I was recently asked who my blogging competitors were. I struggled to find an answer to that—not because there’s nobody else blogging in my niches, and not because I’m not aware of other bloggers in my niches, but because I don’t really worry much about them.
There are three main reasons for that.
My main “competitor” is myself
I’ve always been much more interested in beating my own previous performance than beating somebody else’s. This isn’t a recent thing—when I started blogging, I felt the same way. I remember creating monthly spreadsheets of my traffic and income and always aiming to beat the previous months’ efforts. I’d also try to keep the monthly increases going to beat previous good streaks.
The benefit of competing against yourself rather than other people is that you’re always attempting to keep the momentum moving forwards—you never become stagnant. When you compete against others, if they go backwards or even give up, you’re given an excuse to take your foot off the accelerator. When you’re competing against yourself, there’s always a record to beat.
There’s not enough time to be defensive and competitive
There are only so many hours in the day, and I simply don’t have enough headspace to spend that limited time worrying about what somebody else is up to and how I can beat them.
I see the online publishing space as having so many opportunities at the moment that there is enough room for more than any one player. To get defensive about staking your claim takes your attention away from expanding your own business in a positive way.
That’s not to say that I’m not watching and taking an interest in what others are doing in (and outside) my niches. But I’m not doing so looking to block them or stop them growing. I’m doing it because there are opportunities to partner with them and grow the niche to everyone by doing so (more on that below).
I’d much much rather spend my time and energy building something positive and useful than spend my time and energy worrying and getting defensive about what others are doing.
Competitors are potential partners
The other reason that I don’t concern myself a whole lot with competitors is that in this space there is always opportunity to partner with competitors. With this approach, everyone achieves much more than they could alone.
I guess in some ways I could see blogs like CopyBlogger as competing blogs, since some of our content overlaps at times. But the reality is that by supporting and even promoting what Brian and his team have built, and at times giving them a leg up, I’ve won a lot too. Our niche has grown and so, too, have our profits. It all started very simply (from memory it was Brian sending a link for me to promote … which led to him doing a guest post … which led to a long-lasting and mutually beneficial and profitable friendship.
What’s your attitude towards your competitors?