Stepping on Toes: Too Many Overlapping Blogs

So I work for Splashpress Media, and back in the day they acquired a vast number of blogs to build their business and while this was probably a fairly smart move on their part, it is, at least in my mind, creating a small issue: we now have too many blogs and services covering the same things.

Take blogs about Blogging for example. Splashpress Media has no less than four blogs totally devoted to this subject. There is the Blog Herald, 901am, Blogging Pro, and Performancing. You could even toss both Wisdump and Devlounge in there as well as they cover blogging related subjects fairly heavily.

Even worse, that doesn’t even include the nearly half a dozen other blogs that overlap into this same subject like the EatonWeb Blog and Blog Network Watch. Or our new ones that are still finding their audience like WordPress Philippines and Blog Tutorials.

It is starting to feel a little crowded in Splashpress Media when it comes to covering blogging and blog related pursuits and it has actually gotten to the point where it makes me a little frustrated.

I, personally, add content to the Blog Herald, and Blogging Pro. I was told that Blogging Pro was supposed to be “the source” for WordPress related news, as that is the slant and audience it has almost always had, but now I feel like I am competing against my colleagues on the other blogs. Who are, rather than helping me do my job, are trying to post as much news as they can on the Blog Herald to build it up bigger and better.

While I can understand that they want to make the blog they write on “the best”, it really steps on my toes and puts me in an odd position as I work alone on Blogging Pro compared to the dozen writers on the Blog Herald. They will almost always have the better odds when it comes to finding WordPress related news, and this is already apparent when you look through the last week or two of the Blog Herald as they consistently scoop Blogging Pro on WordPress related news and developments.

This is one of the issues I have been struggling lately, and it really ruins the enjoyment I get from my job having to compete against co-workers rather than working together.

While I am sure not many of you have had to ever deal with such a problem, as even most of b5media’s vast number of blogs have fairly well defined borders, I would still love to know what you all think of this problem. Have you ever had other bloggers “step on your toes”?

What do you think would be the wisest move for Splashpress Media in dealing with so many closely connected blogs?

9 thoughts on “Stepping on Toes: Too Many Overlapping Blogs

  1. Kevin

    I actually would have thought that the blog herald was supposed to be the news blog and that bloggingpro was the wordpress news blog. Recently they have increased their posting rate and most of these posts have been news posts. However, they seem to do be quite good at it as they have been first with the news a few times.

    What should splashpress media do?

    I would consider the blog herald to be a more successful blog (I dont have traffic of subscriber stats but from the number of comments on each site it seems to be the case). So they have 3 options in my opinion :

    1 : Change the direction of BloggingPro over the next few months and move it in a different direction. Perhaps focusing on a certain aspect of blogging (eg wordpress)
    2 : Sell BloggingPro on a site like sitepoint and use the funds generated to start a few new blogs in different niche (therefore reducing the problem of having too many blogs about blogging – if that is indeed a problem). The money generated could be used to get some unique themes for these new blogs and to hire writers for at least a year.
    3. Merge BlogHerald and BloggingPro together. Blog posts from bloggingpro would be migrated to blogherald and then a redirect would be setup to send visitors to the new site. Assuming that splashmedia keeps all staff, with double the amount of traffic and double the number of posts on blogherald it would grow at a much quicker rate.

  2. Matt Craven

    Does it really matter that these sites are owned by the same company – granted trying to find more synergy between the various splashpress sites might be a good thing – but that’s besides the point.

    Here’s my advice, for what it’s worth:
    1) Stop getting scooped – get your own sources and go after those stories.

    2) See if you can bring other bloggers over to the blog

    3) Define and carve out your own niche with this blog

    There are two pieces of feedback as well that I think are worth mentioning – right or wrong – so here they are…

    1) Feels like rather than looking at the blog and seeing what you can do to do *better* at the blog – you’re pointing fingers as if something else is amatter.

    Pretend for a minute that this blog wasn’t owned by Splashpress – what would you do to make it better than what it is? Then go after those things.

    2) I’m surprised that this was posted publicly rather than being an internal conversation to Splashpress – but that’s just me.

    ^^ All of this intended to be constructive – hope it’s taken that way –

  3. David

    Bill – Talked to you on instant messenger about your idea, but I want to post here as well. Splashpress values blogs differently than say someone on Sitepoint and as such, they see each blog as a jewel, and will accept nothing else than diamond type prices for their sites and to be honest, I think they are smart in that way.

    – I love the increase in posts on the Blog Herald and while I don’t always agree with Matt Craven (I will get to him in a second), his stuff will get the Blog Herald back on track to where it should be.

    My biggest issue is WordPress related news. Everything else can be posted wherever, but I was hired on to cover WordPress, and it would be nice if they worked like one company, and e-mailed me with WordPress related news, or got an account on Blogging Pro to post such things when they do arise, rather than posting them on the Blog Herald creating confusion.

    So, since #2 and #3 on your list probably aren’t an option, though #3 really intrigues me, personally. I will probably have to go with #1, adapt and change the focus of the site. The hard part will be changing the focus in such a way that it is outside the normal scope of the Blog Herald, to give uniqueness to the site.

    Thanks for your comment 🙂

    Matt – Oi… Sometimes I just want to punch you in the nose…lol.

    You are partially right with each point, but here’s the problem. Splashpress is one company. Each blog is owned under that one company, thus we are all co-workers writing for one company. I am trying to look out for the best of the whole company, where you and others seem only concerned with what is best for yourself.

    Here’s why I think that:

    1 – Building sources is time consuming. I have other duties that need my time and attention. I am the Head of Marketing working on half a dozen sites, and am helping with a myriad of different business related aspects.

    Also, no matter how many connections I get 12 people will always have more than 1 person, everything else being equal.

    2 – Getting more bloggers is something I’ve thought about. But from an expense to profit standpoint it doesn’t make sense right now, and having the Blog Herald take valuable WordPress related traffic away from Blogging Pro will only make that issue worse.

    3 – Carve out my own niche? This isn’t my blog. I have wanted to change it many times, and haven’t been allowed to. That is, in a large part, the reason I started XFEP.

    As for your feedback… I do really appreciate what you are trying to say, though I wish you had done so with a bit more tact. The fingers I am pointing are not really at you or anyone else, but instead the company as a whole, and my involvement in it. If a job is making you feel like throwing your hands up in the air and giving up, then that’s not good and something should be done about it, don’t you agree?

    As for being an internal conversation, I attempted to start one, but wasn’t met with an answer in the Blog Herald discussion area, or privately via e-mail, and so I did what I always do and query my audience.

    I don’t think it is a big deal business wise, as I think it gives people information on what it can be like to work for a blog network, even one as big and great to work for as Splashpress Media.

    I also think that it is going to be hard to get all the pieces playing together properly, and I don’t think it should be left completely up to me. I think giving each site a well defined target market and then tailor the content around each market with as little crossover as possible, creating distinct and interesting brands that don’t poach or compete off each other, but rather compliment each other.

  4. Matt Craven

    I am trying to look out for the best of the whole company, where you and others seem only concerned with what is best for yourself.

    No, presently has nothing to do with me – but everything to do with Blog Herald, where I was asked to blog – for which I was given no direction mind you on what topics to cover.

    Then again, Blog Herald has been covering wordpress news from back when it was originally launched – in fact, when we still owned the site at BlogMedia/Problogging, we had two bloggers at WordCamp in order to provide in-depth coverage of discussions around blogging and wordpress… so walking away from that coverage would be a detriment to the readers that have always looked at BH for that sort of content.

    If the intent of bloggingpro is to cover wordpress news then I would argue that there’s a ton of possibilities out there in terms of content that isn’t being duplicated over at Blog Herald.

    I have other thoughts but I think they’re better posted privately – so I’ll post over in the staff forum.


  5. jangelo

    Hmm. How about I team up with you on BP again?

    Though the last time I wrote both on BH and BP all hell broke loose.



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