A Little Competition Never Hurt Anyone: How to Perform a Friendly Competitive Analysis for Your Blog

April 14th, 2015 Content, General, SEO No Comments

A competitive analysis may sound like an intense and time consuming process – but it doesn’t have to be. Have you ever dated someone who had an ex boyfriend/girlfriend? Upon learning their name, medicine did you find yourself Googling their name for kicks? Did you then figure out all of their social media profiles? From there, viagra order did you find yourself 57 weeks deep in their Instagram photos? After finding some satisfactory information, were you then impressed by your personal level of internet stalking? If this has ever been you – then a blog competitive analysis should be fun and super easy for you!

Now relatively speaking, a blog competitive analysis isn’t nearly as intense as digging up dirt on your boyfriend’s ex, but it can be a great way for both veteran bloggers and newbie bloggers to get inspiration on how to improve their sites. In this blogpost, I’ll guide you through a few areas to observe on a competitor’s blog, checklist questions to ask yourself, and some free and easy tools to help you along the way. In the end, hopefully you’ll have enough information and insight that can help to drive some great strategies or inspiration to your own work. So, go ahead and test drive this method with at least one blog of your choice that is either directly competing with your readership or that perhaps you’d like to emulate in some form.

Blog Overview

Get the lay of the land for your competitor by understanding their content and blog design.

Content:

  1. What is this blog about? What seems to be the general topic for this blog? Cooking? Design? Coupon cutting?

  2. How often do they update their blog? Once a day? Once a week? Once a year?

  3. How long are their posts?Are they writing novels or are they keeping it short and sweet?

  4. How do they use images in their posts?Is this blogger showing off their photographic skills with fancy DSLR photos or are they stealing non-original photos from Google?

  5. Does this blog use video content?Are they creating original video content via tutorials or reviews?

  6. How well written are the posts?Nobody’s perfect, but nobody wants to read something that’s riddled with grammar and spelling errors.

  7. How are they using links in their posts?Links help connect content and users! Is this blogger linking to fellow blogs or linking internally to send traffic to older posts?

  8. Does their blog have any awards or badges?Has this blogger received accolades frown larger publications such as Martha’s Circle or BHG?

Design:

  1. How sophisticated is the design of the blog?Does it look like they’re using a standard WordPress template or something a little fancier?

  2. Do they have social share buttons on their blog? Where are these social share buttons located? Do they work properly?

  3. Is there an In-Site Search feature? Is there a place on the blog where you can search for specific posts or topics? Does this work?

  4. Is there advertising on the blog? What kind of products are they promoting? This is a good way to gauge how seriously they take their blog when there’s money involved! Some blogs who don’t buy their own domains have advertisements added automatically onto their pages, but others are usually approached by brands to promote products in exchange for money.

Social Media & Promotion

Social media plays a huge role in the promotion and community cultivation of successful blogs. It’s really important to observe your competitor’s social media presence to figure out how they’re using each platform and which are they #winning on? This is the part where you get to experiment with some of those free tools I told you about earlier.

 

  1. How many social media profiles does the blog have? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube or Google+? Most bloggers I’ve seen call this out pretty clearly on their blog somewhere or just do a few manual searches to check this.

  2. What social media platform is their most popular?Which platform do they receive the most engagement and love from? You can see this using a tool like Share Tally.

  3. Is it a one-way or a two-way conversation? Is this blogger just promoting new posts or are they taking the time to reach out and engage with their audience.

Like this:

 

 

Or like this:

 

You can also use Twtrland and check out how often they respond and engage with users.

  1. How often are they posting to their social media accounts? Once every week? At least once a day? Every hour? You can also find this using Twtrland.

Like this:

 

Analyze their Audience

So now that you’ve got a good grasp on what their social media situation is, let’s take a deeper dive at the people that make it all possible for them – the readers!

  1. What are their reader’s demographics?ASL anyone? Use Followerwonk to analyze the Twitter handle associate with the blog, which should also gives a lot of great information on the people who follow them on Twitter. Again, if you are looking to emulate this competitor’s blog, this is a great tool to get some extra info on your target audience.

Do this:

 

And then you can see things like location:

 

And gender:

 

Or language:

 

And depending on how much of a data junkie you might be, you can really get wild with it and learn how long they’ve been using Twitter, how often they tweet and whether or not they retweet.

2. When are the blog’s readers most active? Using the same report in Followerwonk, you can check the times of day that their readers are most active. If you’re aiming to reach a similar audience, this can be really helpful to keep in mind when you’re promoting your own stuff on Twitter.

Right below this graph in Followerwonk, you can check out if your competitor blog is aligning their Twitter activity with that of their readers.

 

Size Up Your Own Blog

Now that you’re a Grade-A Certified Creeper, it’s time to see how your own blog stacks up. Essentially, you will repeat this process for your own blog and compare and contrast your findings. My suggestion would be to do this in an Excel file with all of your questions listed out with your competitor in Column A and your blog in Column B.

Like this:

 Find Your Opportunity

So how did you do? Is your competitor blog killing it on Instagram but missing out on Facebook? Is your competitor blog churning out great content but missing the boat on proper promotion? Did you find any photos or videos that didn’t load correctly? How can your own blog benefit from what you learned?

So the next time that you come across a blog that you really admire, take an hour out for yourself and perform this analysis to find inspiration or understand more fully what goes into a really great blog! Happy creeping!

Sign up for the AmpliFound Newsletter!

Work with Us!

Passionate about blogging? Hungry for more opportunities to work with others just as passionate as you? Drop us a line!

Most Popular Posts

What's New

We Want to Hear from You!

Passionate about blogging? Hungry for more opportunities to work with others just as passionate as you are?

X

Sweet! You're Almost Done!