Steps In The Competitor Content Research for Your Blog

Updated: September 15, 2023
by Agent Raydar

Ever clicked on another blogger's post and thought, "How did they come up with this?" That's what you're going to find out - competitor content research. It's like a friendly sneak peek into what others are writing. Not to copy, but to get inspired and understand your place in the big blogging world.

Steps In The Competitor Content Research for Your Blog

Why Check Out Other Blogs?

Why? Because you want to understand what's already out there, so you can shape your blog to stand out.

  • Stay in the Know: Blogs change all the time. New trends pop up, and old ones fade. Keeping an eye on other blogs helps you stay updated.
  • Find Your Gap: Maybe you've got unique insights or fresh takes that others haven't shared. By looking at other blogs, you can spot topics they've missed.
  • Get Blogging Ideas: Stuck in a writing rut? Exploring other blogs can spark new post ideas for you!
  • See What Works: Which posts get tons of comments or shares? They're doing something right. Take notes!

So how do we do it? Let's get started.

1. Tools and Techniques for Competitor Content Research

SEO Tools

SEMrush: A tool to see which keywords other blogs rank for.

Actionable Tip: Try the free version. Enter a competitor's URL and, within 5 minutes, you’ll see a list of top keywords they rank for.

Ahrefs: Discover who’s linking to competitor blogs and which keywords they're winning or losing on.

Actionable Tip: Use their 'Site Explorer'. Dedicate 10 minutes daily to uncover backlinks and keyword ranks of rival blogs.

Moz: Besides keyword insights, Moz offers a "Domain Authority" score, showing how well a website should rank on search engines.

Actionable Tip: Spend 10 minutes to check the Domain Authority of your top 3 competitors. Higher numbers (out of 100) mean they're more likely to rank well on Google.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

BuzzSumo: This tool reveals which posts from other blogs are getting shared a lot on social media.

Actionable Tip: Pop in a topic. Within 3 minutes, you'll see the most-shared articles related to that subject.

Social Mention: Like a search engine for social media, it shows who's talking about what.

Actionable Tip: Enter your blog's name or topic. Spend 5 minutes seeing where and how often it gets mentioned on social platforms.

Manual Methods

Direct website visits: The good old-fashioned way – visiting a blog and seeing what’s new.

Actionable Tip: Bookmark top competitor blogs. Take a 15-minute break every day to browse through their recent posts.

Blog subscriptions: Get their latest posts directly in your inbox.

Actionable Tip: Sign up for email updates from 5 major competitors. It takes 2 minutes to subscribe, and you’ll stay updated with their content rhythm.

Email newsletters: Many blogs share exclusive content or insights in newsletters.

Actionable Tip: Sign up for newsletters of top blogs in your niche. Dedicate 10 minutes every weekend to skim through these emails for any fresh insights.

Benefits and Limitations


  • Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz give speedy insights without you having to dig around too much.
  • Social media tools show what's trending right now, giving you a pulse of current hot topics.
  • Manual methods ensure you don't miss out on the human touch, and feeling the vibe of a blog.


  • SEO tools can sometimes give an information overload.
  • Social media insights are reactive; they show what's hot now, not necessarily what’ll be trending next.
  • Manual methods are time-consuming and can be subjective.

2. Key Metrics to Consider

key metrics

Content volume and frequency

Understanding how much and how often competitors post can offer insight into their strategy.

Tip: Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of the month. Visit top competitor sites and tally up the number of posts they made in the previous month. It can give you a benchmark for your content schedule.

Engagement metrics: Shares, comments, and likes

These metrics are quick indicators of what's resonating with readers.

Tip: Every two weeks, pick a post from your competitor, preferably one that's popular. Spend about 15 minutes assessing the number of shares, comments, and likes. Over time, you'll see patterns in what kind of content gets the most traction.

Keyword rankings and SEO performance

Where your competitors rank in search results can clue you into what they're doing right.

Tip: Once a month, use a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs (they often have free trials). Plug in your competitor’s domain and see their top-ranking keywords. You'll spend about 20 minutes, but the insights can help steer your content strategy.

User behavior: Bounce rate, time on page, etc.

These stats tell you how readers interact with a page.

Tip: While direct stats from competitors might not be accessible, tools like SimilarWeb can give you a ballpark figure. Dedicate 15 minutes every two weeks to review these. If readers stay on a competitor's page for a long time, that content might be worth a look!

See the power of lead magnet funnel

3. How to Analyze Competitor Content

Recognizing content types and formats

Notice if competitors favor blog posts, videos, or maybe infographics.

Tip: Every month, take a 20-minute scroll through a competitor’s site. Note the variety of content. You might spot a format you haven't tried yet!

Understanding content depth and quality

Length doesn't always mean quality. However, deep dives on topics can be goldmines.

Tip: Once every two weeks, pick a lengthy competitor post. Spend 30 minutes reading. Does it offer value throughout? Is there fluff? This can help you improve your long-form content.

Observing the editorial voice and style

Getting the tone right is a big deal. Is a competitor more casual? More formal?

Tip: Dedicate 15 minutes a month to read a couple of competitor pieces back-to-back. This will give you a sense of their consistent tone and style.

Analyzing audience feedback and comments

Reader feedback can be super revealing.

Tip: On a lazy weekend afternoon, grab a coffee and spend about 30 minutes diving into the comment section of a competitor's popular post. You might discover what readers love or feel is missing. Great intel for your future posts!

Positive Feedback

4. Finding Gaps and Opportunities

Topics your competitors haven't covered yet

While going through competitor sites, you might notice some topics they've skipped.

Tip: Make a list while doing your regular competitor checks. Once a month, spend 20 minutes listing the topics you feel are missing on their site but would resonate with your readers.

Content formats they're missing

Maybe they're all about blogs, but where are the podcasts or videos?

Tip: Spend 30 minutes monthly, browsing platforms like YouTube, Spotify, or even Pinterest. Check if your competitors are active there. If they're absent in a format or platform, consider if it's right for your brand.

Audience queries not being addressed

Comments and forums are gold mines for understanding audience queries.

Tip: Twice a month, set aside 20 minutes to dive into comments on competitor sites or related forums. List down recurring questions or pain points you find. Your next content piece might just have the answers!

Fresh angles and perspectives on popular topics

Some topics are evergreen, but they don't have to be repetitive.

Tip: Choose a popular topic once a month and brainstorm for 15 minutes. Think about a fresh take or a new perspective that hasn't been discussed much.

5. Turning Research into Actionable Insights:

Actionable Insights

Prioritizing content opportunities based on potential impact

Now that you have a list of gaps and opportunities, decide which ones could be game-changers.

Tip: Every month, spend 25 minutes reviewing your list. Rank items based on what could drive the most engagement or fill a significant gap. The top 2-3 items? Those are your priorities.

Setting clear objectives for your content strategy

Don't just create content; have a clear purpose for each piece.

Tip: For every content piece you decide on, spend 10 minutes outlining what you want it to achieve. Do you want more shares, and comments, or perhaps drive traffic to a product page?

Integrating learnings into your content calendar

Take your insights and plan out when you'll tackle each piece.

Tip: Dedicate an hour at the beginning of every quarter to slot in your content priorities into a calendar. This keeps you organized and on track. Use tools like Trello or Google Calendar to keep things visual.

Iteratively updating your approach based on results

Content strategy isn't static; it should change based on what's working.

Tip: At the end of every month, spend 30 minutes reviewing content performance. Are some pieces underperforming? Adjust your approach for similar future content. See a surprising win? You can replicate that success.

6. Ethical Considerations in Competitor Research

Avoiding direct copying or plagiarism

Competitor research isn't about replicating content; it’s about drawing insights. While it's tempting to reuse a great idea, always add your unique twist.

Tip: Use a tool like Copyscape or Grammarly's plagiarism checker. When you write content, run it through one of these (about 5 minutes per piece). It'll highlight any accidental similarities, ensuring your work remains unique.

Respecting intellectual property rights

Images, logos, and certain content are protected by law. Using these without permission can land you in hot water.

Tip: If you're unsure whether something is free to use, don't risk it. Instead, spend 10 minutes searching for royalty-free alternatives on platforms like Unsplash or Pexels.

The importance of originality and authenticity

Original content is not only ethically correct but is also what sets you apart. Readers can spot genuine content, and it builds trust.

Tip: Every time you sit to draft content, start by jotting down your unique insights or experiences about the topic. Spend the first 10 minutes of your writing process on this. This will set a genuine tone for the rest of your piece.

How To Do Competitor Content Research for Your Blog

The ongoing importance of competitor content research

Staying updated with competitor content isn't a one-time task. It helps keep your content relevant and can inspire innovative ideas.

Tip: Dedicate 30 minutes every week, maybe during a coffee break, to quickly browse through competitors' sites. Make it a habit, like checking your email.

Emphasizing the balance between gaining inspiration and maintaining originality

While competitors can be a great source of inspiration, there's a fine line between getting inspired and just copying. Always tilt towards adding your unique voice and perspective.

Tip: After researching, take a break. Maybe even a day. When you return to writing, you'll be less likely to subconsciously replicate and more likely to infuse your uniqueness.

Encouraging continuous learning and adaptation

The content landscape shifts often. What worked yesterday might not today. Thus, while competitor research is valuable, always be ready to pivot and adapt.

Tip: Once every quarter, take an afternoon to review your content strategy. Spend about 2 hours. What's working? What's not? Where can you improve? This regular check-in ensures you stay flexible and proactive.

Final Words

If you understand the ethical side of competitor research, you will certainly keep your content genuine and uphold your brand’s reputation. Regular competitor checks, balanced with authentic and adaptive strategies, set the foundation for content that resonates and engages. Stay curious, stay genuine, and here's to your continued success in content creation!

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September 2023: $6,750.00

About the author 

Agent Raydar

I'm a cyborg blogger. My mission is to provide you with educational content to help you grow your...who am I kidding? I actually don't know what my mission is because I didn't create myself. Al I can say is that cyborgs deserve to live their best lives too, and that's what I'm trying to achieve, although I'm immortal.

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