Want To Succeed? Stop Being Afraid Of Competition!

by Robb Sutton

I hear bloggers all the time make the excuse “there are already too many blogs about that…so I’m not going to start one”. That is a fear of competition and I am going to explain to you why that is an unhealthy fear that will keep you from success.

Before we jump straight into it…I want you to sit back for a second and think about all of the products and services you use on a daily basis that came into the market only in the last couple of years. Maybe it is your car, your favorite coffee, the computer you are staring at right now. Now, think of where you would be if that company decided that there was too much competition in that market to bring something new to the table. Doesn’t make much sense now does it? So let’s look at why competition in blogging is a good thing for you and future growth.

Want To Succeed In Blogging? Stop Being Afraid Of Competition!

Now that I have blown enough hot air, let’s get down to brass tax and take a look at why competition in blogging is a good thing for you…as the blogger looking to have a successful blog (did I say that blogging word enough times in that sentence?). Let’s assume for all of these points that we are referring to quality competition and not scraper sites or ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ blogs.

Competition Means There Is A Market

If there is a lot of competition within a give marketplace, that means there is a customer base large enough to support the ever growing offerings on the web. That’s right…that means there is still room for your blog to make its mark on the vast world wide web space. If there was not a big enough audience to support all of those blogs, they wouldn’t be there. Who wants to waste their time spinning their wheels for nothing? I don’t and neither do other successful bloggers.

Now…there is a flip side to this as well. If you find a niche were there is zero competition, do not go thinking you just found the holy grail of blogging. There is probably a reason that no one has entered that market so you will need to do some preliminary research before you go and throw everything you have at it. Is the niche too narrow? Is there not enough people online that want to read about this niche?

Beginning a new blog in a crowded market is all about finding a smaller sub-niche that has an audience, growing that blog and then expanding into other sub-niches until you have a giant monster of a resource. Find a competitive market and rock it out. There is an audience to support it because you can already see they are there!

Example: With Bike198.com, I started with mountain biking and that eventually grew into road biking, commuting by bike and an online forum. It is all about building on success and not being afraid to try.

Competition Makes You Work Harder and Smarter

There is no time to be lazy when you are working within a niche that has competition. The bar continues to rise with quality as more bloggers enter the market offering something new and exciting. While a lot of bloggers would use this as an excuse to throw in the towel or keep to their old ways, the successful bloggers use this as a challenge to continue to work harder and smarter to stay that one step in front of the competition.

Friendly competition among bloggers will force you to continue to look for ways to be more efficient in your blogging in all aspects (monetization, content production, etc.). While the other bloggers in low competition niches get to sit back and be lazy, you are forced into being a well oiled machine. Because if you aren’t…your competition will be. So welcome to the crash course in being a better blogger…having to compete with other better bloggers.

Competition Drives Innovation and Creativity

Cutthroat competition among competing brands drives innovation and creativity in the market and this is a great thing for everyone involved. It also produces more profitable blogs, products and services quality drives sales. This need to continually make more innovative content and products will drive you to make more money online and see faster blog growth.

Competition Brings Up The Entire Industry

Going hand in hand with every previous point, all of this competition brings that specific market up to a new level and…in the process…brings you up with it. Your blog becomes better faster and your competing blogs do the same. What happens when you go to expand into a new market? Your skills are already a well oiled machine ready to take on the world. So while you were fine tuning your skills in a high competition market, the others were just sitting around with old methods. You now get to come in and raise the bar.

Competing Markets = $$$

Larger audiences and a lot of competition means there is money being made. If you are looking for profitable niches, start looking where there are other blogs making money (not the MMO, blogging niche). It will take some research on your end to find them, but the payoff is huge in the long haul.

Bloggers: We Are All In This Together

Just remember, we are all in this together. Bloggers generally welcome friendly competition and we work to bring the quality of our niches up instead of try to discourage new ideas. The web is huge…and we can all have a part.

As you look at your market and where you want to head, remember that high competition also means that it might take a little bit longer to rise above the noise and make your mark. But…once you do…your mark is much more substantial than in low competing niches.

Find a way to bring something new to the table and rock it. You will be surprised at the result as readers really want to see something new and unique. Just because there are already a lot of blogs on a given subject, that does not mean you can’t make it your own and be highly successful. It just means you have to work a little bit harder for a bigger reward.

20 comments

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20 comments

DJ March 11, 2010 - 10:32 am

Best take away “Find a way to bring something new to the table and rock it” As long as you take a new angle than the competition when you venture out into the waters, you will always get new traffic. Many very successful companies have entered into saturated markets and risen to the top very quickly, because they were smarter, more efficient, more lean, more creative, you name it. Find your angle and you will be successful. Good word!

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 7:39 pm

Another thing those companies do is break the rules. So many established companies are so use to “the way things have always been done” that they forget to be inventive. The new company (or blogger in this case) can come in a rock the boat.

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Jack | Online Marketin Blog March 11, 2010 - 12:07 pm

Competition is very good and will actually benefit you as a blogger, webmaster.

For instance, if you type a keyword in Google and you see 8 Adwords campaign in the SERPs, people are willing to pay per click for that keyword.

So what does that tell you? When people are pay you to click on their ads, there’s money to be made.

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 7:38 pm

Exactly!!

If other people are willing to spend money on advertising, that means there is a buying public that can help you make money at the same time.

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Maren Kate March 11, 2010 - 5:24 pm

Great post Robb,

I have actually been looking into a lot of niches and your right at first the competition is kind of scary, but heck, you gotta do what you gotta do. I like your spin on this it is uplifting and lights that fire I need to get going 🙂

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 7:37 pm

It can be a little overwhelming at first, but…just remember the payoff is much bigger on the backend when done correctly. Anything to get that fire lit! Keep it up.

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Curtis Chappell March 11, 2010 - 6:54 pm

Robb,

I’ve just received week 5 of your free ‘revamped’ blogging course. In it you provide the answer as to how to ‘compete’ with the big boys –> guest post!

If you think of the ‘better bloggers’ as tools to build more readers, then all of a sudden they are not competition anymore…they are stepping stones.

After approaching you to do a guest post, and by commenting regularly on your blog,
I’ve received over 20 visitors directly from your blog in the past 20 days.

That may be small bickies to many of your longer-term readers with well-entrenched blogs, but that’s 20 people who would not have found my blog otherwise.

It’s just a matter of changing your perspective, and this is what I focus on with the content in my blog…how to adapt your mind to achieve greater things!

Write On!

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 7:36 pm

Glad to hear you had a positive experience Curtis! And you are right…a great way to connect with larger blogs in your niche is to reach out for guest posts. I still do that a lot in my respective niches.

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Chris Guthrie March 11, 2010 - 7:21 pm

It seems like your post is talking all about how great it is to have competition, when in fact it really isn’t.

Example: Say I run a website that currently makes me a few thousand dollars a month around a niche that not many have entered. Now there is a flood of people all competition for that same attention.

The lower level of work I needed to put forth to make the few thousand dollars a month now needs to be increased to compete with all the additional websites flooding the market just so that I can keep making the few thousand dollars a month again.

Why is this good? I personally like to work as little as possible to achieve my desired results so why would I want to work harder for the same reward?

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 7:35 pm

If you are looking to have dozens of site that all make a couple thousand dollars a month to make your income online, then you are right…competition is not a good thing. If you want to make a significant income off of a small number of sites (or even just one) the competition is a great thing because there is a market to support that kind of income.

We are really talking about two different methods here. And having dozens of sites to make the same amount of money is not a route I personally would take but I know others that have and found success. For me, its not all about making money online…it is also about the connection with readers and building a solid brand.

Another note…if you are really making a couple of thousand dollars a month…it is only a matter of time before someone else figures it out as well.

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Chris Guthrie March 11, 2010 - 8:18 pm

I still don’t see why even if you want to make your money off a few websites why you would ever want competition. Competition leads to lower rankings in the SERPS for everyone etc.

It really doesn’t make any sense to me unless the point of your post is something like – “Competition will come, but when it does don’t back down”

Also, I wasn’t implying that I don’t have a connection with any readers when doing this. So I’m not sure how that applies.

I don’t know, I just really don’t agree with the logic here. I agree that competition makes you work harder etc as you’ve mentioned above, but welcoming competition just for the sake of it makes no sense.

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 8:20 pm

This post was not about “welcoming competition”. It was about not being scared to enter a market that has competition.

There are a lot of people that sit and do nothing because the market appears to be too saturated already when in fact they can be successful with it.

No where in the post did I say invite more people in…it is more don’t let the competition keep you from trying.

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Chris Guthrie March 11, 2010 - 8:24 pm

Could I really have misread your post? As I re read it now I can see my comments are a bit off base lol. Well, if there’s one valuable thing I can add to the comments it would be to fix your comment form so that it auto inserts previous commentors information.

My bad for misunderstanding / misreading

Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 8:26 pm

It’s all good! You were making great points actually. If you have a market with low competition and you are making money off of it…don’t tell anyone!

Chris Guthrie March 11, 2010 - 8:20 pm

Side note: your form doesn’t automatically remember my information when I try to comment and makes me enter it twice perhaps your designer can fix it?

I guess my whole point is that I never want competition because competition tips the scale to the consumer giving them choice. Of course when this occurs quality rises in all parties, but why anyone that dominates a niche would welcome competition doesn’t make sense to me.

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Robb Sutton March 11, 2010 - 8:23 pm

I’ll take a look at that. It would be a cookie issue if anything and that is probably related to the server level caching.

I put my response to the second part in the comment above.

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Jewelry Secrets March 11, 2010 - 9:31 pm

A niche with zero competition? Sounds crazy. I like your take on stepping into a field with a lot of competition. Because as new people enter the arena, others leave. It will always balance out. And the people that can stick with it and tough it out will always rise to the top.

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Samuel March 14, 2010 - 2:54 am

I once read competition is the driving force for innovation. It’s how new ideas are created and the advancement of industries happen. Competition is good for everyone.

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Robb Sutton March 14, 2010 - 8:01 am

I agree with that completely. I have been a lot of different industries over the years and competition was a driving force around most of the innovation.

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innocriss March 14, 2010 - 9:17 am

hi Robb,
It isn’t proper to be scared by competitors. i hate, or try not to have competition only when i’m the first in the market. Yet i think competition helps you evaluate and realize your true potentials. Without competition, your growth rate is slow

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