How to conduct an interview for your blog

Jan 27, 2015 by
How to conduct an interview for your blog

Conducting interviews with experts within your niche is not only a great way to provide unique content for your readership, but it is also an excellent way to expand your business network and drive more people to your blog.

interviewIn the words of marketing specialist Gyutae Park:

“When someone with authority speaks, everyone listens. Because of this, it’s a good Internet marketing tactic to try and conduct interviews with people who have more authority than you do. In this way, you are leveraging the power and audience of another person to promote your own brand or website.”

In order to make a great interview that people will be excited to check out, here are the steps you need to take:

Finding the right interviewee

The first step is to gather a list of potential interviewees within your niche, and categorise them in terms of how valuable they would be to the blog. A valuable interviewee will not only provide you with unique insights and colourful content – they will also have their own established following so that when the interview goes live, all of their followers will check out the interview and, with any luck, go on to become fans of your blog or site. Quantcast and Alexa Rank are reasonable measures for a site’s popularity, and the amount of likes or followers on social media provides another metric to indicate a potential interviewee’s value.

Draft an email

When contacting the person, it’s important to strike the right balance between friendly and formal (unless they are someone who you already know). Don’t just send one batch email to all potential interviewees! It’s far more effective to send personalised messages, detailing why you want to interview them specifically and what you feel they could bring to the table that your readership will enjoy. People want to feel appreciated for their individuality, so pay them this courtesy when contacting them for an interview.

Prepare the questions

mic3If you send too many questions the person is unlikely to respond, whereas too few questions is going to make for a shoddy interview. Approximately 7-10 intelligently thought out questions is ideal. It also helps to do your homework and research the kinds of questions they’ve been asked in the past, so that you don’t make them yawn by covering old ground. If your interviewee is being brought in as an expert in your niche, it definitely pays to keep the questions on-topic. humorous and off-topic questions are fine for entertainment value, but they are often inappropriate if your goal is to drive traffic and deliver high-quality content.

Conduct the interview

There are many ways to conduct an interview, and there are no right or wrong answers as to which route you should take. Personally, I’ve found that you receive the most informative, value-rich answers when you email the person the questions and give them sufficient time to prepare their responses. However, this is not always feasible and some interviewees may not want to spend the time writing out answers when they could complete the interview more rapidly over Skype.

Conducting the interview online (via Skype, for example) and then uploading the audio content as a podcast is certainly effective, and it can be a great way to get people who wouldn’t normally read written blog posts interested in your brand. However, the valuable content may be more diluted if the interviewee is responding to questions that he or she hasn’t fully prepared for. See what other people within your niche are doing, and don’t be afraid to try conducting interviews with different mediums. As the saying goes, “all failure is feedback”.

Publish and share

Once the interview goes up, always remember to inform and thank the interviewee. If the interviewee has taken the time to do the interview with you, they’re probably more than happy to share it with their own network, so don’t be afraid to request that they do this (politely). Promote the interview thoroughly on social media and in your. Next, check your metrics to see whether the interview was popular with your followers – you might be pleasantly surprised!

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