If you are anything like me, you hate it when you pour a ton of time into a blog post just to see it not get traction. STOP that! Very often on my youtube channel I talk about how to create content people care about and want to share / consume. Today I am continuing on with that theme.
In this video I review Postrank, a great tool that serves 2 purposes. The main focus is on how to use Postrank as a way to keep tabs on your competitors most popular content. Why? Simple. If you REALLY want to stay on top of a competitor, are you reading their blog every day, then trying to figure out how many tweets, comments, facebook likes, etc they get? If so you are wasting time. You can use Postrank to help you find the most popular content on their site. While you could use a tool like Opensiteexplorer or Majestic SEO to find content that got a lot of links, we all know the link graph has been disrupted by social, as such this will get you comments, shares, tweets, etc - making it a much more comprehensive tool.
The other way I discuss using it is to play catch up on what is getting the "hottest" in a particular industry, but using the chrome or firefox plugins for google reader which allow you to subscribe to several blogs on a topic and just sort them by the ones that have the most social traction.
Lastly, my recommendation is to work with the API to help automate a lot of this for you...want to get an alert when a competitors content gets hot? Say no more, an API will help you do that. That is the ideal time to write a different point of view and reach out to commenters on your competitors post to let them know your dissenting or complimentary point of view. A great way to do this is instead of writing a 2 paragraph comment, write a 3 sentence comment, and link over to your site for your post with a difference of opinion. Want to know how to use blog commenting to build relationships, reputation, and links? The best piece I've read on topic is written by Ben Pei over on linkersblog (Page currently not available).