Two Blogs, One Domain

Several of you have asked this question, so let’s chat about it. I run two blogs off of the Elizabeth Anne Designs domain, Weddings and Living. There are many different ways to run two blogs on the same domain, and I’ll start with the way I chose…

My choice: Install WordPress twice

(Sounds like it would be way harder than that, doesn’t it?)

The upside: Can have different categories, users, plugins, you-name-it-it-can-be-differents on the two blogs.

The downside: You’ve got two blogs now.  Two sets of plugins to upgrade, two things to keep in sync if you make changes.

Alternative: Use WordPress functionality to mimic having two blogs

Julie and Sally want to house their blogs on the same domain within the same WordPress installation.  Because WordPress creates both author pages and RSS feeds for each author by default, this one is relatively easy.

Our example domain will be www.mycookingsite.com

  • Install WordPress once
  • Create a page that will be your front page and link to both of your blogs.  The link to Julie’s blog will be: www.mycookingsite.com/author/julie and Sally’s will be: www.mycookingsite.com/author/sally
  • Create a page that will be for all posts (you don’t have to display the page anywhere)
  • Under Settings → Reading, set your blog front page to the page that you created and the posts page to the page for all posts
  • Create two users, one for Julie and one for Sally

Two things of note:

  1. If you don’t like the /author/ in the URL, here is a thread on WordPress that suggests some plugins to use that will change it.  Note: I have not used these plugins.
  2. The RSS feed for the separate blogs is www.mycookingsite.com/author/username/feed

You could also follow the instructions above except instead of using authors, you could use a category for each of your blogs.  Each category has a feed, as authors do.

Julie wants to start two blogs, one for recipes and one for food photography.

  • Install WordPress once
  • Under Settings → Permalinks, change the category base to your desired wording.  So perhaps Julie would choose “food”.
  • Create a page that will be your front page and link to both of your blogs.  The link to the blogs would be: www.mycookingsite.com/food/recipes and www.mycookingsite.com/food/photography
  • Create a page that will be for all posts (you don’t have to display the page anywhere)
  • Under Settings → Reading, set your blog front page to the page that you created and the posts page to the page for all posts
  • Create two categories, one for recipes and one for photography.
  • When you create posts, assign them to one of the two categories.

The last alternative is something we haven’t even come close to talking about yet, but if you are not a newbie to WordPress you will know about the Custom Taxonomy feature.  Justin Tadlock explains it really well in this post.

In all of the options that use existing WordPress functionality, category and tag archives will combine the posts from both blogs.

What’s the bottom line?

If everything after the first paragraph was Greek to you, then choose option 1. :)

Do any WordPress experts have an option that I didn’t consider?

What Las Vegas Teaches Us About Business

I spent five days in Las Vegas last week for the fabulous WPPI conference. Five days in the land of smoke and slot machines is a bit too long, but I digress… Las Vegas is one of those interesting places, economically. Hotels are luxurious and relatively inexpensive, yet restaurants and shows are exhorbitant. The casinos will give you free drinks, even at the penny slots, but a cab down the road is $20. So what can we learn from Las Vegas about how to run our business?

Lesson 1: Get them addicted and they’ll keep coming back

Whatever it is that you’d like people to consume, you want to find a hook – something that keeps them coming back for more. Is it your amazing photography? The unique and creative product that you are selling? Your sparkling wit and dazzling intelligence?

How are you drawing people in to your blog or business website? What are you doing to keep them there? Are you:

  • Putting out good products or information on a consistent basis?
  • Creating “sticky” content? As people find your site, do you lead them through to other content by using related post functionality or backlinks to other content?
  • Providing something that gives them immediate gratification? For example, if someone reaches your website through a google search for “Seattle wedding photography”, are Seattle weddings what they see when they get there?
  • Showing them who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch with you through easy to find links?


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Lesson 2: Give something away for free and they will stick around

Casinos have this one down, don’t they? Not only does the free liquor make people feel as if they are receiving some sort of value for their time and money, but it impairs their judgement. We’ll skip the fuzzy memories and the “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” attitude and focus on the giving piece of the equation.

Customers are more likely to buy your product if they have seen tangible proof that your work is fabulous.

People are more likely to pay for supplementary content if your free content rocks (think e-books, magazines, etc).

Give people something of value to them, whatever that something is (a discount, a sample pack, a great shopping bag — hello, lululemon!) and they are far more likely to purchase from you in the future.

Lesson 3: Objects may be further away than they appear

Anyone who’s ever walked between casinos in Las Vegas knows this one. Hence all the tourists in fanny packs and sneakers.


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If you’re like me, you tend to underestimate the time it will take to get something done. “Just 5 more minutes” turns into a half-hour of editing a blog post, or responding to emails. I also overestimate the energy that I will have to devote to projects on an ongoing basis.

Budget your time as well as you budget your money. Make sure that you accurately assess the effort it will take to reach your goals, or complete your daily tasks. Pushing to reach the finish line is a great thing, but not if you are exhausted and tapped out in the end. I’m not an advocate of “slow and steady wins the race”, more like “focused and controlled helps you reach your goals faster”.

Lesson 4: To succeed, you must take risks

You shouldn’t be gambling your life savings away. We’re not even talking huge leaps of faith here, although it could be.

It may be the daily risk of putting yourself out there on your blog. Or the risk of creating a new product line that stretches your business boundaries. Or even something as simple as taking a small capital risk by advertising on a new website or attending a conference.

  • How are you taking risks in your business?
  • What are you doing to invest in your success?
  • Are you committed to your business strategy, even if there are obstacles?

What else can Las Vegas teach us about business?

What Makes You You?

We all work or blog in industries that require a unique perspective in order to succeed. We don’t produce commodity products, we work with clients who want a fresh and informed opinion or idea.

Due to the speed of information movement in today’s society and the low barriers to entry in many industries, competition is increasing at exponential rates.  If you create a product, that product will be copied.  If you have a wonderful blog that enjoys success, it will inspire others to blog and connect in that circle.  If you are a graphic designer, individuals with access to the same tools and technology will use your ideas.  What are you putting out there to make sure people choose you?

What makes you You?

There’s an economic principle called competitive advantage, which says that firms that succeed have some form of advantage over their competition – an ability to add more value, therefore bringing in and retaining more customers (or more readers, if you are blogging).  One of the keys to success in business is to find your competitive advantage early and exploit it.

What is your competitive advantage?

You may have a faster product assembly or access to better materials.  Or perhaps it’s more intangible than that – relationships that you have cultivated or a creative spin on an idea that you’re able to take to market with great speed.

What is your competitive advantage?  How are you exploiting it for your business?  Can it be replicated?

WordPress Plugins: WP Database Backup

Now that we have installed WordPress, we’re going to cover a few of the plugins that I consider absolute necessities for your blog.

Nothing is more integral to your blog than protecting your content.  As we talked about in the What Is WordPress Anyway? post, WordPress requires both a web server and a database to run.  The web server holds your uploaded images and files, and the database holds your posts, comments, links, etc.

Backing up your web server is essentially like backing up files on your own computer.  Use the FTP program you downloaded to copy your files to your computer or hard drive.

Backing up your database can be done multiple ways, but by far the easiest way is using the plugin WP-DB Backup.  With just a few clicks of set-up, this plugin will email you daily with a complete backup of your database.

After installing the plugin, navigation to Tools → Backup in your WordPress dashboard, and scroll down to the Scheduled Backup section.  Choose “Once Daily” and select all of the database tables on the list (if there are any to check).  Input your email address, click “Schedule backup”, and you’re all set!

Claiming Your Site In Google Webmaster Tools

Whether you have a blog or a website, you definitely want to tell Google that it’s yours!  How do you do that?  Google Webmaster Tools.

Now that you know how to FTP to your site, it will take you about five minutes to claim your site with Google Webmaster Tools.  The benefits are simple but helpful.  You can easily see:

  • The top google searches that led people to you
  • A complete list of external links
  • All broken links that Google finds as it crawls
  • The keywords that Google views as significant

In addition, Google will notify you on the Webmaster Tools dashboard of any errors that they have found while they were attempting to access your site.

To claim your site, visit Google Webmaster Tools and sign in or register with your Google account.

Click “Add a Site”

Input your website and hit continue, you will be taken to the “Verify Ownership” screen.  Select “Upload an HTML file”.

You will be given a link to a file to download.  Simply download that and use your nifty CoreFTP (or other) program to upload it to the root of your site.  If you are logged in to Core FTP, navigate your left window to where your file is downloaded, and your right window to your domain.  Select the file on the left, and click the right arrow to copy it to your server.

Voila!  Hit the “Verify” button and your domain is now “yours” in Google’s eyes.  In a few days you should be able to log in and see all of the wonderful information above!  Easy peasy, right?