No one starts a blog aiming to be #2 in their niche, or worse, to be completely unknown and an invisible part of the blogosphere.
On the other hand, not many people start with a clear vision and a step-by-step, executable plan to be #1 in their niche. And from the few who do so, hardly anyone stays the course in the first 6 months.
Now before we talk about blog positioning and working to be #1, here’s a question for you: For the last blog that you started, what was your plan to make it #1 in it’s niche / subniche?
There are two ways of being #1:
One: You can use the bulldozer approach, where you go up against established competition and then try to steamroll over them by spending more money, more time, getting more links or just getting dugg more than them.
Two: You find an angle, a facet of the niche that does not have a clear #1 blog, and you jump with both feet in it and from day one, you act as the authority in that niche (and deliver on it).
Usually, the most successful blogs use a combination of the two approaches, and when you ask people about their approach, they are as liable to mention the second approach as they are to mention the first one.
However, in reality, you’ll see the top blogs in any niche use the same strategies and ‘gimmicks’ (if any) to build their readership and to stake their claim as #1. In other words, blogs practice the first method almost exclusively, and we rarely find bloggers who dare to take a ‘unique’ angle to the niche (and by unique I don’t mean a person’s unique thoughts or views on a subject).
What is the most important benefit of being #1?
Who’s the king of blogging?
Who’s the king of search marketing news?
Which domain name registrar is the most popular (not best, but most widely known)?
Which blogging platform is most popular amongst newbie bloggers?
The answers for each should be quick and evident (Darren Rowse, Danny Sullivan, GoDaddy and BlogSpot), and there lies the rub – if your blog is automatically associated, by name, as the primary source of knowledge for a niche, you will have managed what 99% of bloggers will never do.
And you’ll be rich because of it.
I cannot overestimate the importance of aiming for the #1 spot and the value of acheiving that spot.
It goes back to the two paths to being #1 – if you have competition, then option 2, finding a new, different angle, is the best path to go on and one that should dictate all your plans.
If there’s no (or little) competition, or if you’ve already found your unique angle, you need to apply option 1, the bulldozer approach, to wade in and dominate as quickly and as comprehensively as possible.
Position your blog to be the #1 source of information for your target niche. And if you need help in learning how to differentiate your blog, read Chris Garrett’s article on “Positioning Your Blog“.
This article was originally written on 30 Aug 2007 for Performancing.com.