Blogging and building an online presence is about dominating your competition. I must admit one thing I learned over the years is that “content is king” because it’s a channel to provide people with value. However, I’m surprised at the amount of people who fail to understand the importance and get swept away by their competition. It’s doesn’t have to be this way because you have full control over your success, but you have to stay focused on your end goal.
These days because of the ease to start an online website it’s no surprise that every niche has competition. More content is popping up then ever before so you have to find creative ways to leverage what’s already available online. If you can outshine your competition then you won’t have any problem succeeding where others have failed.
I feel as though bloggers simply give up because they don’t know how to generate the right content ideas or use what’s already available online in their niche. Today, I’ll like to go in-depth into how to dominate your competition through compelling content and boost your rankings at the same time.
Let’s get started and your feedback will be appreciated in the comment box below.
Content is the life line of every blog and people flock to find value because it helps them with their bottom line. For example, through content you can provide relevant readers a glimpse into the trends within your niche. You can inform them of changes, developments and factors which will effect them going forward. In content marketing I was able to prepare myself for changes within the niche by simply following a handful of successful relevant blogs. Next,
Content allows you to successfully get your point across in your own words and establish an identity. Blogging is just as much a brand then it is a business and I believe they connect with each other right in the middle. Just by writing in your own words you can translate difficult topics into a language which others can understand. In the next example, you’ll learn the most important role of high value content.
One of the most successful ways to build a following is through tutorials. You have two options: Video and Content. Both have been proven to be amazing, but content is a much older format which people still appreciate. Writing lengthy tutorials in content format also give you more flexibility when it comes to SEO because you can incorporate more keywords into the body. However that’s not all…
Tutorials build credibility because you are showing people how to accomplish something. They are easily picked up by search engines and even easier to share on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Finally, content tutorials can easily be updated when they need to because all you need to do is click “edit” type what you need to and then hit “update”. It’s that simple!
Since the growth of “Content Marketing” you can now transform your content to generate even more profit then ever before. Through strategic content writing and marketing you can promote products, advertising opportunities and build links which add more value then before. The point is content marketing has allowed us to market what we know how to do best quickly and efficiently, but a lot of credit must be given to social media too.
So, how do you find the best content ideas then write compelling content? Here are the top “3” ways I’ve used to dominate my competitors and the search engines.
One of the best ways to dominate your competitors is to find out what’s trending before they do. Google has done a great job providing you with tools to find EXACTLY what you are looking for quickly and efficiently. For example, Google Trends is a website which allows you to type in a niche related keyword and find out the search pattern over a given time. Before I show some examples I want to tell you why this is important.
First, It allows you to shift your focus and generate some content ideas which will resonate with readers in the future. Technology changes quickly and readers are always attracted to updated news compared to that which is becoming obsolete. By doing a simple search in Google Trends you can find keywords which have increased in search volume over the years and start to incorporate them within your content.
Here’s a quick example using the keyword “content marketing”…
Head over to Google Trends and type in “content marketing” within the search field….
You can see from the example above that the following queries have been gaining traction. You can filter the trends by month or custom dates to take you back even further. However, the point is with this tool you can find what phrases people have been searching more over a given time period.
Recently, Private Blog Networks have been gaining traction so check out the popular of this type of content.
Over the years I have learned a lot from other niche relevant blogs and recently even my competitors. First, simply by looking at what content they’ve been publishing I’ve been able to generate my own content ideas. Secondly, my looking at the social activity on different content pieces which I know will resonate well with readers. Third, I have been able to find creative ways to write even better content so mine stands out dominating the rankings going forward. Here’s how each one works in more detail…
1. Research –
If you’ve been reading my previous content then you know everything starts with a solid research campaign. Head over to Google and search the best blogs within your niche. If you’ve been blogging for years then you’ll have a good idea of the major players within your niche. Write down a list of these blogs making sure you have anywhere between 5-6 to start with.
Skim through these blogs looking for the following:
How often blogs are updated
Number of comments per post
Number of shares per content
Some blogs will have a popular post section which is perfect to generate this list
2. Use Free Tools Available –
Did you know you have a handful of free tools available which can help you out. For example, the two which I’ve been using for years are: Topsy.com and Buzzsumo.com. These are very easy to use because all you have to do is type in your “target” keyword and click “Search”. These tools will generate a list of most popular content and TOTAL shares. Here’s an example using keyword “content marketing tips”
From the example above you can see the top “content marketing tips” content and how many social media shares they have. In the next step you’ll be visiting both the blogs and content to find ways to outperform each of them.
Here’s a quick search of CDL Practice Tests which has been a huge industry for trucking.
3. Write Something Better –
This step is the trickiest because you have to do in-depth research looking for ways to improve existing content. You have to write content in YOUR own words, but find what’s missing in your competitors at the same time. It’s time for you to visit each piece of content on your list and find what’s missing by doing the following:
- Implement questions into your content which people have asked in the comment box
- If they don’t have a video then consider adding one to your content
- Add info graphics
- Add images
You can even write lengthier content by explaining the key points in more detail. Here’s why this will work so well afterwards…
You know your competitors have relevant content which have been shared by readers online. The premise is that if you can write something more in-depth then you should be able to gain way more traction then your competitors. Google has over 200 rankings factors and most of them will be achieved simply by writing valuable content. Valuable content equals…
- More shares
- More traffic
- More external links
- More comments
- Increased rankings
4. Outreach –
Posting the high quality revived on your blog should be good enough however there are some tricks to get the content in front of the right people. For example, how cool would it be to get your refreshed content in front of those people who shared your competitors? Here is the way you can do exactly this…
First, find the people who shared your competitors content by simply pasting the URL into Buzzsumo.com or Topsy.com. Remember to grab the URL of your competitors content.
Here’s an example using my expert post…
When you click on the social shares it will generate a list of the people who have shared this content. You can then visit their profiles to find their website information to contact them directly. Let them know they shared similar content and they might find what you have written interesting since it provides more depth into the topic.
Start by contacting 5-6 daily and keep track of who has responded or not so you can keep following up at a later time. Keep in mind you’ll have success with some and others won’t, but even if 4-5 major players in your niche share your content it’s good enough to create a buzz.
Authority Bloggers –
If you have been networking with other bloggers within your niche then you’ll be able to gain traction to your content more quickly. I have been writing for many bloggers throughout my career and these same people are more then happy to share my content once I’ve published it online. However, you have to keep in mind building relationships with these bloggers is a complete “strategy” in itself. Even if you don’t have relationships then you can use some creative marketing techniques to have them share your content either way.
First, the best way to build a network of authority bloggers for outreach is by guest blogging on their website regularly. You can email them to pitch some ideas and along the way build a solid relationship with them. Always be genuine in your approach and the content you write should be valuable and lengthy so they will appreciate the effort you put building more solidarity going forward. This is a strategy I’ve used on my own several times and has worked amazing.
Second, writing unique content for your blog can help build relationships with influential bloggers going forward. For example, about a year ago I put together an “expert post” where I asked bloggers a simple question then posted the results on my blog. In the end, I had 14 answers and bloggers I was able to reach out to so they’ll share my post with their following. The fact they were mentioned in the post added reason for them to “share” my content with their followers.
The “share” count on this post keeps growing and continues to build brand awareness and loyalty from people.
Whenever I reach out to other bloggers I ask myself this question: What’s in it for the other person? The answer to this question is very important because just like any other business “blogging” is about give and take. This means I have a better chance of building momentum to my content if I can offer the person whose sharing an incentive. This especially matters if I’m a newbie having no previous relationship with them before. So, how can I offer an incentive?
If in my content I’m promoting a product then for sharing my content I can offer a percentage of the profits generated through them. I’ll have to use a tracker to analyze how many people clicked-through, but there are many tools available to help you accomplish this.
External Links –
Boosting your rankings and content exposure is about building links to your content. A great incentive to offer those who are sharing your content is 1 external link embedded within the body. Once the content is shared, readers will click-through and visit other content which offers a chance of higher social shares and content exposure.
High value links is something which you cannot put a price on so this incentive has worked well when I have done outreach throughout the months.
Product Reviews –
Very rarely do I review products, but this is a great way to get your foot in the door. I’ll contact influential bloggers asking them to share content where I’ve mentioned their personal product. Who doesn’t want free marketing and exposure where no monetary value is involved….right? These bloggers will share my content and achieve the following:
- More traffic to their product via my blog
- A review from an outsider
- A link to their product from valuable source
- Potential of more social shares going forward to other content and product page.
I would recommend to try different strategies because you don’t know which ones will work the best. Always keep track of your results and tweak along the way so you know which ones to carry on with going forward.
Wrapping It Up…
Great content is the lifeline of every blog so it’s important you know how to find, revive and optimize before publishing. Throughout this post I have discussed cool strategies you can implement going forward to dominate your competitors and stand out in the search results. As mentioned it all starts with research and finding what’s trending so you can write content which resonates well with your readers. If you don’t then your competitors will start to take your loyal readers because there is NO shortage of valuable content. You just have to be better and know what’s missing to tweak before you publish your content.
To summarize, here are the key points…
Always start with research and use the tools available to you. From my experience the best way to find valuable content ideas is to use: Google Trends, Topsy.com, Buzzsumo.com and Google search.
Create a list of the top content so you can refer to them when it’s time to analyze for social shares, comments, views, etc. Calculating total shares is a great way to find content already published that resonates well with readers.
Go through your list and visit each page looking for ways to improve content. For example, ask yourself these questions…
- How can I make it longer and what can I add?
- What images can I add to make content more engaging?
- How can I make use of info graphics?
- Can I add videos to illustrate point better?
Topsy.com and Buzzsumo.com both provide a cool way to find those who have shared identical content. Email them with your content asking them to take a look and share if possible. If you provide more value the conversion rate will be very high.
The last part is to do some strategic outreach so you can get influential bloggers to further add momentum to your content. Keep in mind these bloggers have a huge following with over 20,000+ followers and a single tweet can generate enormous traffic to your content.