It’s no secret I love to write a good blog. I mean content is one of the backbones of digital marketing. I love writing them, reading them, critiquing them. I’m in awe of people who write those viral blogs. You know the ones, the long pieces of beautifully curated content that inspires and gives so much content that you just want to eat it. (maybe it’s just me) One day Sam….one day!
I truly believe that all businesses, no matter who you are or what you sell, can and should write a blog.
There are so many things to consider, and do to tweak the perfect blog for your audience. Yes it takes time but it really is worth it for so many reasons which I’ll explain further below. But there is one thing that people often forget to do before writing a blog, and that’s checking out their competitors.
Firstly lets just recap why you need to write a blog and what it’s so important.
Blogs are important to write for SEO – boring but true
A blog gives you a website that looks good for SEO. Google is going to crawl across your website and see all that interlinked information with consistent keywords and literally scream that the world needs to see your blog!
Google aren’t out to get you, they don’t dream up algorithms in the hope that you will do absolutely shit in the search rankings. They want people to see them as the ‘go to’ search engine for decent search results. So obviously they are only going to rank the best at the top. They can’t physically look at each individual website so they have to rely on the bots. So think like a bot when you write your blog.
Blogs can actually make you less annoying
If someone sees you consistently showing up with some relevant and useful information, yet all your competitor does is piss people off by constantly posting calls to actions to buy their services, who are they going to go with. YOU. Because you know what you are talking about. And you have something more to post about than just what you’re selling this week. Ta dah! The blog you just wrote.
Just as a side note here its widely recognised in the digital marketing world that 10-20% of posts should be calls to action of self-promotion or selling your services. Other non spammy calls to action CAN be as simple as, ‘what do you think’ or ‘read the full blog here’ A call to action is getting someone to take action. Don’t sell in every single post. Interaction is what you want to be aiming for.
Do your competitor research before you write your blog
Now we know some of the top reasons as to why you need to write a blog (have I convinced you?) let’s talk about competitor research.
One of the mistakes people make is they think that they know what their audience wants. To some extent yes you do. But what about if you get deep down into it on an emotional level. For example. You want to know about blogging I’m guessing as you’re reading this. And there are tons of blogs about blogging on the internet. But you want MORE. You want to know what’s going to make your blog amazing. You want to scoop up every last crumb of information in case there is something you are missing. And hopefully, I’m going to provide that for you.
So one of the best ways to do this is to look at your successful competitors.
- Google the search terms that you know your audience are looking for. You hopefully have a good idea of the search terms, if not ask people. Ask your clients, audience and friends what they would look for. Do a poll on facebook. You can also look up search terms on google keywords to see HOW many people are searching for them.
- Look and see which competitors are coming up top. Look at their content on their website, and their blogs. What is it about their content that stands out. What practices are they doing that you could replicate. And I don’t mean copying their content, I mean looking at their content placement, the length of their blogs, how everything is laid out.
- Look at their back links. Back links are really important for SEO and a lot of the time, these people are featuring their blogs on other highly ranked websites. Which websites are they on? Can you guest blog on those sites as well?
- I use ubbersuggest to really dig down into competitor analysis and can see how much traffic it’s estimated websites are getting, and what search terms they are ranking for.
Once you have a better idea of what your competitors are doing, what strategies they are using, you can replicate it. Again, do NOT copy their blog. You write your own blog! We are talking strategy here. What is making them successful? Can you replicate that strategy?
Controversial? I don’t think so. Competitor research is a big part of what you need to be doing daily or weekly. Set up google alerts so you know when and what they post. Set up google alerts on your own search terms.
I understand the imposter syndrome that comes with checking out your competitors. Sometimes we don’t want to look as we don’t like how it makes us feel. But once you get past that, and understand that it’s actually a vital part of your marketing, it becomes second nature. And quite honestly, who doesn’t enjoy snooping around!
What do you think?
If you want some more blogging tips then I do have a free guide you can download. YES you go onto my mailing list obviously. BUT I only send around one email a week with other digital marketing tips so it’s not all bad. And you do get a free guide which if you liked this, you’ll love.