I'm going to use the word "competition" very loosely in the post because what you should really understand about blogging is that the people who blog about the same topics as you are potentially your biggest allies. Connect and work with your competition and everyone improves.
With that being said, today’s task is to so some analysis of other blogs in your niche — your "competition."
This is actually an exercise I've recommended in the past to a friend who was just starting out his blog in order to help refine his topic, and I’m becoming more convinced that this exercise is good for established bloggers to revisit from time to time.
First, try to make of list of 10 blogs in your niche — this may be harder for some niches depending on the subject matter. Next, do some analysis using the following questions:
- What are they doing well?
- What are they doing poorly?
- What subtopics do they focus on?
- What DON'T they write about?
- How often do they add new posts?
- How long are their posts (on average)?
- What level are they pitching their blog to? (beginners, intermediate, advanced)
- What questions are their readers frequently asking in the comments section.
- What is the writing style?
- What type of posts are getting the most attention (comments, shares, likes)?
- What is the overall design like?
Why Ask These Questions?
The reason for doing this type of analysis is not to directly copy other blogs in your niche (although you might find certain aspects that you want to emulate).
In answering these types of questions, you will often find gaps in the niche that other bloggers simply aren't writing about that, giving your blog an opportunity to fill. You’ll also gain some good insight into what is working and not working for others.
Make Your Popular Posts More Visible
Your most popular posts are popular for a reason: they consistently attract the attention of the reader to click on that article title and read. Make those links highly visible and clearing marked.
Readers will happily click on posts that are the most popular because, in their mind, that is a direct recommendation from other readers. This strategy will help with traffic and also email sign ups, RSS subscribers, and return visitors.
Since adding a "Most Popular" lie of my 30-day challenges, I have been able to keep people on my site for longer, turning them into more engaged readers.