Monday, 21 April 2014

How to Convince Someone to Be Interviewed on Your Blog

Blogging with purpose

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NewImageThis question was submitted recently via the ProBlogger Facebook page.
How do I get an established blogger like yourself to do an interview with me? or How can I get an established blogger like yourself to do a guest post for me on my blog? – from Sandra Tillman
Good questions. I think you’re much more likely to get a popular blogger to do an interview with you than to write a guest post for you.
I can only speak for myself really but writing a guest post for someone else’s blog is low on my list of priorities when I already have a blog to create content for.
The exception might be if I had something I was launching or wanted to get some attention for – but even then unless your blog has a sizeable audience and/or and audience that is right on target for the type of reader I want to reach – I’m not likely to take you up on that offer.
It’s simply that there’s just not the time in the day to offer that.
An interview on the other hand may be more achievable – particularly if you make it easy for the blogger you’re approaching to do.
It might be hard to get a full-on interview with a popular blogger unless you have a big audience, profile, or some way in with them, but you might pull it if if you’re willing to make it short and easy to complete.
In my own early days when I didn’t have much profile I used to do it by doing ‘one question interviews’. I would send the blogger a single question and ask them to write something in response – big or small.
Sometimes they’d send back a paragraph or two, other times it might only be a sentence. I’d often ask 3-4 bloggers the same single question and then put their responses together to create a longer post.
The beauty of doing this kind of approach is that you’re able to make it easy for the blogger to do but you also get a little benefit from having them on your blog (which makes it easier to get the next interview).
Keep in mind though that many bloggers get a lot of interview requests. I’m not the biggest blogger going around, but on a typical day I get asked to be interviewed 2-3 times. Couple this with requests to write articles, be in Twitter chats, appear in webinars, be interviewed by media, and the top bloggers must be getting approached many many times a day!

5 quick tips on how I’d go about approaching bloggers for an interview:

1. Introduce yourself

Be personal, quickly introduce yourself, and explain why you’d like to interview the blogger. As you do so, think about the benefits not only to you but also to your readers and to the blogger. For example – do you have a relevant audience to them?

2. Outline how the interview will be used

If you’re planning on using the interview in some way that people have to pay for then say this up front. I’ve had a number of people ask me for interviews that I’ve later found out were used in books, behind paywalls, or as incentives to sign up for newsletters.
While I am not against using interviews in this way, you’ll want to be clear about your intentions with the person you’re approaching.

3. Outline how you’ll conduct the interview

Tell the person how you want to conduct the interview and how much time they’d need to dedicate. If it is a written interview via email tell them how many questions. If it’s a recorded audio/video interview tell them how long it’ll take and what technology you’d like to use.

4. show you know them and make it relevant

Before you approach someone do a little research into who they are and what they do. Showing them this in some way by making your approach personal will show them that you’re not just copying and pasting interview requests into emails. It’ll show them that you’re going to some effort rather than just wanting them to essentially create content for you.

5. Followup

If the person agrees and you do interview them, make sure you use it! I’ve had times where I’ve put aside considerable time to respond to questions for interviews and then never seen the content used in any way – frustrating!!!
When you do publish it – shoot the blogger a note of thanks with the link. You might even find that they share it to their network!

One Last Tip

Big bloggers may not be the best starting place – in fact, they may not be the best interviewee at all.
I say this for two reasons:
1. if you’re new, it’s hard to land a popular blogger. You might have more luck landing a small- to medium-sized blogger. Once you’ve done a few of these you then have something of a portfolio to be able to show others that you approach later (this might help you land the big interview).
2. the other reason you might want to approach smaller bloggers is that they might just make a more interesting interview subject. Everyone’s heard the big blogger’s story in countless other interviews, so why not try to unearth something fresh and new from someone that is up and coming?

What Would You Add?

Have you ever landed a big interview for your blog? How did it happen for you? What tips would you give?
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Convince Someone to Be Interviewed on Your Blog
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How to Convince Someone to Be Interviewed on Your Blog

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