Content Writing for New Businesses: Your Competitor (Part 1, to Outrank Your Competitors or Not)

Today’s post is about how to win even if you don’t outrank your competitors.

The lucky thing about starting an online business is that you can start anywhere and anytime. 

But there are many competitors. 

And everyone is trying to get to the front. 

We’re in the attention business. 

The business that gets the most attention gets the most sales. 

  • Social media is about getting more engagements 
  • Blogging is about getting more visitors 
  • YouTube is about getting more views

The competition has benefits:

  • It means there is a market, or people need your product. (It doesn’t translate that they will choose you). 
  • Where there is competition, there’s room for creativity and better quality. Everyone is bringing in their best game.  
  • It prevents monopoly. It gives consumers options if one business should stop. Do you remember when Whatsapp and Facebook stopped working? Many of my friends signed for Telegram that night. 
  • Your competitors are signs that you can win if you do things right. 

You must prepare for them if you’re a new small business owner.

And if you use Search Engine Optimization, you will realize that some big guys are already in the game. They have built their websites and been writing for decades. They have most of the traffic.

How to Prepare for Competition in Content Writing

Many gurus will tell you to find long-tail keywords with less competition. They are less competitive and, mostly, bring fewer visitors. 

If you don’t understand some terms, I suggest reading this beginner-friendly post about SEO. 

It is great advice, but let’s look at another thing about content writing. 

You can’t keep chasing long-tail keywords. You can still write about what is important to your audience even if there is a chance that you won’t outrank others.  On a few occasions, don’t ask, how do you outrank your competitors?

The idea is to do what’s best for your audience and switch to distribution while you wait for SEO to start working in your favor. 

Why?

One, you care about your audience.

Two, you are a new and small business, and there’s much competition 

So, How Do You Outrank Your Competitors?

Focus on your audience. Do what’s best for them.

Google will rank you better if your content fulfil your audience’s wants.

Being concerned about outranking is a long shot, especially if you’re a small business owner

You’re just starting. They have been around for a long time and have the team and resources. 

Focus on being smart, creative, and unique.  

Today, you are doing a simple but creative competitor analysis: 

  • Type your product into the search engines. Be specific. 
  • Write down the name of the websites that show up.
  • One after another, put those names into a keyword research tool. I suggest SEMrush, Ahref, or Ubersuggest. 
  • The tools will show you many things about those competitors. 
  • For now, focus on three things 
    • keywords. 
    • Traffic source or comments (these are their fans. Check them out and notice anything that can help you like the reviews and how they link back to your competitor)
    • The top 3 articles 
  • Read the top 3 ranking posts from all of them. You would have read 9 posts by the end of this exercise. 

Be creative 

Imagine you’re a consultant.

Each of the websites or competitors has hired you to improve their content. So how will you go about it? 

Start reading their posts again.

As you’re reading, collect ideas on a piece of paper.

Be honest with your suggestions. 

Simple, right?

Not really. 

The exercise aims to develop your content strategy like you’re the missing piece between the three competitors. You’re the place to be when the right people are bored of those 3.

And you have to put your audience first.

It’s hard. 

But it’s worth it.

You want to create better content. Therefore, you must be unique

And when the right audience notices you, they can’t take their eyes off. 

Now, the problem has shifted from “How do you outrank your competitors?” to “how to be among the top 3.

That’s a better type of competition if you ask me.

Keep the niche interesting.

How Do You Write Something Better for Your Audience 

Follow me, and let’s try the process together.

So I type “content writing” search engines 

I saw posts from 

  • Brian Dean 
  • Semrush 
  • Hubspot 

Now, this is different. What I come across are blog posts, not home pages. 

So first, I must read all three posts and see what can be improved. 

  1. Brian Dean 

Brian Dean’s post is useful, and it has many tips. It’s more about “content writing tips.” He did that probably because of keywords and what people are searching for (search intent). 

However, I think Brian Dean’s post could have been multiple posts. Break it down and attend to each subtopic in-depth in another blog post. If you’re my teacher and you say so much in one class, I will forget most of what you say.

How to outrank your competitors
  1. Semrush 

The SEMrush post is detailed and has lots of depth. 

The font makes it look like I’m reading a textbook, though. Also, it gives the idea that the post is very long. 

content analysis
  1. Hubspot

Oh, My dear Miss/Mrs. Caroline Forster, the tone of your article is so beautiful. I love it. 

It’s hard to pick what needs improvement with this one, but I will try. 

Like when she explained, “Write a good hook,” I thought she would have used a subheading like “example of a good hook.” People who scan the post might not find her excellent examples. When she mentioned editing, bullet points would have worked too. I want to screenshot something there. And more examples, please, like a classroom discussion.

Studying the Posts 

Picking out these things doesn’t mean these big guys aren’t doing things right. (I wish I had one-third of the traffic they get.)

However, if I want to be seen and people to rate me, I have to come out different. 

I can’t do that by consistently repeating what has already been done all the time.

I need to put a flyer up that says I’m here, but not the same color as my enemy. 

Whenever I need inspiration, I will surely seek out these guys because they are killing it. 

At the same time, I have to bring new things to the table or, you guessed it, people will say, “well, there’s nothing new here. Let’s stick with what we are used to.” 

I hope you understand. 

Stealing From Your Competitors

“If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.” “If you have one person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original!”

Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist 

In our example, I can decide to learn something from those three. 

Brian is conversational and a bit funny, SEMrush’s post is business-oriented (talks about persona and audience the way I like), and Hubspot has a calm tone, the type you’ll wish for when meeting someone for the first time. 

Funny, business-oriented, and calm tone. 

Add that to “splitting up the topic, using more examples and using a better font.” 

We’re getting somewhere. 

If you add the other things in your arsenal, creativity, your personality (writing content only you can write), and understanding of your audience and topic, you can probably outrank your competitor. 

Keep Studying Your Competitors 

Later, I’ll need to put each website’s link into keyword tools. 

Then repeat the same thing I did previously with the three posts that bring each of them the most traffic.

You can learn about their source of traffic and use it to plan your content distribution plan.

Note: since it will probably be hard to outrank your competitors, it is better to focus on distribution. Instead of waiting for a search engine to put you above businesses that have been around longer, have more finances and a better team, take your content to your audience. Yes, and build backlinks, too.

Since you have done a good job of being helpful, creative, and special, your readers will thank you.

Be different 

If you’re in a competitive industry, one of the favors you can do yourself is to stay humble, smart, and do things differently. Be unique

Part 2 of the Your Competitor will be available soon. 

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