How to steal competitor Reddit content

PLUS: A page about poop that generates 100k readers/yr

Hellooooo content aficionados!

It’s your friendly neighborhood content guy.

Important disclaimer: if you hate puns, please do not read this issue. There are more than a few, and almost none of them are good.

Here’s what we’re going to cover (5-minute read):

  • Main course: How to find & steal other people’s top Reddit content

  • Snack: The page about poop that generates 100k visits/year

  • Morsels: Headlines from OK Dork, Hubspot, & more

Let’s dig in.

Main course: How to find & steal other people’s top Reddit content

Before you hold my little toesies to the fire…

I don’t actually mean that you should steal anything.

We should never do that because (1) it’s unethical, and (2) we’re muthaf*cking marketers who have self-respect take pride in what we do.

So what do I mean?

I mean we should find smart ways to reverse-engineer the best-performing content on Reddit so that we can build something with a similar idea but different or improved execution. Adding to the conversation, not copy/pasting.

But why Reddit?

Not only is Reddit a powerhouse of social media, it’s often overlooked because Redditors can be such giant a-holes.

But, when approached in the right way, Reddit is probably the single best platform on which gain eyeballs really, really quickly.

It’s about as difficult to go viral on Reddit as it is anywhere else, but it’s much easier to generate consistent traffic with consistent content promotion.

You can post for a year on Instagram and hear mostly crickets. You can tweet your little heart out, and you might get a handful of people to your site.

But Reddit has two characteristics other platforms don’t have:

  • It has really, really specific communities, and

  • It’s as close to a meritocracy as social media can get

Together, that means that if you just provide truly useful content to the right communities, you can produce traffic out of thin air. It ain’t easy, but it is simple.

Quick note: Using Reddit as a content marketing channel should be a holistic effort, and it demands a lot of different ingredients. I’m working on a full Reddit content promotion playbook.

Today, we’re just going to cover one, small piece of that puzzle: how to use competitor data decide what to create.

The first thing you need to know is that Reddit allows you to search the site via a “site:” operator. That means that you can type “site:” into the Reddit search bar + any website to see all the content from that site that has ever been posted to Reddit.

Thought experiment time…

Suppose we had a startup in the cybersecurity space.

And suppose we wanted to roll the dice on Reddit — pretty risky in any tech-forward space, really, since the nerdier geographies of Reddit tend to be the most likely to torch you for no good reason.

We could come up with some content ideas out of our own brain, but as with everything in marketing, data-driven decisions are usually better.

So here’s what we’d do.

First, we need to find some sites to plug into Reddit — large sites that are likely to either have active content promotion machinery or sites that are popular enough that Reddit users post content themselves.

You can either just use competitors you know from your industry, or you can fire off a simple Google:

We’d probably look at these to see which might be the closest to us product/content/audience/philosohpy-wise, but because this is an imaginary business, let’s grab “We Live Security” (WLS).

Next, we navigate to Reddit, and use the site operator to search for WLS’s content on Reddit.

We’d then get search results that that show us every time has ever been posted on Reddit.

In the tabs at the top, you’ll see Posts, Comments, Communities, and People.

Of the four, the only useful ones are Posts and Comments.

Communities should be useful, but it’s not. If you’re looking to see which communities this site gets cited in most often, we can do that by just browsing posts.

Now here’s the magic.

From there, click the Sort button and filter by Top.

This will give you the the top posts has appeared — ever.

This is the content we can “steal”, noting a couple of important things:

  • Communities. Which subreddits is content typically posted in?

  • Content type. Is it news? Is it evergreen? Is it reviews? Ideally, we’d like to find something close to our marketing goals.

  • Topics. We even want to look at individual topics so that we can revisit them, build on them, and promote content of our own.

Here’s an example.

This is juicy. It’s evergreen. We can write about it again. And most importantly, it’s talking about a specific security concern for companies: vulnerabilities in old routers.

Being the clever content marketer you are, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: that that is a fantastic opportunity not just to educate, but also to promote cybersecurity services.

We could then revisit that topic, adding some new data from our clients perhaps, or curating recommendations from our in-house experts.

And we could promote the same content to the same communities in the same way.

WLS’s post generated 301 upvotes. Based purely on anecdotal evidence, I’ve seen that each upvote is good for like 1-15 visitors. And an upvote can be good for anywhere from 100-1,000 impressions.

So we might expect that post to have generated 300-4,500 readers and up to 300,000 impressions of our brand.

Nothing to sneeze at for a day’s worth of work (or however long it takes to write a short blog post).

Bonus tip…

In the same search results, click on the Comments tab.

Here, you can see alllll the places WLS has been cited as a source, and you can also sort these by Top.

This can give you some really good ideas for more guerrilla-style marketing, searching for relevant conversations, and piping in to add your own content as a source.

Here’s how to do this today

  • Compile a quick list of competitors and industry blogs (the bigger the better)

  • Use the “site:” operator to search for their content on Reddit

  • Make lists of communities, content types, and topics that get the most traction

  • Put a few of the best ones into your content pipeline

  • After you publish, promote to the same communities in the exact same way with whatever Reddit account you have on hand

**Make sure you follow the rules of the specific subreddits on which you’re posting, or you could get banned from them.

Snack: The poop page that generates 100k visits/yr

Okay get ready for some cheeky puns (See? Already started. Can’t help myself).

One of my favorite content marketing campaigns is run by Tushy.

They’re an eCommerce store with just a few, positively unsexy products in a boring, saturated space that should realistically never be associated with fun.

But they pull off some amazing things.

Their content marketing is, in a word, the sh*t.

And honestly, lots of their content is worth digging into, but I’d like to highlight just one of their pages.

A wonderful little guide called “How Do I Make My Poop More Solid?”.

Here — click here and open it up so we can look at it together.

My favorite thing about this blog post is how utterly unimpressive it is.

It’s simple. It’s a listicle. It’s basic. It would almost be tough to write something with less depth. Each item in the list has at most 2 sentences.

Little introduction. Some light information at the end. And a little conclusion.

The post clocks in a juuuuuuuust over 1,000 words — not even flirting with the “long-form” content we’re all told to hang our hats on.

Feel like a load of crap?

…look how it performs.

This single post generates an estimated 8,100 organic visits per month, or just under 100,000 organic readers per year. 

Why? How?

Because this post takes a question that lots of people need answer and gives an honest, direct answer. It gives them exactly what they’re looking for.

It offers a solution to a pain point, backed by the authority of a brand that knows what it’s talking about.

In other words, it does it’s doodie.

And because it’s unsexy, the competition is lower than you might expect.

What you can steal & deploy for yourself

  • Type a couple general keywords your biggest content categories into Answer the Public, a free tool that generates question-based keywords

  • Make a list of the most boring, least sexy ones

  • Use a tool like Ahrefs to check other key metrics like traffic potential and keyword difficulty

  • Publish as many as you can

  • Monitor, and double down on those that show early traction (by building links, sending paid traffic, etc.)

Morsels: Weird content marketing news & headlines

  1. “How to Build an Audience From Scratch In 2023” (Copyblogger)

  2. “Making Headlines with the Wrong Story” (Conversion Agent)

  3. “Content Quality Lesson: Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl Ad” (Heidi Cohen)

  4. “CRO and SEO Working Together with Jason Fisher” (Conversion Sciences)

  5. “How to Use Interactive Content to Boost Your Website Engagement and Conversions” (Ready North)

  6. “C is for Cookie” (WttW)

  7. “How to Launch Your Next Product on Instagram” (SME)

  8. “How to Compare Data When You Move from Google Analytics to GA4” (Conversion Sciences)

  9. “How To Build A Future-Proofed SEO Strategy When AI Is Changing SEO” (SEJ)

  10. “How Quality Raters Are (Possibly) Helping AI Chatbots Improve: A Conversation with Bard” (Marie Haynes)

That’s the issue.

Go forth and conquer.



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