Brand New Tool To Discover Popular Articles On Competitor Blogs

“Will this topic be popular or not? Will it make people tick?” – I bet you ask yourself these questions now and then as you’re writing a new article for your blog.

discover popular articles

Every blogger wants to publish successful posts that spread across social networks like wildfire, have hundreds of comments and attract dozens of links from other blogs. Many of you already know the tedious process that leads to this kind of success.

But today this process will get just a little bit easier with a brand new tool.

The Main Ingredient of Viral Articles

You can learn tons of tips about writing viral content and still fail to produce a piece of your own.

That’s because all these tips are no more than a recipe of a dish, where the main ingredient is the actual idea behind your article.

[tweet_dis]No matter how precisely you follow the recipe, but with addled ingredients the dish will suck.[/tweet_dis]

So where do you get that awesome idea that will make the resulting dish tasty and flawless?

Again there are tons of blog posts that educate you on generating cool article ideas.

You may go read all of them or stay here and believe me when I say that [tweet_dis]coming up with viral ideas requires a thorough research of your niche[/tweet_dis].

And the process of generating killer ideas usually looks like this:

  1. Discover articles in your niche that are already popular;
  2. Read them to see if the author is missing something;
  3. Think if you can disagree with the author;
  4. See if you can take a different angle on that issue;
  5. Read the comments, as readers might give you some hints on what bothers them.

Lets take a closer look at step #1 of this process…

Discovering Popular Articles

I’ve already outlined my process of researching the niche in this post and shared a few tips on using Topsy and Reddit to find popular content in my free email course (hope you’ve already subscribed; tons of value there, seriously)

But this doesn’t change the main methodology of discovering popular articles, which goes like this (pretty straightforward btw):

  1. Find popular blogs in your niche;
  2. Browse them to find articles with most likes, tweets, shares, etc

There’s no way to reinvent this methodology, but there are some shortcuts that will save you tons of time…

Meet “Strip The Blog” Tool

Lets say there are 5 big blogs in your niche and each of them publishes 3-5 posts per week. How long would it take you to go through all the posts they’ve published in past month and find the ones with most social shares?

2 hours? 5 hours?

Here’s a tool that does it in a minute or two: Strip The Blog.


The Story

As it happens with most useful tools, this one was born out of my personal need. I’m a big fan of spying on competitor blogs, and I had a lot of success with generating viral posts based on hot topics of my competitors.

But doing that manually took countless hours of my time, so I thought how cool it would be to automate my work.

I shared the idea of this tool with my old time friend, who happened to be a skilled web developer, and a few months later the tool was ready!

“Strip The Blog” is absolutely free, but a bit limited in powers for now, since we’re afraid to overload our server.

How To Use The Tool

  1. Enter the URL(s) of a blog, that you’d like to check for popular articles;
  2. Specify the date range – how far back from today’s date the tool should look;
  3. Specify the threshold – posts that have less social shares than your threshold will not be displayed.
  4. Hit the big “STRIP IT!” button

Let’s see how performed in the last two weeks:


Here you can clearly see that one post was shared like crazy on Google+. And if you open the actual post – it doesn’t even have a Google+ counter on it. So there’s almost no other way for you to learn that this topic was hot on Google+.


At the top of the spreadsheet with the results there’s a “Filters” panel.

filters strip the blog

  • You can set thresholds there, and the tool will filter out all posts with less shares than needed.
  • You can also remove the whole row of social shares, in case it doesn’t interest you.

Go Play With It / We Need Your FeedBack

As I’ve already mentioned, the tool is absolutely free and it’s still in beta!

This means you have a unique opportunity to become an early user and give us your feedback, which will shape the future looks of the tool!

We encourage you to play with the tool and let us know if you run over any issues…

But most importantly!

We’ll be glad to hear your ideas of the features that should be added to the tool or how we can make it better.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer and Product Advisor at Ahrefs, a leading tool trusted by hundreds of thousands of SEOs and marketers worldwide. His SEO-related data research studies have been cited by media giants, including Inc, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat. He's also a regular speaker at some of the largest industry conferences around the globe, such as PubCon (US), BrightonSEO (UK), and the Digital Marketers Australia Conference (AU).