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Neutralizing Competition

Neutralize Competition with Your Hook

The headline for this blog is meant to beguile you, well, just a bit. I am not going be writing here about blasting your competition off the page or out of the market. Rather, I am talking about becoming “competition-neutral.”

Honestly, I don’t believe in competition, unless we are trying to be clones, and unless we are failing to recognize our own unique places in the blogosphere, where we find ourselves snug and ready to thrive.

Frankly, I don’t think I’m competitive, at least in the traditional sense of the word. I am not a participant in a mad dog race for the last hunk of bread on starvation’s table.

I am not trying to do what everyone else is scampering to accomplish, lavish conformity.

Think about the most popular colors in the paint store, for example, beige and white.  These are great colors, sometimes, but there really is so much more to life, isn’t there? Are you beige and white? Just beige and white? Is your blog that blah, too? Well, then, you are in trouble.

Spill the crayons of possibility onto the floor of your imagination and melt them into your new, warming ideas. Then you have a chance to thrive.

Conformity is all about safety, and when one plays it very safe, one fails to live an authentic life. Yet stepping out the zones of conformity can be scary.

Believe me. I live there in real time, and certainly on the page.

As a blogger, if you don’t do this, you will be washed ashore by the first waves of beige and white that come along.

So, if you are writing about cooking, for example, you need to have a hook.  That hook gets you to your niche. There are many cooking channels, and so there are infinite ways to channel cooking.

First, study the blogs that seem similar to yours. And when I say study them, I mean do it graduate student style. Get a huge loose-leaf binder and load it with paper and old school divider pages.

And then start separating your notebook into categories. I’m not really a Clint Eastwood fan, but you could start with “The Good,” “The Bad,” and “The Ugly.”

Compare and contrast these blogs with yours, and if you don’t already have a mission statement for your project, make one. It should only encompass a few sentences yet  serve as your ongoing North Star alignment.

You need to figure out how you are different from “The Good,” “The Bad,” and “The Ugly.” And of course, you need to see what you have in common with the blogs in these three categories, also.

Soon, your notebook should be plumping up with useful information.

As you assimilate this info, you find your niche rather automatically in the big blog world. And if you are like me, it may start off as a one-dimensional cubby and then, with time, become holographic.

We will talk more about establishing holographic niches in a future blog.

In the meantime, you have a lot of homework to do. And I’m right there with you. If you are not reading other blogs with a critical eye and taking copious notes as you blog on, then you aren’t really learning who you are and where you stand in the blogosphere.

Without that critical direction, you risk floating out to sea where those beige and white waves will swallow you up and make you quite simply irrelevant in the virtual cosmos.

Distinguishing your niche takes you out of the sphere of competition and liberates you, that is, if you trust the process.

Copyright 2017 by Maria Jacketti

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