Growing, succeeding and becoming an influencer in your space has a lot to do with the content that you put out into the world and it also has a lot to do with connecting with the right people.
Doing both of those tasks well means truly understanding the landscape in which you blog.
- Who are the “big bloggers”
- Who are the behind the scenes influencers?
- Where is your audience hanging out online?
- What are the most popular sites?
- What are the trending topics?
Today I want to share with you a simple tool that I've been using myself and with clients to help with all those questions plus help generate amazing content ideas. It's called Buzzsumo.
It simple terms Buzzsumo lets you see what articles and posts are shared on social media the most. But what makes it so powerful is that you can use and perform searches to help solve some of your biggest content and audience dilemmas.
4 ways to use Buzzsumo to grow your blog
Let's walk through some of the easy ways Buzzsumo can help make you a better blogger:
1. FIND THE MOST POPULAR CONTENT IN YOUR NICHE
If you're feeling uninspired or that your content isn't really resonating with your audience, check out the kind of topics that are hitting the mark.
Start by entering 1 or 2 keywords in the Buzzsumo search bar that are likely to appear in the titles of content for your topic area. You can refine your search by content types like articles, infographics, interviews, videos, etc. You can even narrow your search by time frame to see what's been doing best over the last year vs hot topics that have been trending over the last 24 hours.
For every result you get, Buzzsumo will show you how many shares a particular piece of content has, with each social network listed individually.
Here's an example:
Say you're a blogger who writes about paleo food and recipes. You could do a search for “paleo recipes.” After clicking on the “Top Content” tab at the top, here's the search results you'll see.
Now that's a lot of shares! After the number shock wears off, let's dig a little deeper and see what we can learn:
- Pinterest is by far the biggest network for these posts, so click through to check out the “pin-able” images that garnered all that attention, is there some style points you can learn that worked for these other bloggers?
- Facebook is a strong second in the social shares department, strong visuals help there too so you definitely need to be focusing on blog graphic creation.
- Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes did crazy good on Facebook so one might imagine that Elana's Pantry has a larger than average Facebook following since that's so much higher than the other 3. Why not head over to Facebook and see what this top tier blog is doing that's making their content catch fire.
- 2 of the top 4 posts were “round up” posts with a lot of different recipes. What posts or content can you bundle together to create an amazing resource post as well?
- The 2 round up posts were also around Christmas time, it makes sense that people are looking for recipes more often at that time of year. How can you use that knowledge to create time-of-year specific content?
- 2 of the top 4 posts have “easy” in the title. Is there a preconceived idea that paleo cooking is hard? One might think so given what we see here. How can you use that knowledge in your blog content?
After that quick analysis, we've already got a number of ideas, but by performing more searches around various keywords for your blog, you'll be able get literally hundreds of ideas for post topics, spot trends and notice what blogs keep showing up at the top of the list (more on that in #2 below.)
2. FIND KEY INFLUENCERS IN YOUR NICHE
Have you ever heard the advice, find out where your audience hangs out online and go interact with them there?
It's great advice BUT the challenge has always been how do you find the “big blogs,” the influencers and the places people hang out, so you can actually use this strategy?
Buzzsumo can help you here too. This time we're going to use the “influencers” tab at the top of the page and do a search for “paleo and recipes” to make sure the results contain both words.
From the arrows above, you can see that I narrowed my search further to focus on just bloggers and influencers and then sorted the list by “Relevancy.”
With just this small search result, we can see a huge Paleo community (Paleo Hacks) that might be a great place to interact with our audience. Then there's 3 bloggers that are worth checking out around guest posting opportunities, interviewing them on your blog or just doing some general research on their blogs to see what content is really working for them and what kinds of questions their audience is asking in the comments (comment sections are great for content ideas!)
Bonus Tip: If you're a blogger looking to partner with brands, check off the “Companies” box instead of bloggers and influencers. You'll be able to see the key companies in your niche who might be a good fit for your brand to partner with.
3. FIND THE MOST POPULAR CONTENT ON ONE DOMAIN
Buzzsumo also allows you to search top content by domain so you can see what is performing best on social media for one particular site. Simply type in the domain address into the search bar.
For this example, I used stupideasypaleo.com.
Searching a particular domain can help you in 2 main ways:
- It lets you investigate top content in a different way to gather ideas for great post topics and visual content strategies
- It's great research for guest posting on that particular site
Before approaching a blogger with a guest post, good form dictates that you provide a few post ideas as part of that discussion. A blogger may even have guest post guidelines posted on their site to help with this too.
Thinking of amazing ideas for a guest post pitch can feel really overwhelming but by using Buzzsumo to search articles that have done well with a particular audience, it can give you clues as to the direction your guest post topics should be headed in and certain titles structures that the blogger prefers.
Bonus Tip: Do you know the most shared posts on your own site? What was different about those posts compared to the ones that don't do as well? Get on your detective hat to see if you can figure it out so you can do more of what works. Was it a great image? Did a key influencer share it? Was it a hot topic?
4. LINK ROUND UPS
Link round up posts are a popular way to share amazing content with your audience and by linking out to other bloggers they will often share the post and help you grow your reach/audience in return.
The challenge of these round up posts is finding new and interesting content to share and being able to do it quickly so you're not chained to your keyboard all week. Simply do a keyword search on Buzzsumo with a filter by date and you're all set with some great options for any link round up:
Your mission this week: head over to Buzzsumo and start your own top content research. How can you improve your blog with what you find?
*I'm not affiliated with Buzzsumo at all, just think this is a great tool for all the reasons you've just read.*