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A Blogger’s Guide to Competitor Analysis

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competitor analysis

As digital marketing professionals, we all know about the benefits of keeping a blog.

It’s a proven fact that B2B companies that maintain a blog get more leads than companies that don’t.

Plus, with everyone having access to the internet, experts believe that a company blog can yield more long-term ROI than most traditional marketing strategies.

But with over 75 million websites and blogs on WordPress alone, it can be intimidating to start a blog at this point. Starting a blog now will put you up against seasoned bloggers who have years, even decades, of published content and experience!

But don’t fret! Even with the stiff competition, you still have a fighting chance to set up a successful blog. How? By understanding how your market works. And the best way to understand the industry is to do your competitor analysis.

Just ask any business expert, and they will say that a competitive analysis plays a crucial role in building a solid marketing plan.

By identifying and evaluating your competition, it will be much easier for you to recognize opportunities that you can take to grow your brand.

To help you start your competitive analysis, here’s what you need to know:

Set up your business plan first

blogger businesswoman

As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Even if you have the most amazing ideas for your blog, you’ll have a hard time getting it off the ground without a business plan. Think of your business plan as your roadmap to blogging success.

Setting up a business plan allows you to see both the big picture and the small details of your operation. It also ensures that your whole team is on the same page, even if you’re working on different tasks.

And because a business plan often involves competitive research, it gives you the unique opportunity to look at what everyone else is doing so that you can find innovative ways to get ahead in the game.

Search for competitors based on keywords

Most people look at competition as a bad thing. But when it comes to basic SEO, your competitors are a goldmine of information.

For example, if you have no idea what keywords you would want your blog to rank for, do competitor analysis, and you’ll be able to use that information to build your marketing strategy.

And with the right tools, competitive analysis is pretty much a piece of cake. Competitive analysis tools can help you figure out which of your competitor’s keywords are ranking in the most traffic, backlinks, and social shares.

Using an SEO tool like Serpstat, enter your SEO on the search bar and then click on SEO Research > Competitors.

The tool will showcase your competitors based on the number of keywords you’re competing for on organic search.

serpstat

To help you determine which among your competitors you should focus on, check the Relevance column. It tells you how much of a threat your competitor presents. The higher the Relevance score, the more you should watch out for that site.

Once you start your research, check the type and quality of published content. You also need to analyze the keywords they’re ranking for. These data help you to pattern their actions across their and scale accordingly.

In short, understanding your competitors’ numbers lets you drive more traffic to your blog!

Monitor your competitor’s sentiment on social

To understand the competition thoroughly, you also need to gather information on social networks.

Check their activity on their social networking sites. Take note of the kind of content they post and how often they update their accounts.

Knowing the general sentiment of your competitors’ followers (and bashers) towards them will give you an idea of how well these brands are doing based on public opinion.

You’ll also see what kind of content has the most engagement, giving you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

For example, if you’re creating a blog for the dropshipping industry, you’ll know that one type of content that your target audience will be particularly interested in is understanding the difference between dropshipping and third party fulfillment.

Of course, you probably won’t have the time to browse through different tweets about your brand manually. In that case, a tool like Mention or Awario ought to do the trick.

The tools can help gather the tweets for you an identify the sentiment of each. You can then organize the mentions according to positive, neutral, or negative emotion.

Using this feature for your competitor research, look for mentions that you can capitalize on.

For instance, if someone was unhappy with the content your competitor published, tweet the user and offer your content as an alternative.

Analyze backlinks

business numbers

Lastly, the competitive analysis gives you the chance to go deep into your competitions’ backlinks.

Google may claims that they’re prioritizing good content on SERPs these days. But there’s no denying that backlinks still play a huge role in website rankings.

By analyzing your competitor’s backlinks, it will be much easier for you to plan out your backlink strategy!

Again, this is where a good competitor analysis tool will come in handy. Most tools require that you enter your competitor’s domain address to get information like Trust Rank and Page Rank, the number of referring pages and domains, and anchors.

Once you gather your data, all you need to do is look for link building opportunities to build a backlinks strategy for your blog.

Conclusion

Understanding the competition is critical in building a successful blog. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone.

There are plenty of excellent tools that can help you do competitive analysis easily. While these tools may look all the same on the surface, they have their specific features.

Try out a few and see which ones will help you get the most information about your primary competitors.

At the same time, it’s not about the tool you’re using. In competitive research, you must determine the variables you need to measure and track to effectively analyze each of your competitors. The tools are merely there to make the research much easier.

Other than that, you must have a full grasp with the process of competitor analysis to bring your blog to greater heights!

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Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal.

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How to Do Blogger Outreach Right

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Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.

People reach out in desperation.

Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.

I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:

  • are unknown
  • offer little value
  • want to use me and my blog for their gain
  • are not connected
  • are not influential
  • have no clout
  • have not paid their dues
  • have not helped people freely
  • have not earned the right to appear on my blog

Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.

He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.

I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?

I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.

Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs

Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.

A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.

Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.

Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.

Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.

Watch my recent live video from Thailand:

Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.

The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.

You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.

Your choice.

Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

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1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog

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10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.

Today I rely on no income streams.

I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.

Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.

Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.

But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.

The Step

Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.

But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.

Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.

Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.

Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.

Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.

Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.

I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.

Are you trading time for money, solely?

You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.

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Law Blogging Trends For 2019 – What’s In And What’s Out

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One of the challenges of maintaining a blog for your law firm is that, while your legal specialty may not undergo significant change, you have to keep developing new content to stay relevant to your audience – and you need to stay on brand. This can be a tough balance to strike, but by keeping up with trends, you can create powerful content that drives readership and increases conversion. Here’s what to expect, and what you need to bring, to the law blogging community in 2019.

In: An Emphasis On Authority

One of the reasons that developing a clear niche has always been important to the law blogging community is that it helps you demonstrate your expertise in that area. In 2019, though, it won’t be enough to demonstrate that authority to your readers; you also need to build authority from a technical perspective – think “domain authority.” Domain authority (DA) is an SEO metric, and it’s at the heart of whether your site attracts traffic.

To boost your DA ranking, you’ll need to ensure your blog is well-equipped from a technical SEO perspective, which means that it has clear navigation, a sitemap, and is easily crawlable by search engines, as well as that it has linkable content. Linkable content will attract the attention of other websites and help you build backlinks, as well as providing readers with added value through quality content. That might mean writing ‘Top 10’ lists or using other popular formats, injecting humor into your writing, or creating your own resource guides. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and participate in an ongoing conversation, not just to churn out content.

Out: Vague Branding

There are a lot of law blogs on the web, and the majority are associated with a specific firm or topic, which gives them clear boundaries and an obvious audience and purpose. One blog that closed shop at the end of 2018, though, “Concurring Opinions,” was widely read despite its lack of affiliation, at least until recently. According to one of the core members, Gerard Magliocca, the blog saw a serious drop off in readership as venues for sharing ideas evolved. In Magliocca’s view, the law professor blog format “only really works if there is a kind of brand identity.” That means this is a critical moment to clarify your brand’s position.

From your logo to your blog niche, it’s vital that your blog serves a clear purpose. Readers should be able to recognize who you are, what your focus is, and even your writing style after going through a few posts. As an added benefit, the more firmly you establish your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to drive traffic from a wide variety of sources. Brand recognition is key to increasing referral traffic and creating conversations across the internet.

In: Increased Creativity

In order to keep the content flowing, legal blogs, especially those that have been around for a while, need to shift away from older content strategies and start thinking outside the box. That means reading blogs outside the field to get inspired and using the skills that make you a great lawyer in the first place. After all, being a lawyer demands complex, abstract thought and the ability to solve problems in new, creative ways. It’s how you argue cases, and it will make your blogs more interesting and fun to read.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start posting memes on your legal blog; they might be a bridge too far. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to engage with popular culture, sharing commentary and analysis. Those topics can bring in readership that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a law blog, with potentially fruitful results. This is also a good way to remain focused on your blog’s topic without becoming repetitive or dull.

Out: The (Too) Long Form

One of the most common trends across all industries is that more people are accessing websites, including blogs, on mobile devices, and that means they’re reading on smaller screens. Writers need to be conscious of this fact and make sure that their posts are accessible in this way. That means covering all of your bases in terms of what Google looks for as part of the mobile-first indexing process, but also trimming your posts.

The fact is, no one wants to read 1500 words on their phone, and if readers aren’t making it to the end of your post and your call to action, you’re not getting the most out of your blog. You need to hit a happy medium in terms of providing sufficient information while also keeping your content brief. Google also prioritizes brevity over length, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.

Your law firm’s blog is an important tool for building your business, but it’s important to keep up with changing trends. Luckily, with these tips under your belt, your blog posts will draw a growing audience, driving leads and growing your client base. One feeds the other in a powerful relationship.

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