What about analyzing your blog’s competition today? Not so much so you can see what they’re doing right and copy it, although that’s always an option, but so you can see where the gaps are and use this knowledge to make your blog stand out from the crowd.
With a new blog coming into the marketplace every second of every day it’s increasingly important to find a way to set yourself apart from your competition. I’ve published several posts that talk about how to make your content unique, but we’ve never really gone beyond content creation. So let’s take a look at some things you can do to make your business unique, not just your posts.
Start With 10 Blogs
Find 10 blogs in your niche. Obviously, you’ll want to pay attention to the blogs that are above you on the index but look at those below you, too. It doesn’t take much to sneak up and overtake that next position.
Subscribe to the RSS feed of each of those blogs and make a point of reading their posts once a week. Include this on your weekly Things-To-Do list so you’ll be forced to make time to get it done.
Now, analyze these 10 blogs by asking the following questions:
- What categories are they covering?
- What topics are they missing?
- How frequently do they post?
- How long are there posts?
- What type of posts do the focus on? How-To posts? List posts? Videos?
- What level is their audience? Beginners? Advanced?
- What are there most popular posts?
- Which posts are attracting the most comments?
- What questions are readers asking in the comments and are they getting answered?
- What questions do you have after you read their content and are your questions being answered?
- What voice are they using?
- Do they have a newsletter? If they do, subscribe so you can analyze that, too.
- Are they giving away a freebie for subscribers? Find out what it is.
- What does their design look like? Colorful? Clean? Magazine-style?
- What blogs are they linking to and why?
- What kind of social proof do they have? Where is their referral traffic coming from?
- What keywords are the using in their titles?
- What keywords are they missing?
- What products are they promoting and how are they promoting them?
That’s 19 questions to get you started but I bet you can think of a few more. After you’ve completed this task come back here and share your results. What’s the most interesting thing you learned about one of your competitors and how are you going to use that information to improve your own blog?