That itchy, anxious feeling you get when it’s time to write another post for your blog (or magazine article) and you are. out. of. ideas.
You’re burned out. Hasn’t it ALL been said before?
If this is what’s been going through your head, hold on, people, you’re gonna like this one.
It’s Strip the Blog, a completely free online tool you can use to find the most popular recent posts on a website.
Now, Strip the Blog does use social sharing as its metric, so it doesn’t give you the WHOLE picture (email subscribers or comments) but it is a fantastic way to get the pulse in your subject area.
Here’s how this magic works:
Go to Strip the Blog.
Enter the url of the blog you want to “strip.”
Click on the timeframe – from one week to two months.
Click it to strip it!
What can you do with this magical information?
Here are three suggestions from the makers of Strip the Blog, along my ideas for putting them into action:
1. See which topics go viral on blogs of your competitors and steal them for your own blog.
But there’s an art to this. Don’t just rehash the same post with slightly different words. We don’t need more of the same.
Instead, rethink the topic. Apply your own filter. Ask yourself a few questions to uncover your own take on the topic:
Q. Is there part of this topic that should be expanded?
Q. Do I believe that any part of this post is wrong, and that there’s a better approach?
Q. Did the author miss something HUGE that readers need? Can I rectify that sitch?
Link to the popular post in your own post and then talk about what and why your opinion or advice on the topic differs.
What’s great about taking a popular topic and reshaping it from your own point of view is that you can also reach out to the owner of the popular blog and let her or him know that you’ve written a post with a different angle. Sometimes that blog owner will even mention your post to his or her readers, with a link (score!)
Watch it work
Let’s look at Strip the Blog in action.
I used MichaelHyatt.com. Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
Michael blogs about personal development, leadership, productivity, platform, and publishing. Plus, he has a large following, so if you cover similar topics, you’ll have a pulse on your people and what they like.
His top post, The 37 Best Business Books I’ve Ever Read, snagged an ah-mazing 1000+ shares on Twitter, over 6,000 on Facebook (yowza!) and a respectable 86 on Google +.
What’s your takeaway? People LOVE book recommendations. They want to save the list, share the list, tell their friends and followers which books they’ve read and which ones are up next.
How can you adapt this post topic?
“The best business books [in your niche]?”
“The best business books you’ve never read.”
“The best business books for newbies.”
“The best books for business (that aren’t actually about business!)”
2. Understand which topics perform the best on a certain blog, before writing a guest post there.
Got a guest post coming up? Strip that blog and read the five most popular posts. Analyze why they made an impact and then try to incorporate those elements into your own guest post.
In a previous post on giving good interviews, I mentioned that when Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo and former Facebooker, is interviewed, he preps for it.
How? He listens to a show’s most popular interview and analyzes what made it so popular, so that he can add those elements to his interview too.
(Hint: the most popular are the ones that offer meaty content with specific strategies and tips, not vague advice.)
Do like Noah.
3. Quickly find awesome content to share with your followers on Twitter & Facebook.
My special twist on this is to find the content that your followers don’t already know about. It’s super for you because you get to bring something new of value to your people. Everyone wants to be a hero!
Bonus tip (corporate marketers, this one’s for you!)
Just not feelin’ your blog this week? Stumped about what to write? Take a short cut and use Strip the Blog to create a “roundup post” of your favorite bloggers or posts on a topic.
Who doesn’t want a curated list of guaranteed good stuff, served directly to them? No one.
Your Fame Boosting Assignment
Pick three blogs that you want to strip. Head over to Strip the Blog and discover the most popular posts on those websites. Read ’em and decide: will you cover the same topic with your own special sauce, prep for a guest post or use the info to fill up your social media slate?
Now get out there and shine, you miracle machine.