10 Things your competitors can teach you about the blog

It may be hard to keep up with this competitive world of content marketing with overflowing bloggers and websites. But have you heard about the saying “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”? This strategy might be the right way to deal with the fierce competition.

The cutthroat competition can be exhausting, but this Competitive Spirit, if channeled appropriately can lead you into the path of positive changes and self-improvement. Don’t let the competition threaten you, instead learn from the competitors and excel them. Here is the list of things you can learn from your competitors’ blog:

1. Identify what they are doing right:
Your competitors seem like they have done everything right to reach the top of the game. Find out what they are doing right and you are not. Find out why you are not getting much readers, despite your superior contents. Sometimes it is not just the content, look at their designs, their SEO and even their advertisement strategies. What if your competitors have started with this new revolutionary strategy? It is not so late to catch up and win them in their own game.

2. Learn about your readers:
Since your competitor is serving in the same industry as you are, it is more likely that you both share the similar readers and attract similar customers. Thus, take time to read the competitor’s blog to learn more about your readers. Competitor’s comment section can give you clues and help you learn a lot about what your readers are asking for.

3. Find Prime Marketing Opportunities.
The world is changing rapidly and so is the market for various businesses. With the changing world, it may be time to update some of your marketing strategies. The internet has opened a whole new dimension for marketing and advertisement. Your blog may be a great place for advertisement of relative products or even content marketing. See what your competitors is doing and discover new marketing opportunities as you stroll around your competitors’ blogs.

4. It is time for an Update:
Those 5 years old coupons, pictures from the 90s and years old calendars are not going to help you get more readers. Say those tacky outdated sites goodbye and embrace the new designs and looks for your blog. Good Competitors and your competitive spirit may give you enough motivation to keep the fire going and keeping your site updated.

5. Find Your lags:
The competitor’s blog may show you where you lag in your content. Compare your content with your competitors and see how you stack up to one another. If they have significantly more content than you have, then it is time to plan and strategize great content for your own website too. Create a higher quality contents for your website to draw many readers to your website.

6. Repurposing Content:
Sometimes you may run short on ideas for content for the blog. The content in the competitor’s blog may be just the right thing to bring ideas flowing into your mind. Repurposing the content of your competitors with your own twist and added value will help you create amazing contents for your blog. Do not plagiarize; use graphics, slideshows, enhance the presentation or find a smarter way to turn the topic into an influential piece of content.

7. How to use Social Media (The Right Way).
Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google plus has become a great platform to understand and interact with the customers. Analyze how your competitors use the social media and consumer reaction by looking at the likes, shares and retweets on their contents. Get an insight about how to handle your consumer issues by observing how your competitors react to various issues related to customer services. Learn from your competitor’s mistake and adapt the ideas that can work for your business.

8. Scheduling your Content:
You can learn a lot from successful competitors. Pay a close attention to your competitors’ content games and their publishing schedule. See how frequently they publish their content and how they schedule their contents. This will help to schedule your own content and help you buckle down for more frequent post if you are lagging behind. Keep your competitors on their toes by following a similar publishing schedule for similar contents.

9. Cover the content gaps:
You are not perfect and so is your competitors. Find where your competitors lack and start from there. Spot the missing information and content gaps. Fill your content with the information that your competitors failed to provide. Analyze deeper into competitors’ website and avoid the mistakes made by them. Identifying and filling these information gaps is very helpful to create a rich content which your readers will love.

10. Content Identity:
Every successful business has their own unique selling point and you have to create your own too. Look at your competitor’s blogs and identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Realize what unique value you can provide to your readers. Creating a unique identity with your blog requires lots of creativity and brainstorming, but the fruits of the brand value are far higher than being just another copy of something. Finding your identity among your competitors is very important for building your own brand value and creating compelling contents.

The success requires lots of learning, so open up and take your competitors as an opportunity to learn. These learnings will help you improve your website and help you get an edge over them.

How to find topics for Blog Posts when you have Writer’s Block?

Once upon a time you used to feel like you were a creative genius with overflowing ingenious ideas. You created masterpieces by pouring your thoughts as you typed rigorously on your keyboard. But now it seems like your generous idea machine inside your mind has suddenly stopped working. You have lost your muse. You feel frustrated as you stare blankly on your computer screen as you type and erase the same sentence again and again. Congratulations! You are facing the classic case of writer’s block!

Do not get overwhelmed by this frustrating nuisance of writer’s block as we are going help you conquer it with these techniques allowing you to open your mind to new ideas.

1. Give yourself a break
Take a deep breath! Writing is an art requiring lots of creativity. And creativity perishes under pressure. Set yourself free from the pressure of writing. Trying too hard can be counterproductive by triggering an anxiety cycle that keeps you out of your creative writing brain. So stop fighting and find another way. Take a short coffee break, watch a movie or go out and meet some friends. You’ll be amazed at how effective these breaks can be for clearing your mind and get the ideas flowing.  A short break from your writing table may be what you need to get a great blog topic.

2. Catch Up with new trends:
See what people are talking about in and out your domain. Find what is catching people’s attention from trends in twitter, Google plus and other social media. Read articles posted in niche groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Check out the questions asked in yahoo answer, answer.com and other forums. Sometimes even those long arguments of the strangers over something insignificant in an internet may shower you with exciting topics to write about.

3. Read:
Reading doesn’t just keep you updated with what is going on but also helps you create new ideas of your own. And you can always write reviews of the books you read recently. If you don’t have time to read an entire book, just check out the table of contents of top selling books and magazines of your niche. You may find a topic that provides the inspiration for your new series of posts, or just take out enough rust to reinvigorate your existing ideas.

4. Peep into other’s Blog:
Read blogs from the fellow blogger of your industry. Find out what they are writing about. Other people’s ideas are a great source of sparking new ones of your own. You can even write on the same topic they wrote with your own perspectives and ideas. Read the comments on the posts as well to build on the topic and generate even more ideas.

5. Reader’s Opinion:
Sometimes your readers will tell you what they want to hear from you, so start listening to them. Get ideas on topics to write about from your readers’ comments on your blog, email, Facebook or Twitter. You can even create a poll about a topic and review the response received. Ask your readers what they think of a particular subject and let readers share their thoughts. This interaction will rekindle the interest of the readers and you may get some fresh insight to add to the articles.

6. Write for yourself:
Enough of writing what others want you to write. Ignore what is the subject of your blog and write for yourself. Great piece of writing comes from the heart of the writer. Follow your heart and write what you always wanted to write about. Write about your struggle, success or what you wish you had known before.

7. Go out of your domain:
Try exploring a new topic that might be slightly outside your comfort zone or regular domain. Keeping with the latest developments in your industry can be exhausting, so freshen up your perspective by stepping into new domains. Find what people from other industry are doing and how it is related to yours. This can provide the challenge and excitement to get new ideas flowing into your mind.

8. Read your old blog posts:
Go back to your old blog posts and read your old topics. In this ever changing world, many changes must have occurred about the topic of your old posts.  You can restructure and reinvent your old topic for a fresh new delivery.  You can bring new life to old blog posts by finding recurring themes and topics or shaping them new compilation posts. You can even write the part two of some interesting blog topics that caught your reader’s attention and ride off the success of your most popular content by turning it into a series.

9. Follow the expert! Or Don’t:
Read an expert view about topics in your industry. Try agreeing with him or if you can’t, disagree with valid reasons. Challenge the status quo with a unique perspective.  You can also interview an expert in your field and share the interview with your readers. Getting an expert to speak on your blog will also help you get new readers for the blog.

The dreadful writer’s block can be infuriating, but it doesn’t have to be a complete productivity killer. So keep calm and find out what works best for you to clear out your creative blockage.