BuzzSumo:The Definitive Guide

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about BuzzSumo.

Advanced strategies.

Cool features.

And four new case studies that I’ve never shared anywhere else before.

Let’s get started…

BuzzSumo: The Definitive Guide

Chapter 1:Find Content Ideas

Find content ideas

In this chapter you’ll learn how to use BuzzSumo to create better content.

Specifically, I’ll show you how to find proven content ideas that work GREAT.

(Including lots of real life examples of these steps in action)

Find Awesome Topics With a Keyword Search

This is BuzzSumo’s bread and butter feature.

Just enter a keyword related to your industry…

Enter a keyword

…and get a list of the most popular content on that topic.

Get list

Don’t let the simplicity fool you. This is a VERY powerful feature.

In fact, BuzzSumo’s keyword search helped me create one of my most successful posts of 2018 (so far): The Definitive Guide to Mobile SEO.

Mobile SEO Guide

To date, this single piece of content has generated 2400 social shares, 351 comments and links from 90+ different domains.

Mobile SEO post success

Also, this post currently ranks in the top 3 for my target keyword “mobile SEO”.

Mobile SEO ranking in the top three

And I got the idea for this post from BuzzSumo.

Here’s how it went down…

A few months back I did a BuzzSumo search for “SEO”:

BuzzSumo search for “SEO” unfiltered

That way, I could quickly find content in the SEO space that got lots of shares and links.

I also used a few filters to zero-in on relevant results.

Search filters

(More on that later)

And I noticed that 4 of the top 20 pieces of content were about: mobile SEO.

Mobile SEO topics

When I dug deeper, I realized that 3 MORE of the top 20 posts at least touched on the topic of “mobile SEO”.

More posts with mobile SEO

So in total:

7 out of 20 (35%) of the most popular posts in the entire world of SEO were about mobile optimization.

That’s when I realized: “I better get cracking on a mobile SEO post!”.

I also realized something else:

None of those 7 posts actually showed people how to optimize their site for mobile devices!

So I decided to fill in that content gap with a guide overflowing with actionable tips:

Mobile SEO actionable tips

Because my content was based on a proven topic — and contained information no one else covered in one place — it did REALLY well.

Steal Your Competitor’s Best Content Ideas

Did you know you can search in BuzzSumo with a domain?

Well, you can. And it’s REALLY cool.

When you do, you’ll see that site’s best-performing content.

Domain search

And this feature helped me create one of my best-performing pieces of content… ever.

The content?

SEO in 2018: The Definitive Guide.

SEO in 2018

Not only has this guide racked up a boatload of shares and links…

SEO in 2018 shares

…but it’s consistently one of my 10 pages in terms of monthly organic traffic.

Consistently high traffic

Let me walk you through the exact process that I used to develop and create that piece of content.

First, I popped into BuzzSumo search.

BuzzSumo search field

And I noticed something surprising right away:

The #1 post from the Moz blog (out of 400+ posts) was about… SEO in 2018.

Moz SEO in 2018 top post

Say whaaaaat?!

It gets better:

3 of their top 10 posts were on that exact same topic

Moz three of top ten posts on SEO this year

At this point I had NEVER even considered writing an “SEO in 2018” post.

(Why? Most of them are lame prediction posts that provide zero value)

But considering how well that topic performed for Moz, I had to give it a shot.

Instead of a prediction post, I decided to include actual steps people could use to get their site ready for the upcoming year.

SEO this year – sections

And like I mentioned earlier, that post absolutely crushed.

It got an initial wave of traffic in the first week…

SEO this year – initial traffic wave

…and even though the post is over 6 months old at this point, it still brings in a consistent stream of traffic from Google, social media and blogs:

SEO this year post, six months later

Uncover Untapped Long Tail Keywords With “Question Analyzer”

This is one of my favorite new BuzzSumo features.


First, you can use the Question Analyzer to see the exact questions people are asking on Reddit, Quora and forums.

Question Analyzer example

That way, you can get a list of burning questions in your industry.

Yup, that’s pretty cool.

But that’s not the main reason I use the Question Analyzer.

I mainly use this feature to find long tail keywords.


Well, when someone asks a question on Reddit, it usually means they Googled it first… and came up empty.

In other words:

Lots of people are searching for that question… but the results stink!

So if you can create a piece of content that answers that exact question, you can get boatloads of traffic.

Here’s a real-life example:

Earlier this year I decided to update this post.

YouTube SEO – Old

So I added new screenshots, updated old content, and deleted outdated stuff:

YouTube SEO Guide – New stuff

I also realized that the title tag was leaving A LOT of traffic on the table.

You see, the old title tag was:

YouTube SEO – Old title

As you can probably guess, my target keyword for that page was: “YouTube SEO”.

And sure enough, my post ranked #1 in Google for that term:

YouTube SEO Guide – Old SERPs

But I also realized that I could get even MORE Google traffic to that page by including a long tail keyword in the title tag.

The question is:

What long tail keyword should I pick?

Well, back in the day, I would fire up the Google Keyword Planner and type “YouTube SEO” into it.

GKP search

But that would only give me super-similar variations of “YouTube SEO”.

GKP keyword ideas

(And as you can see, most of these variations have really low search volume)

Instead, I logged into BuzzSumo and typed “YouTube SEO” into the Question Analyzer:

Question Analyzer YouTube SEO

And I got a list of questions that people asked about that topic:

List of questions

One particular question stood out right away: “How to rank youtube videos?”:

My post answered that question. But it wasn’t optimized around that term.

So I added a shortened version of that long tail keyword to my title tag:

How to rank YouTube videos in title tag

And it quickly hit the #1 spot for that long tail keyword:

How to rank YouTube videos in SERPs

Which helped boost monthly organic traffic to that page by 23.49%.

YouTube SEO – Traffic

Not bad.

Hack Facebook’s News Feed With
Facebook Analyzer

There’s no doubt about it:

It’s harder than ever to get your Facebook posts to appear in your follower’s NewsFeeds.

But there’s a simple way to get around this problem: BuzzSumo’s Facebook Analyzer.

This tool shows you content that’s working right now on Facebook.

BuzzSumo Facebook Analyzer

That way, you can easily replicate unicorn posts that actually get organic reach.

For example…

Let’s say you run a Paleo diet blog.

You’d do a search for “Paleo”:

Paleo explore stories

And you’ll see the exact Paleo-related posts that got the most interactions over that time period.

Paleo posts with most interactions

Pro Tip: Set the date range for “Past 6 Months” or “Past Month”.

Adjust date range

By default, BuzzSumo shows you content from the past 24 hours, which is an extremely small timeframe. So it’s important to set those filters so you’re seeing content that’s done well over the last few months.

If you want to dig deeper, hit “Analyze Trends”:

Analyze trends

This will show you what the most successful Facebook posts have in common (in terms of format, length, publishing time, and more).

For example, in the Paleo diet space, videos CRUSH other post formats:

Post type for topic

You can also use this feature to analyze a specific Facebook page. That way, you can see what’s working for your direct competitors.

Facebook analysis

Get More Results From Your Content With
“Content Analysis”

So you’ve found a proven topic.


The question is: what do you actually write?

Well, no tool is going write a post for you.

(AI is good, but not that good… yet ????)

That said, BuzzSumo’s “Content Analysis” can help you write stuff that actually works.

I’ll show you how this works with an example…

A while back I was sitting down to write my mobile SEO guide.

Mobile SEO Guide

I already had an idea of how to structure and write the post.

But I used “Content Analysis” to make sure my content would actually work.

First, I looked at what content type worked best for this topic.

And sure enough, “How-to Articles” did best:

How-to articles did best

Which was PERFECT because I planned on writing a how-to guide.

I also noticed that longer content about mobile SEO performed best (in terms of social shares):

Longer content did best

I tend to publish long content anyway. But it was nice to get confirmation that longer content worked well for this particular topic.


Publishing content based on proven topics and formats already puts you ahead of 90% of your competitors.

But as you probably know, hitting the “publish” button is only the first step.

To get your content to the first page of Google in 2018, you need to actively promote it.

That’s where Chapter 2 comes into play…

Chapter 2:Find Influencers

Find influencers

You already know that a single share from an influencer can put your content on the map.

But how do you find them?

Well, BuzzSumo has some pretty nifty features that make finding your industry’s movers and shakers an absolute cinch.

And in this chapter I’ll show you exactly how to use them.

Find Influencers With a Keyword Search

This is by far the easiest way to find influential people in a specific niche.

Pop in a keyword… and get a list of peeps that write about that topic.

Find influencers

Note: BuzzSumo only searches Twitter bios. So if an influencer doesn’t use your search term in their Twitter bio, they won’t show up.

For example, if you search for “link building”, my Twitter profile won’t show up because I don’t have that term in my Twitter bio:

Link building search

That said, a keyword search is still a great way to start building an influencer list.

And once you’ve gone through the results, it’s time to…

Use “Search Content Shared” to Discover Influencers

At the end of the day, the goal of content promotion is to get someone to share YOUR content with THEIR audience.

That share can be in the form of a Facebook post. Or a link.

Either way, you need to get your content in front of people that are likely to share it.

And the best way to do that?

Use “Search Content Shared”.

Instead of searching through Twitter bios, this feature reveals people that have recently shared content on your topic.

(Which means they’re super likely to share your content too)

For example, a while back I was getting ready to publish this SEO case study on my blog:

White hat SEO case study

I knew this post had the potential to do REALLY well.

IF I could get it in front of the right people.

Here’s what I did…

First, I did a “Search Content Shared”. That way, I could get a list of people that had recently shared SEO and content marketing case studies.

SEO and content marketing sharers

And I sifted through the results to uncover people that were likely to actually share my post.

(Specifically, people that have a decent Twitter following… and write about SEO and content marketing)

And I easily found a bunch:

Good results

Then, I emailed each of them this message:

Outreach email

(As you can see, I made sure to personalize this email script for each person that I reached out to)

And when someone said they were interested in my post, I sent them a link:

Outreach reply

Because I wasn’t pushy, a good chunk of the people I reached out to happily read my post…

Outreach result

…and shared it:

Outreach sharing

Find The Top Authors In Your Industry

You can also use BuzzSumo to find the biggest and baddest authors in your industry.

Industry authors

So: what can you do with this information?

First, you get access to a list of the top bloggers and journalists that write about your topic.

Authors list

(Which is helpful for building your influencer list)

But the #1 benefit of this feature is that you see what influencers write about.




You get the idea 🙂

Why is this important?

If you want influencers to share your content, they need to actually like your content.

I know, I know: “thanks Captain Obvious!”.

But it’s true.

In fact, I get email pitches like this all the time:

Bad pitch email

There’s a ZERO percent chance I’ll share that content. Why?

Because I’ve never written about or shared anything about marketing for nonprofits.

On the other hand, check out this hilarious outreach email someone recently sent me:

Hilarious outreach email

Yup, this is a top-notch outreach email. But if Benyamin was pitching content on a topic I didn’t care about, I’d still hit “delete” without thinking twice.

Fortunately, the content he’s pitching (an actionable guide to lead magnets) is in my wheelhouse.

And that’s why I decided to share it.

Brian tweet

Chapter 3:Monitor Mentions (and Links)

Monitor mentions and links

In this chapter I’ll show you how to get the most out of BuzzSumo’s “Monitoring” feature.

In my opinion, this is THE most powerful feature on the entire platform.


And in this chapter you’ll learn how to use Monitoring to build strategic relationships, get more backlinks, and see what people are saying about you online.

Turn Unlinked Mentions Into Backlinks

Usually, when someone mentions you in a blog post, they link to you.


But there are times when someone mentions your brand… without linking to your site.

Here’s an example:

Unlinked mention

As it turns out, you can easily turn an unlinked mention into a backlink with a simple outreach email:

Unlinked mention outreach

The question is:

HOW do you find these unlinked mentions?

BuzzSumo Monitoring.

Just add a new “Brand Mention” for your brand:


And you’ll see forums, blogs and news sites that mention your brand.

Monitoring mentions

Results with a little link icon actually linked to you:


And results with “no link” mentioned your brand… without linking to you:

No link


Find Who Links To Your Competitors

Here’s the deal:

People that link to your competitors are VERY likely to link to you too.


You COULD find your competitor’s backlinks with a tool like Ahrefs.

(And that definitely works)

But there’s one problem with that approach:

It’s hard to find people that recently linked to your competition.

Instead, you end up sifting through thousands of links… many of which are 5+ years old.

Enter: Monitoring

With Monitoring, you see the exact sites that JUST linked to your competitors:

Monitoring recent links

It even shows you how many times that piece of content has been shared… and the Domain Authority of the site:

Monitoring share stats

Easy peasy.

Find Conversations About Your Brand

In my opinion, BuzzSumo has one of the best brand monitoring tools on the market.

And I should know.

I’ve tried em’ all.

And since I started tracking mentions with BuzzSumo in 2014…

Monitoring since 2014

…I’ve noticed that it finds more brand mentions than any other tool.

Note: I’m talking purely about mentions on news sites, blogs, Q&A sites (like Quora), and online communities. BuzzSumo doesn’t track mentions on social media platforms like Facebook.


Why is this helpful?

Well, whether you like it or not, people are gonna talk about you online.

And if you keep tabs on those conversations, you can see what people like (and don’t like) about your brand.

And if it makes sense, step in and participate in the conversation.

Brian stepping in on Reddit

Fortunately, in my case, conversations about me and Backlinko are mostly positive:

Reddit positive conversation

Mostly 🙂


Either way, it’s good to see what people are saying about me.

See Who Links To You

You can ask BuzzSumo to send you an email alert whenever you get a new backlink.

Email alerts

Or just review all of your new links once a day:

Review new links

(10x a day in my case ????)


What can you do with this information?

Build relationships with the people that linked to you

This is especially powerful for authors that write for multiple websites.

When you send them a quick “thank you!” message, they’re MUCH more likely to link to you in future articles.

For example, I noticed that I got a link from CrazyEgg a few days ago:

Link from CrazyEgg

And when I clicked on the author’s name in BuzzSumo, I noticed that he wrote for A LOT of different marketing and online business blogs:

Author other publications

So I sent David a quick note to say “thanks” for mentioning Backlinko in his post.

Thanks David email

To be clear:

I’m not being manipulative or shady.

Instead, I’m building a strategic relationship with someone that writes content in my niche.

Chapter 4:Cool BuzzSumo Features

Cool BuzzSumo features

In this chapter you’re going to learn about some of my favorite BuzzSumo features.

You’ll see exactly how to use BuzzSumo to create viral content, make better infographics and take your content promotion up a notch.

So without further ado, let’s dive right into Chapter 4.

Monitor When and Where Keywords Are Used Online

In chapter 3 I showed you how to use BuzzSumo Monitoring to track conversations of your brand online.

But what you may not know is that you can also use BuzzSumo to track mentions of KEYWORDS.

For example, I’ve been tracking the keyword “Skyscraper Technique” since 2015.

Skyscraper Technique monitoring

This report lets me know whether or not people are still talking about The Skyscraper Technique.

(Fortunately, they still are)

But you can also use this same feature to help get your content in front of people that are super likely to share it.

I’ll explain how this works with an example…

A few months ago I published this voice search SEO study.

Voice Search SEO study

This post did pretty well in terms of links…

Voice Search SEO backlinks

…but I know it has the potential to get even MORE links.

So I recently set up an alert for the keyword “voice search”.

Voice Search alert

That way, I can easily find people that write about voice search… and show them my study.

Create Better Infographics

There’s no doubt about it:

Creating an infographic that stands out in 2018 is HARD.

Fortunately, you can easily increase the odds that your infographic gets results.

Here’s how:

First, do a Most Shared search for your target keyword.

Most Shared search for "SEO"

Then, under “Content Type”, uncheck everything except “infographics”.

Content type filter

That way, you can see the handful of infographics that people actually shared.

Filtering results

In B2B? Use This Filter

If you’re in B2B you’ll quickly notice that certain BuzzSumo results are full of irrelevant stuff.

For example, it turns out that “Seo” is a common Vietnamese last name.

So when I search for “SEO” in BuzzSumo, the vast majority of results are from Vietnamese news sites:

This is not the SEO you're looking for

But when I check “Only B2B Publishers”…

B2B only

…I get a clean list of results:

Filtered results


Get a Higher ROI From Your Content With
“Evergreen Score”

It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of publishing evergreen content.

(In fact, I only publish something if it’s going to bring in traffic for years)

That said:

When you do a normal BuzzSumo search, the results are sorted by total shares:

Sorted by total shares

And you have NO idea whether those shares happened the day after the post went live…

…or months later.

Enter: The Evergreen Score.

The Evergreen Score shows you content that’s continued to generate shares and backlinks… after the initial buzz.

For example:

If you do a normal BuzzSumo search for “SEO”, my content doesn’t crack the top 20:

Not in top 20

As you can see, the results are dominated by huge brands, like HubSpot and Marketing Land:

Big brands

But watch what happens when you sort the results by Evergreen Score:

Sort by Evergreen score


My “SEO in 2018” guide has a high Evergreen Score because it’s still valuable MONTHS after it went live.

(Which means people continue to share and link to it)

So if you wanted to create a piece of evergreen content about SEO, my guide would be a good model to follow.

Chapter 5:New Case Studies

New case studies

In this chapter you’ll see four all-new BuzzSumo case studies.

Specifically, you’ll learn exactly how “normal” people used BuzzSumo to create viral content, build backlinks, improve their Google rankings, and more.

But first, let’s kick things off with a case study that completely blew my mind…

Case Study #1: How James Got Featured on Mashable, Cosmopolitan, MTV, The Daily Mail, And More

James Brockbank recently used BuzzSumo to get links and mentions on authority sites like Esquire, Glamour, MTV, Bustle and more:

James case study

It gets better:

These links helped James’ client rank on the first page of Google UK for terms like “women’s loungewear tracksuits”, “slogan jumpers”, and a whole host of others… just in time for Christmas season.

James SERPs

Overall, this single campaign boosted their search traffic by 87.9%:

James traffic increase

Here’s the full story…

James’ client is the fashion ecommerce site Missy Empire.

Missy Empire

According to James:

“Our client had been producing ‘style guides’ and other blog content but struggled to earn links.”

So he decided to try something new:

Create something that fashion blogs and news sites would WANT to share

So he used BuzzSumo’s domain search to uncover fashion content that got lots of shares.

James popular content

And James could sum up what he found in one word:


James also stumbled on a “Reality Superstar Rich List” from Forbes. This page listed the earnings of every Kardashian family member.

Reality superstar richlist

So James created a simple calculator that allows you to compare your earnings with the Kardashians.

You .vs. Kardashians

And the press absolutely LOVED this tool.

In fact, to date, this tool has links from over 130 blogs and news sites:

You .vs. Kardashians – Ahrefs


Case Study #2: How Matteo Got 190 Social Shares (And 64 New Backlinks) to a Brand New Blog

Last year Matteo Gasparello had a problem…

You see, Matteo just launched a brand new digital marketing blog.

Strategico site

And Matteo knew that, for his blog to stand out, he’d need to publish a piece of EPIC content.

The problem was:

What kind of content should he publish? A list post? A tutorial? How about a case study?

So he fired up BuzzSumo.

And he searched for terms like “video marketing”, “Facebook video ads” and “video advertising”:

Matteo search

Matteo quickly noticed that these 4 posts did REALLY well:

Successful posts

So he incorporated what he liked from those 4 posts into a new guide: Online Video Advertising: All You Need to Know in 2018.

Matteo guide

Considering Matteo’s blog was brand new, he knew that he couldn’t just “publish and pray”.

So he used BuzzSumo to find people that had shared content about video ads in the past:

Matteo's BuzzSumo search

As Matteo put it:

“Now it was only a matter of browsing through the results and contacting people that were really interested in video ads.”

And he reached out to those folks with a personalized (and non-pushy) email:

Matteo outreach email

Because Matteo’s outreach emails were targeted AND respectful, he got lots replies like this…

Matteo outreach response

…and this.

Matteo outreach response

And once Matteo started sending his excellent guide to people that were interested, the shares and links started to pour in:

Matteo results

To date, Matteo’s post has racked up:

  • 64 backlinks
  • 2200 page views
  • 120 new email subscribers

Not bad.

Case Study #3: How Neil Sheth Ranked His Client on the 1st Page of Google

Neil Sheth runs a digital marketing agency in London called Only Way Online.

A few months back Neil ran into a tough situation:

His client runs a helicopter rental business.

Neil client

And like most SEO clients, Neil’s client wanted to rank for keywords that their customers search for.

The problem was:

NO ONE wants to read content like: “5 Tips for Renting a Helicopter” or “Renting a Helicopter: The Ultimate Guide”.

Which meant: he had to get creative.

Neil knew that lots of his client’s customers rented helicopters for their weddings.

So he decided to create a piece of content about planning a wedding.

Next, Neil used BuzzSumo to figure out what specific content formats performed best:

Neil BuzzSumo search

And he noticed something:

Most list posts (like “5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding”) didn’t get shared or linked to much…

…but comprehensive guides did REALLY well.

Here’s an example:

BuzzSumo content example

So Neil set out to create the best darn wedding planning guide on the planet.

The result? The Ultimate 12-Month Wedding Planner.

Neil client guide

Because this guide provides so much practical value, it’s received a handful of backlinks from niche-related wedding blogs:

Neil client backlink

No surprise: those links resulted in a spike in organic traffic for the entire site:

Neil client traffic spike

Those links also helped Neil’s client grab a first page ranking for a keyword that brings in several new leads every month: “helicopter proposal London”:

Neil client SERPs

Case Study #4: How Andrew Holland Published a Piece of Viral Content That Generated 261,457 Visits

A while back Andrew Holland set a goal for himself:

Create a piece of content for his self-defense blog that would go viral.

Easier said than done, right?

Rather than relying on pure luck, Andrew used BuzzSumo to see what types of content (and headlines) got the most shares in the martial arts world.

Andrew Holland BuzzSumo search

And Andrew saw that “best of” lists tended to do REALLY well.

So Andrew got cracking on a list of the best martial arts for self-defense.

That ultimately resulted in: The 10 Best Martial Arts for Self Defence.

Andrew guide result

As you might expect, Andrew’s post was controversial.

Which meant:

People that loved Andrew’s content? They shared it.

And people that hated Andrew’s content? They shared it too!

These shares led to a massive spike in traffic:

Andrew traffic spike

(And 261,457 visits to date)

Andrew visits

Then, Andrew did something interesting…

Because most of his shares came from Facebook, Andrew turned his post into a Facebook video.

Andrew Facebook video

That video resulted in 174,000 views and over 1200 shares.

Chapter 6:Advanced Tips & Strategies

Advanced tips and strategies

Basics? Check.

Case studies? Check.

Now it’s time to dive into advanced BuzzSumo tips, strategies and tactics that you can use to hire freelance writers, find awesome keyword ideas, and more.

Let’s do this.

Find (Quality) Freelance Writers

Finding a freelance writer is easy.

But finding a GOOD freelance writer?

That’s another story.

Fortunately, you can use BuzzSumo to find writers that actually know what they’re doing.

Here’s how:

First, search for your topic in BuzzSumo:

Search for topic in BuzzSumo

Then, keep an eye out for writers that tend to get lots of shares on their stuff.


Most of these writers are going to be big names… not freelancers:

Big names

But if you dig deep, you can find freelancers that know how to write kick butt content in your niche:

Good writer

Pro Tip: Click on the author’s name in the search results… and you can see everything they’ve published:

Jeremy other articles

Create Targeted Content With “Search by Subreddit”

Does your target audience hang out on a particular Subreddit?

If so, BuzzSumo can show you the EXACT questions those folks ask.

(And the topics they’re most interested in)

Let me show you how this works with a real life example:

My content is designed to help professional marketers get higher rankings and more traffic.

So even though there is a r/SEO subreddit…


…it’s full of newbs.

Instead, my target audience tends to hang out on r/bigSEO.


And, using BuzzSumo, I can EASILY see the exact topics members of that subreddit are most interested in.

Here’s how:

First, I head over to BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer. But instead of typing in a keyword, I hit “Search By Subreddit”.

Question Analyzer Subreddit

And BuzzSumo hooks me up with a list of topics that members of this subreddit tend to discuss most:

BuzzSumo topic results


Find Keyword Ideas With BuzzSumo Suggest

This couldn’t be simpler:

Just type a keyword into BuzzSumo search…

…and see what they suggest to you:

BuzzSumo suggest

What’s even cooler is that you can search for “Keyword A”, “Keyword B” etc. to get even MORE keyword ideas:

BuzzSumo suggest more

Track Marketing Reach (and Backlinks)

Are MORE people talking about your brand this month?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

That is, unless you track mentions and links with BuzzSumo.

When you set up mention monitoring, you can see how mentions and links change over time.

BuzzSumo monitoring

If you notice that more people are talking about you (in a good way), that’s a sign that your marketing is working.

If not… it might be time to change things up.

Find Awesome Interview Opportunities

Interviews are one of my FAVORITE ways to get targeted traffic (and links).

The only problem is:

It’s REALLY hard to find high-quality interview opportunities.

Fortunately, BuzzSumo makes this process a cinch.

Here’s how to do it:

First, find someone in your niche that tends to get interviewed a lot.

(I’ll use my friend Noah Kagan in this example)

Then, type his or her name into BuzzSumo search:

Noah BuzzSumo search


Well, unless someone is REALLY popular, they’ll only show up in BuzzSumo’s results if they’ve been interviewed.

For example:

When I search for “Noah Kagan” in BuzzSumo, 18 out of the 20 results are places he’s been interviewed.

Noah interview locations

Very cool.

Now It's Your Turn

Your turn

So those are my best tips, strategies and secrets for getting the most out of BuzzSumo.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which strategy from this guide are you going to try first?

Are you going to use BuzzSumo to find a writer? Or maybe you want to start tracking brand mentions.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

  1. I haven’t even started reading it properly yet and I already know it’s on fire.

    Thanks Brian, you are the man!

  2. Hi Brain,
    Honestly, this is Amazing.

    I have been using BuzzSumo for a long time but never discovered this much in depth. I am glad you have shown most of us the amazing insight of this secret tool for finding the best content ideas out there.

    Simply amazing sir. It’s always a treat reading your new guides and posts.

    Thanks for being with us.
    Keep up the great work.

    1. You’re welcome, Kaavish. I’ve also been using BuzzSumo for a while (pretty much since it came out). And over the years I’ve picked up a few tips that have helped me get the most out of it. So I decided to share them in today’s guide.

      1. Yes, they are really helpful. In fact, your tips are showing me the further ways to explore the unique stuff can’t thank you enough.

        Oh BTW, love the graphics. a huge clap for your design department.

  3. Hey Brian,
    Thank you so much for this amazing guide. I have a quick question. I use ahrefs since 2016. Is it a good idea to switch to BuzzSumo? Your guide me think about it. Thank you!
    Qasim Khilji
    Phoenix, Arizona

    1. You’re welcome. It really depends. Ahrefs is more for keyword research, backlink analysis and other SEO-focused tasks. BuzzSumo is more content-focused. I personally use both but it depends on what your goals are right now.

  4. Wow – how comprehensive and thorough guide! I just published a new article last night & will definitely use some of your tips from this article to rank higher. Thanks Brian!

  5. Awesome Post Brian! Buzzsumo is an awesome tool for finding the popular content topics. But the problem is many don’t know how to use it right. Even many times I get confuse which topics should I choose.

    However, there are still some amazing content discovery tools that we can use to find the trending topics. I have mentioned some of them here: and would like to know your thoughts about them.

    Anyway thanks for sharing this amazing post.


    1. I’ve tried a few competitors. There are some good ones out there (Ahrefs, for example, has some solid content features).

      1. Yes, Ahrefs has added some cool features and their content explorer is cool. Moreover, you can find who is ranking for the particular topics, therefore, you can create better content than your competitor to outrank them.

  6. Always enjoy your content. This is just loaded with goodies. Looking forward to diving into the meat of this when me and my team get the time. Thanks for the good info and keep up the good work, Brian!

    1. You’re welcome, Ben. I tried to pack this guide with lots of little actionable tips (aka goodies) that I picked up over the years. Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Hey Brian,

    This is AWESOME, thanks for putting so much detail into this! I really found Buzzsumo a bit of a black hole so it’s great to see how you use it.

    That being said… I know you use Ahrefs too – any thoughts on their new content explorer? It seems to do a lot more than Buzzsumo in terms of SEO and although it doesn’t do questions at all (yet…) you can get it to mimic the functionality of Buzzsumo’s FB analyzer by sorting by FB shares. Although it doesn’t necessarily do some of the content analysis stuff (type of content that performs best, etc.) I guess the question is if you think the same opportunities are findable through Ahrefs.

    Would be great to hear any thoughts you might have – can only afford so many tools 😛

    Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome.

      Aherf’s Content Explorer is solid. But like you said, it’s not as feature-rich as BuzzSumo. I hear you: Ahrefs and BuzzSumo together aren’t super cheap. At the end of the day, it’s whatever system/tool works best for you. And it sounds like you figured out how to get the most out of Content Explorer.

  8. I have never tried to get influencer sharing my content! Reading your post, I got a positive feeling I should try it. Guess, I will try that as soon as I can!

  9. Awesome post Brian !!
    I loved the in depth details that you gave !
    I have a question
    can we use buzzsumo for youtube seo ?
    can it help reaching international audience for youtube videos ?

    1. Abhay, good question. BuzzSumo does have some video-focused features, but it’s not great for analyzing YouTube videos. For that I’d check out VidIQ.

  10. Hey Brian

    I just read this in one go – I’ve never really dug deep with BuzzSumo before but I’m definitely going to revisit it after this. I’m thinking a combination of Ahrefs and this would be immense together – and all you really need.

    It’s also great to see an example from Andrew Holland in here. He really knows his stuff and is always very positive and helpful in the SEO That Works FB Group – and those are some massive results he’s been getting.

    There’s just one thing I’m unsure on though – when using the Question Analyser, how did you know your long-tail keyword addition of ‘how to rank youtube videos’ would get a lot of organic traffic – just by virtue of being there – e.g. 45 people were asking questions related to it so that was a good enough gauge?

    Anyway – epic post as usual 🙂

    Many thanks


    1. That’s great to hear, Loz. It must be pretty good if someone can read it in one sitting!

      And yes, I was very happy to feature Andrew in the guide. He’s legit.

      Good question. I did confirm that this long tail add-on got decent search volume using SEMRush before using it.

  11. Hey Brian,

    Can you please write a post on Local SEO.

    Also, how to rank service pages in Google and especially how to build backlinks to these services pages.

    Any tips?

  12. Oh My Gosh, if ANYone EVER had a doubt about BuzzSumo and how to use its rich set of features, those doubts would be totally obliterated now! Absolutely epic stuff, Brian.

  13. I almost deleted this e-mail… thank god I didn’t. This is one of the best things I have read on the internet 😱

  14. I feel so honored to be part of this guide. Thanks for having me, Brian!

    Also, great tip on chapter 5 to find freelance writers. This is something I’m struggling a bit lately, and this advice will really come in handy.


  15. I’m with you Brian. As a long time users. I’ve used some of the tricks you mention, mostly for content creation for myself and my clients. But haven’t been use for reachout and link building opportunity. Thanks

  16. Hey Brian,
    Complete SEO & Digital Marketing industry is well acquainted with the fact “YOU’RE GREAT.”
    What disappointed me today morning (it’s 07:00 AM in India) is this BLOODY THREAD on Reddit- www(.)reddit(.)com/r/SEO/comments/5dh1ej/seo_that_works_20_used_fake_testimonials_and.

    Bad thought about this thread: How much your competitors would have paid him to create this shit? (just thinking)
    Good thought about this thread: Thanks for knowledge & trust I’ve gained from you that I quickly identified that above thread is “FAKE or PAID”

    Anyways, buzzsumo is a must-have tool. Indeed a definitive guide. Keep updating us.
    Reyansh Kumar.

  17. Again, Brian Dean is launched his Giant guide on BUZZSUMO. The right way to build your influencer list and grow your business with natural formula “sharing is caring”
    Thanks Brian😄

  18. Brian Dean, First of all, thanks for your hard work. I still just check how much longer this content is so I would schedule my time to go for that great buzzsumo guide.
    I am searching yesterday for new keywords via ahref but now I would love to read this guide before writing any further articles.

    Keep up the good work and God Bless you:)

    1. You’re welcome, Atay. I recommend using BuzzSumo to find ideas. Then confirming that people actually search for them in Ahrefs. It’s a powerful 1-2 punch

  19. Awesome guide Brian. I love the quality of all your posts. Do you think BuzzSumo is an ultimate content marketing tool, or can Ahrefs and SemRush also be used with their new features?

    I think of Ahrefs Content Gap etc.

    1. Good question, Jacob. I actually use all 3 of those tools pretty much every day because they all complement one another. BuzzSumo is great, but it’s not made to do things that Ahrefs can do (like link analysis) or SEMRush (like keyword research).

  20. Hi Brian,

    Till the time before reading this article from my inbox, I knew Buzzsumo as for finding content ideas. But after reading entire article, I am really surprised that Buzzsumo can be used like this. Thanks for sharing. It’s a worth read epic article.

    1. Finding content ideas is definitely BuzzSumo’s main feature. But over the years they’ve added some cool features that are actually pretty darn useful

  21. OMG Brian! You never cease to amaze me with your super actionable posts.

    Really Brian, thank you for existing in this world of digital marketing.

    This was another awesome read.

  22. Hey Brian,

    Last week I recommended one of my friend to read your guides and seo posts. Before he was struggling a lot to rank his post. But when he read yours he instatntly bost his traffic to more than 64%.
    Also read your Buzzsumo post, I specially liked the examples which you gave of other people.


    1. 64? That’s legit!

      I’m trying to include more examples of people not in the tech/SEO/marketing industry. So I thought it would be cool to feature people in completely different niches in this guide.

    1. Hey Sattvic. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve also been active on LinkedIn lately so we might add that button in the future.

    1. Hi Joel, you should try some visual page builders on WordPress. They will alow you to make stunning design (but I think Brian’s blog is the coolest and cleanest one I’ve read. Love it)

  23. It’s amazing, Brian!

    I don’t know why the top bloggers don’t prefer Google Alert instead of Buzzsumo keyword alert or Ahrefs keyword alert.

    It’s free and fast because of Google crawling and indexing speed.

  24. Hello Brian,

    Awesome post, one of the most detailed guides about SEO tricks I’ve read so far. However, you forgot to mention in the post an important thing, most of the tools you have described are available only in a paid version of BuzzSumo, and in my opinion, prices for their premium packages are too high for average users.

    But besides that, still great text, full of useful tips and phenomenal real life examples, thank you for your work and for sharing all of this gold worth tips and information’s.


  25. Hi,
    Great tool without a doubt, however, the starter pack is still too expensive for a solo blogger trying to make it in the big world…! Any chance of cheaper starter packages in the future?

  26. Thank you Brian
    Epic as usual.
    A tremendous guide, from a ton of
    hard work. Very much appreciated.
    All the Best

  27. Brian THANK YOU. You have taken something most find overly complex and made it easy to understand – a truly great accomplishment. My favorite component is how to turn mentions into backlinks. Genius.

  28. Content marketing and SEO can be a killer combination, but it seriously takes some pinpointed steps to make sure your content is original, relevant and optimized so that it ends up on top. Having access to buzzsumo doesn’t mean that you actually know how to use it to its fullest extent. Buzzsumo is a unique collection of data specifically built to benefit marketers, but it still the takes creativity of the marketer to use the tool well. I learned a TON I didn’t know about how to do that from reading this guide. Thanks a ton!

  29. Wow, I really loved the concept of using Buzzsumo to make contents perform amazingly well. Thanks for the awesome guide Brian.

    I just have one question on my mind. For making rich contents I prefer Client-side rendering(CSR) rather than server-side rendering(SSR) as it makes loading for the first byte really well.

    But I read that CSR is not SEO-friendly. What’s your opinion on this Brian?

  30. Thanks for writing this comprehensive guide for Buzzsumo, been having an account idle for some time, time to explore it again! Hope to see more article about content marketing from you 😀

  31. One more thing is important other than seo. When i read this complete blog post, it feels someone is explaining me with all details. I didn’t feel that i’m reading a blog post and it feels like someone is talking.

    I like this style of writing a content, very conversational type. This will help me lot. Now i will be following you on linkedin to get latest updates about the blog.

    Also, i will try buzzsumo for 7 days trial.

    1. Thanks Mrunal. SEO and content can be dry topics. So I try to write about them in a way that’s somewhat entertaining 🙂

    1. 🙂

      I spent some time in Vietnam but never noticed “Seo” as a popular name while I was there. But I guess it’s a common name.

  32. Hey,

    I hope you don’t mind me posting a slightly off topic commment – but this is the no 1 obvious problem that is driving me crazy,
    and I suspect there are tons of people who have the same issue.

    Hopefully if you reply it will help others too.

    At what point do you give away too much free content?

    I run a site (just relaunched) about helping men to acheive dating success.

    I have 2 products, a 408 page book and a 5 hour video course.

    I could write literally millions of words about getting more dating sucess but I am concerned that I would give away the farm in doing so.

    If I write / podcast extensively with the level of detail that seems to be required nowadays to rank in Google, I’d end up giving away everything that I actually want my customers to pay for.

    I’m about to release post a 10,000 word article about the 20 best cities in the world for single men. It only lightly touches upon the actual HOW to attract women.

    But it’s not easy to skirt around the subjects, so to speak.

    Apologies for the off topic comment but I don’t want to reply to your newsletter with a demanding email. If there’s a simple way around it I’d love to know! I’m happy to write reams of content and make videos but at the end of the day I do want to get paid.

    PS Your site is amazing. I have gained a ton of value from reading your stuff, alongside Neil Patel and Matthew Woodward. Thankyou!!!

    PPS I really don’t like the idea of monetising with adsense or dodgy “grow your member” products!

    1. Steve, my take is: create a product that includes your absolute best material. And never share that stuff publicly. Then, do what you’re doing: create helpful content that doesn’t overlap with what’s in your paid products.

  33. Finally, I’m done reading the whole post. It takes time when you’ve to follow along 😉
    Well, I was using Buzzsumo but not making the best possible use of it. But now I’ve got some real powers in hand 🙂
    Brian, every post you crafts are awesome worth sharing. Case studies you talk about are really enjoyable and motivates forward.
    Shared it via @AirAkshar and hope you have a good day ahead.
    Thanks, Brian!

  34. Hello! Brian
    I always use Buzzsumo that is my favourite tool which helps me in content development and finding influencers.
    You are one of them.
    Thanks! for sharing
    Binod Jha

  35. Brian, the content is indeed very informative. However, I’d love to know what is the duration you kept when you performed the search under “Filter by Date”.

  36. Fantastic stuff. I am in the process of creating a blogging website and this guide will be very helpful.

    Thank you, Brian.
    Akwasi Afriyie

  37. Half way through the post I was sure that I had to start using Buzzsumo. Thanks for the practical examples and case studies. Couldn’t have been more convincing. I’m going to start off by using the “find interview opportunities” technique.

  38. First of all Lots of Love from India. Liked your buzz sumo guides very much. This tool shows the most shared content of a website on social media. But will it show the most viewed/popular pages of a website? If not, then which tool you recommend for this.

  39. I really appreciate the post. I’ve been hearing about BuzzSumo for a while now. If I can be honest, I didn’t understand how it would help my blog at first, but now I’m starting to get the gist of it for content development. Another brilliant guide!

  40. I Google’d “Buzzsumo affiliate” after reading this article just to see if you were commissioned to write this 😛

    What an amazing guide, did Buzzsumo give you any stats on what their lift in signups were after this guide?

  41. I just read the post, and I think I’ll have to give it a few more readings, too much information to debug in a short time.

    Thank you very much for contributing so much interesting content to the online marketing sector.

  42. Great Article, however on the downside not everybody has a subscription and therefore wont be able to get these search results.
    I also have a question; I am using SEM rush for my onpage SEO and was wondering how long (like how many days or weeks) would you recommend to wait for adjustments to reflect in the google search console.
    The reason why I ask is because I noticed that when I first apply changes like on page or meta tags usually my ranking first drops and then bounces back within a few days. I am aware that my actions are probably faster then googles indexing. So, what is a good time frame.

    1. That’s true, Juergen. If you can swing it, I recommend trying a subscription for a month. To answer your question: it can take 7-ish days depending on the change.

  43. Hey Brian,

    As always, the article is awesome.

    Just saw a typo in the article: “Online Video Advertising: All Your Need to Know in 2018.” I believe it’s “you” and not “your”.

    Keep up the great work!

  44. Hello Brian,
    I love this post, apart from how informative it was, I loved your use of infographics. This is actually the first post I’m reading on your blog but I absolutely loved it, the details, conversational style, etc. I hope to write like this someday.
    Okay enough gushing and an actual comment on the blog post. I’ve been using Google keywords planner all this while and it’s not really getting me a lot of results because as you said, it doesn’t really generate long tail keywords. Now, that I understand how useful Buzzsumo can be, I’m going to try it out.
    Thank you for this post.

  45. Hey Brian,
    The Guide is awesome

    I’ve just created the list of influencers who can share my post but I’m unable to find there emails

    I just want to know how you find there emails from twitter?

  46. Hey Brian

    Another great post. I think Buzzsumo and Ahrefs are some of the strongest picks when it comes to content marketing and SEO.

    1 quick question, do you have time to create all this content all on your own, or do you get some help from a content creation team/ writer?

    Cheers, and keep up the good work.


  47. I remember back when Buzzsumo was first launched. I thought that it was just another shiny product that is just not going to get any further development.

    Fast forward 2 years, and I use it almost on a daily basis to come with new content ideas for my clients. Buzzsumo, SEMrush, and Ahrefs are one of the top tools that I use on a daily basis to deliver results for my clients.

    And with this new blog post, you have opened my eyes to a completely new way of finding more content. Thanks for what you do.


    1. You’re welcome, Nabil. I’m also impressed with all the features that BuzzSumo has added over the years. It’s really gone from a tool from a complete software suite.

  48. Brian,
    This guide was absolutely amazing. I found multiple chapters interesting for me, like how to find great performing content and which content types are generating traffic & links. Also, the Case Studies were a very interesting read, they show how things can be done right. The guide is very practical, no nonsense. Pure value. Thank you for putting your time and effort into this.

  49. Amazing post, Brian but I think you are the content marketing tool, who can create amazing and interesting content, that Audience can,t rid away without reading.

    “Means” I learn lots of blogs related to this topic but never stay in touch with any content but whenever I type any keyword on the search result and found your blog content. I feel happy that I have found what I want.

    Happy to see you with your next content with your new idea and strategy and good to see your video content in 2019.

  50. Hey Brian, epic content as usual! Thanks for taking the time to produce it.

    Quick question – to take advantage of most of the tactics you describe here, the mid-level Buzz Sumo plan is needed, which is pretty costly.

    I’m already an ahrefs subscriber (as I imagine you are too), which is priced similarly – how much of Buzz Sumo’s features are overlapped by Ahrefs? i.e. do I really need them both, or can I do the tactics listed above using just Ahrefs?

    Sorry, that was two questions… :p

    PS. You should check out my site if you like photography/camera gear!

  51. This guide was super insightful and eye-opening for me! I read this entire thing just today. I’m excited make the best of BuzzSumo.

    Thank you, Brian.


  52. Awesome guide Brian – time and time again we come back to this when working on our content strategy (or creating new strategies)

    Love it!

  53. What a brilliant article, Brian! It brings me the huge value in creating content. But I still wonder how can I contact influencers to ask them to share my article on their Twitter account? How could you find their emails? I don’t want to use my twitter account to send them a message as I don’t use Twitter much, so that might make the influencers feel I’m not reliable.
    Once again, thanks so much for your article, Brian!

  54. Brian, your Buzzsumo guide provides awesome insights and examples on how best to use it.

    This will save a ton of time in researching content and promotion ideas. Thanks for sharing

  55. I never knew this tool was that powerful!

    I was almost lost in the keyword research section of your guide. Having a hunch to try it out. I better start using this tool to generate content ideas for my blog.

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