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
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.
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.
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.
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!
4 Ways to Respond to Blogging Critics
We all have ’em.
Or, if new to blogging, critics will pay you a visit eventually. Being seen online means being criticized sometimes. Part of your successful blogging tax.
Fools waste precious time and energy engaging critics in some way, shape or form. Avoid doing this. Paying, loyal, loving fans deserve your energy. Go to where you are loved.
Follow these 4 tips to respond to blogging critics effectively.
1: Ignore Critics Completely
If I come across a nasty 1 star review of my eBooks, I ignore the barb completely because miserable, angry, unhappy people cannot think clearly and tell the truth. Why trust a raging, mindless, idiotic bull? Ignore these people. Buy my critics eBook too to begin spotting these fools.
2: Listen for a Shred of Stinging Truth
OK guys; following this step feels uncomfortable but you need take the step to become a successful blogger. Listen closely to critic feedback. How does it feel to you? Upsetting? Embarrassing? Does a critic anger you or annoy you? Do you want to debate or debunk those morons? If any negative emotion feels triggered by receiving criticism you believe some or all of their critical feedback. I did tell you; this step/tip feels unpleasant. But how could you ever sell a bunch of eBooks and help people and make money if you genuinely do NOT believe in the value of your eBooks? How can you become a pro blogger if you believe you will always be amateur hour?
Critics trigger false beliefs you need face, feel and release to reach the next stage of your blogging growth. I never had powerful break throughs until a critic tossed some nasty barb my way, triggering some fear I needed to release to gain enough clarity and confidence to reach the next stage of my growth.
3: Psyche Homework
Critics see you as a mirror. What criticism seems doled out to you, on to you, is a critic speaking of themselves. We are connected; all of us. Critics never seem to see this and choose to speak of self via their criticism of you. Do your mindset homework. See how criticism serves as a projection of individual onto you? Relax. Prep yourself for future criticism. Consider writing blog posts discussing problems critics see in self if this topic applies to your blogging niche. Turn criticism into help and profits, too.
4: Never Gang Up
Ganging up on critics with your friends only shows your weakness. Critics fear. Critics are in pain. Imagine taking time to rile the troops and kick a wounded dog? This is what it’s like to get your tribe rounded up to gang up on and belittle critics. Plus, try getting featured on world famous blogs by building a bully image these days. I dare you.
Relax. Critics have issues. Ignore these folks outright. Leave them be, and you will be happier, healthier and wealthier, too. Never waste your time fighting critics; especially with friends. Do something uplifting and enriching with your time, energy and efforts.
Help people. Do not try to hurt, hurt people. Give your attention and energy to love, generosity, abundance and service to experience the greatest blogging success.
How to Self-Publish eBooks for Increased Blogging Profits
Have you bought my blogging eBook?
Well; this is one of my 100 plus eBooks:
I thought 10 eBooks in 4 months was cooking in 2014, as a newbie author. Boy, was I off. I eventually went on a blitz including publishing 1 eBook daily for 3 months in a row during one of my trips to Bali, in 2015. Anyway, I want to help you self-publish eBooks to boost your blogging profits because every blogger loves registering sweet profits, right?
Follow these tips.
1: Solve Common Problems
Solve common problems in your blogging niche. Earn profits by solving problems through eBooks people need solving. If they need the solution they buy the solution. Does it get any simpler?
2: Keep It Short and Sweet
Gone are days of 50,000 word eBooks being the norm or a bit more normal. Kindle short reads and other short, sweet numbers seem resonant with our ever-increasing microwave culture. Note how folks love watching videos and getting the latest updates via phone. People enjoy getting what they want quickly so if you solve a pressing problem fast people buy the eBook-solution.
I span 6000 to 15000 words per eBook; find your sweet spot.
3: Be Prolific
I think too many bloggers eat into their eBook profits due to holding back. Do not be stingy. Self-publish freely to increase your exposure and to better increase your blogging profits. I shipped 100 plus eBooks and promote a fair chunk daily. Being prolific helps me to help more readers; smart way for boosting your profits.
4: Help People for Free….A Lot
Do you see how many guest posts I publish daily? Quite a few, folks. I publish guesties to help you and to increase both my presence and eBook sales. Profits flow to leveraging bloggers. If self-published authors guest post heaps, all the better for increasing your blogging and eBook sales. Keep helping people via blog posts, videos and podcasts too. Do not be shy. Increase your skills, exposure and eBook profits by generously helping people for free through content creation.
5: Show Off 5 Star Reviews
I recently began showing off my 5 star reviews for my eBooks, via my blog and social media. People sometimes buy based on word of mouth marketing. Observe the review below in response to the eBook above.
Seeing positive reviews makes it easier for a reader to buy your eBooks and pad your profits. Show off 5 star reviews. Go to where you get love to get more love and to increase your eBook profits.
6: Keep It Simple
Short and sweet eBooks sell.
Simple eBooks sell even more frequently.
I always simplified my eBooks as much as humanly possible to both reach maximum readers and to increase my eBook profits. Why do people buy solution-eBooks? Authors who offer simple, easy to follow reads find few issues selling a nice volume of eBooks. Keep eBooks simple. Imagine yourself writing for a small child. Be clear and simple. Resonate with readers. Sell more eBooks.
7: Persist in Promotion
I did not begin selling eBooks until I promoted the heck out of these reads. Often this involved mentioning 1 eBook per every blog post and guest post I published for months at a time. Such is the effort of a self-promoter who drives increasing eBook profits.
Tap into this prospering blogging income stream.
Being writing and selling helpful eBooks today.
How Did You Pick Your Blogging Niche?
Did you pick your blogging niche mainly to make money? Or do you blog mainly to follow your passion? Be straight with yourself. Being honest makes the difference between happiness and misery, and, the difference between success and failure.
10 years ago I chose my blogging niche mainly to make money. I had little interest enjoying the ride and helping people. I did have a wee bit fun, freeing driver, but that intent shifted fairly quickly. I figured it’d be easy to make money blogging because top pros showed it’d be easy. Pros I followed back then, at least.
But I quickly learned being a pro blogger was no joke.
I picked the wrong niche because profits mainly drove me. Big mistake.
In my eBook: How to Pick the Right Blogging Niche
I explain how to pick the proper niche for you. Most bloggers struggle because they do not pick a niche for themselves and for their enjoyment; these folks chase money, so the niche is for money, not self. Money never arrives fast because money arrives after you practice writing, improve your skills and build your network. Why do you keep blogging if you make no money and money is your prime driver? You don’t keep blogging. Or you fail terribly, until you blog your passion versus mainly blogging for profits.
Choose Passion Over Profits
Choose your blogging passion for your driver; make the work, the reward. Profits feel like extra, which needs to be the case because you will not make money for a while. Remember; you need to practice for a long time to develop the skills, content and connections to command money for your premium offerings. Nobody makes money right away because no new blogger has a complete blogging skill set. Perhaps you have industry knowledge but you have no clue how to create content and build connections. Practice, time and trust factor deeply into the blog monetizing equation.
Pick your niche based on what you love doing. Do you dislike covering your current niche? Trash the blog. Do yourself a favor. Avoid the nightmare of spending years struggling, doing something you do not enjoy doing. You may as well work a job. Quit blogging, get a 9-5 job offline and at least get a steady paycheck and some comfort, if you are going to be miserable.
How Did You Pick Your Niche?
Most bloggers lie to themselves on niche selection because most bloggers claim to follow their passion on some level but in the next breath, these bloggers struggle for years. Guess what? If you struggle for a long time, you are chasing profits, not following your passion. Passionate bloggers put in the time, practice writing, build meaningful connections and publish helpful content. Check all those marks for 6-12 hours daily and you will begin making some solid coin over years.
Do you genuinely love your niche? If not, trash it. Start quickly and intelligently from an abundant, generous, powerful energy. Blogging From Paradise took off fairly quickly because I trashed on old blog and my old niche and followed my passion. Nothing held me back. Nothing pulled me back. Nothing held me down like an anchor.
Trashing a losing venture and blogging money obsession beats holding onto a losing venture and wasting your blogging time for years. Nobody succeeds from a happy, abundant energy trying to squeeze cash out of a blog because you cannot get big bucks unless you render big time service. Bloggers who follow their fun and make profits feel like bonuses are the exact folks who render the greatest service online.
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