Blogging

Travel Blog Experiment: Merging Multiple Blogs to Increase Traffic & Authority

Merging two or more blogs into one massive website with more authority and value is a good idea, as long as some important boxes are ticked. And although I doubt that many people are in my situation, with multiple blogs out there ready to be merged, this article might still prove to be useful to some.

If not, I will at least have something to return to and read when I want to recap what I’ve done with my time and either celebrate or say: “That was a bad move!

Why would you want to merge two or more blogs?

Ever since I started blogging, I followed the golden rule of thumb: don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.

And while I still agree that this rule should be followed to reduce risks, taking it too far and getting too many baskets will probably drive you insane as well. In my case, I ended up with way too many blogs for one person to handle, which resulted in me feeling burned out and in a major need of a rest – in my case, a sabbatical.

While me writing this article now proves that I haven’t started my sabbatical yet, things are better: I have reduced work time a lot in the past couple of months, I have reduced stress a lot and made some very important plans for optimizing my blogging business for the future.

And one of the most important – and hardest to make decisions – was shutting down many of my existing blogs (I own 26).

But a couple of weeks ago, I had an epiphany: why simply kill some blogs I can no longer maintain, when I could actually put the articles I have written for them to good use and merge them together to create fewer, but better super blogs?

This is not extremely easy to do and it requires a bit of technical know-how, which I don’t really have. But I still remember that back in 2015 I refused to buy Bitcoin, because I considered the whole thing way too technical and complicated. Back then, one Bitcoin was selling for around $300 a piece. Today, it’s around $5,000, but it reached a peak – as your probably know – of $20,000 in early 2018. Opportunity lost.

So I’m no longer willing to make that mistake again and refuse to do something just because it’s not easy. I actually understood that the most important steps in life are not easy to take. And while simply complicating your life does not automatically guarantee any sort of success (see my 26 blogs!), I don’t think that merging multiple websites into one falls in this pointless category.

And to get back on track and answer the original question: “Why merge two or more blogs into one?

As long as these blogs are in the same niche or at least niches that complement each other and as long as the resulting blog would work well, I see no reason why you shouldn’t actually merge two blogs or more.

The result would be having a larger, more authoritative blog which Google and your site’s visitors will probably love more.

Another important reason is that one blog is easier to manage than 5. One blog is easier to rank than multiple ones. Everything is easier, both in theory and practice: from building a brand to managing the blog itself, writing content, delivering more value and saving time.

I know it defeats the “keeping all your eggs in a basket” concept, but in my case, there would still be other baskets around and probably still more than I should have anyway. But even if you don’t, merging two blogs into one might be the better idea based on all the potential benefits.

Authority is difficult to build

This comes from somebody who owns 26 blogs, out of which most of them are mediocre at most – both in terms of content quality (it’s difficult to admit, but it’s true), but also numbers: few visitors, few earnings, if any and no authority. Just wasted time and resources.

Back in the days when I started blogging, in many cases it was enough to puke a few 300-word articles on a spammy website and make at least some money with. There were people with huge empires build on this concept and method so owning a million websites made sense. But even then, in my case, things didn’t go as well as they did for others.

However, things have changed. Google got smarter, the people visiting your sites got smarter and more demanding and low quality websites are no longer working. Building a trusted, authority website, is difficult and it takes time.

Building multiple high quality, high authority blogs that people genuinely trust and would visit again is almost impossible if you’re an individual doing everything, like I am.

At the same time, just like me again, you’re probably not in a spot where you can afford to hire additional people to work on your multiple blogs… so you have to find a solution.

And the solution could be that of merging your blogs – or if you’re just starting over, keep their numbers under control.

What type of blogs to merge?

Obviously, if you have a website about training Komodo dragons and one about running shoes, it wouldn’t make sense to merge them, even though running for your life, chased by a Komodo dragon might be a thing. (I don’t know, is it?)

But if you have a website about coffee makers and one for tea lovers, these could work well hand in hand.

The most important thing when deciding to merge blogs is to have them work together well, to complement each other and to be relevant. Although coffee lovers are not necessarily tea lovers, these two topics could still go well together.

In my case – and I kid you not – I actually have 6 travel-related blogs. To make things even crazier, four of these blogs are actually general travel blogs. Basically, if I had an article about the best swimming spots in Bali, I could publish it on any of those four blogs.

To give further proof that I wasn’t the smartest cookie around when dealing with my blogging business, I have to say that these four travel blogs combined generate under 500 visits PER MONTH and make zero money. Yet, I kept creating a blog after another, just because I found a good domain name or for whatever spur of the moment reason.

As a professional blogger, I do have to make money to put food on my table, and working on 4 blogs that cover the same topic – without any success – is definitely not the best approach.

Then, why not merge them and create one hopefully-not-so-crappy blog? This is the question I asked myself a while ago and the answer was easy: I have to give it a try, even though merging multiple blogs is not the easiest thing in the world. Note: it’s not that complicated, either.

How to merge your blogs?

You can’t just click a button or two and turn two blogs into one. You have to work a bit and for somebody who lacks the technical knowledge and gets the chills when it hears linux servers, CSS, HTML or other similar things, it might seem a bit scary.

But the truth is – it’s not that bad. I actually did a redirect once in the past, moving olddomain.com to newdomain.com, together with all the articles it had.

When merging two blogs (or more) by transferring articles from one to another, things will be a bit more difficult as you can’t just import the old database with the old articles and rename the domain. In this case, you will actually have to move the articles manually in order to still keep the existing ones intact.

And you have to redirect your old blog to the new one, so when somebody clicks a link (or search result) to your Top Things To Do Under the Desk article, they’re taken to its new location on the new blog. This way, you not only not lost ranking for that article, but also transfer some of the link juice from the old domain to the new one – and even if it’s a low number, it’s still better than nothing.

A word of caution, though: if you’re trying to merge two blogs (or more) and the one you’re moving away from has been penalized by Google for whatever reasons, it is best not to redirect it to the new one as it might negatively impact it.

There might be other, smarter methods around, but this is how I plan to handle the merges:

1. Manually copy all the articles from one site to the other and save them as drafts.

2. Once are articles are ready, I will set up a .htaccess 301 redirect to the old site, making it point to the new one. This only requires a line of code and should be extremely simple to do:

redirect 301 / https://www.newblog.com/

This way, the little traffic that I get from Google and other sources won’t be lost.

Also, this will prevent Google from believing that I am stealing the content from the old site, and penalize the existing one. Instead, it will tell Google that the old site has been moved completely and everything should work fine with link juice and the existing traffic transferring to the new domain.

3. Go to the new site and publish all the articles, sending them from draft mode to live mode. This should only take a few minutes.

This is also the reason why I first handled the move of the articles manually: to have them available on the new site as soon as possible. There might be a way to move them faster, in bulk, and import them to the database somehow, but I don’t really care about that.

Most of the articles that I am importing need to be heavily edited in order to provide more value to the readers. So I will work on them one at a time, make them better and hopefully see them rank better in the long run, delivering more traffic.

Is merging multiple blogs a good idea?

I don’t know. In theory, it makes sense that in my case, things should get better: I am building a larger website with information that is easily accessible in one place. I will no longer compete against my own blogs – as it happens with my Pamukkale article, for example, which for some reason was written at a point in time on all my websites (with different text, of course).

I hope that this move will make the merged website stronger – see it rank better, build a real audience and be a bit more relevant in the long term since it will be easier to maintain and update constantly.

But as for the real benefits – it’s difficult to say right now how will things change. I will update this article several months from now (or write a new one – whatever makes more sense) and share the results, though.

Will such a merge hurt my brand?

In the case of Nomad, Not Mad – a blog that nobody has heard of right now, things are pretty simple: no, it won’t hurt my brand because there is no brand to talk about. Ha!

The problem I am having in this case is that I will have to move around 60 articles over here. Of those articles, many are written by freelancers, so they’re not actually mine, not offering my personal experiences and are sometimes not truly genuine by my standards and they don’t completely follow the route I had initially planned for Nomad Not Mad.

But at the same time, I don’t think that they would hurt the blog in the future – if the imported articles work well and draw an audience, it means that they’re good. If they don’t do well and people hate them, I will simply remove them from the website.

In the case of larger brands, things shouldn’t be too different: you’re not going to merge a crappy website with a super high quality one – that would make no sense. Bring together websites that complement each other, articles that bring extra value and are relevant to your current audience. That would be mostly just like publishing new articles – so no problem with that.

Conclusion

Merging two blogs or more to create one super-duper-website might not always be a good idea. If you already have two established blogs that deliver good results and you are sure that you can work on both at the same time, producing quality content constantly and not doing crazy doing so, I would personally say keep both blogs.

But if you are in a situation like mine – where you are overwhelmed by work, you have websites that are not really bringing in the result and you can no longer realistically handle them all, it’s definitely better to at least try merging them in a bid to increase authority and popularity of the chosen website.

My main problem was that although these 4 travel blogs were not bringing in much traffic, they still have around 100 articles combined. These are articles that are of decent quality which I wrote in most cases or spent money on. So just throwing them away didn’t sound like the optimal thing to do.

We’ll see if I was right or wrong. With so many advocates for deleting old content, some would say that this extra trouble is not worth it. But I always believe that you can never have too many articles on a blog – as long as they are relevant for your website’s traffic and your audience. So I will give this a try and, as I said, I will share the results with you as well.

I have also done another experiment this year, which involved editing and updating older articles on some of my more successful blogs and the results were encouraging – so I am in a mood for trying new things right now.

The ultimate goal here is to optimize how things are going, to minimize work and increase revenue, so that I can travel more and enjoy life more. And the best thing is that if it works for me, it will work for you too!

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