1. Be More UsefulMake your blog so useful to visitors that not visiting would mean they could miss something important or big. Keep in mind, usefulness comes in a lot of different forms, shapes, and sizes. Your blog could be useful because it delivers breaking news, in-depth tutorials, expert advice, and more. Even entertainment can be useful for people who want and need it. Check out your competitors' blogs and figure out how you can be more useful, and then deliver that added value of usefulness on an ongoing basis.
2. Be More Trustworthy and ReliableIf people can trust that your blog will deliver the useful information they need, and they can rely on you to not only publish that information frequently but also publish that information with authority, they'll come back again and again. If you can be more trustworthy and reliable than your competitors' blogs, then you'll be able to beat them by attracting and retaining more visitors.
3. Look BetterBranding matters in blogging just as it does in business. Which brand do you trust more: the one that plays and looks the part of its promise or the brand that claims to be great but looks cheap, untrustworthy, or inappropriate? Your blog design should match your promise to visitors. What can visitors expect to get every time they visit your blog? That's your brand promise. Make sure you live up to it by playing and looking the part in every interaction and experience that people have with your blog and brand. Confusion is the top brand killer, so make sure you're blog is consistent in every way. Start by creating a blog design that sets expectations immediately when people visit.
4. Get Better Connections and More of ThemYou can beat your blogging competitors by building relationships with your blog visitors and with people across the social web. Also, connect with online influencers who can help boost your online authority by sharing your content and directly or indirectly endorsing it. These relationships help to increase sharing of your blog content, boost conversations about your blog, jump start comments for each of your blog posts, and increase traffic to your blog.
5. Care MoreYou need to care more about your blog than your competitors care about their blogs. That means you should care more about:
- Your audience by acknowledging them when they publish comments on your blog posts, thanking them for sharing your content with their own audiences, responding to their email messages, and so on.
- Your content by publishing consistently useful and trustworthy information on a reliable basis that meets your audience's expectations.
- Your blog's performance by monitoring your web analytics and publishing more of the type of content your audiences wants.
- Your competitors by monitoring what they're doing and using that information to improve your blog and keep it a step ahead at all times. You can do this using social media monitoring tools.
- Your reputation by monitoring your online reputation and ensuring it's positive and accurate. You can do this using social media monitoring tools and search engine reputation management tools.
- And everything else about your blog.