As a blogger, you’re always challenged to post new content frequently. That leads to another challenge: coming up with new topics that will interest your readers and, in turn, be shared. There’s now an amazing freemium tool that can make this task easier than ever before and it’s called BuzzSumo.
What Is BuzzSumo?
At its simplest, BuzzSumo is a way to see what kind of content is shared the most, while learning about the key influencers in the industry you write about. When BuzzSumo pulls this information and aggregates it for you, you’ll then be able to view how many shares a piece of content has received across all the major social media sites. Since the goal of any of your posts might be to go viral, this is a great tool to use to see what people are reading and sharing. Plus, it can serve to inspire you in a variety of ways too.
Check Out the Competition
In any business, it’s good to know what your competitors are doing and it’s no different when it comes to blogging. You can do keyword searches on BuzzSumo or even search by domain name to see what kind of blog posts are doing well on sites similar to yours. You can also see how you rank in comparison to your competitors, as BuzzSumo clearly outlines the ranking of every Twitter user, including their page authority and page rank among other factors.
When you find a competing blogger that is getting shared and read more than you, check out their site and write about the kind of topics they write about. You can even write on the same exact topic; just be sure to put your own spin on it (more on this later).
Watch the Influencers
In any industry, there are experts. And those experts often have a fabulous online presence and followers who you’d love to capture as well. You’ll want to emulate these influencers as well. Just like you do with your competitors, monitor what they’re posting, how often those posts are being shared, and follow suit.
Discover What Kind of Content Is Being Shared
In other words, BuzzSumo allows you to monitor what’s going viral. In the “Top content” section, you can search by topic or domain (just be sure to put your keyword search in closed quotes to get exact matches) and see what content is being shared the most, whether it is articles, guest posts, infographics, videos or more. By using advanced search – with the paid “pro” plan – you can filter by things like ‘date’ so you can make sure you’re discovering newsworthy information.
Inspiration for Your Headlines
BuzzSumo can also show you what works the best. For example, if you search the keyword “architecture,” one of the most popular and shared articles is named “22 Beautiful Stairs That Will Make Climbing to the Second Floor Less Annoying.” Rather than emulate the content of the post, you can also emulate the structure of the headline. In this case, you could use this headline – “22 [items] that make [such and such] less annoying” – as a template.
Use It as a Resource
Need some source material? Do a quick content search to see if viral content related to your blog already exists. Now, don’t just steal it – what creative spin can you put on a topic that has already proven itself to be viral?
Maybe you write in a super-niche industry that doesn’t tend to do well in terms of social shares. That’s okay. It’s still worth a try searching Buzzsumo for topics related to your industry; it will likely uncover topics you hadn’t thought of. This was true for HydroWorx, who have been covering hydrotherapy on their blog for the past four years. They’ve covered warm water therapy in the past, but a Buzzsumo search uncovered a decent amount of interest in cold water therapy, due to some health bloggers’ pushing a “30 Day Cold Shower Challenge.” You won’t know what Buzzsumo might reveal about your industry until you give it a try!
Set Up Alerts
Reports are a part of the paid ‘pro’ plan, but they’re a great function of the site, one that will save you a lot of time. Buzzsumo alerts are easy to create – and send to your email – for particular keywords, to let you know when an author you’re following has published something new, when a domain has published a new piece, or even every time someone has linked back to your site.
Those aren’t the only reports either. A content analysis report can be incredibly useful, as it shows what kind of content – infographic or blog post – gets shared the most in the industry that you blog about.
Last but certainly not least, you can set your reports for a minimum shares threshold. This mean, you won’t get any alerts unless the article has been shared, for example, a minimum of 100 times.
Emulate But Don’t Copy
BuzzSumo should be a place to inspire you and your writing. With that said, make sure you’re always adding a fresh take on a topic by providing your own spin. If someone has already written about the 5 best places to eat in Charleston, South Carolina, you don’t want to 1) copy that headline word for word, or 2) write about all the same five places in South Carolina. It may be on the verge of plagiarism otherwise, and that won’t help your site’s authority in any way.
BuzzSumo is a secret weapon that all bloggers should have in their back pocket. Because while it serves as a great place for inspiration, it can also do one more very important thing. Have a great idea? Check BuzzSumo first because you can see how well it’s been done before, and if it’s a topic that gets a lot of shares.