After doing proper niche research, you are going to want to evaluate your competition. This is important to do before you go through the work of setting up and writing for your blog. Note that just because there are other blogs on this topic, it does not mean that you need to shy away and write about something else.
You’ll often find that having competition means people are actively interested in this niche topic — you just need to find a way to set yourself apart! Before you do that, you can use several tools to see what you’re up against.
One of the first things you will want to do is search for keywords that are related to the niche you are thinking of entering. Take note if there are no blogs that are within the first several results. It may mean that you need to narrow your focus a little bit more. If you’re having trouble finding competing blogs, you can use Google’s blog search at: http://blogsearch.google.com. This will help you immensely as you examine your competition.
Make note of the competitors you find. You may want to create an Excel spreadsheet that contains information about all of them. You can then use Yahoo Site Explorer at: https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com to check the number of backlinks the blog has. If they have an incredible number of backlinks, it can mean that it will take you quite some time to beat them in the search engines before you start to become more of an authority than they are.
If they have an insufficient number of backlinks, then you know they will be fairly easy to beat. Whether you want to take on a blog that has many backlinks or not is definitely up to you! It can be done, but it will take longer and require more work on your part.
Another thing you can do is check Compete.com. This site can help you compare competition against your blog and other sites in your niche, determine what keywords they rank for, what their traffic is like, and what the demographics in your niche are. Alexa.com is another one you can use to determine what kind of traffic levels your competitors are getting. Keep in mind that Alexa only tracks those who use their toolbar, so it is not always considered to be the most accurate.
There are a few things examining your competition can do for you. It give you a feel for what else is out there, what their writing style is, what they monetize their sites with, and what kind of traffic they are getting. If you cannot find a single blog that gets good traffic, the chances are that the interest is just not there. However, if you do find some healthy competition then you know it might be a good niche to enter.
You need to find your unique voice and unique angle for your own blog so you can start getting some great traffic and making money through blogging. Researching the competition ahead of time makes this much easier to do!
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