Steve Rayson of BuzzSumo

Steve Rayson

Director of BuzzSumo

Steve has worked in elearning for 20 years. He was previously a Board Director at Epic and the Managing Director at Kineo for ten years. Steve was one of the original Totara founders.

He is currently a Director of BuzzSumo and Anders Pink, and is passionate about the potential to improve performance through learning and technology.


How BuzzSumo Builds Authority, Shares and Backlinks

Everyone’s into content marketing these days! No matter what content you’re into there’s articles out there for it.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Steve’s success

Knowing how BuzzSumo builds authority, shares and backlinks.

Result if you follow the steps in Steve’s session

Long form content that builds your brand and authority, getting shares and backlinks.

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


Every business tensor something unique but I think if you’re just producing so which is me to content that they can get from another article then why go to your article I think you have to build. For me it’s about building brand and Authority in your space and so for us that meant longer form content generally longer form content build you more authority it’s also you’re competing with a lot less something like you know less than the five percent of all articles are over two thousand words.

So immediately you’re competing with less content if you’re producing in-depth content so for us it was less is more and was like hey let’s just produce less content but produce a really significant piece of content and let’s really hope to be the story for the day so we’re not going to use two-piece content every day because they’ll get sunk but if we can reuse one piece of content a month and everybody talks about it for one day that’s great because it builds our name and authority etc.

So our strategy was much more about producing really good content and trying to be the story for one day so and I think there is thing about people do need to spend time think about you know who’s gonna show your content who’s gonna link to it why are they going to do that so every piece of content you write for your blog needs an amplification strategy stretchy maybe to ground to word but you know who’s going to share it who’s gonna link to him who’s going to talk about it et cetera.

So what we do with our research is we did some in-depth research which we thought might be useful so it might have been research on headlines which we did last year or it might be research about content trends this year looking how many shares things get and things we think will be helpful to our audience but we then have a stretch of how do we get out there so in our case what worked well for us was having influences that we might say bro here are 10 people that our audience really respect and can we build relationships with those people by following them commenting on their blogs meeting them at conferences.

It takes six months or more to build a relationship with somebody once we’ve  done that we could then share our research so we attended to so my latest content transport I shared it with ranks of eight or nine people before we published it saying what do you think and I incorporated some of their comments in the report when we published it and that meant they were more likely to share it more likely to talk about it and that helped us get some traction if on day one when we publish it we asked everyone to share on the same day so suddenly we know there are at least 10 or 12 people with reasonable followings carrying it it gets a little bit of  traction I arranged to be that story for the day we might supplement now with some Facebook advertising or Twitter advertising.

We would also normally talk to a few journalists up front in terms of you know would you be interested in the story etc and when we did the headlines piece we had a number of journalists wrote about it last year and you know we are in one case we had an instance where just one journalist sharing it got retweeted something about three or four thousand times just one one tweet where you say so we try to work with journalists who might be interested in the content as well because I say that that’s the hard thing is you produce great content but had people are so busy how do you get them to see it and so our approach is let’s produce really excellent content generally comprehensive long-form content which is which is really  hopefully insightful and helpful to people we don’t get our content we don’t believe engaging content and then lost people say produce great content you should gating gain their email addresses my view is that’s you’re not really giving anything away then you’re doing a barter exchange you know give me your email address so I can spam you and I’ll give you the report and people don’t know whether reports any good before they do that so we don’t get anything.

We just make it freely available and if they want to sign up to the blog or anything that’s up to them but we don’t ask their email address they just get the content really but for me it’s just you just how do you get it out there so whatever piece of content you do need some form of amplification strategy really and say for us the content that breaks through tends to be research content and we’ve done a lot of research about content and we know that people getting shares is hard so you know the median number of shares is four for a piece of content.

So getting links is really hard it’s it’s less than one it’s gonna you know the median share and meeting links are zero so it’s really hard to get links oh yeah you need to write content the guest links really and certain types of content giggling so research content guess links what I would call reference more content guesses so what is content content answers questions tend to get links guys tend to get links etc so there’s certain types of content that gets links it tends to be long-form content so we focus on that content we want our articles to get links that’s really important for us you.

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