Writing articles for your corporate blog is a pain sometimes. Especially, when you write posts on a similar topic every day. Find a creative idea, write a compelling article, choose an appropriate image — your daily plan. But even after these three steps, you can’t be sure that people will like it.
In this post, I’d like to suggest an idea based on analyzing a competitor’s top articles. We’ll analyze all stages of searching for the best competitor’s publications and suggest online tools that will help you to make cool content.
What’s the plan?
- Find out which articles target audience likes;
- Understand what attracts the reader in these posts;
- Find the actual problem and write about it;
- Choose images for the article;
- Check your text for the mistakes.
Step #1 Find a competitor’s top articles for the one minute
I took a random blog — https://www.toprankblog.com for the analysis. I know nothing about its competitors. What can I do? The simplest way is to use SEO tool like Serpstat, which has a competitor analysis feature.
Serpstat has few tools that help to track competitors’ positions, compare your sites, find what you’ve missed. Let’s try it.
Type your site address into the Serpstat search bar, select the region, the search engine and
click “find”. Then go from the summary report to “SEO Research → Competitors.” Sort by relevance, and you’ll see:
Picking their best articles
Choose your main competitors and open them on the new tabs. After that, select the tool “SEO Research → Top pages”. Pay attention to the”fb shares” column and open the articles with the largest number of shares on each site.
Check these list of articles one by one and analyze.
Step #2 Find out why are they so popular
I took 10 most shared articles. Almost all of them have more than 1K of FB shares. Now we should find patterns in this posts. Why do people share it?
I suggest creating such a spreadsheet:
What do we have now?
- 8 out of 10 articles has numbers in the title. I think it means that people don’t like articles where everything is only in words. You know these with a bunch of empty text, but with no practical tips, examples, screenshots, lists. People will share it only if they believe they’ll want to return to this article sometime.
- Almost all of these articles are written by opinion leaders. Of course, it means people trust them, and they can share in without even reading, just because of the name at the bottom of the post. But it also means that we know for sure — these articles are unique and useful. The leaders usually don’t provide thoughtless rewriting or “empty” articles. So even if you don’t have any chance to work with leaders so far, think about quality. Write as these leaders do.
- Other writers, who are not that popular but still have a lot of shares, write articles with the tons of useful information you can apply to your service/business/blog right away. It’s examples, templates, list of tools, useful resources, checklists. People share it to have access to these articles anytime. Because they know they’ll back to it.
Do the same work with you competitor’s articles, and you’ll come up with your own conclusions on why these posts are so popular.
Step #3 Create an article
You’ve found strong points of the competitor’s best articles, understood why people share it. Now we should think about creating content.
First of all, every article should have a problem and its solving. Find what people are interested in using:
- Serpstat search questions;
- Topical forums (use Google operator your keyword inurl:forum);
Then analyze competitors within the chosen topic and find unique ways to solve the problem. Now write about it! This part depends on you but you should remember about crucial points.
Title and lead paragraph
Title and first paragraph of the article (lead paragraph) — the most important part of your post. Some people are so exhausted when the article is finished so creating a title takes them 1 minute, and they send it for the publication right away.
Remember: you should catch the reader’s attention with the title and lead paragraph. If you failed, no one would read the following text.
Analyze leads of the posts from the previous step and think: why do you want to continue reading? Analyze length, first sentences, leverages.
Note: ones of the most successful posts begin with the question to the reader or personal experience.
If you write in Google Docs, open the document outline using Ctrl + Alt + A (H). After the article is finished, run your eyes through the structure. Do you understand what this article is about? Yes — cool, no — change it.
Make a plan of the article, put the main thoughts in subheadings, be clear and accurate.
- Use title, H1, H2, etc.
- Don’t overuse bold or italic highlighting. Use it only if it’s extremely important thought or quote. Don’t do that:
- It shouldn’t be a string text — use images, subheadings, lists, screenshots.
- Try not to use stock photos. It’s full of such impersonal examples:
It doesn’t inspire trust at all. Better make a photo of your own working place. Even if it’s not that fancy, even if it’s a mess — it’s truth. And people will notice it.
- Even if you take your images from stock sites, don’t be too straight. Use second or even third association. For example, let’s think about this article about sharing content. I can’t imagine something more boring than this:
Think deeply! This is what comes to my head:
- to share space → dorm
- Cher — American singer
- Shares on fb → spread of information → pass the baton
Even with this few ideas, we can choose something more interesting and outstanding. Something like this:
It’s kind of weird, but you know for sure it’ll attract the attention.
- If you show some online service to the reader, take screenshots of its interface. Step-by-step instruction? Accompany each step with a screenshot. Your reader shouldn’t guess whether he has pressed the right button.
Check the mistakes
The bottom line
Why do people share?
- To save useful content and back to it later;
- To show something exciting to the friends;
- To show off the intellect 🙂
So give it to them!