I have a very hypocritical relationship with competition. I think collaboration gets you further, but I also think some healthy competition is necessary to be successful.
It’s just the name of the game, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it. One thing that is certain though, is if you’re a blogger, you are 100% fighting for the same limelight as thousands of others. Not every blogger (especially if you’re a beginner) will get to work with every brand that they want to. You’re all fighting to be seen, heard, and accepted in the industry. You’re fighting to make a living doing what you love, and it’s not easy. In fact, it really sucks at times and there’s a lot of physical and emotional pain involved… Here are a few strategies to get ahead of the competition.
Use the zig zag theory
The Zig-Zag Theory is when you do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. While all the other bloggers are zigging (i.e. trying to get brand collaborations, getting featured in publications), you can be zagging (doing the opposite). For example, you could be the blogger who creates an Instagram account that features bloggers instead of trying to get featured. You could also be the one helping bloggers get brand collaborations instead of trying to get them yourself. See what I’m saying?
You can apply the zig zag theory to any business, any niche, anything. Going against the grain will allow you to stand out and get noticed. Look at @ihavethisthingwithfloors and @muradosmann. No one had Instagram accounts that focused on photography from those particular angles, hence why they’re both so successful today.
Another way to beat your competition in blogging is by taking risks. Sincerely Jules took a huge risk when she started her clothing line, as did Emily Weiss from Into the Gloss when she started Glossier. But now, these girls are running multi-million dollar empires all because of a risk.
I’m not saying sell all your belongings and buy a factory to start a clothing line. But I am saying there are small risks you can take that could have big rewards. Sincerely Jules started with 3 t-shirts – she may have even started with one t-shirt – I don’t remember. Anyway, those shirts turned into more shirts and sweatshirts and pants and jackets. Now she has a full-blown clothing company.
Again, that’s not to say you have to start a business. You can take risks by incorporating video tutorials or creating a podcast or expanding your brand and exploring new topics. When you start taking small risks you become confident in the unknown instead of fearing it which ultimately sets you up to take bigger risks.
Figure out what people are going to do before they do it
Determining what people are going to do before they do it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s kind of a crap shoot and it’s really hard if you’ve never been an observer. Being an observer means you stop doing and really pay attention to what is happening around you. What’s going on in the news, what’s happening on Facebook, what pictures are popular on Instagram, where people are spending their time.
My mom’s a psych major and I think she passed that onto me (if that’s even possible) because I’m big on studying human behavior, seeing how people interact with one another and the world around them. But anyway, the scenarios I described above are what you need to start incorporating in order to figure out what people are going to do before they do it. The reason this is so important is because it puts you at an advantage. There’s great power in being the first one to do anything. Being the first to be a fashion blogger, being the first to create YouTube videos, being the first to get on Musical.ly, etc. are all things that make you the OG and deem you as an expert in your field. Make sense?
Ultimately utilizing your power of being “the first” will make you money, and that’s what needs to happen if you want to make blogging your full-time job. Period.
What is your take on beating your competition? Are you competitive or not? We’d love to know in the comments below!
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