No matter what your blog is about, the odds are you’re not the only one blogging about this.
Do you need to know what’s happening on the blogs of your competitors or you should just be doing what you’re doing and ignore everyone else?
I’m going to share with you the three main reasons why I think it’s important to spy on your fellow bloggers and then it’s up to you to decide.
1. Steal Viral Ideas From Them
If you see, that a blog post of your competitor got crazy viral and generated a ton of tweets, likes and comments, here’s what you can do about it.
- Disagree with the author of the post. Take a totally opposite side and blog about it on your own blog. Controversy works well by itself, but when used on a topic that’s currently hot, it’s effect doubles.
- See if the author is missing some important points or you have something to say from your own experience. This can make a great article.
- Read what people say in the comments section, as they might give you some hints on what bothers them and causes them to spread the word about this topic. Use these hints to write a viral post of your own.
Once your article is ready, make sure to let the original author and his audience know about it. This will give your post a nice initial boost of traffic and it may pretty much take off from there.
2. Write Epic Guest Posts For Them
It may be, that your blog and the blog of your competitor have a slightly different audience. So there’s a chance that a topic that his readers go crazy about is absolutely of no interest for your own readers.
In that case you should use the three aforementioned tips to write an awesome guest article for that blog.
The benefits for yourself are the following:
- If your gets article gets more traffic, you get more visitors to your own blog from it;
- The owner of the blog will fell in love with you, since you’ve just generated him a nice spike of traffic and you did it absolutely for free;
- It will be easier for you to pitch other bloggers with your guestposts, once they see that your posts on other blogs were successful.
If you’re new to the whole concept of guest blogging, I strongly recommend you to research it further, as it’s one of the best known ways to grow your blog.
3. Be On Top Of Things
In case you’re already an authority in your field and you pretty much set the trends that others follow – you may just skip this step.
And for the rest of you, listen up. Here’s how you can benefit out of always knowing what’s hot in your field.
1. Link to worthy content from your articles.
There are a few reasons to do that. First of all, the authors of the articles that you link to will most likely see that and appreciate that (which may result in a tweet, or a link back or even friendship). And secondly, your own readers will consider you as a solid source of information, when they don’t need to go anywhere else to be on top of things
2. Tweet worthy content and share it on Facebook.
Pretty much the same principles apply here too. Bloggers will be grateful to you for sharing their content and your followers will be more engaged, as you’re always sharing the best content that’s out there.
3. Do what others don’t
When you know everything that’s happening in your field, it should be quite easy to differentiate yourself from the rest by doing something totally different and unique. This will actually turn you into an authority and trendsetter who I was referencing earlier in this section.
“Strip The Blog” – The Free Tool That Does It For You
Throughout my blogging career I used to spy on my blogging competitors manually. I would open each blog and quickly skim through their recently published articles to check if anything would stand out by the amount of tweets and likes.
But with time more and more quality blogs appear in each niche, so it gets real hard to follow all of them.
That is why I decided to develop a tool, that automates the whole process.
Meet “Strip The Blog” free online tool:
This tool will analyze the latest posts of almost any blog you put in it and return you a nice spreadsheet, listing all the articles along with the amounts of social shares they got.
You can then play with this list:
- sort articles by popularity or date;
- set thresholds for the amount of social shares;
- turn off social shares that are of no interest to you.
Here’s how a breakdown of latest posts at BloggingTips looks like:
As you can see, the tool is pretty straightforward and very easy to use. I recommend you to go play with it right away and check what’s popular on the blogs of your competitors right now.
And on the side note, I’d like to mention that the tool is still in beta, which means we’ll be adding a lot more features to it (and you basically may request them from us).
So any kind of feedback about this tool and/or feature suggestions are highly appreciated!
And Now Let’s Talk
So what do you think about the necessity of spying on your competitors based on the three tips that I’ve mentioned?
What do you think about the free tool, that we developed to do just that?
Feel free to post your opinion in comments and I will happily discuss them with you.
Tim Soulo is a blogging experimenter and conversion junkie. Check his free email course if you want to grow the traffic of your blog or check his free online tool that will show you the most popular articles of any blog you put into it.