If you have picked up a tabloid recently, you know that people are interested in the lives of stars or experts. Major magazines have taken advantage of interviewing those in the spotlight for decades, something that is guaranteed to increase their sales.
As a blog or website administrator, you can increase your overall web traffic by adding interviews to your content, allowing your readers to learn valuable information through exclusive interviews that can only be found on your blog.
We’ve discussed how blog series can be excellent traffic-generating strategies, but there’s one type of series in particular that deserves special mention: The interview series.
The interview series can be ongoing or close-ended, but the premise is the same:
You interview a set of people, preferably with a significant audience of their own, on a specific topic and post their answers on your blog as text, audio, or video. For instance, if your market is fitness professionals, you could interview the “trainers to the stars,” asking each one how they got their high-profile clients, how much they make, and the pros and cons of working in Hollywood.
This type of series is effective for several reasons:
It provides great value to your readers, who will enjoy getting an insider’s view of the topic at hand.
You can generate content without having to write anything yourself.
It gives consistency to your website or blog, building momentum over time and giving readers something regular to look forward to.
It allows you to leverage other people’s audiences. Example: If you interview Jillian Michaels for your celebrity trainer series, you will gain visibility from people who follow “The Biggest Loser.”
Creating an interview series is fairly straightforward
Create a battery of questions, generate a list of interviewees, send them out, and when you get answers, post them to your blog as a regular feature. There are some hints, though, that will make your interview series rock:
Keep your list of questions short and to the point. Make it easy for your interviewees by focusing on only a few targeted queries, rather than asking them to write a novel for you.
Have a backlog of interviews. Before you roll out a “regular” feature, make sure you have enough interviews in the can, so you don’t have to take an indefinite break before the next set of responses rolls in.
Keep your interviewees in the loop. Let the subjects of your interviews know when you post their information. That way they can post a link on their blog and share it with their readers, thereby driving traffic your way.
Encourage audio and video responses. Audio and video are great ways to increase your audience and appeal to other learning modalities. Some of your interviewees may find it easier to answer your questions via recording, so let them know they’re welcome to do so.
Create internal links. Just like with any blog series, drive traffic internally by linking from each post in the series to other posts. Not only does this practice let readers know about the other interviews they may be interested in reading, it also improves your search engine rankings.