Part of your long term marketing strategy is to thoroughly examine your niche online, get to know all of your competitors and what they have to offer, and then make a plan to systematically beat each and every website that you compete with.
I did this with my flagship website by examining my competition first. Many of the competing websites had a free eBook that people could download. Some of them had a discussion forum. Some of them did reader mailbag stuff and gave out specific personal advice to people. Some of them had custom infographics. Some of them had video content to go along with text articles.
But none of them had all of that stuff, and none of them had more than one free eBook.
So my long term plan was to simply beat them all.
This was accomplished over a period of maybe two years.
I kept plugging away at it until I had designed–what I thought to be–the best website in my niche.
So I started this effort by publishing a free eBook. This was to be a “how to guide” for my audience, one of great depth and detail, and something that was a genuinely useful resource.
I completed this free eBook, and eventually started on another one.
In the end I would publish about ten of these free resources, and I never charged money for any of them. I gave them away for free in order to build my brand. Some of my competitors had eBooks on their websites, but some of them would charge for them, while others would require an opt-in to a mailing list. I simply gave mine away as a free and instant download.
Then I tried my hand at creating some infographics. I am no graphic artist but I made some interesting things, and I continued to experiment with the process. All told, I made about six of these custom infographics, and added them in to my most popular articles so that lots of people would see them.
At some point I realized that all of the daily comments that my website was getting might be better channeled into a discussion forum. So I added a nice vBulletin forum, and a community was born. While it has a relatively small user base, it is an extremely active group, adding thousands of words of new content every single day.
The forum remains active to this day, and is a very helpful resource for anyone who might want extra help or guidance.
Now this particular website I have been speaking about is in the health niche–your niche may be different.In order to make the best possible website in your niche, you are going to have to get a feel for what your competitors are offering, and then simply offer more. Offer more resources, offer more help to your audience, and do it all for cheaper (or for free).
This is meant to be a very long term process, spanning at least a year or two. You might even budget three or four years to accomplish this particular goal. Having the best website in some niches is going to take a lot more work than others. It all depends on how competitive the niche is and how good your competitor’s sites are.
Having the best possible website in your niche has some other bonuses as well:
You are more likely to attract organic links in the long run.
Any links that you create via guest posting are legitimized because your site is so good. Therefore you are not asking people to link to a lousy site.
Viral marketing and word-of-mouth sharing will rise slowly over time as you become established as the market leader in your niche.
Direct advertisers will eventually seek you out and monetization will become easier/more lucrative.Landing additional guest posts will become easier and brand building will be easier as well.
People will seek you out and offer guest posts, which you can use to add free new content to your site if you like.
There are other benefits to having the best possible website in your niche as well, that go beyond what I’ve listed here. Basically, there are just more opportunities and more positive feedback loops occurring that help to make your website even more successful than it already is.
Success breeds success.
Keep improving your website until it is the best in its class on the web. This should be your long term vision for the site. “Good enough” means that you run a constant risk of search engine penalties, because they are constantly moving the bar as far as quality goes. So your long term vision has to be one of continuous improvement, until your site is best in its class.