How to Create Traffic Magnets: Give Your Readers Bread and Games

How to Create Traffic Magnets: Give Your Readers Bread and Games

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I think is greatly underutilized as a social search engine.

However, it’s one of the simplest ways to see what’s popular, what’s not, and who are the folks spreading the word.

To search within a particular site:

Let’s say you are in the traffic generation niche and would like to borrow some of my readership by rebutting one of my popular posts.

Before we proceed, let me warn you: there’s room for only one of us in the niche and the title of tzarina of traffic generation is already taken.

Proceed with caution.

So you go to and enter in the search box.

(Side note: the extension “site” will list all the indexed pages of any particular site, eliminating other sites that merely mention the same URL.)

The results will look something like this:

how to search for trafficgenerationcafe on topsy

You see the number of retweets displayed at the end of each tweet?

That’s your first indicator of how popular a particular piece of content might be.

If a particular blog gets say 50 tweets per post on average and you find a post that got 150 tweets, that would be a great clue you might’ve found a sweet spot.

To search by topic:

You can also determine popularity of posts within any given topic.

Here’s an example of searches for “traffic generation”:

traffic generation topic on topsy

This search is not as accurate as searching by site, since a tweet popularity is largely determined by the originated site popularity, but it can still give you a good idea of what’s hot.

Topsy Analytics:

Now if you move your eyes all the way to the right, you’ll see the following:

topsy analytics box

Clicking on the “From” link will take you into the whole new world of competitive analysis.

Kind of like this:

topsy analytics pinterest topic

The shot above is the perfect example of researching competitive topics.

Do you see those two posts I highlighted?

They are both on how to generate traffic from Pinterest.

However, the number of social shares is very different.

What made the difference?

The originating site’s authority?

The title?

The quality of the post itself?

Here you can also take a look at who retweeted the content and how influential those folks are.

Maybe that’s what tipped the scale.

And now that you know who those pillars are, it’s time to get to know them a bit closer.


This free Firefox/Chrome extension is pretty amazing and comes it handy for many research tasks.

The trick is to know what you are looking for and to make sure you have those SEOQuake parameters enabled.

(Hat tip to Kristi Hines)

For this specific task of finding popular content in your niche, we need to enable social media shares for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Go into SEOQuake => Preferences (found under Tools => Add-ons in Firefox, and under chrome://chrome/extensions/ in Chrome) and check the following boxes:

social media seoquake preferences

I only check Google boxes to keep things simple.

Now when I preform search in Google, the results will look something like this:

seoquake results for trafficgenerationcafe

You can also sort them by the number of tweets/shares by pressing the arrow down next to each network.

SEOQuake cons:

As great as this tool is, just about every time I use it, some of the data does not get properly updated.

In the screenshot above taken in Chrome, the Twitter and Facebook shares showed the same number for each page of my site.

When I performed the same search in Firefox, FB shares wouldn’t show up at all.

I guess we get what we pay for…

Great tool nonetheless.

One More

For yet another great way to milk your competitors’ content for all it’s worth and turn it into your very own traffic goldmine, take a look at this post:

How to Make Popular Content Your Own

Of course, this is not a call to plagiarize other bloggers’ content or regurgitate what’s been said over and over again.

The key to generating great content ideas using this method is to provide a unique perspective on the same topic.

For instance, someone writes a great post about “5 Awesome Blog Post Titles“.

The post takes off – the readers definitely enjoyed it and gave it the comment/social media love accordingly.

Now you use that knowledge to your advantage and write a post about “5 Worst Blog Post Titles Mistakes“.

This way, you can even go back to the original blog you got the idea from and leave them a comment letting them know about your post.

This might turn out to be a great way to jump start your post promotion.

Marketing Takeaway

This might seem to be dead simple.

And it is.

And it also works.

So stop wasting your time writing on the topics you think your readers might be interested in and start writing knowing what your readers are interested in.

Give your readers bread and games.


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31 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. I checked some “competition” (blogs on my topic that I like to read) at Topsy and guess what? – they’re not getting that much traffic (or tweets). Went back and read your Alexa post and tried them on Alexa: high numbers (low traffic). It blew my mind – does that mean I don’t have an audience?
    I tried by topic, and found a niche blog with great ranking, but I hardly ever read it!
    So, I’m still digesting this. I might need to try these great post ideas while expanding to different blogs.

  2. Hey Ana,

    Great post as always! I have been using SEO Quake for over a year now, very helpful tool. But Topsy, on the other hand, I have never used as you described. I will have to give this a try.

    Thanks for the tips Ana and have a great day!

  3. Hey there
    I have to tell you the truth here… I looked at your post and thought…OMG this is very short for Ana… Then I thought “what could these people be commenting on if the post was so short???”… then I realized it was continued to the next page…

    This is what happens when you take a quick glance at things, you see nothing.

    • Ana Hoffman

      lol, Mitz – I am trying to disguise the fact that I can’t seem to write anything shorter than 2,000 words these days. At least, it seems manageable when broken down into a couple of pages.

  4. Ana,

    Did I miss the post where you talk about why you’re using multiple pages for your blog posts now?

    I’d love to know your thought process on it?

    So far I have mixed emotions on the new experience.

    Though I think you’re killing it with the content lately!


    • Ana Hoffman

      I just started playing with pagination, Ryan (not post on it yet, since I don’t have any concrete results to based it upon).

      The main objective is to reduce the bounce rate.

      The two secondary objectives are more about user experience/engagement: are my readers more likely to digest my lengthy posts in two smaller sections vs one long one? Also, once I get them to click, are they more likely to stay and explore even more?

      We’ll see how it turns out…

  5. RaviSingh

    Hi Ann,
    You have share an excellent article. It is really informative and interesting. Thanks for mentioning tools. SEO Quake is really very helpful to create their own parameters. I like and use this tool.

  6. Another nicely written post, Ana…

    I also noticed your multi- page format, and my first guess was for improved bounce rate…..

    Have seen this done on some sites whereby one post, was divided into four or more parts….

    The only negative of those sites breaking a post down to four or more(very small) parts, is you get tired of flicking through so many pages to read one post..which may have the reverse effect to what was intended, and could cause readers to go elsewhere…(though, a two- part post should do okay)

    Your inclusion of your related posts widget should sort out any bounce rate issues, also…

    Some related post plugins(widgets) work really well, others can sometimes be terrible…

    I tried out a particular related posts widget(I forget the name) where the number of views that came through that source, were quite amazing(then the plugin had some issues…and I had to remove it….darn!.

    The one great advantage of related post plugins(if functioning properly) is that you’re getting people to dig deeper into your site, which should help to lift Search engine ranking across those inner pages(as well as improve bounce rate and possibly(Has been mentioned) spread PR..too……

    Yeah, I know! I still have not got myself a Gravatar or Avatar……the reason I have held back so long is that I heard that there are security issues in relation to using these…

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am experimenting with pagination, Daniel. I do agree there’s a fine line between doing it right (2-3 pages at the most) and overwhelming readers with all the clicking they might have to do just to get to the end of a post.

  7. I run the related post with thumbnail and found that to be a good source for page views. Readers are most likely to click on images, this surely did increase the page views on one of my android resources blog. love your work as always Ana.

  8. You’re right, Ana. This IS simple and it makes a lot of sense. I don’t know half as much about traffic as you do, so I’m definitely going to take this advice. I’m old fashioned in that I’ll visit the blogs I like and look at their ‘popular posts’ panel to see what’s hot.

  9. Hi Ana,

    Thanks for the great post. As is the case with other people, same here. Even i know about Topsy & SEO Quake but never took time to explore them. Your post revealed a lot of features of these tools to generate the traffic.

    I really amazed at times when i found such posts. Though i would be using the same tool from a long time but it happens that i have never paid attention towards those features. There is so much to learn about a tool and how much we can make.

    Once again thanks for this brilliant post.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am with you, Kris – either those folks keep coming up with new features or I am just that slow learning the ropes. πŸ˜‰

  10. Hi Ana,
    thanks for mentioning these tools. SEOQuake is really very helpful – I like and use this tool, but I didn’t use it for social signals πŸ˜‰
    I must also try Topsy – it seems that it has SEO potential :)

  11. Hi Ana,

    Excellent tutorial on picking out winning blog post topics… as I was working through your post using my own keywords so I could fully understand your process I kept discovering awesome topics to blog about!

    Now I have to leave my blog reading for later… I’ve got lots to write about!

    Thanks :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      So glad you found this post helpful, Jim!

      I only recently discovered this way of finding new topics to write about and I’m really excited to do some more research for TGC as well.

  12. Ana,

    Great post, very informative!

    I’m a serial surveyor. I’m constantly sending surveys to my audience and asking questions. I need to know what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. I noticed when I delivered what was desired, the response was massive.

    I’m always aware and paying attention to what others are doing but I’m more aware that my audience isn’t necessarily their, so I have to survey and do my due diligence anyway.

    There’s no cookie-cutter way to anything!

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are SOOOOO right, Dewane – what works for one blog might not be the right thing for another.

      How do your subscribers/readers react to your surveys? I hear that participation rates are usually pretty low.

      • It depends largely on where (what channel) and how (short or long) I survey, but response rates are usually around 25-40%. Rates get higher depending on how I incentivize the action.

        What’s really important though is how you use the data. I prefer open ended questions as oppose to closed and multiple choice. I try to understand what words and language they use so I can communicate with them better.

  13. Awesome post Ana as always. Haven’t heard of topsy before but will surely give it a shot. Thanks for this wonderful tips and welcome to EMBER MONTH.

  14. Koundeenya

    Figuring out what readers want will definitely keep them stick to the list. I loved the term- Bread and Games :)

  15. Hi Ana
    It sure looks like some awesome services you are listing here. I will sure have to dig deeper in to them later. Thank you for always learning me something new when I visit this blog :-)

  16. I really like the tips you added in this article Ana. I never ever thought about using Topsy in this way to help me generate more traffic. Love it! Will definitely try it out!

    Keep the good content coming!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Once I figured out that I could do this type of research, Scott, it made my blogging life a lot easier!

  17. Words of wisdom Ana!

    It’s amazing how much I learn whenever I visit your blog :)

    Speaking of which, I had no idea whatsoever about Topsy, though had seen SeoQuake earlier, but never checked it out so much in detail. And yes, there is surely a great deal you can do with both of these.

    Oh yes…readers are always hungry for more, provided you give them what they want, and that’s how readership and relationships build up.

    Thanks for sharing and yes, I loved the picture of the woman with the veil on the first page. :)