What’s the competition like?

Today’s blog work involves getting to know your competition better.  When I speak of blogging competitors it is in the most friendly way possible.  The folks who write other blogs similar to you are also the same people who might comment on your blog, give you great blog post ideas or even guest blog for you.  It’s NOT the same kind of competition that you find between rival teams or businesses.

You can get a lot from looking at other blogs.  New ideas, new contacts, new ways of posting or organizing your blog.

That said, it’s likely that they have been blogging on the topic longer than you have.  So what can you learn from them?  Let’s take a look.

I’m going to take a look at another blog about 3d printing and find answers to the same questions.  You will find two blogs and answer the very same questions to learn more about your competition:

1. what’s the web address?
2. how frequently is the blog updated?
3. do they have one author or multiple authors?
3. how long is the average blog post in number of words?  Check out the five most recent blog posts and average the word count.  I used http://www.wordcounttool.com/ and copy/pasted each post to get a count.
4. how often do they use video or images?  Every post?  One in five?
5. what is the source of their posts?  Does the blog author restate press releases or other blog posts?  Do they create their own material in the form of opinion, research, top 5 lists, etc?
6. how popular is the blog?  This can be tough to judge but look for a list of followers, how many likes, Facebook likes, or tweets posts get.
7. after reviewing this blog what changes might you make to your own blog?  This might be as simple as wanting to post more frequently or thoughts on including more images or video within each of your posts.
Here’s my example: http://fabbaloo.com/
1. how frequently is the blog updated? at least one to two posts per day.
2 do they have one author or multiple authors?  looks like one author going by the name of General Fabb.  Could be more than one person writing under this name.
3. how long is the average blog post?  Check out the five most recent blog posts and average the word count.  I came away with an average word count of 276.4.
4. how often do they use video or images?  Every post?  One in five?   every post has at least one image, no sign of videos in the first ten posts.
5. what is the source of their posts?  Does the blog author restate press releases or other blog posts?  Do they create their own material in the form of opinion, research, top 5 lists, etc?  The posts that I scanned were well written discussions of recent developments in 3d printing.  Seemed like a lot of the content was developed from, or a direct quote from, various press releases or industry news and events.  I scanned 13 posts and they were very focused on industry and new product news with no sign of “how to” posts or top 5 lists.
6. how popular is the blog?  This can be tough to judge but look for a list of followers, how many likes, Facebook likes, or tweets posts get.  All of the first 8 posts had been retweeted, most in the double digits.  No Facebook likes.  No other sign of followers or other signs of popularity.
7. after reviewing this blog what changes might you make to your own blog?  This might be as simple as wanting to post more frequently or thoughts on including more images or video within each of your posts.  Posting more frequently would make a huge difference in my blog.  Given that my blog is about integrating 3d printing into the classroom, a blend of how to and industry news is a better fit for my purposes.

OK.  Now it’s your turn.  Use a search tool like Google Blog search or http://www.blogsearchengine.org/.  Then copy/paste those questions into an email addressed to me at rmilstead@gmail.com.  Give your email the subject line of “blog competition”, answer the questions and send it my way.  Find this information for two blogs other than your own or a classmate’s blog.