Balancing Cooperation and Competition With Blog Marketing

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By popular demand the blogging tips series continues here at Modest Money. I thought I’d struggle to keep coming up with topics, but that hasn’t been a problem yet. If there’s anything in particular you want covered let me know via e-mail or in the comments below.

Or you can just put up with whatever topics I choose to cover πŸ™‚

If you’re new to this series, check out some of the previous blogging tips posts:

The topic I’m covering this week is something I have a different perspective on. A lot of bloggers are having their first exposure to online marketing, but I’ve been the online marketing industry for about 12 years. So I probably don’t view marketing the same as most bloggers.

Cooperation and Competition in Blog Marketing

When I do marketing for my employers or for my other websites, working with any competitors is extremely rare. Why would someone want to help you out when they are competing for the same keyword rankings? Those people are your enemies. You want to do better than them and you’d be happy to see them fail. Usually you don’t even want the other side knowing that you’re actively marketing. It’s not a very friendly situation, but that’s just how it is.

Thankfully the average blogger doesn’t know about that situation. Well maybe some do, but they don’t seem to take the same approach with their own marketing. I think this is a big reason why blogging has become so popular. Being a part of the blogging community is quite enjoyable.

Blog Marketing Cooperation

Within blogging, cooperation just seems to come natural. As you get commenting on similar blogs you get to know those bloggers and connections begin to form. Unless the blogger is a real jerk, you can’t help but get to like them and feel empathy towards them. At least it’s that way in the personal finance niche. I suspect that in some other niches that same level of friendliness may not exist.

So as you get to know these other bloggers, you become more and more willing to help them out. Maybe it starts out with a simple tweet or following them on social media. Over time that relationship develops so that you’re linking back and forth, e-mailing each other questions and regularly sharing their content on social media. One day you might be calling up one of those bloggers to go for a beer when you’re in the same city. Maybe don’t rush into that stage or you might come off as being a bit creepy.

Beyond that there are plenty of other ways bloggers can help each other out. One of the more beneficial strategies is guest posting on each others’ blogs to leverage their traffic. A lot of times you can just straight up ask for help promoting something, but that usually only works if the blogger knows you already. The ways you can help each other out is endless.

Blog Marketing Competition

I’d be curious to know how many bloggers truly view other bloggers as their competition. With personal finance bloggers that mostly seems to only be the case with more established bloggers. I know a couple established bloggers that I’ve helped turned around and treated me as a competitor that they were unwilling to help.

The truth of the matter is you are bound to be competing for at least some of the same keyword rankings. Realistically though that is a long way down the road and a lot of those bloggers won’t even get to that point. Some bloggers just don’t build up enough SEO strength to get decent search rankings.

So my stance is to try to cooperate with everyone that wants to unless they make it clear that they are more in it for themselves. Or if they just rub me the wrong way I won’t bother.

With blog marketing the better approach is to be friendly competitors. Be willing to help each other out, but at the same time compete to try to match their progress. That competition could help push you to grow your blog quicker than you would’ve otherwise.

Ideally you can find some bloggers that you deal with that are at a similar level. Try to get a lower Alexa Ranking than them. Try to get a higher Domain Authority, Page Authority and MozRank. Try to get more links to your blog.

If you surpass those blogs, take aim at blogs the next level up. Use those targets as motivation to never get complacent with your blog. Remember that you can always improve things with your blog.

Many of you might be more comfortable keeping the competition secret, but it might work to actually discuss the friendly competition with those bloggers. For example I was in discussion with one blogger who wants to race me to achieve a certain level of monthly affiliate income. I figure that’s just the kick in the ass I need to get going on that quicker.

Of course not everyone has the same competitive spirit. So you might do better with other forms of motivation. If you are the competitive type though, treat your blog like a big competition.

How do you balance cooperation and competition with your blog? Or do you not even consider the competition side of it?

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