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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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1 Comment

  1. Anil Agarwal

    January 5, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Hi Christopher,

    Understanding the competition is critical in building a successful blog. That’s so true. Whenever I jump into any new niche to create a site, the first thing I do is detailed competitor analysis. It’s a foolish thing to start an online business or website without finding who your competitors are. That being said, having competition is a good sign that your focused topics have enough popularity to make money.

    I use tools like SEMrush to perform competitor research and it makes it so much easier to find other sites keywords, backlinks, top contents and what not? The key here is to focus on finding low volume and highly profitable keywords so you can get a ton of great topic ideas to increase your traffic and sales.

    It’s also important to focus on your competitors strengths and weaknesses so you can fill the gap with your content ideas. Thanks for sharing your insights, keep up the great work.

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Blogging

4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes

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See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?

I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.

Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.

Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?

Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.

Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.

1: Help More Ask Less

If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.

Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.

Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.

2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts

I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.

Corey Hinde promoted me tirelessly over years. He mentions me regularly. Jan Verhoeff does too. Each blogger detaches from their own needs to help other bloggers, accelerating their online success.

3: Manage Your Energy

Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:

  • face fear
  • feel fear
  • release fear
  • dissolve attachments

I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.

Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.

Don Smith shares personal growth and energy shifting gems on his blog. My wife Kelli Cooper does too at Life Made to Order.

4: BE with Your Fear

I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:

  • money
  • list subscribers
  • traffic
  • fame

I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.

Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:

  • will miss out on clients
  • are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet

reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.

Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.

I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.

Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.

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Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online

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Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.

It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.

For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.

There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.

To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.

How Do People Search Engines Work?

Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.

Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.

In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.   

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How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media

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Alonzo Pichardo says it best.

“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”

He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:

Buy Your Domain and Hosting

I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:

  • had no blog to speak of
  • linked to YouTube
  • linked to Facebook

For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.

Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.

Big Mistake

Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:

  • can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
  • WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
  • forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand

Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.

Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.

Use social media for a little bit daily to:

  • tag bloggers you mention on your blog
  • help bloggers in groups related to your niche
  • share your blog posts
  • share other blogger’s blog posts

You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.

Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.

Pay Up to Play Up

I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.

I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.

But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.

I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!

Pay up to play up.

Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.

 

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