Want to start a blog but worried that blogging is an oversaturated market? You may be wondering how your blog will stand out amongst numerous ones in the same industry.
You may even fear that your blog won’t be successful because you’re unsure how to create a blogging strategy that will make you stand out. You may have even started your blog and are frustrated that you’re not seeing the results you want. In this article, we’re going to break down what you should consider about starting a blog, how to tell if a market is too competitive, and other ways to make your blog stand out.
Considerations for Starting a Blog in 2021
Starting a blog may feel like a daunting task. There are many questions around whether your blog will gain traffic and how to put your content in front of your desired audience.
The benefits of blogging, however, is a long-term game. Posting to your blog consistently is a fundamental first step. The second step is centering your blog around a specific topic or theme.
According to Website Setup, the number of blogs on the internet has reached over 600 million. If you’re looking to start a blog and worry that this number indicates that the blogging market is oversaturated, don’t panic.
While blogging may be competitive, there’s a lot of context to consider that can give you an advantage. It all depends on which niche you enter. While most blogs lie within a specific industry, every blog has a specific perspective in that industry.
For example, if you have a wellness blog that focuses on healthy eating and exercise, the perspective can be from someone who struggles with a specific disease or has advanced education on nutrition.
This specific perspective is your unique value proposition.
An audience that may be looking for specific, niche information will gain attention and traffic because your specific perspective creates value that is rare.
Overtime, your audience will understand that they cannot find that information with this unique value anywhere else. Your blog’s perspective is what will set it apart from others. Focusing on this specific value will set you up for long term success.
How to Tell if a Topic Is Too Competitive
Now that we understand that your blog needs to have a unique perspective that brings value to your industry, we’re going to explain how to determine if a blog topic is too competitive.
There are many ways to determine how competitive your niche is, but we’ll keep it to the most simple:
- Keyword Volume (MSV)
- Keyword Difficulty (KD)
In order to determine either of these, you’ll need to perform some research on the keyword landscape for your intended primary topic.
For example, if you want to blog about baking cookies, you’ll want to check out the keyword landscape for queries like, baking at home, cookie baking ideas, baking desserts, to start.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools like Google Trends, Ubersuggest, Moz, or Semrush are great keyword research tools that can show you both the MSV and the KD for any query you’re interested in.
Otherwise known as Monthly Search Volume (MSV), keyword volume tells you how many times a certain keyword is being searched each month. Keyword volume can indicate how large the audience is for a certain topic, and therefore indicates how much potential traffic is available to you within this keyword’s landscape.
The higher the volume, the more opportunity for traffic from this keyword. Now, you won’t be able to capture all of the traffic available. Your opportunity is highly dependent on another factor — keyword difficulty.
Keyword Difficulty (KD)
Keyword difficulty gives you an idea of the likelihood that your content will rank in search engines for that keyword by telling how difficult it is to rank for that keyword. Other blogs are also competing for this keyword, so KD gives you a sense of your competition.
Different SEO tools consider various factors to calculate the difficulty of ranking, like number of backlinks and search volume, for instance. Overall, keyword difficulty is a helpful way to tell if a market is highly competitive.
Tips for Blogging in a Competitive Market
If you find that your niche topic has a high keyword difficulty, don’t worry. There are a number of actionable steps you can take to ensure you can still rank and get traffic.
There are ways to optimize your blog to ensure you target the right audience, rank in search engines, and keep viewers coming back. Let’s cover those now.
1. Know your audience.
Having a foundational understanding of your blog’s goal and purpose is fundamental to standing out in a competitive market. And knowing who your audience is and what they want to read comes just before that.
You can start by building a persona to target with your content. That way, you’ll have an intimate understanding of who your target audience is and will be able to serve them.
In order to get to know your audience, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you blogging this information?
- What impact do you hope to bring with your blog?
- What does your audience need to learn?
- How does your audience like to consume information?
- What demographics define your audience?
2. Incorporate SEO guidelines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to bringing your blog to a wider audience. Essentially, you want to center your blog content on a few primary keywords that align with what your audience is interested in learning. We already discussed above how to determine the MSV and KD for your target keywords, but there’s a lot more to SEO.Your blog’s content should focus around your primary keyword. Those keywords should show up throughout your content.
For example, if your blog is about fishing, that would be considered your primary keyword topic. Relevant keywords that would appear throughout your blog are how to fish, fishing guidelines, and how to prepare for a fishing trip. The more relevant keywords appear in your blog, the more it helps search engines understand what your blog is about.
Don’t flood your content with your keywords simply to rank. This is called keyword stuffing, and it’s a black-hat SEO practice. The focus should be to create quality content that helps users. If you’re creating content that gives information that answers your audience’s needs, then it’s likely they will come back to your blog for more.
3. Build relationships.
Networking applies to online marketing, too. Try to build relationships with online leaders in your industry or those who have parallel audiences.
By building a network, you can also create opportunities for backlinks to your content, which is helpful to build authority. Backlinks help bring more traffic to your blog as the audience from one blog is being redirected to yours. This over time helps you optimize your visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Backlinks can be in the form of a guest post. For example, if you have a cooking blog and feature a guest post on Food Network, that creates a backlink. They can also come from referral links from other sites that may have a bigger name in your industry. For example, if Entrepreneur.com links to your article on startups, that is also considered a backlink.
4. Be helpful.
If your blog solely promotes your product or services, it may be overly promotional. Find out what your target audience is really interested in and pursue those topics — it’s always better to be helpful than promotional. Successful bloggers put their community's needs before their financial gain.
"Providing accurate, useful information that informs in a non-self-promoting manner gains credibility," writes Greg Sweval, a direct-to-consumer consultant. "It may take a little longer to build the buzz, but once the momentum gets rolling, it has exponential effects."
5. Blog about your expertise.
Blog about the aspects of your business that you’re passionate about. "Be yourself and blog about the things that excite and interest you (without sounding like a commercial, of course) and you'll be fine," suggests Steve Early.
When you write with passion and offer real value, you will most likely attract a bigger audience. With all the information we have at our fingertips, readers can sense authenticity. Your goal should be to create content for humans who are curious and seeking helpful, unique information. Aim to make your readers as passionate about your subject as you are.
6. Be authentic.
You will stand out from the noise and the crowd of bloggers if you are truly authentic. Transparency can earn you credibility in the blogosphere. In addition, it will add a more personal element to your writing style. Be authentic and let your readers see you clearly and identify with your message.
A successful blog takes time, strategy, and research.
Building a profitable and successful blog has no shortcuts. If you perform market and keyword research, you will get a feel for what your audience’s needs are and what they want to see. Once you know what your audience wants, understand your blog’s unique value, and incorporate SEO tactics, you will ensure the longevity and overall success of your blog.
Starting a successful blog in a saturated market doesn’t have to mean failure. However, it will take consistent effort, focus, and dedication to become successful. Start planning your blog strategy today and watch your audience grow.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2009 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.