I'm still creating content and posting. Never worried about competitors but I had a close call, someone did something better than me but this guy is not alone, it's something different to compete this way -a team- vs a one man band. Most competitors tried to emulate what I was doing on my largest site, many asked in forums what kind of CMS I was using, etc. And some copied my content and pictures, the worst modified the text so far you can tell it was based on my content but too far to build a copyright complain. Part I. I tried to build a team but failed
. Creating quality content is difficult, expensive and time consuming. I managed to create good content but not as fast as to post daily, I also manage other websites. Friends who had potential proved a failure because couldn't learn the skills, it's like teaching someone how to trow a basket ball but not worth the time to watch them because it's not entertaining. Hired people but seemed worse to me (personal experience), you have to train people and risk sharing your experience and skills, only to (most times) watch them go away. During my years at the media company I watched them trying to succeed in the areas I was doing great on my own websites, only to fail. Hired (experienced) writers took around a year to get where needed. I couldn't afford this myself, paying for this? no way. And so I got back at being just me writing the stuff, good, great results, after all it took me years to learn what I know (and still have many things to learn, the web is in constant change) I'm not where I would like to be in those terms.
And so one of my competitors took higher risks, this guy managed to get money from investors and bought a big domain that for years was on sale. Expensive stuff, needed? that would be a separate discussion, some domains are expensive for valid reasons. And so he got a team together and manages to post good stuff, faster, and climbed the search engine positions to the point that this affected mine.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - Part II. Copying but not copying
. Like other competitors this guy started copying my content but so highly modified it would be difficult or impossible to build a copyright claim. Surprisingly many of their notes had research credits including masked links to my website (shortened urls). It's interesting because in many ways my content helped them. And they used pictures from web galleries posting the corresponding credits but NEVER one of mine. Why? already had an issue with his brother stealing my content and I went after him. Well they learned their lesson. I guess using my content and pictures would be too obvious, not to mention I use watermarks on my images making this more difficult.
After a while I stopped posting (wrong attitude and questionable strategy) but it was frustrating seeing derivations of my content being posted. Yet... it was fun to see they struggle to find new content, new sources, sure it made their "work" more difficult.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - Part III. The challenges of growing, can you do it fast enough?
. For quite sometime I went against myself for failing in terms of business because I couldn't grow fast enough. I witnessed what a competitor would as close to what I was doing with more resources and thought "damn, I failed to see the potential there
". I learned my lesson (did I?) but I don't think growing that way is the way to go, sure there was potential back then, there must be potential right now, what would I do now? surprisingly: I will keep doing things the same way because new lessons appeared on the map.
If someone asked me what's the web I would explain it's a network, etc. But if some webmaster (web...master) asked me the same question I would say the web, the internet, it's not a network, it's a moment. Blink... it's gone. Part IV, the 10 secrets to... make it big on the web
. Well not exactly. Growing fast and big, risking time and money that way doesn't sound as my personal goal, and so I'm happy with my lifestyle. I still sometimes have small issues looking back and thinking about the challenges or delegating and hiring people, having a medium size team, etc. Sure I don't change my lifestyle for that one being in constant meetings.
Besides... this 2019, this big competitor is not doing so great. What are your competitors doing?
, this one, the largest one now copies content on a daily basis, low quality content (news, events) posted everywhere. Media news and PR (public relations releases) that's cheap. Sure they invested big on FB reaching 1M likes but it's pure smoke. And now their main content is based on "10 places to drink beer", or "5 webmaster forums" and stuff like that, purely stealing bits and bits of content from other sites and building one page with those bits.
I thought the lessons were over, I guess there are many things to learn from that place... but it seems I'm still for a show (I mean, about to watch an interesting show). So, what are your competitors doing right now?