Sunday, June 01, 2008

Benchmarking Your Blog - What Are Readers Complaining About on the Other Side of the Fence

There is nothing wrong with benchmarking your blog to compare it against other blogs or even websites that cover similar topics or categories. You may already read some of your competitors material, and I'm not suggesting that you should copy or steal anything.  That's not the point at all.

However, you can look at their designs and layouts and get a better understanding of what works, how it works, why it works and how you might be able to improve your site with that knowledge.

In fact don't forget to consider what does not work, and what people are complaining about in comments or forums!  That might point the way to an easy opportunity for you, and something that your competition can't even tackle or prioritize.

We all get caught up in day to day issues and that includes your competitor.  They might have their readers wishes somewhere on their plans for improvement, but if you see that readers are looking for something, maybe you have some spare time and you can deploy that solution now!

For example, maybe their site is running a little slow and people are complaining.  They might respond to those complaints saying that their host is to blame as they are using processors that are maxxing out or maybe the ram on their servers is peaking at certain times.  You can then seize the opportunity to insure that your site is running on the fastest machine you can afford (hopefully faster than the competition) then encourage people to test it for themselves.  Offer up the comparison.  "We're faster than the other guy!  See for yourself." 

Seize their nuggets of opportunity and run with it and you might be able to leap frog ahead.  It might not keep you in front, so be prepared to do more later, but it can help you build momentum.

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