Rule #6: Watch Your Competition

April 9th, 2010 by Rob Willis Leave a reply »

Creating a successful, thriving, profitable Internet business is a dynamic process. It can’t be reduced to assembling parts, connecting the dots, or some other process where you take out a template, follow it carefully, and then experience the exact results you were told you’d see.

It’s more complicated than that. It’s a dynamic process that not only involves you, but your competitors: people who do better when you do worse; people who sell the same products as you; and people who have already experienced success where you have not.

This is both good and bad news. It’s bad because it means you can’t just use the same static business template and realistically expect good results each time. But it’s good because it means that you’ll always have someone successful to copy.

And this is precisely what I suggest you do: start by finding your competition. Once you’ve done this, follow them carefully.

How can you get started? Search for keywords related to your business on Google. But instead of looking at the organic search results, look at the sponsored results from businesses who are running Adwords campaigns.

The businesses you see here are PAYING to get leads. This means that there is a good chance that they’re earning MORE than they pay in order to get those leads, which means they have a successful business model. Otherwise, they’d eventually go out of business.

Follow these ads to your competitors’ sites. Bookmark each of them; and visit them on a regular basis. When they announce that they’re going to sell new products, follow the site closely to find out what features those products have and what problems they’re attempting to solve. If they create a mailing list, join it and follow their emails.

Another important thing to consider is their sales material. Look at their salesletters, opt-in pages, and free product offerings. Are these similar to yours or different than yours? If your approach isn’t similar, you may be doing something wrong.

Next, look at their marketing strategy. You can follow this loosely by searching for “link:<URL of your competitor’s site>” on Google. This will give you all inbound links to their site, which will help you to reverse engineer their marketing strategy. Are they better exposed than you are? If so, where are they advertising that you are not?

These are all important questions to ask. And by asking them, you give yourself the opportunity to expand your business operations, to improve your competitiveness, and to seek out other avenues of profit.

To Your Success,

Rob Willis

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