promotion

How to Generate Blog Traffic with Buzzsumo and Buzzstream

Millions of blogs, video’s and infographics are published on the internet every day. So if you want to create your own content, it has to stand out. How do you make sure your stuff gets noticed when there is so much buzz?

Your content has to be valuable to be a credible and trustworthy source in your niche. This type of content generates more shares, likes and traffic. In this blog I’ll share two great tools that can help you to do just that; Buzzsumo and Buzzstream. These are useful tools on their own but they provide even more value when you combine them.

Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, knows how to generate the traffic you want. He shares the following 3 steps to get quality links and targeted traffic:

  • Find link worthy content in your niche;
  • Improve existing content;
  • Reach out to the right people.

1. How to find link worthy content in your niche

Once you’ve decided on the topic you want to write about, the next step is to do some research to find link worthy content.  If you want to find valuable data to back your idea, first find out what is already created about this topic.  That’s where Buzzsumo comes in, what I call ‘Google for content marketing’.

Then click on the Content Research button. Type the keywords, for example ‘content’, ‘marketing’ and ‘trends’ in the search bar. To narrow your search results filter by date, content type and/or domain. Buzzsumo will show you a list of your search results including social media shares and the total shares.

    Tip 1:    I selected a shorter period (6 months) for my search because there’s a lot of content available for my topic ‘content marketing trends’. You can select a longer search period for topics when less content is available.

 Tip 1: I selected a shorter period (6 months) for my search because there’s a lot of content available for my topic ‘content marketing trends’. You can select a longer search period for topics when less content is available.

 You can also select a specific social media platform. If you, for example, want to know if the content you want to create will be successful on Pinterest, you can search in Buzzsumo for ‘Pinterest shares’. Buzzsumo shows you a list of content that’s been shared (the most) on Pinterest.

Pinterest shares Buzzsumo

When you look for top-content it’s important to look for the amount of shares and links. The higher the number of shares and links the better, because it’s valuable and interesting content that you can use in your own blog post, infographic etc.

Tip 2: When you are hesitant about choosing a blog post type, look at the headlines. What scores best and do the headlines have something in common?

Tip 2: When you are hesitant about choosing a blog post type, look at the headlines. What scores best and do the headlines have something in common?

Trending feature

Your blog generates more traffic when it links to current topics. For this, Buzzsumo has a great trending feature. This feature can help you to find top-content in your niche.

Trending feature Buzzsumo

As you can see provides Buzzsumo the latest trending topics. You can choose an overall overview or you can select a topic. When you want to write a blog post about marketing, click ‘marketing’. Buzzsumo shows you the trending topics in the marketing branch from the last 24 hours. It’s also possible to select a different timeframe, such as 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours.

When you click on ‘most shared’ you’ll see what trending topics are most shared between the last 2 and 24 hours.

I personally love this feature because Buzzsumo provides me engaging content for my audience. It helps to join the conversation that’s going on, because if you know what content and stories matter to your audience, you can create more engaging content and gain more credibility.

1. Identify top-content

In the webinar ‘3 content formats to lift your traffic’ Steve Rayson, director of Buzzsumo, mentions, besides the focus on the amount of shares and likes, a couple other things you can look for in identifying top-content. He says it’s important to look for:

  • The type of post;

There are different kinds of blog post you can use. Data from Buzzsumo shows that ‘How to’ posts, (Picture) List Posts and Quizzes score best, because they get the most shares and likes. You can also choose a ‘Why’ post, but this kind of blog post scores (a bit) less.

  • The number of images that are used in a blog post;

Images are important, because people tend to visualize things. Using images in your blog post is preferred because it increases a higher readability. It’s best to use 1 image for every 75 to 100 words. That’s why infographics are also popular.

  • Practical information in a post.

This means that the content you create is shareable and helpful to others. People are willing to share content when they are emotional touched by it, or when they want to inform other people, because they think its valuable information.

 2. Improve existing content

Now you’ve done your research, you can start evaluating the content you’ve selected. It’s important that you improve the content you’ve found. Why should people otherwise read your blog when they can read the original blog post from someone else instead? So, you have to add value to the existing content. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

  • Make it longer

Because then it is easier to add more items/links and you can create something valuable that you can add to the conversation that’s out there.

  • Update it

Take a blog that’s written some time ago. Chances are that you find ‘outdated’ information. Spice it up by writing a (similar) post but with new information and insights.

  • Be thorough

When you write a blog post, it’s important that you write an in- depth article, because in that way you add more value to your content. Thus, before you start writing, use Buzzsumo for a thorough topic search.

3. Reach out to the right people

Once you’re done writing you want to share it with your audience, so they will read the blog you put all your effort and time in.  You can use your own social media channels to promote your content. But if you want to reach a bigger audience, you can connect with influencers in your niche.  Most of the time, these are people who:

  1. Run a website in your niche.
  2. Are interested in your topic.
  3. Have already linked to an article on that topic.

A great tool that can help you find and connect with influencers is Buzzstream. I use it to spread and promote my content online for efficient outreach. ‘It’s my personal content marketing database and it makes the outreach process fast and easy.

You can use Buzzstream for:

  • Digital PR;
  • Link building;
  • Content Promotion.
Buzzstream

I use it for content promotion.  After logging in you can collect relevant website data, data about people and data about your activities.

First, make sure to install Buzzmarker for Buzzstream, because it bookmarks important links, blogs, news, tweets and influencers.

Before you can use the Buzzmarker, you must log in to Buzzstream and Buzzsumo, at the same time. If you only log in to Buzzstream the ‘you have to be logged in’ message shows up and the Buzzmarker won’t work.

Buzzmarker.png

Tip 3: Make sure you install Buzzmarker in Chrome or Mozilla for the best results. Internet Explorer does not work with the Buzzmarker.

 After installation, you’ll see the above icon in the right corner of your internet browser toolbar.

toolbar Buzzmarker.png

Click on the Buzzmarker,  the Buzzmarker widget opens and reviews the website for interesting data, such as articles, authors and contact info.

But there’s more!

With the Buzzmarker you can also add(prospective) Media Outlets.

 When you click ‘Save to Buzzstream’ it adds the page to the website list in Buzzstream.

One way to promote content is to reach out to influencers in your niche that shared similar content in the past. If you want them to share your content you can start by sharing their content in your own blog post by using links and/or mentions. You may ask yourself: ‘Who are the influencers in my niche and how do I find them?’

If you need help with your influencer outreach you can use Buzzsumo’s influencers search option, by clicking the influencer button.

For example, search for ‘marketing’.  Now Buzzsumo provides a list of all the influencers in your niche.

To select ‘top influencers’ Buzzsumo’s Steve Rayson explains that it’s important to look at the ‘retweet ratio’and the ‘reply ratio’. When both have a high ratio, it indicates that people are talking a lot about this content by retweeting/sharing it and commenting/talking about it.

Tip 4: A retweet ratio from 4% or higher means someone is a valuable influencer. Also look for an engaged audience at the reply ratio. The higher the reply ratio, the more engaged the audience is.

Tip 4: A retweet ratio from 4% or higher means someone is a valuable influencer. Also look for an engaged audience at the reply ratio. The higher the reply ratio, the more engaged the audience is.

Based on that information I can select influencers in content marketing. But there is more you can look for. Such as:

  • Do they create content themselves? If yes, what kind of content do they create?
  • Where/how often do they publish?
  • Where does their content get shared?

The ‘View Links Shared’ button provides all the above info.

All this data can help to decide whether this person is a valuable and interesting influencer, because when you know what kind of content he/she creates or is interested in, it makes it easier for you to create similar content or you can use their Twitter name or URL in your blog post etc.

infographic Buzzsumo

Once you have found influencers, you want to save their data somewhere, so that you can reach out to them after you finished your content creation process. That’s where Buzzstream comes in. In Buzzstream you can add the influencer name, e-mail, social media et cetera in the ‘People section’, through Add people.

When it’s time to promote your content you use the influencer outreach function in Buzzstream. With this option you’re able to create e-mail templates that you can send out to all the Influencers you’ve found through Buzzsumo and saved to Buzzstream. A great advantage of the influencer outreach in Buzzstream is that you can save and edit e-mail templates at any time you want. So you don’t have to write them from scratch, over and over again.

The fact that you can save influencers and e-mail templates to Buzzstream saves you a lot of time!

In this blog I shared two great tools to create and spread valuable content.

How Buzzsumo can help you in the preparation and orientation process and Buzzstream in the outreach process.

I think these are valuable tools because it has helped me a lot in the whole content creation and distribution process and I hope it will help you too! I’ve noticed that the combination of the two, in the content creation and distribution process works best for me. What do you think? Are you already familiar with these tools? What’s your experience? I’m curious for your thoughts!

12 Awesome Tools to Create More Valuable Blogs

What you are about to find out is awesome. Why? Because after reading this, you will know how to get rid of the overwhelm you experience if you are blogging or creating content online. Trust me, I know the feeling. There are so many questions to answer before you can actually start creating your content. What is my audience interested in? What angle should I choose? How do I write a great headline? Where can I find affordable images for my blog? What does a perfect blog post look like? How and where should I promote my stuff, and so on.

You might ask yourself, is there an app for that? Sure there is! There’s an app or tool for almost everything. But trying to find tools to help concur the overwhelm made me even more confused. There is so much available! And lately there are many blogs written about it. Some helpful, most useless. To bring an end to the overwhelm I wrote down all the main issues that came across while setting up a blog. Then I did very thorough research to find the best tools out there. In this blog post I will share with you: tools that are truly useful, give us the results we really want, are absolutely user-friendly and actually worth paying for. Because the tools itself cannot do the trick, I will also show you how to use them to create a great blog.

[Quick guide] How To Set Up, Write, Edit And Promote Your Blog Like A Pro

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How to set up your blog

Choose your topic

First of all, you have to choose a topic for your blog. Let’s say you want to write a blog about content marketing. There’s still too much to write about so you have to narrow it down. Sometimes we have a clear idea what we want to write about specifically. But more often it is still vague and blurry. In that case, I strongly recommend the  Content Idea Generator tool. You have to create an account first but heck— it’s free! What’s next is a list of questions about your idea. After answering them, you can click the ‘Generate’ button. You will get more than a 100 great content ideas for audio, video’s, blogs and more. If there’s a question you don’t know the answer to, you can leave that space blank. You will still get results.

content idea generator
content idea generator 2

In my case, the generator found 360 ideas! Play around with the results and pick out the ones that appeal to you immediately. Your audience will probably experience the same. I found 3 headlines that I liked:

  • 10 Must-have Resources To Write Better Blog Posts
  • Why Experts Need Content Marketing Tools To Write Better Blog Posts
  • How To Write Better Blog Posts With Content Marketing Tools

Now  that you have determined your blog topic (in my case – using tools to write better blog posts), you have to craft a headline. This is one of the hardest things to do and should not be underestimated.

Craft your headline

No wonder there is extensive advice on the techniques for writing a great headline. At last check, there were 118 million results in a Google search for “how to write a great headline.” Overwhelm all over again!

Well known conversion copywriter Joanna Wiebe spends 90% of her writing time on crafting strong headlines. She knows that headlines are often the make-or-break moment for each and every blog post. According to Copyblogger, only 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. But 2 out of 10 will read the rest of what you post.

’90 Percent Of Good Writing Is Obsessing Over The Perfect Headline’ – @copyhackers

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According to some of the best copywriters, you should at least spend 50% of the entire writing time on the headline.

In a recent issue of the Early to Rise ezine, copywriter Clayton Makepeace says to ask yourself these six questions before you start to write your headline:

  1. Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
  2. What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
  3. Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
  4. Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
  5. Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
  6. Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?

Ok, we get that it is important and what it should look like. But exactly HOW do we make our headlines stand out? According to Hubspot, there are a few things we can include to create stunning headlines:

  • Add some data about the outcome
  • Throw in an “even if” clause to overcome hesitation
  • Or, replace “even if” with “without” — what don’t you have to do to get the result?

Very useful info about how to write a perfect headline is provided by KISSmetrics. According to their usability research, readers tend to absorb the first three words of a headline and the last three words. We don’t just scan body text—we also scan headlines. Because only few headlines will be six words long in total, it’s important to make the first and last three words stand out. In terms of SEO, the headline needs to be around 55 characters or fewer. Then the entire title will fit on a search results page and abbrevation with an ellipsis will be avoided.

ellipsis

KISSmetrics pairs the workflow of headline writing with the science of human psychology. With that in mind, they share eight headline strategies that are backed by psychology.

  1. Surprise – “This Is Not a Perfect Blog Post (But It Could’ve Been)”
  2. Questions – “Do You Know How to Create the Perfect Blog Post?”
  3. Curiosity gap – “10 Ingredients in a Perfect Blog Post. Number 9 Is Impossible!”
  4. Negatives – “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again”
  5. How to – “How to Create a Perfect Blog Post”
  6. Numbers – “10 Tips to Creating a Perfect Blog Post”
  7. Audience referencing – “For People on the Verge of Writing the Perfect Blog Post”
  8. Specificity – “The 6-Part Process to Getting Twice the Traffic to Your Blog Post”

We can also learn a lot from the headlines of high-traffic blogs. Lenka Istvanova developed a headline formula based on her analysis of best practices for headlines that get clicks.

The formula goes like this: Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise

For example: 12 Awesome Tools To Create More Valuable Blogs

Now that you know what makes a great headline, you can start crafting your own. There’s a really helpful tool I use to find out which headline is the best to use for my blog. The free  CoSchedule headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value. What I usually do is go back to the list of ideas generated with the Content Idea Generator Tool and follow these steps:

  1. Pick headlines about the topic you want to write about;
  2. Choose headlines that start with ‘How to’ or a list (a ‘why’or ‘what’ headline could be fine to but score less at headline type since how-to and list headlines usually perform best);
  3. Type the headlines one by one in the search bar to find out which one scores best.

In my case there were only two headlines left.

‘12 Must-have Resources To Write Better Blog Posts’ scored 64 out of 100 with an overall B+ score

‘How To Write Better Blog Posts With Content Marketing Tools’ scored 66 out of 100 with overall B+ score

Problem with the first headline is the word balance scores low. I need at least an uncommon and emotional word in my headline. Uncommon words are unique enough to grab your readers’ attention. These words provide substance in your headline. A mix of 10–20% uncommon words in your headlines should do the trick. Examples of uncommon words are: actually, heart, awesome, here, social, beautiful etc.

word-balance.png

The second headline has the same problem but is also too long. Headlines with approximately 6 words tend to earn the highest number of click-trough’s and this one is 10 words long.

With this info you can start crafting. For me I do this by trail and error. Just try things and see what it does for the score. By doing this I ended up with: 12 awesome tools you need to create more valuable blog posts. I chose to create a list and added three uncommon words, awesome, more and need. For the actual title I decided to go with this one: 12 awesome tools to create more valuable blogs. It has a slightly lower score because I changed ‘you need’ into ‘to create’. But I think this looks and sounds better. Most tools use automated generation. Since (luckily!) we are not robots, this can result in headlines that look and sound a bit odd to us. You have to use your human eye to find and adjust this.

Determine the content

Now you did most of the work but there’s still some important preparing left; creating the content of the blog itself. Where to begin?!

First of all, do your research. Look for blogs with valuable content that can support your own blog. Do this by searching for blogs about your topic through social media with hashtags or use  Buffer or Feedly. This will give you an idea of what’s already out there, who are the influencers about this topic and if there’s something missing you could use to write about in your own blog. An important thing is you have to back your ideas with ‘prove’. This can be done by linking to actual research (numbers) or quote influencers in your niche. Now where do you find great content to use for your own blog? There’s a real valuable tool which can help you do this. It's called  Buzzsumo. I use this all the time, it’s my Google search engine + analytics in one for content marketing. Looking for content is free, but the paid features such as influencer outreach, content alerts and the latest trending feature are very useful and worth paying for.

What I do to find the best content to support my own blog:

  1. Look for blog score; is the blog recent? What are the total shares and on which platforms is it shared the most?
  2. Look for influencer score; search for author. Does he/she often publish, about what and how popular are these posts? Is he/she an influencer in this field?
  3. Create a top 3 (depending on the number of valuable blogs you can find) which are close to your topic, have a great performance and can be useful for your own blog
  4. Use the right keywords/influencers/webpages
Buzzsumo

Note: Select a longer period to search for when there is little content available about your topic and a shorter period to search for when there is lots of content available about your topic.

Build the structure

To build the structure of your blog you can use a familiar marketing method called the ‘Attention-Interest- Desire-Action’ (AIDA) method. If you want to learn more about how to do that, Mindtools has written a great piece about that.

How to write your blog

Did you know that most people don’t read on the internet? They scan. So make sure your blog is scannable. This can be accomplished by writing short paragraphs and adding subheads (lots of them!), lists and images.

Where your headline should attract readers, you can hook them to continue reading with a great introduction. Ad a personal story or an engaging story from an expert or celeb to keep them glued to your post. Alex Turnbull found that posts with this kind of storytelling in the introduction lead to 300% more readers who stay 520% longer on the page.

According to Neil Patel, stories can work, but there are good and bad ways to tell them. If you want to begin your article with a story, they share a tip. Don’t reveal the conclusion until the reader is further into the article, or even until the very end. This is one of his 9 Tips For Writing Stronger Introductions:

  1. Keep your first sentence short
  2. Say something unusual
  3. Don’t repeat the title
  4. Keep the introduction brief
  5. Use the word ‘you’ at least once
  6. Dedicate 1-2 sentences to articulating what the article covers
  7. Dedicate 1-2 sentences to explaining why the article is important
  8. Refer to a concern or problem your readers might have
  9. Be careful with stories

There are a few other important things you need to know when you are writing the rest of your blog. Blogpros analysed 100 high ranking blog posts and created a very useful infographic with answers to the question ‘What makes a great blog post?’

Via:  blogpros.com

My own research resulted in a few essential things I saw in every successful blog. Things I think you should add to your blog to make it more credible, sharable and findable.

5 essential things every great blog post should have: social share buttons, tweetables, keywords, links to top blogs and tags

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Add social share buttons

To make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your blog post, add social share buttons. If you use WordPress for your blog you can install the DigDig plugin.

Add tweetable quotes

With ‘sound bites’ or ‘tweetable quotes’ you can attract extra social hares to your content. People love tweeting short quotes of wisdom so it’s not surprising tweetable quotes can bring up to 200% more tweets. You can create tweetable quotes with an online service or with WordPress Plugins like TweetDis or TweetThis.

Add keywords

For better SEO results take a look at your permalinks. According to Google it is best to use three to five words in the slug of your permalink. For example http://angelnijskens.com/best-tools-to-create-blogs

Add links to other successful blogs

Blog Pros’ study of 100 high-ranking blog posts found that successful posts have an average of nearly 10 links inside each story. If you add the links, choose option ‘open in new window’ so the reader will not loose the original page (your blog).

Add tags

We are constantly analyzing trending hashtags and their relations to allow you to get noticed in the right moment. RiteTag provides you a set of tools to. Use the  Ritetag tool to maximize your return on hashtags.

The ending of your blog is as important as a the introduction. Most people will remember openings and endings more than the middle. Your last sentence will be read by scanners. On Rainmaker.fm Demian Farnworth shares 5 ways to create the perfect ending.

  1. Add a Call to Action: One small step can make a difference and is manageable.
  2. Summarize the conclusion: People read the headline, scan the article and read the ending because they are looking and hoping for that summary.
  3. End with a cliffhanger: Keep something away from the reader. Releave the tention from the reader in the next article or video.
  4. End with a question: Send the reader away with the feeling that they are missing something. The last sentence starts with the and creates an AHA.
  5. Your ending sould feel like a click of a box shutting: It has to be a full circle with the opening. So the reader has discovered a new idea/solution or learned something new.

How to find images for your blog

It is not easy to find affordable images for your blog.  Fotolia is great because they have an extensive database of non-cheesy and affordable images to use for your blog. These are the steps I use to find suitable and affordable images for blogs:

  1. Use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer tool and type the headline you chose for your blog. Then scroll down and check out the keyword(s). In our case these are ‘blogs’ and ‘tools’.
  2. Type these keywords into the search bar in Fotolia and you will find the best matching images. Then choose an image you think is suitable for your blog. To find similar images, click below the picture on ‘search similar contents’. Now pick an image!
  3. Add the image in the right or left corner at the top of your blog to increase the readability. According to Buffer, placing an image at the top right/left of your blog post forces the first few lines of the post to shorten in width. This shortening leads to fewer characters per line. Fewer characters per line has a psychological effect on the way we view content: The fewer the characters, the easier the text is to comprehend and the less complex it seems.
fotolia

How many images should your blog have? The results from the Blog Pros study show the 100 popular blog posts averaged one visual image for every 350 words. 

How to edit your blog

Before publishing your blog, it’s wise to check for errors or weird sentences. Most of the time you cannot find those yourself anymore because you have been reading the text so many times. To check the readability of your blog you can use the  Hemingway editor.

Let’s paste an early concept of this blog into the editor and see what it tells us.

hemingway editor

The editor gives your text a grade and gives suggestions what to do to improve your blog. To give your blog a thorough spell and grammar check, you could ask your friend to give feedback. I haven’t found a useful tool to make that process easy yet. You could of course use Google Docs and WordPress also has a Share a Draft plugin. Medium also has the option to share a draft of your blog with your friends before publishing but there’s no possibility for your friend to edit it or add remarks. But I am still looking for a tool that also makes it possible for editors to simultaneously edit the same post. If you find or use one, please let me know!

How to promote your blog

Support your blog with appealing visuals. The easiest way to create them yourself is by using   Canva. This is a free web-based design tool which helps you create web-, blog-, or social media images (with the right dimensions for different social media platforms). “Canva for Work” is specifically designed for organizations. If you want to try it, you can do that here. If your content contains a lot of numbers, for example a research, you might consider creating an infographic. The most user-friendly free tool to help you design one is Piktochart.

Now that you have everything you need you can publish your blog online. You can do this yourself via email or social media. With Mailchimp you can easily create mailing lists with different segments, design templates, create, track and measure the performance of your mailings. For publishing on social media, there are several free tools available such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer. I use them all, currently Buffer is our favourite because it’s very easy to use on any mobile device with no complicated extra features. If you use WordPress for your blog you might consider using CoSchedule. With this plugin you can create your blog and social media content at the same time—before you publish.

Another option for publication are third party websites or guest blogs. You can do this manually but this can be a very time consuming process. That’s why I use outreach tool Buzzstream. With this tool you can use email templates to reach out to influencers and bloggers in your niche.

Buzzstream template

As an alternative, another tool you can use for finding guest blog opportunities is NinjaOutreach. It also has email templates you can edit/tailor to fit your needs and automated emailing on higher plans in order to speed up your campaign.

The tools I shared in this blog and the step by step guide on how to apply them to easily set up, write, edit and promote blogs helped me get rid of the feeling of overwelm. I hope it works for you as well! I’m curious for your thoughts. Which tools do you use for your own content marketing and why do they work for you? Or do you combine specific tools to utilize their benefits? For the best results I use Buzzstream combined with Buzzsumo (mentioned before). How I do this I will cover in my next blog. 

Thanks to the valuable content shared by influencers @copyhackers, @brianclark, @copyblogger, @corey_bos, @neilpatel, @hubspot, @earlytorisehq, @kevanlee, @lenkaistvanova, @courtneyseiter, @socialtriggers, @timsoulo, @jamespars0ns, @alexmturnbull, @njellering, @ninjaoutreach