How To Steal Your Competitors Best Content & Use It Against Them

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How To Steal Your Competitors Best Content & Use It Against Them

Today you are going to learn how to steal your competitors content and use it against them to get backlinks and social signals.

This is a guest post written by Dave Schneider who you might recognise as one half of the income report round up dominating ACoupleTravelers.com team.

After a few beers, steak, curry & kittens in the UK & Prague with the ACoupleTravelers team I know that Dave has an awful lot to share – so sit tight!

What You Will Learn

  • How to steal your competitors best content
  • How to use your competitors content against them
  • How to steal their readers
  • How to steal their backlinks
  • How to steal their social signals

ATTENTION: Unlock My Award Winning Blogging Resources Instantly

Time To Get Your Hands Dirty

Quality content is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. There is no better way to enhance natural growth than to write content that people are compelled to engage with and share.

While black hat techniques and SEO tools are by no means dead, all the signs are telling us that sustainable, long term growth is best achieved through consistently giving our readers quality content.

At the same time, how many of us have tried that and gotten absolutely nowhere?

How many of us have written that epic article, only to see it fall flat on its face, and cursed the bloke who coined the phrase “content is king”?

Meanwhile, our competitors, possibly benefiting from having larger audiences and more powerful social connections, write cookie cutter articles that get hundreds of comments.

Well, it’s time to level the playing field.

Today we are going to discuss how to take your competitor’s best articles and use them against them.

Oh, and everything I mention is COMPLETELY FREE to use. No expensive software here.

Identifying Your Competitor’s Best Content

English class is over with. We’re not interested in who wrote the best five paragraph essay. There are key metrics to tell us, which articles are the best.

This is the internet after all, and there are three things people do when they like an article.

  • Share it Socially
  • Link To It
  • Comment

That’s it. So let’s capitalize.

How To Track Social Shares

Let’s pretend for a minute that I run a business website and my competitor is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.

If you want to know which of his articles got the most social shares, there are some great free tools available. My personal favourite is this tool from Neil Patel.

Simply plug in the URL and let it rip. Then head over to Social Analysis.

social shares

When analyzing the results we want to be careful to avoid red herrings. There are clearly things like the home page or about me page that we are going to ignore.

There may also be articles that were part of a giveaway or in which there was an incentive to share. These distort the results and will be difficult to replicate.

Lastly, we want to focus on articles that will apply to our own audience.

As we all know from high school, trying to be something we’re not just because it’s popular is only going to leave us sitting at the wrong table during lunch with nothing to say.

This is only page one of the results, browse through the rest to find more!

How To Track Backlinks

We can also find our competitors best content based on backlinks and page authority.

Log in to Open Site Explorer , put in the domain, and then go to Top Pages.

All the results will populate and they can be easily exported for your leisure. You’ll notice from this example that there are some overlaps with the most shared posts, and that should make sense.

Open Site Explorer

If you’re a subscriber, you can also see Facebook likes, tweets, and Google +1’s (last three columns).

How To Track Comments

Unfortunately, my research has yielded no good, free hack that will allow you to see the most commented posts of a competitor’s website, unless they have a most popular widget installed of some sort.

Luckily, if you use both of the above, you’re well on your way to knowing all the top pages anyway.

Taking It To The Next Level

The next step is to write our own version of content that out does the other person’s.

This is really a topic for a whole other article, and has been discussed to death on the internet.

Honestly there is no formulaic tool that spits out quality content, so I will only briefly discuss a few techniques to get your creative juices flowing.

Leverage Comments

Your advantage with this article is that you didn’t have to go first. You are able to see how people react to your competitor’s article and adapt your article to it.

What questions did people have?

Identify points of confusion and address them in your article.

If the article asked for some input, what did people say?

For example, if a popular article is something to the effect of “7 Ways To Promote Your Content”, it probably ended with “How do you promote your content?”

Now we have a bunch more ways that the author didn’t even think to mention that we can put in our article (14 Ways To Promote Your Content).

This is gold, because we know it’s directly relevant to our target audience, since they suggested it.

Add New Media

If your article is a tutorial, perhaps add a video, or a few print screens to delineate steps.

Perhaps add an infographic or provide some data/illustrated graphs to make your point.

It’s these little extras that make an article stand out.

Be The Ultimate Resource

Make your article a one stop shop for everything related to the topic.

If you competitor’s article is about how to hire a virtual assistant, write “The Ultimate Guide To VAs”, which not only includes the above information but also everything else you need to know about virtual assistants.

Write with the aim of creating the very best guide to virtual assistants on the internet period.

Search Google

Old school but effective. Chances are your competitor is not the first person to write about this topic.

Google what other people wrote and get a feel for the different angles for approaching it.

Make a note of what you like and don’t like about each one and combine everything into one super article.

Using Your Competitors Content Against Them

Now it’s time for the fun part, using their content against them.

You competitor has done you a great deed. They have dragged everyone who is interested in this topic out from hiding and revealed them to you in the form of social shares, comments, and link backs.

Now, all we need to do is find these people.

Stealing Social Shares

The problem with most social platforms is that they either don’t have a search function or the search function they do have is not really built for this, probably for personal privacy reasons.

But that’s OK.

There is still at least one solid way to retrace social shares: Twitter Search.

As you will see, if you are truly selecting the most popular posts of a worthy foe, there will be more than enough people to contact.

Twitter Search is quite easy to operate. Simply hit advanced search, then put the title in “This Exact Phrase”, then, when the results populate, hit “All” (instead of Top).

twitter search

The beautiful thing here is that you can reply directly to these tweets if you are logged in, which makes it super easy to do.

Just remember not to spam.

Another one that works OK is Social-Searcher.

This searches Facebook, Twitter, and G+. Since we have Twitter covered, and the Facebook search isn’t so good, I would only use this one if you want to target people on G+.

Stealing Comments

While you might not have been able to find the most commented article, that doesn’t mean you can’t approach commenters in the articles you did find (or any for that matter).

In many cases you can check the person’s website through the comment as it is linked through their name.

If they have a website, they probably have a contact form.

The exception to this is when people set their comments to link back to the article itself (that’s what Pat does, but it is not that common).

Stealing Backlinks

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail with this audience on how to retrace links. For example, Matt has a tutorial that is completely dedicated to this.

But there is also just good old Ahrefs, Majestic SEO or Opensite Explorer.

Plug in the post link and start collecting backlinks. Check out Matt’s post comparing the best backlink checkers.

Contacting Our Target Audience

By now we have our list of contacts.

The scripts here are fairly straight forward.

If it’s Twitter, you can simply reply to the tweet. Careful if it’s a really old post though, as replying to a 4 year old tweet might come across as unnatural.

If it’s email, then a simple message stating

  • Who you are
  • Where you got their contact info
  • Why you’re getting in touch (you saw they liked this post)
  • What your relevant post is

Will do the trick!

Why This Is Worth Your Time

Perhaps this looks like a lot of work with no guarantees. But let me explain why this is worth your time.

Firstly, it’s a perfect, straight forward task for a virtual assistant.

I will usually ask them to go through the steps above and get me the person’s name, contact form/email, and twitter handle, which makes the pitch real simple and gives me another form to reach out to them as a fall back.

Secondly, this is all part of content promotion, which should be the focal point of any blogger wishing to expand his audience.

I’ve heard some of the top bloggers say they spend about 20% of their time on content creation, and the rest on content promotion.

We must look beyond the mere fact that we are trying to promote this one article, and see that we are getting in touch with the most active, and engaged members of our target audience.

Connecting with them in a meaningful way as well as showing them the quality work we deliver has much broader implications.

It can lead to more social shares, comments, and newsletter subscriptions down the line.

If they share your competitors posts, maybe they will share yours too.

Lastly, this strategy is a soup to nuts approach. We start with idea generation and take it all the way through promotion with a tangible strategy in mind.

No more guessing games. No more wondering what you’re going to do with something after you write it. No more vague searching for people to reach out to.

Find out the content your target audience wants. Give them something uber quality. Then tell them about it.

Results From My Own Attempts

This has been a fundamental part of my strategy for launching my new business blog a few weeks ago. So you might be wondering how are the results so far?

Well, to speak generally, the blog has gotten over 1k unique visitors in its first two weeks as well as several hundred social shares, due in large to connecting with people through this method.

In fact, Twitter right now is my biggest referral traffic.

traffic sources

After writing my Ultimate Guide To Using Off-Shore Virtual Assistants I went on my promotional hunt that I had planned from the get go.

I found that the following site was linking to a post by Pat Flynn on virtual assistants.

I sent an email to the webmaster and made him aware of my new post and that if he was interested in sharing it with his audience he was welcome to do so.

Instead, he took it one step further and added my link to the page.

results

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Wrapping It Up

If you want to get your first 100,000 visitors, you have to put content promotion at the top of your list.

After all, content does not promote itself.

Matt started from day 1 being active in forums and eventually incorporating this strategy into his daily routine.

This led to him creating an award winning top 100 blog.

However, what these strategies are really about is getting your content in front of people who want to read it and share it.

This is what I have shown you to do in the most direct way I know how.

If you are interested in more strategies for running your blog like a business, come over and say hi.

Lastly, let’s brain storm!

What is your favourite way to promote your content?

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143 Responses

  1. 3.24.2014

    This is by far one of the best blogs I´ve seen in a long time – promoting quality content can only be done for so long, always following the same key points. It´s almost impossible to make clients clearly understand the importance of quality content, whether it be blogs, articles or PR´s.

    But, lately when they ask how to really really make effective blogs that get attention, I found myself telling them almost the same thing….go look at your competitors. But you took it a step further and it´s appreciated. I´m making the office staff read this :)

    • March 24th, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Thanks – I’m sure Dave will welcome to feedback :)

    • March 24th, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Thanks Sonia if they have any feedback let me know!

  2. Great article will need to put some of the tips into practice. Matthew I am totally clueless with seo and the most I know is that social signals help. I am thinking on getting your course is it suitable for a complete beginner?

  3. 3.24.2014

    I can’t believe it! Hey, do not steal from your competition, do not copy, just do your own job! If you are not able to do something creative without copying your competitors, maybe you are not good enough. Awful, immoral

    • March 24th, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Apple built a multi billion $ business by taking something that already exists, and making it better.

      MP3 player > iPod
      Tablet > iPad

      They didn’t create MP3 players or tablets. They just did it better than everyone else.

      • Lisa
        March 24th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Matthew, would you like every new blog to copy your content, backlinks, steal your users, etc.?
        I can’t imagine tens or hundreds of bloggers writing about the same as you, or Pat, making it better than you. Think about it – you create some great tutorial or deep analysis of the problem and then a ‘wise’ guy copy the idea of your article, writing HIS name at the bottom. Is it fair? I don’t think so. I know Apple history, I know how many things and ideas they copied. It is not OK. You’ll never convince me that stealing from competitors is OK.

        • March 24th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

          If they add value/contribute/make it better then I have no problem with that. That is the heart and soul of creativity.

          I’m yet to see someone take what I have done and make it better yet though. I’ve seen plenty make it worse!

          As content creators it’s our job to make the web awesome and if you can take something that already exists and make it more awesome, well I’m all for that!

      • Mac
        March 24th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        Remember the GUI taken from Xerox 😀

      • March 24th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

        Well said Matthew, even Pablo Picasso has quoted once “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”. But here I don’t mean to steal literally, we can get ideas and enhance those. And when good ideas well represented, they become huge hit.

      • March 24th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

        Hey Lisa – sorry you did not like the article, but I think you are somewhat missing the point. “stealing” here is more of a catchy hook for the title.

        The reality is that most of the content on the internet is rehashed over and over again. People write about the same topics.

        Why?

        Because they are the topics that people want to read about.

        Even matt’s articles you can find on plenty of other websites, but no one would say he’s stealing them, would we?

        The point is to find articles that matter to your target audience and make the exceptional, then connect with the people who want to read them.

      • March 24th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

        Matt, I agree with you that product quality is one key of success. But the right marketing to the right audience is another part of it.

        IMO, what Apple did was not the best products (best from which perspective, for whom?), but they have brought up their audience that utterly believes that they did it better than anyone else.

        The audience (and the approach to it) is the key in this case, not the product (although it also matters, of course).

        Of course, no offense to Apple fans, it was just my opinion.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      I think you might be missing something here. What I gathered from this blog has NOTHING to do with copying word for word. That would be called duplicate content…which you can´t really do nor can we get a way with for very long.

      What Dave is saying is have a look at the competition, review the topics they are covering, then answer the questions based on user reviews and comments that they might have missed.

      He´s telling us to do better – simples.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      This is not copying. Expanding and improving on the ideas of others has been the way business has worked for centuries (probably millenia…). The trick is to make it better.

      • March 24th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        Right on David!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Dave never said to just copy your competitor’s whole content. The idea is to get the topics that are hot amongst the target audience and that are shared/commented the most. Once you get the topics, then you have to research the topic and create a super content yourself. And then you need to propagate to that target audience. Actually its not stealing in a way, its taking advantage of available market tools.

      By the way, superb strategies Dave!

      • March 24th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        Hey Irfan – that interpretation is dead on – thanks!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Hey dave, lisa just suggested a new topic for your blog. How to write something original. As you teach in your post, reading the comment suggest new topic or different angle……… :-)
      Great post, friend.

      • March 24th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        Thanks Diego!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Hey Lisa – I really think you read this article in the wrong way. Like other’s have stated – you find great content and ideas and simply make it even better.

      Google is the biggest thief in existence for stealing and scrapping content – they made 50 plus billion dollars last year by doing it.

    • Lisa
      March 25th, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Sonia, Irfan Ullah Khan, did I said anything about copying word for word? Read my comment again please. I know it’s not about copying the whole content (you could get sued for that), but I think that even copying the idea of the article, the examples, the way of thinking is not OK without giving the source. But I’m in the vast minority.
      Imagine the situation: you have a small website, with niche articles about, let’s say, internet security and viruses. You found that XYZ router has a bug in the software, which can be used to break into someone’s computer. You posted a detailed description and solution to the problem. There was nothing about it on the internet before. After a few days you find the article with your solution on the biggest websites, just saying the same, but in the different words, with one extra-added paragraph. No link to your website, no mentioning that they found the problem on your site.

      Take care guys, I wish you creativity, good ideas and respect for other people’s intellectual property!

      • March 25th, 2014 at 11:35 am

        I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the car/automobile industry then.

        Most companies that produce cars, did not invent cars. So are Ford ripping off Ferrari or vice versa? Or has every company taken something that already existed and added their own value? Eg a 7 seater, a sports car, a 4×4, a van etc.

        Each of them ‘stole’ the idea and the invention of the car – how many manufacturers reference the original inventor of the car? I bet most people don’t even know the answer to that – yet cars are one of the few inventions that impact everyones daily lives.

  4. Hey Dave,

    I must say it’s really an super guide for bloggers and content creators.

    Getting more ideas from competitor’s comment section is mind blowing idea and I’m going to try it for sure.

    Congrats for this great share.
    Ankit

    • March 24th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Ankit I’m glad you liked it!

  5. 3.24.2014

    Matt – Thanks for posting Dave’s post!

    Dave – Well done. This is a hugely actionable post… Once again, you’ve given me some homework. Cheers!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      No worrys :) All Kudos to Dave!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks Doug! Whose content are you going to “steal”?

      • March 25th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        Let’s call it “iterate.” :) That’s a great headline on this post…it stirs up emotion!

        Neil Patel is a very smart man. He’s certainly doing a lot of the research already to see what is trending. I can add some of my project management ideas to add new information.

        Then backtracking to see who Neil is iterating on for even more ideas.

  6. 3.24.2014

    Dave,

    thanks for this awesome post. What I like most about your approach that I have all the things in my hands to follow that strategy (well..uhmmm… except enough time maybe 😉 ).

    The idea of outsourcing the hard work to VAs is pure gold, I would suggest to combine this with Jon Haver’s (google him) strategy on how to deal with offshore VAs.

    Top quality content, as always…

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks Phil I will check out Jon’s stuff!

  7. 3.24.2014

    If you’re interested in getting the number of comments, you can use something like SEO Tools for Excel to scrape pages for the number mention. For example, you could use Xpathonurl function to easily get the number of responses on a post on this blog… Inlay downside is that the number must be present on the page, it’s a bit complicated to get it to count the mumber for you.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Also picking that out of the code maybe different blog to blog

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Philip you’re way ahead of me man!

  8. 3.24.2014

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for sharing your strategy here. This is a good way to find some content ideas. One thing that I would do differently, mostly just personal preference I guess, is that I would not contact many people directly via Twitter. The reason is, if a visitor arrives at a Twitter profile and sees 10 tweets in a row that are reaching out to specific Twitter users to share the same link it will probably look spammy. If you’re only reaching out to one or two people that might be completely different, but with this approach I’m assuming you would want to contact a number of different people. I’m interested in your thoughts on this.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Hey Marc

      You’re right, that would be spammy – which is why I wouldn’t recommend it.

      Remember I said that this is great for a VA?

      Here’s a way to tackle it.

      1. Assign a VA a post to look up (competitor who I have just one up-ed)
      2. Have him do a search, send me a print screen of the tweets he thinks are relevant.
      3. I approve or deny them
      4. He sends out two tweets per hour over the course of his day to the approved ones.

      In this way it mixes in with the regular tweets but you are contacting 10-20 people a day still.

  9. 3.24.2014

    Thanks again Matt!

  10. 3.24.2014

    Hi Matt,

    This is definitely one of the best approach to target your audience for absolutely free.

    Internet is all about survival of the better and best and here we go.. Cheers mate.

  11. 3.24.2014

    From this whole complicated process of content promotion I realized that I’m not promoting my content enough.
    Will try to incorporate as much of these strategies as possible into my own content promo strategy.

  12. 3.24.2014

    I will test if this guide works by stealing Matthew Woodward’s content 😀

    No seriously, I think it’s a good method to find article topics that are worth writing about. Another good tool for that is buzzsumo.com. There you can find the top content in your whole niche, not just from one competitor.

    I disagree to Lisa’s comment. Dave wrote that you should provide more useful content, so instead of 7 points make it 14 and not just steal the content. Stealing is the wrong word for the topic of this article, but it’s a word that makes people get interested to click on and read the article 😀

  13. 3.24.2014

    Great tutorial Dave with solid advice for those looking to grow their audience. Reading through comments for additional points for putting in your own article is an excellent tip and searching through twitter for those who have tweeted the article is so simple it’s genius!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Yeah it took me awhile to realize what a great resource I had right in front of me too!

  14. 3.24.2014

    Hi Dave,

    Great article its nice to see other bloggers helping each other to succeed.

    So Dave have a great day!!!

    Antonio

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      It’s what we do :)

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Antonio, let me know if there is some way I can help you succeed.

  15. 3.24.2014

    Hey Dave,

    Here is my tip about How To Track Comments.

    The idea is simply to find posts with the biggest number of outbound links (which are assumed to go to commenters’ websites).

    It makes sense if your competitor uses blog native commenting system. It will not work with the 3d party commenting system like Disqus, LiveFyre etc, obviously because comments there are not supplied directly with backlinks to comment authors’ websites.

    So, how to find out the posts with most outbound links:

    1. Find out all the post like you described (using Top pages in OSE, Majestic SEO or Ahrefs) OR just use scraper like Xenu or Scrapebox.

    2. Use Xenu or Scrapebox to determine the number of outbound links (aka ‘External’ or ‘Links out’).

    3. The posts with maximum number of external links are likely to be most commented.

    That’s it in short.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Booom baby! Simple solution :)

      That could even be a tutorial in itself ^^

      Although I would do it like this all in Scrapbox-

      1) Scrape a bunch of terms like ‘internet marketing blog’ ‘social media blog’ – first 100 results
      2) Then trim urls to domain level and do a site: scrape
      3) Then count up the outbound links

      • March 24th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        Hey Michael – awesome work! I had no doubt that someone from this audience would should be a thing or two about my own strategy, and you have done it.

        Thanks!

        • March 24th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

          *show me*

          • March 24th, 2014 at 10:57 pm

            No worries, Dave! This is what the internet is about first of all – sharing useful stuff.

      • March 24th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

        Yep, it can be tweaked even further.

        For example, ‘site:’ returns no more than 1000 results. Processing big websites and blogs in Scrapebox you can miss some delicious posts. But it can be fixed by using any generic words in Keywords section to make it return more than 1000 URLs.

        It’s important to be creative :)

        • March 24th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

          Then you better get making a tutorial 😛

          • March 24th, 2014 at 11:08 pm

            Haha) Maybe some day, but for now I prefer watching yours :)

          • March 28th, 2014 at 4:52 am

            That’s opportunity right there. Go for it!

  16. 3.24.2014

    Your blog is awesome and I love the newsletter too! I’m slowly going through your older post now and they’re full of information and so helpful. Can’t believe I just started to promote my blog after posting 8 months, 3 times every week!!

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Then you’ll be glad to know, the hardest bit is done!

  17. 3.24.2014

    Hi Matt,

    This is a Controversial post… And people should read it 2 times…

    Because is so stupid to copy and paste a content from someone else… Because the copyrigth and duplicate content…

    But what’s about to add some value to this content I mean make it much better…

    That’s is no steal but be creative…

    Only Google can steal content and make money with it…

    thanks

    claude

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Haha if only we were all Google 😛

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Hey Claude – you are right. This is not meant to be stealing in the literal sense. If you do that, it won’t be benefiting anyone, neither you nor the person you are trying to share it with.

      You must add value!

  18. 3.24.2014

    Really helpful article.I used this trick a little bit different and now will add you points in my mind

  19. 3.24.2014

    Awesome stuff as always. That Quicksprout tool is brilliant.

    FYI there’s a minor typo here… ‘Why “your” getting in touch (you saw they liked this post).

    • March 24th, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Fixed thanks.

      You would have a field day going through any of the articles I write 😛

  20. 3.24.2014

    great post….
    the best for beginners like me..
    getting content from comment section is the best idea… thanks for it :)

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Good luck with your ventures :)

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      looking in the comments – simple but easily overlooked!

  21. Susana
    3.24.2014

    Great post. I’ve always looked at my competitors offerings before creating my own content, but it never occurred to me to find out what their most popular content is. I certainly will be now!

  22. 3.24.2014

    Wow, I had never even thought about doing any of this. Have you ever been called out for employing this strategy?

    I imagine that it would be pretty easy to notice one of your competitors piggy backing off of your content. I don’t imagine that there is much they can do about this, but it still wouldn’t be ideal if they call you out and provide evidence.

    Anyways, awesome post and I really want to try out some of these ideas.

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      I don’t see how you could be called out

    • March 24th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Hey Tom – I don’t think there is anything to worry about.

      1. Don’t spam or be obnoxious
      2. Produce quality content (no one will ever fault you for that)
      3. the twitter search makes thing stick out more but really these tweets are spread across the twitter universe

  23. 3.24.2014

    Excellent strategy straight out of the 007 book of content creation. I simply love it!

  24. kate
    3.24.2014

    I really like the direction this blog is going! You just gave me a tons of good actionable ideas.

  25. 3.25.2014

    Matt, you might get some heat for this post because people who don’t understand might think your technique is PARASITIC. I beg to differ though. Competition brings out the best in people. If people post fairly weak content or content that needs improvement, maybe they need the WAKEUP CALL of their competition taking their content direction to a much higher level. There’s nothing preventing the ORIGINAL content writer to STEP HIS OR HER GAME UP and produce better content. Competition is the key to innovation. Great post.

    • March 25th, 2014 at 8:07 am

      It is precisely that reason I was able to build a successful blog in a ‘competitive’ niche

    • March 25th, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Matt can take the heat :)

  26. 3.25.2014

    You hit it out of the park with this one! Whoohoo I’m gonna use this on my blog and readers will love it. Thanks so much :-)

  27. 3.25.2014

    Stupid post :/ never expect

  28. 3.26.2014

    Dave, I just love this post. I had recently started my own personal blog and unknowingly I had used quite a lot of steps you mentioned for one of my posts http://www.digitallyour.com/how-to-get-your-first-1000-twitter-followers/

    Well my methods were not so well aligned but I think using this guide I will be able to STEAL 😉 some of the best content on the web.

    • March 28th, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Just checked out that post, looking good!

      • March 30th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Thanks Dave. Happy u liked it :-)

  29. 3.26.2014

    Great post.

    Dave, I followed the link ‘come over and say hi’ at then end of this post and popped my email into your subscribe area. I then got an ‘Mailing List Not Active’ message from Aweber.

    Let me know when you sort this and I’ll try again.

    Cheers, Neil.

    • March 28th, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Uhhh Ohh rookie mistake :)

    • March 28th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Rookie mistake indeed, appreciate the heads up Neil hope you found a way to opt in!

  30. 3.27.2014

    Great article. It’s not about stealing. Why reinvent the wheel. Sometimes a post will give you ideas on how to add to the topic and will give you the foundation to build something better. It’s not copying, it’s innovation.

    • March 28th, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Nice way of putting it :)

    • March 28th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      you sound like a marketer with that pitch!

  31. 3.28.2014

    “How many of us have written that epic article, only to see it fall flat on its face, and cursed the bloke who coined the phrase “”content is king””?”

    You mean Mr Gates right? 😉

    • March 31st, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Haha ^^

    • March 31st, 2014 at 9:20 am

      That was him? Wasn’t aware…

      • Luke Dennison
        June 5th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

        yes sir 😛

  32. 3.28.2014

    nice tips and i will use this wonderful tips to get backlinks and steal our competitors signals.

  33. 3.30.2014

    This is the kind of content I’d love to be able to write and have on my website and so full of tips.

  34. 4.2.2014

    Good post Dave.

    I’ve been doing similar over at NicheHacks.

    I’m writing content on subjects that already have a ton of links and social shares.

    I use a simple Google search for my keywords to find the top ranking articles.

    I also put the URL of top sites into OpenSiteExplorer to see what content has the most links to it.

    And put my keywords into Topsy.com to find the most highly shared content.

    Once I have some highly linked / shared content I examine what they’ve done and set out to better it.

    Like with my latest post on increasing a blogs email subscribers. I found an article with ’17 Ways To Increase’ so I set out to include more and ended up with 34 Ways.

    I went into more detail, included more data and examples, put in more screenshots, graphics and extras to make it better than all the other topics on the subject.

    Then when published I gather a list of people who had shared / linked to similar content using Ahrefs and Topsy and gathered all their details.

    Then reach out via email / Twitter telling them about it. Pointing the original content they’ve linked / shared to and telling them you set out to better it works well I’ve found.

    Don’t forget to also contact the people who made the original content and tell them their content inspired you to make something bigger and better – they usually share it!

    When using this approach my posts easily get 100-200 social shares and a handful of good link within a few days.

    • April 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Yes your strategy has looked very good – the last few big posts you have done in this manner have been beasts!

  35. 5.14.2014

    Analyzing previous articles and adding more points. isn’t it something like connecting the dots. 😀

  36. 5.24.2014

    An interesting piece Dave! Looking up the competitor and building a campaign around insights gotten from them is realistic. Thankfully, there are lots of tools out there that make the tactics easier.

    I would would not call the procedures shared here “stealing” but smart marketing. However, to beat the competition, one must be ready to step up the content and value game!

    I have left this comment in kingged.com – the content syndication and social marketing platform for Internet marketers, where this post was shared.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/steal-competitors-content/

  37. 5.25.2014

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for this wonderful post, this is one of the most powerful article ever read on content creation.

    This article headline is so powerful that almost everybody will like to click and read. All the tips you share must not be ignored and i will definitely apply them.

    This is no argument about the fact that “Quality content is one of the most powerful marketing tools available” for us. In order to get loyal readers, quality traffic, back-links, sales and engagement, we need to write a very compelling article.

    As a internet marketer/blogger, it is very important to identify your competitor and knowing how to take your competitor’s best articles and use them against them is one trick you can ever learn.

    Thanks to Dave for sharing this powerful tips with us.

    Have a nice day

  38. 5.26.2014

    Neat Matt, although I’m about creating not competing 😉

  39. 6.4.2014

    Another great article Matt. I just realized that i have been building content on one of my niche blogs for a year now… but never advertised… which made me think of something else.

    The quality of the content really is king… I got to reading some of the articles on my site that i posted 6+ months ago and the grammar is absolutely horrible (thanks iwriter!). Even if i tried to promote it nobody in their right mind would want to read it. I got a 1year sub to grammarly and it helped out a ton with readability (and some common sense helps as well).

    To me the big takeaway from this is to first make sure the content is awesome.. then promote the heck out of it and not the other way around.

    thanks!

    • June 5th, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Just the same as if someone makes a terrible TV show, no one is going to watch it – even if it is heavily advertised!

  40. 6.18.2014

    I don’t see any stealing going on at all. I see a very smart method of marketing, and providing answers that others haven’t. Phenomenal post.

    • June 23rd, 2014 at 1:31 am

      Creation is innovation! Or the other way round? I forget – ask Apple.

  41. 6.19.2014

    This blog post shows how promoting high quality content matters in web marketing. As said, content is king and it will generate you sales once optimized.

  42. 6.24.2014

    Thanks for spilling the beans on your strategies, even though it opens yourself up to the same “attacks”. As for your problem: “Unfortunately, my research has yielded no good, free hack that will allow you to see the most commented posts of a competitor’s website” – since most comments are a separate entity in e.g. a WordPress database, they also have a link, normally with the word “comment” in it (your blog does it differently though). Then in theory doing a search for “inurl:comment site:competitorsite.TLD” would maybe do the trick in many cases, no?

    • June 24th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      You could use a footprint that looks for a certain number range in a Google search

  43. Snomz
    8.13.2014

    Really helpful,especially for new bloggers like me.Thank you!

  44. دوربین مداربسته
    9.4.2014

    i have this problem that people frequently steal content and pictures (which i made so hard!!!) from my website!

    my question is, is it good or bad (for SEO) if they do so?!

  45. Sankar
    11.17.2014

    Hey Dave,
    I must say it’s really an super guide for bloggers.
    Getting more ideas from competitor’s comment section is mind blowing idea and I’m going to try it for sure.
    Congrats for this

    – Sankar

  46. 3.19.2015

    Well after reading this complete blog post, I will just say It’s awesome. I really like the way of explanation in this article. Tips are very good and helpful for me. I think other people should also read blog post very seriously because this will help them to learn something new which they need. Hope this post will also help others when they will read it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog post.

  47. Romjan Dhayan
    3.26.2015

    Your post was awesome. I enjoyed a lot by reading this post. Hope this i will follow your all above tips. Thank you very much for sharing such type of post with us.

  48. Prakash Ja
    4.28.2015

    ahahha Such a great post i was looking for a post like such, thanks alot mathew for such a sweet site

  49. G**
    5.6.2015

    Yeah, I see everyone want to steal!!!

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