What is hypercompetition?
Hypercompetition is the combination of the word hyper and competition (that was the easy bit). It is a well-known business term that references specifically to a market that has no barrier or very limited barriers to entry.
When you enter into blogging you exist in a hypercompetitive market.
The hypercompetition sea and how not to get washed away:
Image Source Ausdragon.co.uk by Patrick or Colin
Why is blogging a hypercompetitive market?
Because it is easy to start! Anyone could start a blog. Anyone can go to one of the free blogging platforms and start a blog, today, for free. Many people do start blogs every day of every year and have been doing so for years.
Bloggers often start with one blog which can snowball into many blogs, there is nothing limiting each person to one.
Why is hypercompetition bad?
In a hypercompetitive market with such low barriers to entry, retaining audience amongst such rich choices is very difficult.
There are a finite number of audience looking at any given time but an exponential explosion of new blogs to choose from so retaining the interests of your audience may be a struggle over time.
Getting lost in the wash
Getting lost in the proverbial wash is the result of you not being able to compete effectively with the other fry. The number of blogs that survive is tiny compared to the number that are spawned.
- You could hit the nail right on the head with your first go
And in that case, congratulations!
- You could, with discernible effort, craft your blog into a work of beauty
Hats off to you for the perseverance!
- Or you could call it a day, end the experiment and bury it!
You are likely to be joining an army of people who’ve come to the same conclusion at one stage or another.
The latter of these three options is the most common. At some point you will abandon the blog because it didn’t work out, you couldn’t keep it up or you were disheartened by the numbers.
The numbers game
A lot of us bloggers fall into the dark and destructive cycle of stat-watching or what I would determine as a “Stat-Whore”. You’ll be perving on those stats with annoying regularity wondering where it all went wrong.
The thing is, despite your best efforts (and as long as you are not delusional about the sheer amount of effort you have to put into blogging) you may just not be able to pick up that elusive fickle audience that you were searching for, despite all the optimization and work that you perform.
Part of the reason is “incumbents”.
What are Incumbents?
They are the big fish that own the bigger stakes above you. They won their place through a historical advantage, one that you can never challenge. They are the ones that you don’t have the tools to compete against. They are the secret barrier to your success. In order to avoid incumbents and their influence there are a number of things you can do.
The strategy school of position is one of the oldest. Often to avoid competition you have to position yourself in a place where you gain competitive advantage. To avoid the heat of getting fried, you position yourself on the edge of the frying pan.
In order to tackle an overwhelming incumbent, you’ve got to box in their shadows. You have to cover whats left, what they didn’t talk about in depth. Eventually you’ll develop your following and your unique voice. You’ll be providing what the core audience wants and you won’t have to worry too much about the incumbents because you become one of them.
Borrow their audience
By commenting on the incumbent’s work and by making valid and valuable content shared by the big fish, you can invite new audiences into your world.
Create a coalition
Sometimes it is better to go about social activities by collaboration. You build up networks by helping other people out, being philanthropic and generally of value.
A term I’ve heard of recently is Mastermind groups. These are groups who help each other out in a collaborative way. Often through cooperative ventures, you have many minds to consider the pros and cons of going about tasks within producing successful blogs.