Successful expert roundups are a useful reader & community building activity.
But what's an expert roundup anyways?
Hubspot offers the following definition:
An expert roundup is a collection of quotes or interviews from people in your niche. Each participant is an authority in your field and has something to offer your readers.
And that's exactly what successful expert roundup posts can pull off:
The appeal of diversifying the experts featured on your blog.
But what do I mean by that?
You probably started a blog because you're an authority on your chosen subject.
But featuring other experts is a great way to diversify the conversation. Especially if you manage to get influencers or established bloggers on board.
if you're a web copywriter, getting digital marketing consultant's point of view will include the marketing and strategy aspects of websites in the conversation.
And that will help readers that want to learn more about copywriting make a larger impact on their audience.
But how do successful expert roundups work?
Roundups have one thing in common with other blog posts. Because you're striving for active, not passive audience engagement.
Today I'm going to walk you through how I organized my most recent roundup post, to show you how to successfully organize your own roundup post.
1) Ask the right question
Before you start thinking about who you're going to reach out to, you need to put careful thought into creating a question that provokes an actual discussion.
So...if you haven't already get out a pen and paper, or even just a new word doc, and answer the following questions:
- Who are your readers?
- What kinds of comments & feedback has your blog received recently?
- Why do your readers want to read from the first to the final paragraph? (check out all types of feedback for clues?)
- What's your reader's greatest challenge?
- What can your blog do to do a better job at solving your readers greatest challenges?
But what if you don't know the answers? Well..ask your readers.
Not even kidding...send them a survey and offer some sort of incentive for participating.
And then...once you figure out the answers use what you've learned to narrow down the results to a question you can ask the experts!
2) Reach out to experts you already know you
This time around, when I wrote roundup number two the previous roundup's participants were still listed in a "forward to all" email chain.
So I simply wrote this message, to encourage people to take part:
And, this email made things super easy.
Because I didn't have to spend nearly as much time figuring out who I was going to reach out to.
However, this can also work if this your first roundup.
Chances are you've worked with/ collaborated with other people before.
So...once you've got a question, send some of your previous collaborators an email, explain what you're doing, and offer to provide a backlink of their choice in return.
And don't ask just anyone.
Ask people you know that are experts in that field.
And if you don't know anyone relevant, ask people you know to ask around in their immediate network.
Because successful expert roundups are about a lot more than just the advice you provide.
3) Be gutsy & ask people you admire/ respect
I totally get it.
Asking people you're a fan of to take time out of their busy day to contribute something to your blog is a fucking scary feeling.
In fact, to be totally honest, I still get the shakes when I email bloggers and marketers I look up to.
Even though at least some of them have said nice things about me on Twitter, and featured my work on their blog.
But...once you stop putting them on a pedestal and treat them like an equal the end results will surprise you.
For example, here's a response I got from a blogger I'm a fan of:
And dream big!
Because... the bigger the name, the more attention you'll attract to your blog.
And that's exactly what you'll need if you want to produce successful expert roundups.
Want the same results?
Let them know:
- What you're doing
- What the point of your post is
- About the backlink of their choice, you'll provide in return
- The URL of your blog
- That they can keep their responses short (super important for "busy, important types")
- That you're emailing them because the focus of the post made you "think of them, and you thought they'd be a perfect fit." Because that's not a lie, and people like to feel special!
And...if you're still feeling scared of the thought of that, think of it this way...
The worst that could happen isn't really that bad. Because all that could really happen is that they'll say "no", or not respond. And if that happens, just ask someone else!
4) Do not overlook the strength of social media
All my roundups have attracted diverse creative entrepreneurs thanks to my greatest asset:
The access that I have to diverse social media groups.
Because my blog has a creative entrepreneur focus, the creative entrepreneur groups that I'm part of are a valuable asset.
But why is that the case?
Because it gives me access to diverse perspectives I wouldn't have discovered on my own.
For example, here's the post that I did on the Freelance to Freedom Project Facebook group that caused a lot of people to email me about their interest in participating:
Successful expert roundups also require going outside your comfort zone.
And that's not always easy to do when you rely on your network for participation.
So I highly recommend starting with social media promotions, when you first start working on your roundup.
Programs such as Canva are a great way to also design sharable graphics so that your post is sharable and attention-grabbing.
5) Keep track of names & email addresses
If you want to organize a roundup that attracts as much engagement as possible you have to make it easy for the participants to tap into their network.
And email is the best possible way to do that.
So every time you say "yes" to a participant, add them to a list that includes email addresses, the participant's job title, and their full name.
This is exactly what will make things easy when you want to say "thank you" for people's' participation and give your participants a URL to share via their newsletter and social media accounts.
Why are these step important?
These steps are exactly what will increase the long-term success of your post, through allowing you to increase your reach, via newsletter mentions, retweets, and LinkedIn shares.
And that's awesome because this allows you to tap into unexplored audiences.
In fact, my previous roundup, thanks to one LinkedIn share, lead to a handful of new connections that are actually my target audience!
Although these steps are a lot of work, it's totally worth it!
Because you'll have a higher level of engagement overall, without having to do a ton of research.
The next time, you feel your engagement slipping, or you want to increase the reach of your latest offer, including experts in a roundup discussion is a great way to get a quick boost.
Over to you....
So what strategies have you found useful for creating successful expert roundups? Got any other to share? Feel free to share in the comments below.