In order to eventually outrank them in the search engine results pages, you need to know what your competitors are doing, what they did and if possible what they are also planning to do so you can obtain valuable information that could get you the success you seek.
What should interest you:
Assuming that the sites that interest you make money for the owners then they have to be doing something right. Try to find out how they make money. Is it from ads? Affiliate sales? Selling ad space directly on the site?
Apply what you learn.
Where do your competitors get most of their traffic from? Search engines? Social media or elsewhere?
You'll need to focus on that specific area first but diversifying your traffic sources will work to your advantage too.
For SEO you'll need quality backlinks. It will be easier for you to know where your content can be published if you already know that someone in your niche had their article published on that site. This way you'll also be reaching your competitor's audience in the process. Depending on the quality of your content, you could get them to visit your blog regularly.