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Regardless of the specific content strategy you have for your blog, there are a few goals that all content creators share: 1) To offer useful content that engages visitors, 2) To keep that content fresh, and 3) and to save time doing it. So, how do you accomplish this? Well, there are a number of ways but one that we use successfully are industry interviews. An industry interview can be a powerhouse tool for many reasons.
For example, this Link Building Interview with Aaron Wall blog on my site created a number of industry links, caused a flurry of social sharing and led to a big uptick in our organic traffic for certain keywords we were targeting. No matter what field you’re in: Interviews with industry experts make for good, NO, great blog posts.
Blog Interview Advantages
By inviting people to be featured on your blog, you are acknowledging their expertise and sending a message of respect. That builds relationships between you and important individuals in your field.
You also broaden your network, since your subject will tell his or her associates, friends and connections about their interview, thus generating visibility for you and your blog. As the subject’s connections share news about the interview, they’ll create quality backlinks to your site, boosting your blog’s authority with search engines.
The Interview Process
Interviews will provide you with a steady source of fresh, useful content. You can develop a standard interview process that will take far less time than writing new posts from scratch. There are several ways you can conduct the interviews: by email, phone or live, in real time.
Whatever form you use, you will need to identify several people who are respected within your industry and then create five or six provocative questions that are likely to spark interesting replies. If you use email, send each person the questions along with a brief message introducing yourself and your project.
It helps to boost participation if you mention that you will be promoting the interviews in social media and your company newsletter. Everyone wants his company to be noticed and this is an easy way for your subject to get attention.
Phone and real-time interviews are generally more difficult to schedule. Also, they require recording equipment, which introduces a wild card into the process. If your recorder fails, you lose the interview. On the other hand, if you have an audio or video recording, you can repurpose the interview for a podcast or for YouTube.
Some Ideas for Questions
It’s helpful to focus your interview questions on a theme or topic. This will give your blog post a natural structure and purpose. Consider these ideas:
- Link the questions to a news event, taking care to choose an issue that’s likely to be around for a while, rather than a brief, one-off event. For instance, ask subjects if/how they are changing their SEO strategies in response to a new Google algorithm.
- Use holidays or the time of year as a hook. For a New Year’s post, you might ask subjects to predict important trends to come in the year ahead.
- Interview people who are early in their careers and ask who they admire most in the field or who they would most like to have lunch with, and why.
- Alternately, interview old hands in the business. Ask how the field has changed and what they see as the most important milestones reached over the past few years.
- Find out what books, films or TED Talks have been most helpful to your subjects.
Whatever topics you choose or whoever you feature, your investment in an interview series will yield dividends far beyond a good blog post or two. As a final bonus, you will be developing your own interview skills, as well as your ability to conceive interesting content ideas.
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