How To Get More Authority, More Shares And Higher Rankings With Skyscraper Content

You just published a blog post on your website, it was hard work.

It took research, planning and a lot of eye strain, and as you hit the publish button. You feel a certain weight lift off your chest.

This is it you think. This content is just too good to be denied.

Then you wait a couple of hours. No comments. No shares.

You’re a bit disappointed, but then you think a few hours is probably too little time.

You wait a day, three days, then a week. Still nothing.

You’re angry, disappointed and not for the first time you think of shutting down your blog for good. Hang the old blogging hat and get back to reality. Blogging is worthless you say.

If you’ve ever felt this way, and you probably have if you’ve read this far, then what you need my friend is skyscraper content.

I won’t lie to you, it’s going to be work, probably more work than you ever thought you’d do on your blog. It’ll require research, hours of your time, and maybe a mild headache.

But the payoff?

More shares. More backlinks. More authority. More love.

Is everything a blogger can wish for.

In this post, you’ll learn the benefits of skyscraper content and I’m going to give you an easy, step by step guide to creating it and finally getting your blog the attention it deserves especially if you’re a newbie blogger.

This is going to be detailed so you might want to save it as a PDF by clicking the button below.

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What is skyscraper content

Skyscraper content is the best content on a particular topic in your niche.

Brian Dean of Backlinko who coined the term describes it perfectly.

“What you’re doing here is finding the tallest skyscraper in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.”

No one can avoid gazing at the tallest building in the world. It’s bigger and more majestic than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s something you tell your friends about, it’s something even large publications write news reports on. Everyone talks about it.

Now take all that and apply it to content marketing.

Skyscraper content is simply the best, most detailed and most engaging content covering a particular topic in your niche. It has to be the best on the web.

Why? Because no one ever says “Wow that’s the 250th tallest building in the world?”

Not unless you’re the architect, you wouldn’t care. 250th isn’t impressive.

Brian gives an excellent case study on how skyscraper content raised his visitors by 110% in 14 days.

How did he do it?

He simply found a high performing topic in his niche which is Search engine optimization.

Topic: Top Google ranking factors

Discovered how he could make better content than anyone else. Improved design, more detail, more research etc.

And then he made something better.

Google’s 200 ranking factors: The complete list

Yes, he shot that far. No one else had anything even close to what he was offering, and as he describes it. It was near impossible to create. In return, he saw a 110% increase in traffic within 14 days of publishing, more than 300,000 referral visitors.

That’s huge.

Are you sold on the benefits of skyscraper content yet? I bet you are.

How to Create Skyscraper Content

You now know skyscraper content can add rocket fuel to your content marketing engine, so how do you put it into action and reap all the delicious rewards?

Tools you’ll need:

  • Moz open site explorer
  • Buzzsumo
  • A fresh pot of coffee – ideal
  • Thinking cap

The 3 steps to creating EPIC skyscraper content

  1. Find popular content in your niche:

It would be an absolute waste if you created the best material on something only to discover no one

cares about it. To avoid tears and regret, a bit of research is needed.

There are two ways you can find popular content in your niche.

Using the Moz Open site explorer

The free plan gives you a couple of search results before you have to upgrade.

  • Search for topics specific to your niche on Google i.e. Home cleaning tips if your niche is home management.
  • Pick the top four results presented

skyscraper content

  • Input the domain name of the website in the search field and click top pages

get more blog traffic

You’ll be presented with a list of articles and the number of websites linking to it.

The higher number of inbound links, which are websites linking to the article, the more popular it is and the more benefit we can gain from making something better.

Using Buzzsumo

This social media tool allows you to find the most shared content on a particular topic.

All you have to do is input search terms in your niche, again we’ll use home cleaning tips.

And Buzzsumo will provide a list of the most shared content for that term.

buzzsumo headlines

Find popular content that matches your websites niche.

Remember the key is searching for popular content you can beat. And you can tell a topic is popular by

the number of comments, shares, and websites linking to it.

Once you’ve seen a bunch of popular content, make your pick.

Simply select the one you can beat.

Hang in there, this is where the real work begins, just think about the visitors and shares you’ll get after this publishes.

1. Making Your Skyscraper content

You’ve found the most popular topics in your niche. These are awesome because they represent your audiences most burning desires.

Now that you know what they want, how can you make your content better than everything else out there? Not just minutely better. No one cares if your skyscraper is just 1-inch taller, they need you to overshadow it with value.

There’s no way around this. It has to be the best. No one wants to link to the 123rd best post or the 30th. It needs to be the best. Period.

How to make your content the best

Once you’ve picked a popular post you know you can outshine, all you have to do is improve it. Here’s are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Offer more detail:

Does your competition’s most popular post feature a measly 15 tips on improving lawn care?

Then trim them down with 50 tips on improving lawn care. And I don’t mean for you to create thin dry content.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  5 Simple Steps to Create "Great Content" that You Hear About All Day Long

Give them detail. Add some flesh to the bones, make other bloggers in your niche say WOW.

Like these guys.

seo skyscraper technique

  1. Interviewing Influencers:

Sometimes bigger isn’t what you need. You need more influence.

Can you get an exclusive quote from a top influencer in your niche?

Pack more BOOM with your content by getting advice from one or multiple influencers. It’ll take a lot of work to make this happen and that’s what makes your content unique. It’s also why it’s great advice to build a network of influencers early on.

When you can get quotes from influencers, you not only get them to share your work. You’re infinitely more likely to get more people to share and even get links from the other competing websites in your niche.

  1. Perform an experiment:

If most of the popular content in your niche reference vague ideas with little or no data to back them


Engineer an experiment so comprehensive even they will have to link to it.

Now, this requires a bucket of elbow grease, but if you noticed, I never said creating skyscraper content would be easy.

Matthew Woodward does an awesome job of slashing what’s out there with his 1 million domain experiment comparing SEO tools.

That’s right a million websites. Does it sound like hard work? You bet it was.

In fact, the experiment would’ve cost him up to 10,000 dollars to run without help.

But you don’t have to spend ten thousand dollars to create awesome content.

You can just let your creative juices flow.

  1. Make Your content interactive

What if you can’t quote influencers or burn tens of thousands of dollars to make content that shines.

Well here’s where creativity can help you.

Turn boring but popular content in your niche into something that’s super easy for your audience to

consume. This can be a detailed but fun video guide or infographics, which are great ways to circulate your content.

Your content should be informative and easily digestible. Remember, skyscraper content isn’t judged by length but overall value.

Next step.

1. Promoting your content

It’s useless to create the best content on the web if no will see it. Digital marketing expert Derek Halpern has an 80/20 principle for all the content he produces. 20% of his efforts are spent on creating the content and 80% on marketing it.

Do you think Brian and Matthew simply created breathtakingly detailed content, hit publish and then called it a night? Absolutely not, they wouldn’t be marketers if they did that. Your content must be shamelessly promoted or the work isn’t worth it.

How to Give your skyscraper content the attention it deserves

Okay stay with me on this one, we’re in the final sprint. I know most of the content you produce don’t take this much work, but there’s a reason top bloggers like Neil Patel and Brian Dean get to where they are. The reward is worth the work.

Create an outreach list

It’s time to get back to those popular posts and do some more research. You know the content was shared a lot. Now all you have to do is know which influencers shared it.

Note that your aim is not to contact everyone that linked or shared the popular post. Your aim is to target influencers. They’re people with websites in your niche, people with large followings, people interested in this type of content.

Moz and Buzzsumo come to the rescue again.

Using Moz Open site explorer

You can download a spreadsheet of all the websites that linked back to the article you have now surpassed.

Moz tool bar

Once you’ve pulled up the results, look for the export option and click CSV.

moz open explorer

Again, remember you have to reach only influencers in your niche.

Using the Buzzsumo tool

Analyze the popular content you’ve beaten.

buzzsumo headlines

Use the view sharers button to see a list of people that shared it.  Then simply sort the list by the size of their followers.

buzzsumo toolImage courtesy of Buzzsumo

Note the website information listed with their names.

Send the influencers an email

Gathering your data from both Moz and Buzzsumo, you can now make a list of the top influencers. All you have to do now is send them an email. You can also message them through their social media profile but email is best.

Simply go to their website and use the contact form. Personalize the email and point to your post. Keep the email short.

Here’s an example:

Hi (Name)

I noticed that you shared (or linked to) (article).

It was a great article and even inspired me to write something similar. Only more updated and with greater detail (Your link).

I just think your readers will find it helpful.

Have a nice day. 


(Your name)

Short and straight to the point. You don’t have to beg because your content is clearly better. And you just need some of these people to share your content.

Some Pro tips

  • If your skyscraper content is so great then why not repurpose it? Offer it to your audience as a bonus for signing up for your email list.
  • Also, never forget the art of follow-up. Your email might simply get lost in your influencer’s inbox, so send a friendly remind two days later.

When you see great content on the internet it is hardly ever created by accident. It takes planning, creativity, and marketing.

To summarize.

Skyscraper content is made by:

  1. Finding popular topics in your niche.
  2. Creating the best content on that topic.
  3. Then promoting your content.

They’re hard to create but skyscraper content sets the foundation for more authority and higher rankings.

I hope this post gave you something to think about before you publish one of those 200 words “I’m too tired to write more” post.

You know the steps. Now get to work and reap the rewards.

Lenny Johnson is a freelance writer and digital marketer for hire at B2B Content Lab. He engineers high impact content that builds authority, increases customer loyalty and drive sales for businesses.

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29 thoughts on “How To Get More Authority, More Shares And Higher Rankings With Skyscraper Content”

  1. You cannot go wrong with modeling any campaign on popular content Lenny. This is the foundation of any successful campaign. Floors me how folks try to succeed with boosting traffic by trying to cover out there topics. Stick to what works guys….it works well for a good reason; people actually want to read this stuff. Fab tips here.
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted By: Ryan BiddulphMy Profile

    • I couldn't agree more Ryan. There's a reason why popular content becomes popular in the first place. They address a burning pain point people have. Trying to start from scratch is a great way to waste your resources.

      • Hi Lenny,

        I'm a huge fan of content marketing. Skyscraper technique is one of the most effective content marketing strategies indeed. I linked to Brian's post countless times from my guest posts, own posts, videos etc.

        I recently wrote a post on off page SEO techniques and mentioned the same tactic. I deliberately mention wherever it's needed because I know it works.

        Just make sure to namedrop as many bloggers as possible while creating content (most people don't do this thing) so it gets easier for you to reach out to them.

        Glad you went in detail to talk about the skyscraper technique. Great work Lenny!

  2. Hey Lenny,

    Good to see you here and a big thank you to Sue for bringing you in.

    I have read tons of articles about Brian's brain child but you've made it easy to sip.

    Truth (as you mentioned) is it's not something that's easy to do. If however you succeed, you will smile over the results.

    Brian doesn't publish as often as most of us. But each time he does, he slaps more stories on tall buildings, making his content stellar.

    Thanks for publishing an awesome content. Hope you both are having a wonderful week.

    ~ Enstine
    Enstine Muki recently posted Blog Commenting for Backlinks (Earn Editorial Backlinks Commenting)My Profile

    • Yeah Brian's awesome, he's been doing this SEO thing for a long time. Following the steps above isn't easy, but it's the level of work that makes great blogs stand out.

  3. Hello

    Sue and Lenny,

    Lenny, The step by step guide for creating skyscraper content is easy to know and you have well explained. I just read this content and learned lots of crucial information about skyscraper content. If anybody will follow your these tips step by step then they can easily get more attention to their content.

    Thanks for sharing. Will share this post.

    Best wishes,

    Praveen verma
    Praveen Verma recently posted Top 10 Tips on How to do Social Media Marketing Organically TodayMy Profile

  4. hey bro,

    I really liked your content, this is awesome, glad to read your blog…The step by step guide for creating skyscraper content is easy to know and you have well explained. I just read this content and learned lots of crucial information about skyscraper content. If anybody will follow your these tips step by step then they can easily get more attention to their content.

  5. Hi Lenny,

    As a blogger, I can get Skyscraper Content but getting authority is the toughest part for me. I have 500K+ Social Media Followers but still my website is not performing well in Google and Authority was also not much increasing. I need to buy these tools to do some off page kinds of stuff.



  6. Johnson, Thanks for sharing the insightful article on skyscraper content… I’ve been searching for this techique for long and your article just fulfilled my desire.

  7. What a great article!. I am bookmarking it to read it again. It seems like a very interesting topic to write about. Your posts is really helpful for me.Thanks for your wonderful post.

  8. Valuable info! I really enjoyed reading your post. Tools like Moz and BuzzSumo are very useful for bloggers and online content writers.

    • Wow, Matt! I'm a big fan. I think this is the second article I've mentioned you in. You do great work. I'm happy you read this.

  9. Thanks for this article. I'm new to blogging and it sounds like I should get started on this skyscraper post right now. Great Tips!

  10. I recently applied the skyscraper technique to create the best resource you can find on how to start a vlog. I must say, it wasn't easy creating such content (and definitely not cheap). I think I learned a few things about this process:

    -Remember that it will take a lot of money to hire the right designer and the right writer, so make sure the guide is going to be helpful for enough people, or you won't get as good conversion into links or it might be overkill.

    -A general topic that is highly competitive works better with this technique. The reason they are so competitive is that there are a lot of people trying to fix the same problem.

    -If you don't want to get disappointed, don't do it for the number of backlinks you can get, do it to help your audience as your number one reason. That's why you should pick a topic that you know ALL your audience is struggling with and thriving to learn about. You will be fulfilled just by posting it once is finished as it will be a huge help to your audience. And you will certainly get lots of love in return, together with backlinks and shares you didn't even have to ask for.

    Thanks for the article, Lenny 🙂

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