Have you ever wanted to get a big-name blogger to contribute to your blog?
Chances are, they’re too busy to write you a guest post.
But they might well be able to clear 15 minutes to answer a few quick interview questions.
The only trouble is, well-known blogger get a lot of interview requests … so you need to make sure yours stands out.
Step #1: Don’t Go Straight to the Top
When you’re looking for bloggers to interview, it’s tempting to start with the biggest names in your niche. But they probably get loads of interview requests, and they’re almost certainly too busy to say “yes” to them all.
Instead, target up-and-coming bloggers. A good place to look for them is on the big blogs you know … but as guest posters there. These people are likely to have lots of great ideas to share, and they’re probably actively looking for opportunities to promote themselves.
Step #2: Ask Interesting Questions
I’ve been interviewed a fair few times now, and I find that a lot of questions crop up again and again in different interviews. Things like:
- What are your favourite blogs / websites?
- How did you get started as a blogger?
- What’s your advice to bloggers just starting out?
While all of these are good questions, they’re also a bit generic. It’s fine to have a couple of basic questions, but try to add in some that go deeper, beyond what your interviewee normally answers.
Not only will they be more likely to want to take part, you’re also likely to get a better interview with more interesting material for your readers.
Step #3: Don’t Ask for Too Much
It’s tempting to ask as much as possible and get the full benefit of your interviewee’s wisdom – but sending across dozens of questions is really off-putting! Stick with around 6 – 8 questions (you’ll generally get more in-depth answers that way) and definitely no more than ten.
Beyond that, don’t demand too much. Most people will be happy to tweet/share the interview, but don’t insist that they agree to do so. If you’ll be interviewing them on Skype rather than by email, don’t expect them to set aside more than 15 minutes for the interview.
(Obviously, if you already have a good relationship with the person, they may be willing to do a bit more.)
Step #4: Use the Format They Prefer
Most bloggers prefer email interviews, where you send a list of questions and they respond to them all at once. Some, though, would rather get together with you on Skype (Danny Iny is a prominent example) for 10 – 15 minutes.
If the blogger does have any guidelines on interviews, make sure you offer them the format they want – even if that means some extra work for you. Otherwise, you’re almost certain to get a “no”.
Step #5: Be Patient
If you email an interview request and don’t hear back straight away, wait at least a few days (ideally two weeks) before following up. Perhaps the blogger is particularly busy.
This means you need to make sure you allow plenty of time – probably at least a month – between sending an interview request and publishing that interview on your blog. If you want to run interviews regularly, make sure you get organised well in advance.
Have you interviewed some great bloggers on your blog? Is this something you’d like to do in the future? Drop a comment below to share your experiences.
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