Improve your personal branding by separating your blogs

In a recent conversation at a business breakfast roundtable at the Cornell Club in NYC, a question was asked about blogging, and I volunteered a brief description of my blogging activities.

If you are blogging about multiple issues, you should consider separating your blog writing into categories to improve or reinforce your personal branding. Leading by example, here’s our breakdown:

http://www.thoughtstorm.com/blog.html – this is the TSC “official” blog. I try to keep the topics closely aligned to our thinking, our service offerings, and our opinions about similar transactions or related issues. I will soon be making this content the primary focus of the website, using it to give a fuller impression of who we are and how we think – what separates us from larger firms providing seemingly similar services.

http://www.rickcolosimo.com/ – this is my “personal” blog. By personal, I mean only that it’s separate from my TSC business. But I fully expect that business contacts will also see this blog and so the real difference is that I address topics that are slightly different from the TSC core business , such as more law-related issues, or expansions of TSC ideas and themes into other areas that TSC would be unlikely to explore for business.

http://www.30seats.com/ – this is the autism-related blog that I primarily write. I am trying to focus it on creating tools to help people (parents) help themselves. It will slowly accrete links to Pam’s blog (below) and to our wiki-driven site for creating and collecting content, to be found at www.wolfhoundfund.org (no link since it’s not fully installed yet).

http://pamcolosimo.blogspot.com/ – this is my wife’s “science of autism” blog. She has a Ph.D. in Genetics and is beginning to look for a position following the completion of her NIH post-doctoral fellowship at Sloan-Kettering in NYC. Its purpose is as much to get her in the practice of writing about science as it is to provide a deeper portfolio that will resonate with the people she meets.

As you can see, there are some clear lines we’ve drawn between what goes where. While this could be accomplished on a single blog, there are, at least in our case, pretty clear distinctions between the types of things I write about. The autism-related issues, in particular, are interesting to a very different group of people than those who care about our use of data-driven analysis to guide pre-merger due diligence on target companies. Of course the groups overlap to some extent, but nearly everything about the communication is different – tone, style, frequency, subject matter, and call to action. It makes sense to us to give people what they want. Separating your blogs helps people understand what you’re offering. With the cost of a second blog being so low (free from a blogger.com/wordpress.com perspective), the benefits to your readers almost certainly outweigh the costs. Using a second or third blog improves the signal-to-noise ratio for your readers when your topics diverge.

Please feel free to describe your blog separation strategy in the comments, or why you have decided not to use different blogs. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA http://www.thoughtstorm.com/ this is the TSC “official” blog. I try to keep the topics closely aligned to our thinking, our service offerings, and our opinions about similar transactions or related issues. I will soon be making this the primary focus of the entire website, using it to give a fuller impression of who we are and how we think – what separates us from larger firms providing seemingly similar services.

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< ![endif] >http://www.rickcolosimo.com/ this is my “personal” blog. By personal, I mean only that it’s separate from my business. But I fully expect that business contacts will see this blog and so the real difference is that I address topics that are slightly different from the TSC core business , such as more law-related issues, or expansions of TSC ideas and themes into other areas that TSC would be unlikely to explore for business.
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< ![endif] >http://www.30seats.com/ this is the autism-related blog that I primarily write. I am trying to focus it on creating tools to help people (parents) help themselves. It will slowly accrete links to Pam’s blog (below) and to our wiki-driven site for creating and collecting content, to be found at www.wolfhoundfund.org (no link since it’s not fully installed yet).
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA <! /* Font Definitions / @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} / Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; mso-themecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} >

< ![endif] >http://pamcolosimo.blogspot.com/ this is my wife’s “science of autism” blog. She has a Ph.D. in Genetics and is beginning to look for a position following the completion of her NIH post-doctoral fellowship at Sloan-Kettering in NYC. Its purpose is as much to get her in the practice of writing about science as it is to provide a deeper portfolio that will resonate with the people she meets.

As you can see, there are some clear lines we’ve drawn between what goes where. While this could be accomplished on a single blog, there are, at least in our case, pretty clear distinctions between the types of things I write about. The autism-related issues, in particular, are interesting to a very different group of people than those who care about our use of data-driven analysis to guide pre-merger due diligence on target companies. Of course the groups overlap to some extent, but nearly everything about the communication is different tone, style, frequency, subject matter, and call to action. It makes sense to us to give people what they want. Separating your blogs helps people understand what you’re offering. With the cost of a second blog being so low (free from a blogger.com/wordpress.com perspective), the benefits to your readers almost certainly outweigh the costs. Using a second or third blog improves the signal-to-noise ratio for your readers when your topics diverge.

Please feel free to describe your blog separation strategy in the comments, or why you have decided not to use different blogs.

4 Comments

  1. John Hack on March 28, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Rick,

    Solid idea. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the various choices we make online. Your post has inspired me to consider separating my blog (which covers a few topics quite distinct from one another.)

    In addition to separating our blogs, we have to choose whether to host a blog, or to comment on a blog by someone whose ideas we respect. Blogs, ideally, are conversations, not broadcasts. If someone else’s blog has a larger audience, and good conversations are spawned, it can be more fruitful than blogging alone.

    And at the risk of stating the obvious, if one comments anonymously, one can’t build a brand.

    John Hack

  2. Rick Colosimo on March 30, 2009 at 10:20 am

    John, I think you’re on the right track. I started, years ago, commenting on law forums (I guess they’d be called blogs now) and similar things. Only more recently, as my own ideas matured into a phase where they needed deliberate expression and spreading (cf. the TSC blog and my recent involvement with autism) that I moved to creating my own forum/fora. I know that the people interested in enterprise performance management are not necessarily interested in autism; that would be a dilemma that would be hard to solve under old models. The not inconsiderable fact that the tools are so much more accessible today is a huge boon to those who don’t want to or can’t restructure their lives to become journalists or freelance writers. And that’s okay; it’s good.

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