Topsy: A Great Tool for Developing Content

Topsy is a search engine that is powered by tweets, and it might be one of the most valuable tools around for anyone looking to join existing conversations.  Furthermore, those with a little bit of know-how can leverage Topsy to create new ideas for posts that will stand a significantly larger chance of being tweeted, re-tweeted, and passed around the Internet.  There is nothing like a little social media love to drive new traffic to a site, but how can this be done using Topsy?  Actually, there are a few different approaches.

A long journey to using tweets for content

Approach Number One: Join Existing Conversations

Topsy is a great tool for browsing through existing tweets and seeing what is hot.  It is possible to plug in to what is going on in an existing community and giving people what they want.  For example, if one were to look up the tweets on upcoming automobiles, they could get some great ideas about what is popular based on existing tweets.  All one would need to do is produce content that either revolved around upcoming automobiles or connected whatever one currently blogs about to the next generation automobiles.

For example, if Jeep is about to release a new generation of the brand’s iconic Wrangler, one has two choices: blog about the new Wrangler and hope for some traffic, or blog about how their existing content can be linked to the new Wrangler.  If one blogs about outdoor sports or hiking, then there is an obvious match and connection to be made by talking about the new Wrangler and how it will be all the better with some cool new hiking or camping gear.  The only problem with this approach is that one could end up being a ‘me too!’ blogger and might not get a lot of traffic.

Approach Number Two: Discover What is Missing/Form a Niche

In our previous example with the Wrangler, it might be interesting to see what is NOT being tweeted about using Topsy.  This can be connected directly to one’s blog in certain situations, with certain blog themes working better than others.  A blog that focuses on the environment, and green products by extension, can connect these products easily to the Wrangler by starting a new review that focuses heavily on the green aspects of the newest Jeep.

In short, look for niches that are not being addressed properly and exploit them.  In some cases, the link between such content and a site does not need to be exceptionally strong.  The degree of connection to the content and focus of a site primarily revolves around the way a site it set up to make money.  If the site makes money selling advertising space, then a tenuous connection might be acceptable.  If the site sells its own goods, then a stronger connection might be necessary.

Approach Number Three: Create a New Line of Conversation

It might be that there are opportunities to form more than a niche, but an entirely new line of discussion.  If there are people with very polarized views on a subject, then trying taking the position of the devil’s advocate in the form of content.  Is it possible that there are people who get tweets but do not retweet simply because they do not agree?  If so, give them content to agree with and tweets to match.  This might require a thick skin, but going against the tide usually does.

Using Topsy is Simple

Topsy works just like a traditional search engine, and that makes it extremely easy to use.  Simply visit, enter a search term, and see the results.  Monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly results may all be available, and it is possible to compare web results with tweets to see where openings exist.

Written by Nick Reese

Nick Reese is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who believes anyone can transform their business and life they they've got guts and hustle. He's also the co-founder of Broadband Now which aims to simplify the broadband shopping process.



  • I have always figured Topsy to be an unwanted spammer. For some reason it creates a trackback to each of my blog posts that I have set up to get tweeted automatically.

    This means that the blog post will get a trackback to my own tweet that sends traffic back to the blog post with the spammy trackback. Very annoying!

    • Nick Reese says:

      Yea, I’m definitely not a fan of the way they handle trackbacks, I never approve them as they are pretty much spam. However, I have found Topsy incredibly useful for for brainstorming.