competition fightYou write great content and you’ve spent time building your authority in your subject, but you’re still a small player in the online publishing world compared to your big competitors. How can you steal readers from the biggest websites, blogs, online magazines, and so on when they’re already so well-established?

Believe it or not, it can be done. Apple wasn’t always the leading brand that it is today. Neither was Nike or Amazon. However, each of these companies managed to catch up to their competitors and eventually surpass them by following one or more competitive strategies. Five of those strategies are highlighted below to help you use your competitors’ success against them.

1. More Agility

Leaders are less agile because of their size, stakeholders, structure, and leadership. Let the big competitors stagnate while you leverage your agility to evolve at lightning speed. Audiences will notice.

2. Greater Innovation

As a publisher gets more successful, everything about it grows. This includes staff, investors, advertisers, partners, and more. Bureaucracy is an innovation killer and typically leads to watered-down versions of what started as great ideas. Smaller publishers have huge opportunities to differentiate themselves and steal market share by being more innovative than the “old” players.

3. Fewer Obstacles

Again, as a publisher grows, there are more internal ladders to climb and hoops to go through making it very difficult for leading publishers to get approvals, make decisions, and move forward on any initiative. Use your speed, thanks to a lack of internal obstacles, to your advantage. Move faster!

4. Smaller Targets

Big publishers are bigger targets for negative publicity, viral complaints, and even lawsuits than smaller publishers. As a result, they have a lot to lose and are often trapped by their own success. Smaller publishers have an advantage because they can take more risks, test new ideas, and experiment with new products, services, and tools.

5. Bigger Opportunities

Just because a big publisher already claimed the leading space in your niche, doesn’t mean you can’t give them a run for their money. Don’t copy. Instead, reinvent. User your ability to be agile, innovative, and fast to exploit your competitors’ weaknesses, including using their success as a weakness.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that small publishers can use big publishers’ success against them. Don’t be intimidated by the big brands, companies, and websites. Instead, plan your attack and start chipping away at their stronghold.

Image: Vicki Reixach