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Blog Spy - Competitor Analysis Tool for Bloggers

Blog Spy is a new tool to find out what your competitors are blogging about and who you can outrank.

Here's a sneak preview of what Blog Spy can do:

I'm giving away Blog Spy for free when you buy the Niche Laboratory Pro + Blog Spy super bundle.

What is Blog Spy?

Blog Spy is a sister product to our Niche Laboratory Pro brainstorming and keyword finding tool.

Blog Spy is a Windows desktop application. Here's a screenshot (click to enlarge):

Blog Spy User Interface Screenshot

For several years now it's been obvious to me that Google have been moving away from the whole idea of keywords. After all if you use Google Analytics then you'll know that Google doesn't now normally provide the search terms users search for when they end up finding your site. Instead you'll see lots of (not provided) references instead.

Part of this is due to "privacy" issues (not that Google exactly worry about our privacy, but that's another story...). But a bigger reason is maybe due to the fact that Google themselves have moved away from the whole keyword thing. That was how Google used to rank sites. Now they're a lot more sophisticated and are characterising search results and sites based on ideas and user intent.

How does this affect us? As site builders we need to lose the idea of targeting specific keywords and think more about how our site fits a specific theme. I've noticed one thing with new sites I've been building: user engagement is now critically important. You need to ensure that your site has a low bounce rate and high metrics for user time spent on site. Both of these can be seen in Google Analytics.

How can you improve on these? By offering killer content that will keep distracted people busy for ages.

One great way of improving your site is to look at what your competitors are doing. And this is where Blog Spy can help you.

Blog Spy basically works by finding all of the blogs (either Wordpress and Blogger) that are already ranking well for search terms related to your niche.

By using site ranking data from Moz.com, it then orders all of the blogs from low page rank to high page rank. It will also put your own blog in this table. You can then easily see a colour coded list of blogs: green blogs have a lower page ranking than your site, orange blogs have a similar page rank to your site, and red blogs have higher page ranks than your own blog.

Here's a sample report for the niche websites niche.

What to do with this data?

  • For sites that are ranked lower than your own, you should be able to outrank them with similar or near-identical content. So see what they're blogging about and do it longer and better.
  • You're unlikely to outrank sites that have higher page ranks than your own. However, you can definitely reach out to these blog owners and try to get a guest posting opportunity. Of course you can also comment on their blogs too.
  • Blog Spy also shows how relevant the blogs it finds are to your blog. At first I was going to remove these less relevant blogs from the reports. But then I thought that they could actually be really useful. You might discover other, less competitive niches from these blogs. So now they're in the reports.
  • Blog Spy can also be used to give you invaluable information about how difficult it could be to rank in your niche. If you see only red blogs in your niche then maybe the competition is going to be too tough. If this is the case then either choose another niche, or go more long tail and find smaller micro or nano niches in your main niche.
  • Blog Spy also shows you a long list of recent blog posts made by blogs in your niche. Take a close look at these to see what your competitors are blogging about. Maybe you can spot themes and trends. I noticed in the sample project that one of the blogs (income school) has largely gone over to vlogging. Maybe you could do the same in your niche too?
  • In some niches the results from Blog Spy aren't so good. Maybe you just find a load of irrelevant blogs. Don't despair - this can often be a good thing. It's likely that not many people are actually blogging in this niche. So pay less attention to the content on the irrelevant blogs, and start producing killer content for your niche. One of my niches is like this - I hardly ever find any decent keywords from keyword tools but it's still a niche in which my friend is able to make $5000 per month!

Are you out of ideas?

Blog Spy will also show you up to ten recent posts that blogs in your niche have posted. See what they're blogging about - maybe you can also blog about it.

My Blog Spy Tips

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Blog Spy:

  • When you put your site's URL into Blog Spy, use the same URL that Google has indexed. So if Google has for example indexed www.yoursite.com then put in http://www.yoursite.com/ and not http://yoursite.com. I also find that the forward slash suffix helps too.
  • I know it's a hassle but if you sign up for a free Moz API key then you'll find Blog Spy gives you much better results!
  • You can run the same job several times and you will often find different blogs listed.
  • Blog Spy will do around 50 jobs a month with a free Moz API key. If you need to use it more then sign up to one of their paid membership plans. You might also find that Moz helps you find loads of other opportunities for growing your site and stealing traffic from your competitors.
  • Blog Spy is very network intensive and if you're running a Home version of Windows then I recommend you stop all other network using applications at the same time. This particularly applies to downloads, torrenting etc.
  • Blog Spy needs a good internet connection so it's better to use it at a time when your network is less busy.
  • Don't rush things. Make a cup of tea. Put your smartphone away. Then take a really good look at the Blog Spy report. You might find it handy to use a notepad to write down some ideas that you spot in the report.
  • Don't have a blog? Blog Spy will work with any website. However, I've assumed that at this price point most of the users of Blog Spy will be bloggers. Bloggers tend to be easier to compete with too. eCommerce sites, tools (like nichelaboratory.com) and other sites require expensive software development or other startup costs, whereas blogging can be done on a pretty much zero budget.

Sounds good?

Here are the links for getting Blog Spy and there's also a sample report I made:

 

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Meneer Octopus   13 May 2019

Great tool, Brett! It gave me a few really good ideas for content which I can outrank competitors. So, thanks for that and keep up the good work!

And a word of advice for future users: you really should be using the Moz API . It helps a lot.