Bigger, Better, Bolder: Analyzing the Competition

This is the ninth post in a very exciting series we’re bringing to you on IFB in anticipation of the upcoming #IFBcon. Each day in the month of August, we’ll have a different post designed to help your blog become – you guessed it – bigger, better and bolder.
 
by Amanda Boyce

 digital marketing

 

We've talked about how important it is to know your niche and see what leaders are popping up within those fields. Now, we want to take it a step further and get to researching your blogging peers. Why? Because understanding how their blogs operate and what is working for them can give you greater insight into your own blog. Here at IFB, we look at a few different sources to give us inspiration. It keeps us evolving, growing, which is super important in this constantly changing industry. That whole “Bigger, Better, Bolder” is a real mantra in the office and when we look at how well other companies are doing, it only drives us to go bigger.

 

What should you be looking at and why?

Editorial content: Explore the editorial archives of your peer bloggers and take notes of what they produce. Do they post heavy content on Mondays & Tuesdays? Do they keep it light on the weekend? Do they mainly do trend roundups or personal style posts? What does their photography look like? After looking at all of their posts, you can see work works and apply it to your own blog.

Traffic: Set your own traffic benchmarks by reviewing the health and status of other blogs. Use Google Ad Planner or Quantcast to measure the stats of their blogs and see how they've grown in a set period of time. If a blog's traffic has tripled in the past three months, analyze the content posted in that time period and see what was different. Did they get a placement on another? Did they amp up their social media presence? Did they take on contributors? Looking at this information will give you the information to follow in their footsteps.

Social Media Presence: Watching what your competitor does on social media platforms not only gives you a heads-up into their brand voice but it also gives you an indication as to who they influence. Analyze how they speak to their consumers, how often they post, and then take that information into account when you are building out your own content. You don't need to copy what they are doing, but just take note and transform it to fit your blog.

 

Remember, analyzing the competition isn't about comparing your blog. Learn from others, get motivated to work hard, and achieve the kind of results your peers have. And, when you are at IFBCON, you can share with those peers how their blogs acted as role models for your own.

 

 

Digital fashion

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15 Responses

  1. April

    I think it’s great to look at what other bloggers do analyze what makes them successful. It’s also nauseating to a certain degree when people change to “fit” with what the industry is looking for. I’m all for making an earning with blogging…but if someone is consistently tweeting or talking about who they’re wearing on FB, it becomes a real turn-off.

    Reply
  2. moiminnie

    I agree with analyzing what other people do and then applying their methods onto your blog. And although social networking can really help boost your traffic, there’s also a downside of it. I’m seeing bloggers who are spamming the feeds with links to their blogs all day everyday and for me it just makes me unfollow them and never ever return to their site again. Just find a balance that works for you and you’ll be fine 🙂

    http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com
    xx

    .

    Reply
  3. Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    This is such solid advice. As a new(ish) blog, I am definitely going to take it. These Bigger Better Bolder articles are so helpful! I think it’s important to be observant, but be careful not to lose your own voice!
    xx lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

    Reply
  4. Khadijat Yussuff

    I definitely think it’s also useful to keep in mind that the “Competition” isn’t some random blog that’s really great, but a blog that may cater to the niche you wish to fill. That being said, as a new blogger, it’s so difficult (personally) to make time for each of the social media platforms, and I do so sporadically. I’ll ignore pinterest for a week, while I tweet incessantly for 2 hours straight and then post 3 pictures on tumblr 2 minutes apart then forget about them all while I’m trying to build up my facebook audience. If anyone has tips on how to effectively manage all the social media platforms out there and somehow incorporate all of them seamlessly into the blog, I’d really appreciate it.

    ♥, K
    http://youthsavage.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • D Leigh Gray

      Hello Khadijat!
      I haven’t tried it, but my friend uses Hootsuite and she really likes it. It’s a social media management tool. It’s a dashboard that keeps all the social media in one place. I’m really thinking about trying it myself. Check it out at http://www.hootsuite.com or Google “social media management for other options”. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. monja

    Thank you for this post
    i seem to learn more and more everyday, I really had no idea I had to check the competition, I don’t know why i didn’t thought of that since it’s really logical. But knowing this kind of makes me want to work harder. This really is a business

    BOHONOTES

    Reply
  6. lyn

    wow… some serious snooping there! LOL… but i agree about the learning from others part. Like other aspects in life, we have to learn in order for us to grow and be better at what we are doing… of course, we have to put out own stamp on it, otherwise we will become copycats.

    Reply
  7. Rebecca

    I totally agree that you should check out the competition, it always helps so much! Although there’s a fine line between being aware and focusing too much on conparing yourself to other people.

    Rebecca

    Reply
  8. Tammy Jones

    While I agree that it’s fun to view and compare yourself to the other blogs out there, I agree with the others about keeping your own voice and expressing yourself–not mimicing others. Blogging is really about personal expression and if you concentrate too much on the numbers, it changes a blog from a fun expression to a daily chore (and it comes out in your writing).

    Many of the top bloggers have been popular for a while and, at this point, they can post a faded Instragram picture and still get 300 likes and 50 comments. In fact, I’ve noticed that the content of some of the popular bloggers seems to be suffering lately…as they focus on pushing products, and not their own thoughts.

    Just my two cents,
    Tammy Jones of “Walking in Pretty Shoes”

    Reply
  9. Kristian

    Really interesting article! This series has been very helpful. I find it interesting in the comments, the remarks about comparision, so find it helpful that you make the distinction between that and what you are advocating people do.

    Looking at blogs to see when different types of posts are put on different blogs can makes so much sense- and it doesn’t require you to change what you are doing, only to consider when is the best time to post things (if all the blogs you are looking at are doing radically different things from you and its not a case of when to post… maybe that’s telling you something too- like the niche you think you are is not the niche you actually are…

    http://www.neverfullydressedwithoutastyle.com

    Reply
  10. onegirlsempire

    I do agree that it’s important to check out other blogs and see what has worked for all the successful ones. Sometimes though trying to keep up with everyone else isn’t always the best idea. You might lose sight of why you started out anyways. Great posts!! Keep em coming!

    http//www.onegirlsempire.com

    xoxo

    Reply
  11. SDS

    I do think the posts that show what they went shopping for and purchased, day after day after day…are mindless, but there must be a market for it. The funny thing is, a blog should initially be “for you.” If it grows, then wonderful! On the top blogs, thats what I see, they appear to come from the heart.

    SDS
    http://www.luxorlivingandstyle.com

    Reply
  12. D Leigh Gray

    I definitley look at the top blogs for “inspiration” but only regarding their success. I’m trying to make sure that I’m connecting the dots between content, social media, an engaging blog and SEO(been a tad difficult). I’m still finding my blogvoice, but I agree with Tammy that they seem to only be pushing products. They’re losing their voice and that turns me off! I hope to be able to balance the commerical side and the “my voice” side better when I reach that level.

    Reply