Today I am going to walk you through how to conduct a blog interview – from start to finish. You will learn how blog interviews can revolutionize your blog and boost your blog’s authority, so let’s start.
- How to Choose The Right People For Blog Interviews
- How to Approach People About Blog Interviews
- How to Interview Someone for a Blog
- What Should I Ask a Blogger?
- How Do You Write a Blog Post Interview?
- How Do You Write an Article Interview Example?
- How Do You Feature Someone on Your Blog?
- How to Use Blog Interviews
- How to Market Blog Interviews
- Interview Blog Template
- Crossing The Finish Line
How to Choose The Right People For Blog Interviews
When you’re looking for the right people to interview, it’s helpful to search within your niche. Most likely, there are a few people that are more popular than others within your niche. If you can pinpoint those individuals, contact them, and land an interview, good for you. Those are the people that your blog followers will recognize and want to know more about.
If your niche is computer design, why would you interview someone who specializes in interior design? Exactly, you wouldn’t. People outside of your niche have nothing to offer your followers, so your interview blog should render relevant people to your industry, people your followers can learn from.
Once you’ve established that you need to stay within your niche, start brainstorming. Same as you would in a search for blog post ideas for the new year. Chances are, you already know some great candidates for your blog interview. If you’ve thought of some people, it’s because they are relevant and popular enough to be interviewed. And guess what? You want them to contribute to your interview blog post.
Make sure to write every name down that you find. You’re just going to go through it later and decide who’s most important for you to interview. Don’t think about cutting your list short at the moment. Put all the names you can think of on a piece of paper and try to contact them for a potential collaboration. If you can’t think of many, it’s time for Plan B: social media.
Truth be told, your long list of names may shorten in a minute. If you are just starting out, a lot of people may refuse to do an interview for your blog or may not even text back. That’s why you need a back-up plan and a lot of names on your list. At least in the beginning. One glance at a social media profile and you know if the person is influential and popular. How responsive they are, how many followers they have.
Another thing you can do is search for a hashtag or username either on Twitter or Instagram. You’ll be hit with some fanbase along with famous names. Search YouTube channels, podcasts, and other blogs operating in the same niche as you and pick up some names from there.
Another sure-fire method to finding more interviewees is to ask your audience who they would like to see in your blog interview. It’s simple, and you already know your followers will be interested in reading or listening to an interview by them.
How to Approach People About Blog Interviews
I know this is easier said than done, so let me help you out. It can be quite nerve-racking to approach the people you admire and look up to, and even when you do, you don’t know what to say to them without embarrassing yourself. Ah, the eternal struggle! If it is of any consolation, you’ll do it online, so it should relieve some of the stress away.
First, make sure you follow your potential blog interview candidates on social media, otherwise, your request will come across as random. You’ll give out the impression that you’re doing this to gain more views, not because you really admire your potential interviewee. That’s not an angle you want to take up, and pretty sure that’s not the angle your interview blog needs.
State who you are: your name and provide the link to your blog. Mention that you are a big fan and that you would love it if you could schedule an interview.
Make sure you emphasize you are interested in their work, that you find it inspirational, and that it would be an honor to make the interview and learn more about them.
Leave several choices as to how you can conduct the interview and let your potential interviewee choose whatever option works for them best. You should also tell them that some additional information about the blog interview like how many questions there will be and what topics you would like to cover.
You always want to include these four things in your blog interview request, in this order:
- Who you are
- How you know the person
- Why you are contacting them
- The next steps in the interview process
This is a successful pattern because your potential guest now knows who you are, knows what you want to talk about, and can choose how the blog interview can be conducted.
They see you follow them on social media, which means you are interested in their work and that’s always flattering. It makes your potential interview guests more relaxed and willing to share more.
That’s if you are contacting a potential interview guest from your personal account. If you are contacting them from your blog account, you don’t have to mention who you are since that’s pretty obvious. Mention the rest and again, make sure you follow this person – that puts you in the ‘fans’ group, giving your potential interviewee more reasons to respond positively.
How to Interview Someone for a Blog
Prepare Your Blog Interview Questions
Brainstorm your questions. Think of as many as you can and then narrow the list down to 8 or 10 questions. Scratch the questions that are not interesting, repetitive, or too personal. After you have the questions to ask a blogger or any other guest to your blog, you can send them to the person you’ll be doing the interview with, in case they want to prepare beforehand.
If you are looking for more authentic answers, you can give the blog interview questions on the spot and see how your interviewee handles them.
Make Sure They Know Your Audience
After you’ve designed your blog interview questions and you’ve set the when and the how, make sure your interviewee knows your audience. It’s your responsibility to say the age range, the personality type, the interests of your audience because your guest may not know who your target audience is. Chances are, they haven’t read your blog before.
You want the questions and the answers to speak to a certain audience; you want them to be specific, and to provide value. General or random questions, boring questions will drive people away from your blog, so you want the questions to be adequate and adapted to your audience.
Set Up Your Expectations
Before starting the interview itself, map out the following: How long will the interview last (you don’t want it to be super long and tire or bore the hell out of your guest and your audience), tell them what you want to cover, what topics and questions, tell them what your audience is expecting to learn after the interview.
You need to be specific to get what you want. Also, you need to tell your blog interview guest how will you record the meeting and distribute the content. They may infer that from prior experience, but still, it’s your responsibility to be clear about the technicalities. They have the right to know since the interview will be about them, their journey, and their experience.
Introduce Your Blog Interview Guest
Don’t ever ask your quest to introduce themselves. It’s rude and impolite. Your guest will feel like pushed into a corner and they will not say anything relevant. They will be too modest and naturally, your audience will get the impression that this person is not as influential or accomplished as they thought, so why should they listen to the interview?
You don’t want to have that – a bummer right out the gate. So introduce your guest in the best light and make sure you tell who they are, what they’ve achieved, and why are they so important for your audience. The introduction should be a few sentences, not too long, so define it prior to the interview. You don’t want to be caught off guard.
So below I am sharing with you guys, one of my guest introductions for one of the podcast interviews I did just so you get the feeling:
I'm excited to bring another amazing expert for our interview series, and today at least it's going to teach us about changing your career and building a full-time business from your side hustle. Some important advice for freelance writers. How to start, even if you don't have any background, how you can jump into the field and start making money a lot faster than you ever thought.
What's exciting about this interview is that it's a very different story and journey than mine. It's an amazing story, and it really shows you some things that are working right now. I'm so excited to have Lise here. She's an amazing expert on starting your side hustle, build your own business, and she's the founder of Hustle and Grow.
Start With Some Chitchat
Small talk about the weather or how your guest is feeling, what they have been doing the whole day, how are they going through the current coronavirus-induced situation or any opening you can think of.
Chitchat is a huge tension reliever and will make your guest much more comfortable. When I record my podcast episodes, I usually talk about where I am at the moment and what am I doing. Something like: It's really windy right now. So the Palm trees are making a bit of noise, and so is the banana tree, it's very cool. We have some banana trees in our garden because eating a banana that you actually grow, it's magical. I am also drinking my hot cocoa now because I don’t drink coffee. How about you, Lise? What have you been up to today?
Carry that light conversation, possibly make a joke about the weather’s mood swings or how you are very nervous and excited about this interview because you’ve been wanting to do it for a long time and you admire your guest’s astounding work. That should do it.
Transition and Parroting
Before moving on to the next question, summarize your guest's answer very briefly. This should be easy since you know the questions and you know what you want to get out of the answers.
So, okay. You started with freelancing and then moved to produce courses and templates. Very cool. How did you get, like how did you get your first freelancing clients, and maybe you can tell me a little bit about what you think about skipping that freelancing part or if you think it is a critical part of the transition?
In case you want your guest to elaborate more on a certain thing they mentioned, just use the parroting model. For instance, if your guest is talking about how to boost your sales page, and you want to learn more, you just say: Boost your sales page?
And then your guest will further explain what they mean by that and how you can do that. Sly, huh?
Thank Your Guest and Direct Your Audience to Their Websites
Your guest should never spell out their website, it’s your responsibility. So you go and say something like:
Oh, that's so amazing. It's so great to show people where they can start all the way to find it. I've learned a lot. I know that everyone else is having a really good time. They've learned a lot. So thank you so much for spending this time with us. I really, really appreciate it. I know your time is very valuable. So we want to say a massive thank you for participating. Thank you so much for being here today.
I hope you enjoyed what Lise had to say as much as I did. You can find out more from her at lisecartwright.com that's L I S E C A R T W R I G H T.com and of course, If I said that too fast, don't worry. The link is below.
After the blog interview is over, you can always ask your guest about feedback. How was the interview? What would they change or add? How can you improve? Any feedback you get is valuable for you, so never miss out on a chance to ask for it.
What Should I Ask a Blogger?
It’s astonishing what you can learn if you only ask. Designing blog interview questions is easy after you gain experience. While you are new at this whole thing regarding the questions to ask a blogger, you might want to use a little help with your blog interview questions:
So what can we do to improve the odds of success?
Well, what are you working on right now? What's coming next? What's coming down the pipeline?
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog? How did you first get into blogging?
How would you describe your blogging style?
How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
What do you think is the best strategy to get traffic to your blog?
Where do you get products for review? Can you share some sources with us?
How much time do you spend blogging?
Do you have some tips on how to make money with blogging, like making blogging your main source of income?
How Do You Write a Blog Post Interview?
After you upload the interview be it audio or a written form of it, it would be nice to support that with writing. The very best format you can use has the following:
A compelling headline. People scan through headlines to discern if a post is worth reading, so your headline needs to hook the reader, it needs to be attractive. It’s what prompts people to read further, so your headline should be everything but boring. If your interviewee is a popular name, include it in the title. Also, never make your headlines too long – not longer than 76 characters, that is.
Captivating introduction. This is another hook. You start in such a way that you intrigue your readers. Introduce a little controversy, be bold. You can also mention how readers can benefit from reading the interview, what they will learn from it. If you do not hook people right away, if you do not tell them why they should waste their time reading your blog interview, they will probably scroll on.
Images and content division. Extremely long paragraphs make people lose concentration and patience. It’s hard on the eyes and people will get bored. Divide the content logically, make it easily readable. Finish one thought in one paragraph that’s not too long before jumping to the next thing and you can also divide content using section headers.
Also, people are visual. Use a lot of pictures to improve your readers’ experience. When people see a lot of text and no pictures they are out of there. Monotony is not your friend. Use pictures of your interviewee and use captivating and topic-related pictures to ace your blog interview post.
Sum up at the end. End with a summary, a conclusion. Definitely do not introduce new thoughts, information, or details in the end, just state briefly the main points that your readers should take away after reading your blog interview post.
How Do You Write an Article Interview Example?
What did you cover during the interview? What topics? What trends? Include those in your article interview to further inform, help, or educate your readers on a given subject. A good example of such an interview blog post or article is the one such I provide below my podcast episodes – a summary of the main takeaways, business models, techniques, or whatever it is I discussed with my guest packed within a 400-500 word limit.
How Do You Feature Someone on Your Blog?
If you want to feature your interviewee’s content on your blog, take the high road. Ask for permission first. Ask if they are okay with that. They probably will because it is yet another opportunity for them to promote themselves, but still.
Then you have to disable pins from other bloggers’ content. You need to insert some code to the image if you want to prevent readers from pinning an image on your site. This is good because it will lead the traffic to your interviewee. It’s their content, so people should visit their site, not yours.
Since I am a big fan of WordPress and I use it for all of my content, I will tell you the disabling process there. Write the text, insert all the images, and then switch to the text editor. Find the image you want to prevent from being pinned and add the code nopin=”nopin” at the end of the image tag. Do not switch to visual mode, just click publish or schedule.
Ultimately, you should use embedded pins to feature other people’s content. First, find the article you want to feature and then pin it to one of your boards. Open the pin and then copy the URL address.
Pinterest has its Widget Builder, so navigate there, click on Pin Widget, paste the URL into their box and you are one click away. Click Build it and then when it’s done, what you have to do is copy the generated code and go to your blog post. Again, you will need to switch over to the text editor and go where you want the embedded pin to show up. Paste the code and don’t go back to the visual mode.
How to Use Blog Interviews
It’s strongly recommendable that you produce a blog post of the interview too because you can benefit from it in the future as well.
What I mean by this is that the interview blog post format allows you to use interviews as sources for future articles, and you can even create quotes to produce extra content and generate more traffic based on that one interview you did. You can play with written content and repurpose it, so even if you choose to do a podcast type thing, do not do it without an interview blog post.
Also, that gives your blog a journalistic aspect to it, making it a reliable source for people to use and you want that about your blog. You want that reputation; it’s another one of those traffic generators.
How to Market Blog Interviews
You can market your blog interview pretty much as you market any other post, but you can do something extra here.
Mention the upcoming interview before you even conduct it and tag your guest, so your guest’s audience becomes aware that there is an interview coming out very soon.
After the blog interview is out and published, with the power of social media, you do the same thing. You provide the link of the interview; you tag your guest, and if they share the link to their social media accounts, even better!
Interview Blog Template
I hope this template was helpful for you guys. If you need a little something extra, you can always navigate to my podcast series and listen to my interview episodes. Dive into the episodes to really see how I begin and end my interviews with guests.
Crossing The Finish Line
Starting your blog off the grounds is not easy, especially because we are swarming in a pool of blogs and bloggers desperately wanting to make a living out of writing.
It may require a lot of work but it’s doable, this coming from a guy who went through his own fair share of hustle and bustle. If you are willing to make it and if you have a vision, you absolutely can. The first guarantee of success is producing unique content. One excellent way to do that is by finding relevant people in your niche and conduct interviews with them. They will enrich your blog’s content and add much more value to it.
It’s not just random articles, you are taking things one level higher: you have accomplished people in your industry come and have a chat with you, teach your audience, provide some juicy details of how to become a bestselling author or make money on the side with writing. It all depends on the stuff you are writing about.
But you might want to learn how to get traffic to your website, how to find an audience. Well, let me give you my step-by-step guide to reaching 100 readers in 8 simple steps.
There is a difference between readers and fans, so download your free guide and start your blog off the ground, keep it up and running – TODAY!