One way to stay ahead of the competition is to set up a listening station to keep aware of what’s happening in your niche. There’s a few reasons why it’s helpful to do something like this:
- Be aware when someone mentions your product/company – being aware of and ready to respond when someone mentions your product/company is essential. It’s basic reputation management. You can quickly connect and build relationships with people who are saying positive things about you and your product and/or you can respond quickly and clarify any issues that might be brought up in a negative light.
- Stay on top of breaking news – ever notice how some people are infamous for announcing breaking news? Well, by setting up alerts, you can be too. If you’re a real estate blogger, this is particularly relevant. Staying on top of breaking news stories is a great way to make your blog stand out above the rest and keep readers wanting to come back to stay on top of the next story.
- Get ideas for new blog posts – getting notified on what’s going on in and around your niche is bound to inspire some fresh new content. Most people find it difficult to come up with something to write about (let alone, write daily). But staying on top of what’s going on in your niche is bound to spark (at least) an idea or two.
Set up a variety of Alerts for your blog. There are a lot of professional (paid) services that can do this for you but for now, let’s stick to the basics with: Google Alerts. Google Alerts will show you any mention of keywords in news sources on blogs, in videos and anywhere else on the web. Once you set up your alerts, you can choose to have them sent to you via email or via your RSS Feed.
What type of alerts should I set up?
- Industry Words (keyword phrases) – If you write about Pasadena real estate, then you might set up an alert for “Pasadena Real Estate” or “Homes for Sale in Pasadena”. The key is to find keywords that are relevant to your specific niche. You want to get notified when someone writes something (or when a story breaks) in that particular niche).
- Vanity Alerts – These types of alerts are specifically targeted/relevant to you. They include things like: your name, your blog’s name, your company name, your product’s name, etc.
Once you’ve set up these alerts, you want to set a time for how often you get notified (warning: don’t overwhelm yourself with results). I have my vanity alerts set to daily. Then, once you’ve set up your alerts, your primary objective is:1.) use them as an opportunity to develop new post ideas, 2.) be responsive when someone writes about your or your company.
What kind of things (keyword phrases) are you monitoring?