerable portion of your time if you plan poorly. I look forward to visiting your other blogs :)
    .-= Roschelle´s last blog ..My Mama Visited Me Today =-.

  6. says

    Wow, you are an inspiration…where do you get the time to put this work in? I am also looking to create a new site with a friend of mine and we are just in the brainstorming phase to see what focus we want to have on the topic we’re interested in. Keep it up…can’t wait to check your poetry too :)

  7. says

    Each time I’ve started a new blog, I haven’t worried about the technical side so much as finding a voice that readers want to engage. We often talk about linking to past posts to push readers there – I’ve been aiming to make blogs for readers that they’ll want to explore on their own.

    My experience has actually been to consolidate as opposed to specialize. Yeah, I rant too much. But at some point, building an audience is about letting them discover your work, I feel. Will check out your sites soon, thanks for this post.
    .-= ashok´s last blog ..Briefly Noted: Plato’s “Menexenus” =-.

  8. says

    To tell you the truth, I thought of creating a separate blog @ wordpress.com for my posts on Arsenal FC & football in general. I thought it would be cool. But then I blog a lot about NHL & the Ottawa Senators in particular. And then what about music? And Sci-fi tv series? Do I create a whole lot of blogs? It would be a pain to maintain all of them.
    Besides, the many, many different categories in my blog are all facets of my life – the many interests are what define me! So it all stays together like a huge biriyani :)
    I do have a separate blog for my attempt at writing a sci-fi novel. That is going at a very slow pace though.
    .-= Roshan´s last blog ..My Friday The 13th (2009) =-.

  9. says

    To answer your question – yes, I have branched out. I thought I was posting too much “apple”-related tech stuff on my “general tech blog”, but after having run a dedicated Apple site for almost 2 months I’ve now decided to cancel the project and move my posts back again. It took much more than than what I had(have) available to maintain two seperate blogs and I never really got around to promoting it since I spend so much time promoting my main one. So I would rather just do some better categorizing on the main one and have much more content there – for now at least.

    Best of luck with your branching out – I’m quite sure you will manage to do better than I did :)
    .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Twittley – A Digg-Like Twitter Community (Button Shuffle Colors) =-.

  10. says

    It’s logic to make such separation and good that you’ve limited the export file to a restricted Author. As for the two new sites, I am going to check them. “Artistic Gemini” sounds a good name and so do “Fragile Poetry” too. Wishing you success as usual, Kristi :)
    .-= Hicham´s last blog ..Justice and Stereotype =-.

  11. says

    I’ve had a lot of experience with wordpress export and import. I created two additional blogs when I felt the need to “branch out”. Both of the sites “Artistic Gemini” and “Fragile Poetry” above appeal to me so I’ll be visiting them soon.
    .-= timethief´s last blog ..Marcome: River of Soul =-.

  12. says

    Hi Kristie,

    My experience with branching out has been somewhat different. Not only do I have more than one blog, each of them is on a different platform! I have 4.
    WordPress.com (my primary blog)
    Posterous
    Blogger
    Tumblr
    I didn’t need to export any content because each of them was created for different reasons; but mostly because I wanted to experience using different platforms, compare them and blog about my findings. It’s demanding to keep up with them and learning all of the tips and tricks for each platform, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

    I love following this blog and I’m anxious to visit your others.

    Thanks for the post.

    @Ileane
    .-= ileane´s last blog ..Posterous – Lifestreaming or Not? =-.

  13. says

    I currently have 3 blogs. Two of them have kind of a specific focus, but the third, which is the one you visit most often, can at times be all over the place. However, I kind of like that, because it’s personal, but also tekkie and other such nonsense. It’s the only one where I’ve given even a little bit of thought as to whether it should be multiple blogs. Instead, I’m keeping it as one, as I’m near 600 posts; splitting it up means I would have fewer posts spread all around different places. I’d rather not do that.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..5 Websites You May Not Know About =-.