3 Things to Learn From Your Blogging Rivals

Master in Computer Architecture, Network and Systems

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You are a blogging master right? With 20,000 visitors a day, with a six figure Income and 50,000+ subscribers.  No, I’m not asking this for a Yes or No. I don’t want both answers. Ever wondered how some blogs in your niche achieved all these milestones I mentioned above?  

Ever tried to catch up with them? If you want to grow like them the best thing to do is observe them. Yes they are your competitors/rivals, but there are many things you can learn from them.

If you are efficiently blogging and writing on a popular niche topic it’s a sure fact that you are facing some competitions. But some are too feared to face them because they are big fishes. Don’t fall back, with a little effort you can catch up with them. Don’t ever think competitions are a burden for your blog/site. Sure it’ll cause some trouble to you, but if you carefully observe your competitor you will find lot to learn. Comparing your blog to others on the blogosphere is a very nice strategy if you do it in right.

  • Create a list of your competitors.

This is the main thing. There will be small fishes and big fishes in your niche’s pond. You should consider both. The stronger ones will distress you in terms of traffic, income, content and etc. There will be also smaller ones but are rising in a tremendous ratio than your blog.

The best place to find your competitors is Technorati Blog Directory. There you can find a huge list of blogs in almost all popular niches. Browse through categories and find the top rankers. Don’t add all top 100 to our list just the top 10 blogs- bookmark them. Then look into the side bar and you’ll find a list of Top 10 risers-add the first 2 or 3 to your list. Good, you are ready for the digging.

Analyse and Find what is making them stronger than you. Observe the new risers to find what the secret behind their remarkable growing is.

Yes you are getting it. Try to find answers for these questions.

1.  What They offer to the Readers

Why your readers are going to your opponent’s blog all the time, and not yours? Don’t blame Google for it! It’s because they giving something special to their readers! Then you must find the ‘something special’ inside that blog. It may be good content, writing style, user friendly layout or maybe something else. See whether it’s long -lasting. If it is very suit for your niche see if you can give a sophisticated and new version of that ‘something’. Don’t just copy it, but catch the good quality gears and make it more with some new upgrades.

2. What are their Traffic Sources

It’s sure that including “Something special “and going for sleeping won’t bring you any visitors. You need to find what’s your competitors are doing to drive traffic to their site. Try to find the best keywords driving SE traffic to that blog- use headkeys for that. Add posts including those keywords if they are suitable to your niche.

Try to find their influence in social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, stumbleupon and more. Study the way they deal their followers. How often they tweet/post? Whether they are helping others to grow – observe these stuffs. Try to know their targeted users (in terms of age, interests-you know).

You should also find the links to Big Blogs of your niche; using tools like Webmaster Tools. Links can put you ahead in Search Engines. Find who link those blogs regularly and send them a mail describing your blog. They may start to promote you.

3.  Income streams

Almost all blogs in web is looking for making some money online, but only few are (that must be you!) aware of how they can do it.  Your ads and Affiliate links must be compatible with your niche; else it would sound like adding salt to ice cream (Oh its nasty).  Just like this every one put Adsense on their blog. Adsense is not good for all niches. If you want to find the best way to make money observe the List you just created. Most of the big names in your niche must be making huge numbers. You should visit their site to know what their main income streams are. If you could not find anything much, just ask them through contact form. The Ads/Affiliate Programs/Other income streams used in those sites may perfectly suit your blog too. So keep an eye on them.

Try to understand these 3 things perfectly. Just analyse the blogs in your blogs perfectly. If there are any doubts just mail them, there will be a reply (pray for it!). Understand how the big names in your Niche maintain their selves. Try to introduce something more than they do and follow their marketing styles as well as Build a social community as they do. Whatever you adapt from them,  be genuine, Don’t be a Copycat and Be Yourself.

These are just the 3 things flashed in my mind when I set off to write this post. The list doesn’t end in these 3 things. There are many more you can learn from your Rival (or Competitor) .What would you like to learn from your competitor?  I’m looking forward for your answers…

 

 

Comments

  1. Interesting subject! you know what they say: keep your friends close and your enemies even closer!

    • Chris Jones says:

      You are right! I would write that quote in the post if you made me remind that- what on earth made me miss it?
      Any way thanks for reading the post
      Chris

  2. Thanks for the tips on learning from other blogs. I believe if your blog keep up with your competitions, then you have a chance to one day outgrew them.

    • soundspott says:

      You are right watch your opponents moves carefully. When they missed something put it in your blog. When the made a mistake correct it in your blog.No doubt you will outgrow them one day.
      Good Luck
      Chris

  3. Well all three points are important but if you know you niche very well then don’t run behind competitors too much. Sometimes they commit silly mistakes and copycats repeat them on and on. Learn from them but use your mind while producing our content. stick to niche and provide latest information.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Atulperx,
      I appreciate you for understanding exactly what I said above.I don’t want you to copy any one’s content.But their content style, formatting, targeting and other useful information in a new way.
      Thanks

  4. Interesting tools you mentioned. I had completely forgotten about Technorati. I will also look at Headkeys.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Thank you very much for Reading the post.You have many things to learn from your competitor.Hope you understand at least some from my post
      Thanks
      Chris

  5. Hi Chris:

    Awesome blog post you have here. I never thought to make a list of my competitors. But you are right it is my competitors that are with me moving up with me, following each other, knowing each other and communicating each other.

    You got great ideas in the post. I respect my readers and thank them and connect with them all the time.

    All the best
    Fran A

    • soundspott says:

      You are right. You need to make a good bond with your fellow bloggers.Just like Jesus Christ said “Love your Neighbor”. But don’t forget to learn the good from them. Also learn their mistakes and correct it in your side.
      Thanks for reading
      Chris

  6. nice article And Thanks for the tips…

  7. Dennis Edell says:

    Whilst I prefer to consider all as colleagues and not competitors, the rest remains the same; you must be up on what they are doing as often as possible.

    • Holly Jahangiri says:

      Which works best, Dennis: competition, cooperation, or a friendly mix of both?

      Good post, Chris. I have one question: Exactly how many bloggers have 20,000 visitors a day, a six figure Income and 50,000+ subscribers? And how many are lying through their teeth about it?

      Of those that do, how large is their “staff”? Are there any with fewer than 5 staff members?

      • Chris Jones says:

        Holly,there are many big names in Blogging making that much or near to that. For example Mashable,Techcruch. You can Find more at Technorati.
        But for your question they are with more than 50 members at least(i’m not sure but there only a few names in their about names).But Problogger, and Copyblogger are good examples.They have less than 5 staff members.

      • Dennis Edell says:

        Cooperation actually. There’s no easier way to find out what I’m doing then to ask and be told. ;-)

    • Chris Jones says:

      You got a nice view. They are your competitors. But this doesn’t means they are not your colleagues. You must build a bond with your fellow bloggers in orfer to study them.
      Thanks for reading
      Chris

  8. Themafeestjes says:

    I wish I had more competitors! I still haven’t found another blogger who blogs about the same stuff as me, in the same language. Blogging still has to gain more popularity in Belgium. So I spend my time reading international blogs. Yours for example. :) Thanks for the tips though!

    • Chris Jones says:

      Don’t worry. You can still blog better. Since you are the only one with this topic(I don’t Know)you can make it the best and attract more to that niche.

  9. Great tips Chris. It is very important to know what your competition is doing because together they form the competitive landscape. You can pick up valuable trends and finds ways to differentiate.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Guise,
      Thanks for reading the post. Finding a good competitor is an important part of blogging in order to compare and adopt new strategies. The competitive landscape you mentioned above can always bring you many advantages.

  10. I definitely recommend keeping track of your competitors. I found out about new sources of income such as BlogAds from a competitor and it’s one of my main sources of income right now

    • Chris Jones says:

      Your competitors can bring you money too! you got an example.But i wont appreciate using ads about your competitor. It brings them traffic – not for you.

  11. Great idea to keep track with your competitors, but never ever copy their style or become to similar on what they are doing or posting or writing. What I am trying to say is, we must learn from them (our competitor) then create our very own style/procedure to really outgrow or outrank them. It is like, getting ideas from them that really works then putting some spice at it to make it work even better!

    • Chris Jones says:

      I meant exactly what you said. Don’t copy you competitor, try to find the holes in their blog. Fill it out and make a new version of what they made and try to attach it with your blog.That’s enough.
      Thanks for reading
      Chris

  12. You’re absolutely right. I think that the best way to beat lions is to study their habits, strength and weak points and try to provide something they aren’t providing. So we better Keep our friends close and our enemies closer (although we’re not in a war). Thanks for the tips

    • Chris Jones says:

      You are right. We are not in war. But we are in a competition. We must held our head high in the competition. No matter we score more or less, but we should be a known name in our niche.

  13. Have you considered that it might help to also check out (subscribe) to the newsletters if any and see what the relationship with the targets are. That can make all the difference in the world. Basically, it is a private conversation with your competition in which they reveal everything about their business model to you, the rival!

    • Chris Jones says:

      You put a new strategy. analyzing your competitors Newsletters are a good way to build/improve your blog’s newsletter. It also help you to study a lot like you said above.
      Thanks for the tip Trudy.
      Chris

  14. Nice tips my man!

    You should always study your competition, and learn from them. Lately, I haven’t been doing much studying, but I plan on changing that today. I used to do a lot of studing, but then I kind of got cought up in doing my own thing. For me to keep developing and stay on top of my game i always need to whats going on around me.

    How much time do you spend on other blogs?

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Chris Jones says:

      Don’t tell me you can make to the top with out the help of others. If you are a full-time blogger you will get more time to spend on other blogs.if you are doing part time and blog about you’ll only get little.
      For me, I spend about 3hrs in blogging a day.1 hour for posting,1.30 hr on other blogs(including skill modifiers like Problogger,weblogbetter and more) and 30 minutes on promoting (Twitter, digg, facebook and etc).

      What’s you blogging timetable?

  15. I think competitors are your advisers. Because of these competitors we can improve a lot.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Yes they are you’re advisors. But don’t do everything as they do. Find your own way to keep your blog unique and don’t forget to add the good from them.
      Thanks
      Chris

  16. Hello,

    This article reminds me of ‘Art of War’ by Sun Tzu. Indeed, you can learn a lot of things by studying your blogging rival. But you need to act like a pro, and be a pro. Keep up the good work!

    George

    • Chris Jones says:

      Thanks For the comment George.
      I never read the ‘Art Of War’ but your blogging rival can provide you something valuable. Keep an eye on them, you can learn something.

  17. Interesting subject! I always read my rivals too see “how they’re doing” but I never thought I can learn some things from it. Thanks for this great post.

    • Chris Jones says:

      It’ great to know my post help you to realize what you can learn from your rivals. You should watch and analyze them, learn about several things they are doing in that way you can outgrow them.
      Chris

  18. Darren Rhodes says:

    Thanks for this post, I never knew about Headkeys before, I always used Google for keyword comparisons.

    My blog is dropping on Alexa rapidly, these tips should speed it up.

    Darren

    • Chris Jones says:

      Using Google for Keyword comparison is not bad, but headkeys can provide you much more like – first position key words in a specific site. But there are many disadvantages too.
      Can any one tell me the keyword tool You are using?

  19. I used to learn from my blogger mate and still i am in learning status.

  20. We can learn lot from our competitor. Following their RSS feed, understanding writing style of rival blogger, meta tags they use, how they categorize their topics, how often they post…

    Studying these aspects about rival blogger really help and prepare us to be a better blogger.

    • Chris Jones says:

      You are right. If you want to be a Lawyer what will you do study under a good lawyer. The same thing applies in blogging too.

  21. Finding ways to analyze your competition to see how they are succeeding is a fantastic way to help boost your own success, as long as you’re open to learning how to do things differently!

    Delena

    • Chris Jones says:

      Your success lies on you – this doesn’t mean you should not look at any body else. You should analyse a successive body to become successful. This exactly works in blogging.
      Thanks for the comment
      Chris

  22. There are many great lessons we can learn from other bloggers in our niche, Chris. I hesitate to call these other bloggers competitors. For me, that title implies that you have to take away their readers to gain readers of your own. The truth is that both of you can share readers.

    When I look at others in my niche, I try to ask myself how I would approach the topics of their popular posts differently. How can I bring a unique perspective to the same topic. This is what sets me apart from all other bloggers in my niche. It’s not something they can duplicate, and vice versa.

    Good luck in the contest.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Brad Thanks for your advise,
      I didn’t mean the blogger out there are our competitors/rivals actually. I just use that word to emphasis what I’m writing.As you said we should share readers with each other in our niche. This will help all of us to grow- but don’t forget to make a unique voice.

  23. It really is important to check out the competition and learn from their mistakes if possible. I like to check the top 10 ranking site for Google for my keywords and check where they are getting their links from to equal and then surpass them.

    • Chris Jones says:

      you put a nice strategy Searching for top key words in your niche can help you find good competitors who are good to study with.
      Thanks
      Chris

  24. Obviously, it’s not always the case, but a lot of times a rival is ahead because he’s been in the game longer than you have…

    • Chris Jones says:

      Mr/ms—- , I don’t know your name.

      But let me tell you that age of a blog doesn’t matter much. What only matter is what you give to the crowd. Aged bloggers and their blogs are very good materials to analyze because they contain more experience in that particular niche.
      Thanks for the comment
      Chris

  25. Chris,

    Nice Post. These are great points. I think it is very important to know about your competition and what they are up to.

    Thanks for sharing this great post with us.

    ~Dev

  26. I believe that you should always continue learning whether you learn from friend or foe it does not matter.One should never stop learning.

    • Chris Jones says:

      Yes! you are right we are learning new things in every second.But I didn’t mean that all other bloggers are our foes- they are our competitors. Good Competitors can bring you more.

  27. TechStalky.com says:

    Yes, the best way to learn something is from your competitors. See the way they backlink their posts to their other posts and other blogs.

    • Chris Jones says:

      You are right! thats a nice way. Tracking back links is very good strategy. Keep up the good work!

  28. Thanks, that’s all sound advice. It is good to learn from your competitors but as you said don’t be a copycat and be yourself. If you’re a phony in the blogging world you’ll be found out.

  29. Whilst I agree with many of the points here, I also think that offering something different is important too. So I guess this is just a reminder not to create an identikit blog based entirely on the efforts of others who MAY be successful for reasons aside the quality and functionality of their blog… cheers!

  30. Yes, it’s true that those blogging within your given niche are *technically* your competition, but, like you mention, you probably also stand to gain a lot from observing the things that they’re doing right. Creating a relationship with these other bloggers might not be such a bad idea either. Comment on their blogs, retweet their posts, etc. and you’ll help get yourself noticed by some ‘big players.’

  31. Thanks for sharing, sounds like a really good and comprehensive advice.

  32. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing the nice article.You should always continue, learning whether you learn from friend or foe it does not matter.

  33. Your competitors’ backlink profiles can also be a real goldmine of info. http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ is pretty nifty.

  34. The source of traffic is the main source.

  35. Thanks for sharing such nice experience. I think the biggest source of traffic is search engine. And for that you have to have backlinks.
    Although the next step is to sweeten your writing style which may attract visitors and convince them to read your blog but I’m weaker at this. Any idea for that?
    For monetizing, adsense is the best choice. You dont have to be worried about relevancy of ads. It mostly already is.
    ACCA
    Ceramic Tiles

  36. Gabriel Gutierrez says:

    Thank you for sharing the nice article.It sound good and comprehensive.Thanks!

  37. Spying on competitors huh? I use Yahoo Site Explorer to spy on my competitors strategy on link building. I then copy that strategy.

  38. Mas Gie says:

    Several times I’ve tried to do what you tell, I did what they make and implement on my blog. with this method, at one time I could even surpass them, it really works for me. Enjoy to read your writer.

Trackbacks

  1. Blokube.com says:

    3 Things to Learn From Your Blogging Rivals…

    Yes they are your competitors/rivals, but there are many things you can learn from them.Here are the 3 things you can learn from your competitor….

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