9 Ways for Authors to Learn from their Competitors

9 tips for Authors

9 Ways for Authors to Learn from their Competitors

For your eBook to be successful you will need to conduct research and an analysis of your competitors. The reason for researching your competitors is not to copy them (or plagiarize) but to learn from them. You want to check if they already have an eBook that targets your market. The information you gather will be used to better position your eBook and to help identify ways to get it into the hands of your ideal customer.

Below are 9 ways that you can gather information on your competitors.

1. Your competitor’s search engine ranking
Where do your competitors appear in the search listings? If they are at the top of the list then you will need to dig a little deeper to find out how they are doing it. Check out their chosen domain name, key words used, where keywords are placed on the site, tags, SEO and website structure.

2. Your competitor’s website
Check out:

  • Their eBooks (titles, content, specialized topics)
  • Additional information products
  • Their speaking engagements
  • Press releases
  • Any new business opportunities
  • Partnerships
  • Download sample chapters
  • Subscribe to their RSS feeds
  • Links to Twitter or Facebook
  • Their online forum or comments section
  • Press Room / Media Centre

3. Your competitor’s Blog
If your competitor has a blog then check out their postings, what comments their viewers are posting and what they are doing in terms of advertising and promotion. Subscribe to their RSS feed if they have one.

4. Your competitor’s Facebook page
Check to see if they have a Facebook fan page and if they do, see what activity is going on. Do they have a large following? What comments are being posted by their friends? How are they prompting their eBook on Facebook?

5. Your competitor’s Twitter Account
Check to see if they have a Twitter account and if they do, see what they are posting. You can follow them and you may be able to get ideas from their tweets. You will also be able to see what techniques they are using to promote their eBook.

You will also want to check out who is following them and then set about getting those followers to follow you. You know that they are interested in your niche topic as they are following your competitor who is also in your niche market.

6. Use Alerts to keep track of your competitor’s online action
Google Alerts is a great tool to keep track of keywords, website or people on the internet. You can create Google Alerts for each keyword or person and Google will send any related information that appears on the internet directly to your designated email.
Google Alerts Sign-up: Google Alerts

7. Social Mention ( SocialMention.com ) operates on the same principle as Google Alerts, but for social media. Social Mention monitors all of the major social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Google and YouTube. You will receive daily information and alerts for the key words you are interested in.

8. Your competitor’s videos and eBook trailers
Search YouTube for any videos, instructional or promotional, that your competitors have posted. You can also search eBookAuthor.tv to see if they have created and posted any eBook trailers. The information gathered from their videos will help provide you with background when creating your own videos.

9. Your competitor’s press releases
You can also see what news your competitors are submitting via press releases. Head over to eBookPressReleases.om and do a search for your key words or your competitor’s name. Press releases are a way for authors and business to announce future projects or eBook publication dates so you will be able to get an idea of what your competitors have planned for the future.