Research your competitors to create better content

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I spy with my little eye, something interesting and new. Okay, this is now how you play a proper game of ‘I Spy’, it’s just something to open up the topic of research, and we all know how strangely grating and exhausting that word can be. So, who’s the target? It goes by the code name, ‘Competitor’. Now, don’t be fooled by its one-worded plainness, a ‘Competitor’ is one of the things a person should look out for in the dog-eat-dog world of blogging.

I kid you not. Blogging is serious business my friends, not only do you need to keep your content top quality and original, you also have to watch out for people who blog about the same things as you. You need to keep your stuff fresh and trendy lest you want to turn all funky and boring. Which, we obviously do not want to happen.

So here, I present to you the gadgets and skills of the blogging trade and level up the spying skills when it comes to competition.

Gadget/ Skill #1: Trend Analyzer

One important thing to know when it comes to going up against a competitor is that you are both interested on pretty much similar topics and are prone to eclipse topics with each other. Therefore, you must know the current trends and topics popular on the competitor’s site or blog. That way, you will have the choice of either adopting the said trend but putting your own twist on it or turn to a different approach altogether so your blog won’t turn overly redundant or too ‘mainstream’.

For this task, you can give BuzzSumo a go. Just type in the domain name of the person you want and you’ll have access to the content of the blog as well as its top social shares.

Gadget/Skill #2: Keyword Finder

Another way to spy on your competitor is using tools to find his or her most commonly used key words. That way, you have access to the top main topics the blog wanted to address. Such tools for use are Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Open Site Explorer, SEMRush and many more.

Gadget/Skill #3: Conversation scanner

Aside from scanning for trends and finding your keywords, it is also recommended for you to watch the comments section on certain contents. Why, you ask? It is because this certain method of eavesdropping allows you to snoop in for some unaddressed yet popular topics amongst the readers. That way, you can have a different yet all the same, interesting idea to work on.

The examples of the sites I’m talking about are forums, image sites, twitter and other outside blogs. A great tool for this is Brand24.

Gadget/Skill #4: ‘Competitor’ Radar

Now, aside from the mainstream competitors, you need to orient yourself on the fact that, these people aren’t the only one’s you’re competing with. To find these hidden competitors, you need to look into the social media scene, search engine alley and in the more conventional outlets of media as well. That’s right, ditch the tunnel vision and take a broader scope on things.

Gadget/Skills #5: Backlinks Digger

For the confused and lost, a backlink is defined to be a hyperlink found on one website that would connect it to another website. This basically means that, the more backlinks you have connected to your site, the more popular you are.

Therefore, it’s important to secure yourself backlinks on great or notable sites to draw more people in. Aside from that, it’s important for you to know who your competitor’s backlinks are. That way, you can tap into that, thus evening out the playing field.

There you go, now that you’ve acquired the basic kit of tools to research your competitors to create better content , it’s time to let you go and do your own spying. Farewell, random citizen, but not goodbye.

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