I want to share with you one type of blog post that can really transform your blog… the expert roundup blog post. Gone are the days where you could publish an article and stuff with keywords to game Google.
When you are starting a blog you are a nobody, I hate to be so blunt.
You are building an audience from scratch and for most this can seem like an impossible task.
You share on social media and get nothing but crickets. Google will not rank you for any decent keyword because you have no links or track record. You have no connections to get help, are you doomed?
It seems like the interwebs are against you.
Well, nobody is against you… well yet. Nobody knows you and this is the issue that needs solving.
Below I am going to show you how to catapult your blog from nobody to rising star with one expert roundup blog post. If you have been struggling then this should give you that boost you need.
Ok, Joe What Exactly Is An Expert Roundup Post
An expert roundup post is exactly what it sounds like a list of expert tips, tricks, and opinions.
Your job is to reach out to influential people in your niche and get them to contribute to your post.
Simply start by asking them a simple question that they can answer easily. The more experts you can get to answer your question the better the end result will be.
Compile all the opinions into one post, add an introduction, conclusion and a killer headline and you are set to go.
If you have say 50 experts, that’s potentially 50 eyes to the post as soon as you publish. Now a good amount of them will share and this will increase your traffic more.
Let me share with you some of the results that are possible with this magic post type…
Use Expert Opinions Whenever Relevant
Now you could simply just list out the expert opinions and this would be a great post on its own but you can do so much more.
Look at this post!
It really is an expert roundup post but I also have written a post that could do well on its own.
I call this post type an Expert Fueled Post because it’s a blog post that is fueled by expert tips. Not just one or two, though.
You can turn any post you write into an Expert Fueled Post and then you can ride the wave of the roundup post on your own content.
For this post, I created about 10 questions and sent one to each of the experts. This adds more value to the post and it diversifies the answers I get back.
A Good Question Is Needed To Dominate This Post Type
The question is the foundation of your roundup, it determines who will contribute and if the post will do well with your audience.
If you choose the wrong question your results will show this.
The best way to work out your question is to do a little research to see what your competitors are doing. Look at other roundups and see what the questions are like.
Next is to go to where your audience hangs out and see what questions come up over and over again.
Before you decide on a question make sure it will interest your competitors (as they may contribute or link to it) and your audience (they will consume it).
Most bloggers make the mistake of only appealing to their audience and then they wonder why no one is sharing.
Successful expert roundup posts are all based on proven topics and this is the secret ingredient. Base it on a proven topic that has shown that it performs well in your niche.
How would you create a killer question for your next expert roundup?
Some questions, the answers aren’t just stories, they’re data. For example, a question about “your favorite tool” can turn into a mini-survey. Analyze the answers as if they’re votes, then pull them together into a list of the top tools. This is a good way to add insights and additional value.
This is what Robbie Richards did for his “Best SEO Tools” post. Here’s what his analysis looks like.
It also looks like he optimized it for the phrase. Looks like it’s ranking somewhere near the top of page two. Smart!
Most expert roundups fail in delivering clarity to both readers and participants.
Your questions should be specific and highly relevant.
For example, “what are your best reader engagement tips?” doesn’t tell us much at all.
The question doesn’t say anything about who the post is for, and it’s really open ended.
So, here’s an example of how this question can be made more specific and more relevant:
“What advice would you give to a blogger that wants to use social media to encourage engagement with their readers?”
Now, this question tells us:
- The target audience – bloggers
- The challenge – better reader engagement
- Additional information – advice can only apply to social media strategies/tactics
Reader engagement has been written about a lot. Now, the question has a more unique (and specific) angle.
And it’s clear who it’s written for. Without knowing the post is aimed at bloggers, participants could give answers that are more relevant to authors, journalists or someone else. Now, they are clear on who it’s for.
This is a big benefit for readers too because they’ll know the post is written with them in mind, even before they start reading.
When creating an expert round-up for your site, or a client, it’s important to think about what you are trying to accomplish in the first place.
For example, when I run a roundup, I want to provide my audience with answers from different experts, giving them valuable resources and also potentially rank for a few target keywords in the process. In the online marketing and entrepreneur space, this is pretty easy since there are so many topics to cover. However, the more specific or niche you get, the better the content could be.
To see how other sites in different niche markets are pulling this off, be sure to check out these 17 roundups around the industry.
Build your house on solid ground”, in other words, choose the right topic for your roundup. If the question you ask in your roundup is not the right one, all your efforts will be in vain
Follow these steps:
- Determine what’s your main goal (What type of visitors do you want to get?, Is the topic related to your products/services…
- Choose a topic that fits the interests of your target audience
- Use http://buzzsumo.com/ to discover most popular posts around that topic
- With all the above information, choose the right question
It’s all about what’s trending in your tribe. What you’re audience wants to know.
To create ideas for my roundups I do market research to see what content my target audience is interested in and what questions they have.
Most importantly I pay attention to what my email list is saying. And I’ll even send out an email survey. Just a quick question. Something like, “what’s frustrating you the most about (insert specific topic) right now?”
Once I have found a common question that’s asked repeatedly, I ask it in a way that I think will be beneficial to everyone in my audience and inspire great responses from experts.
Choose The Right Contributors For Speedy Massive Growth
When I am doing my research I will look at how many contributors previous roundups have. I want my post to do well so I need to gauge if I can get more than what is out there.
In my last roundup on link building strategies, I noticed that most results on the first page for link building strategies had 1-25 contributors or tips. The finished post had 59 expert opinions.
This is like utilizing the SkyScraper Technique for roundup posts.
Look at what’s out there and then beat it in any way you can.
You want to have a varied group of contributors but from the get go focus on the “bigger bloggers.” They are busier and will require a bit more effort from you.
Next look at previous roundups and contact as many experts as you need to beat your competition.
This means you have the big bloggers with a decent following, you have the medium ones who will have a decent sized following and lastly the newbies who really want to impress the big boys on your list.
How do you choose contributors for your expert roundup posts?
When looking for contributors for expert round-ups, I want to make sure that I speak with the best and brightest minds in the particular niche that I’m talking about with that post. Fortunately, since I am a social media marketer who writes about blogging and social media marketing, I’m very familiar with the experts in my niche and can name them from memory.
Not everyone can do that, though, so it would be important to define some characteristics or even metrics up front when determining who you should be asking. While you wouldn’t want to consider social network audience size, you might want to look at website traffic, whether they’re published, number of citations, and other indicators that they have real, proven expertise in their field.
It’s also important to me that the resulting piece is thorough, so I try to get experts who I can predict will be coming from different perspectives or approaches.
A great example is a roundup I did in November for https://trafeze.com where we brought in over 50 experts and invited them to talk about how they make money online. Many were bloggers, but there were also quite a few product entrepreneurs, consultants, authors and video creators. It was titled, “Boost Your Income: 52 Influencers Reveal Their Best and Worst Monetization Secrets” and, as expected, the answers varied wildly.
Jason Quey is the founder of Cofounders With Class, a business that helps entrepreneurs feel confident, impress clients, and close more deals by providing bold and classy clothes to help them dress for success. Follow Him On Twitter Here
For me, finding the right contributors to an expert roundup begins by doing good research. It’s too easy for people to give advice without knowing a thing about the topic.
One way you can filter experts is simply looking for articles on the subject. From there, scan the article to see if they know what they’re talking about, or just adding a bunch of fluff.
Interesting you ask since I am in the process of getting two expert interviews underway.
I learned early on that not everyone responds; apparently, not everyone wants to take part in the roundups. However, when I see bloggers in my niche taking part in other people’s interviews, I become aware that way that they are willing to participate.
My niche is pretty multifaceted, so I try to make sure the person is knowledgeable in the area I’m interviewing them about. For example, my last expert interview was about Pinterest. I tried to get people knowledgeable about Pinterest or social media in general to interview. I did this by researching on Twitter and on search engines.
I choose contributors for expert roundup posts based on my network, including those I have met and interacted with at conferences and events as well as at networking events.
I’ve also met and connected with other experts through social media platforms, especially Twitter where I have made the most contacts.
I’ve also had experts come to me to see if there is any place I can include them.
I’ve met a lot of influencers so I usually just reach out to my network.
I create a google form with the question I want answered and send them an email/ slack message/ Facebook message letting them know what I’ve got going on.
If it’s a niche that I don’t have a good groups of contacts in, then I like to use BuzzSumo to find influencers for the keywords I’m targeting.
The more successful the expert, the less likely they are to open an email from a stranger. The best way to promote an upcoming expert roundup, therefore, would be to start with people you know. Ask them.
Then, ask them who they know. Get an introduction, to at least be able to say “Joe Elliot referred me to you.”
At least they’ll open your email that way.
Of course, if you know in advance that you’ll want to reach an expert, it always helps to follow them on social media and interact if you can, share their content, as well as commenting on their blog. Everybody is more likely to respond to somebody they know, so make sure they know you.
Ideally, I look for people that known within the niche I am working in and have the power to either link back to me because they run successful blogs or websites or have significant social media presence where a share will help promote my article.
However, you might not always be so lucky as to be able to reach enough of these experts or have them respond.
In that case, I think it’s worth contacting anyone that might have something interesting and constructive to say about the topic you are writing about.
In my first ever roundup, I had to work hard to get 16 people to respond to me. I had to settle for some responses from Twitter or on Reddit when I couldn’t reach people by email.
But it got easier as I built up my blog and reputation.
To choose my contributors for the expert roundups I run via a simple formula:
I check to see if they have a content-rich website where they share tips from their expertise.
I also check to see if they’re active on Twitter and if what they’re sharing is worth spreading around.
I then create my list ready for outreach.
This may sound obvious, but I usually start by identifying experts in the niche the expert roundup post is about. Apart from having some expertise on the topic, I also look at their social media profile. Experts with good social media following tend to make good contributor.
I tend to prioritize those who respond quickly to my invitation to participate in a roundup. Because I have done and participated in many expert roundups, I have a small database of experts: who have contacted me to let me know they are available to participate in roundups. I usually choose the experts I have in my database first, if they have expertise in the roundup I am working on.
Another very obvious thing is to look at other roundups in the same niche. And look at the contributors there. In this way, I know what kind of response I can wait from them. Also, it tells me that this person probably would be happy to participate in my roundup.
I see what my peers are doing, and copy them. Lots of round ups out there these days, so it isn’t hard to have a VA round up the round ups and create a list. From there I have to assume a big % will not answer or say no. However I know if I can lock down a few big names, then the rest will follow the limelight. So I focus on those few, get them onboard, and in my emails to the rest, let them know who’s agreed so far.
From there I have to assume a big % will not answer or say no. However I know if I can lock down a few big names, then the rest will follow the limelight.
So I focus on those few, get them onboard, and in my emails to the rest, let them know who’s agreed so far.
How To Find Email Addresses & What To Do If You Can’t
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the internet, a lot of people will make dummy email accounts to catch spam emails. This can make it harder to get your request in front of your expert.
I have a three-step strategy for getting experts…
Step One: Scan the website for a real email address (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Step Two: If no luck I will enter the first name, last name, and domain into this tool (findanyemail.net). I have found a lot of emails with this one.
Step Three: If you are still unable you have to options, try the contact us form if available or tweet something like…
@username Hi Name, I am writing an expert roundup and would love to feature you, what’s the best way to get in touch?
After these three steps I usually have a way to get in touch and if not I will move on. You don’t want to spend too much time searching for contact details. Get it done and move on…
Do you use any tools to help you find email addresses for an expert roundup post?
We do use a couple of very awesome tools that help us in finding email addresses of people that we want to connect with.
But actually, our outreach team at Ahrefs has a great 9-step process of finding the email address of just about anyone. We recently documented all our best tips and strategies in this blog post: “9 Actionable Ways To Find Anyone’s Email Address (8 of them are FREE)”
No. Not currently, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend them. The niche that Empire Flippers is in (the make money online niche) is very competitive, so mass emails tend to not work super well and often these people hide their emails very effectively. Instead, I try to build a personal relationship with the person on facebook, if they have a group I’ll add things to the group that can add value. Sometimes this leads to getting a guest post, sometimes leads into doing something else entirely – such as doing a webinar very soon with someone ELSE in a group that I ended up connecting with. Personal relationships I think are key in this space.
If I was in another space, though, I would probably use something like Gmass to reach out and Buzzstream to find them.
I’ve always been fairly vocal about the tools, or lack thereof that I use in my repertoire. Even for SEO, I only use maybe 3-4 tools on a week to week basis. For blogging, I still default to my favorite tool: Twitter search. I use the advanced search to find the posts that Google loves, and mimic some of the details that these posts have. Robbie Richards by far wins the prize for the most successful roundup post ever. He has a rotating system where he shares the post multiple times per week, each time looping in people involved with the post. The post is already a month old but I still see it popping up in feeds everywhere. I can’t speak to the effectiveness on his end, but I definitely see it everywhere I look!
I know I’m probably being boring, but my second favorite tool is Google search. I have a few custom command line scripts I use when I need to scrape large amounts of data, but it still doesn’t amount to much more than an advanced Google search. Google still does the best job at indexing practically everything, even Twitter posts. Also, email isn’t the only way to reach out to people. I get a lot of Twitter messages, Facebook messages and even Skype messages about roundup posts.
I don’t exactly do roundup posts.
But I happen to know that outreach is essential for them and one tool that I use for outreach is called Ninja Outreach.
I can literally find hundreds of prospects and have the tool automatically send out emails to all of them in a tiny fraction of the time that it takes to do this manually.
I start by trying to find their email addresses or contact forms directly on their websites. If can’t find any of them, I go and take a look at their WHOIS information to learn if they have any contact information there.
If they don’t, I do a Google search for “their name + email address”.
If I still can’t find their email address, I try to guess the email format they must be using and with the good help of the Rapportive plug-in and Gmail I check to make sure if that’s really an actual email address or not.
I usually get good results from using my methods.
To help me find email addresses for an expert roundup I usually use VoilaNorbert or simply try to find them on the blogger’s website (by checking out his/her “About” and “Contact” pages) or on his/her Facebook page. If that doesn’t help, I try to send them a tweet and ask them directly.
I also use Ninja Outreach from the well-known Internet marketer Dave Schneider. It is still a relatively new tool but it’s destined to do great things. It allows you to search on an ever- growing database of bloggers for their contact details. You’re able to reach out to them directly from the tool itself, which is great to help you manage your outreach campaigns much more easily.
This task can take a bit of work and when you have a busy schedule it is best to outsource. The great thing is that you can get this job done for $5 on Fiverr.com
It’s really quite simple when you think about it. Just subscribe to their mailing list, wait for their welcome message and hit ‘Reply’. Most of the time, they’ll answer you back because they know it’s important for them to get back to their subscribers.
Talking about tools for this sort of purpose, my favorite and the one I use and have been using for quite a while now is Buzzstream whose service is mind-blowing. I recommend it to everybody who is at a higher level of knowledge and has enough funds to support it. It is not a very cheap tool but I think it’s an important addition to your SEO arsenal.
If the bloggers you’re trying to get in touch with make it tough to find their email addresses, it probably means that they don’t want to be bothered at all. When that’s the case, I google for their name followed by “expert roundup” to understand whether they have answered to this kind collective blog posts before or not.
Usually, if I can’t find any footprints that confirm that, I say ‘adios’ and let them go. There are some exceptions, surely, especially when they are really important to add value to my expert roundups. But I rather not lose time and focus on those bloggers that open to be reached.
I mostly always create expert roundups for the travel niche. Travel bloggers are accessible, friendly and they’re always happy to participate. So it’s pretty straightforward to reach out to them. Their email addresses are usually on their contact pages or you can use their contact forms as well.
Since I’ve been around for quite some time now, I have a lot of LinkedIn connections too. When I need to get people’s email addresses I make use of a little know LinkedIn feature. I head over to Settings and I export my list of connections in a CSV and import it with Microsoft Excel. Here are a few other ways to export contacts from LinkedIn. (Just try not to abuse this tactic by adding people you’re not that close to.)
My favorite tools for finding email addresses are Viola Norbert, Sellhack, and Email Hunter. Another effective strategy is to subscribe to the influencers email list. Many bloggers email their list with their personal email address. Lastly, you can validate an email address using Rapportive (a browser add-on).
Blogger Outreach That Will Make It Impossible To Say No
Look at you! You are on fire and if you have a killer question and an awesome list of experts you are on to a winning post that is bound to catapult you into the spotlight of your niche.
This is where the real work begins though because the success of the post lies on how well you can outreach to your experts.
No expert replies, no post.
If you can’t win any of the big boys over then your blog post results will be very limited.
Nail your outreach campaign and you will nail your expert roundup.
My one tip is to treat every blogger on your list like they are a big boy. This makes them feel important and they will be happy to jump on board.
Remember people are busy and more established bloggers will get thousands of requests. What makes yours stand out?
Try and personalize each and every email as much as you can.
Make it easy for contributors to reply with their answer. Keep your request brief… One simple question to each blogger. The more questions or tasks you give the expert the less likely they will be to respond.
If you have a relationship with the person do not be afraid to ask them for screenshots, proof, analytics etc… This will make your finished post better.
I usually end my email with something like…
“Your Killer Question?
If you have any images, screenshots, proof etc… please feel free to attach it”
Some bloggers won’t offer this stuff because they don’t know if you will publish it. Others just won’t because they are too busy.
Let them know that it’s welcome but also let them know it’s optional!
If you make too many demands your post is just too much work for most bloggers.
What tips would you give to someone who is outreaching for an expert roundup post, to ensure their email is opened and that they say yes?
Before a reader gets to the content, the first thing he/she sees is the email subject, so use a subject header that’s concise and that the receiver will immediately understand.
Don’t let it be something as ambiguous as “Inquiry” or “Expert Roundup”. Instead, write something more specific and understandable like “Request for Promotional Link Exchange” or “Upcoming Expert Roundup Post: Would You like to Participate”?
Also, keep it short. Don’t use unnecessary big words or jargon (unless you’re reaching out to thought leaders in highly technical fields), and PROVIDE VALUE.
Dedicate one short sentence to intro yourself, another sentence to inform your receiver that you’re planning to publish an Expert Roundup about X on X date, another sentence or two to explain what your reader is going to get in exchange for participating (in other words, what VALUE you can provide for them by saying yes to your request) and finally, one or two sentences asking them if they’re interested and what medium would they like to use to participate in the roundup (via call, chat, or email interview).
So we’ve sent somewhere close to 1 million outreach emails in our career with Mark and here are 3 things that helped us get more opens and replies:
1 – Descriptive subject line.
If you’re like me or a busy editor getting dozens of emails daily, you appreciate someone that goes straight to the point in the subject line and just states the main intent of the email instead of being flattery of saying “hi”. I usually put the descriptive ones on top of the pile if they’re not blatantly begging for something.
2 – Short email
That essentially goes with point 1, along with being descriptive, be concise. When you get a lot of emails you don’t need to hear the usual flattery people usually put before asking something like saying they’re huge fans or which one is their favorite post on your site. It’s nice if you just started but trust me it gets old. Keep it to the point, less than 100 words if you can.
3 – explain what is in it for THEM
That’s the #1 mistake I see people do when they outreach. They ask something that is seemingly only beneficial for them while you’re the one doing the work. Explain the kind of exposure people will get for answering to your roundup, if they’re big in your niche offer them some extras like access to your email list or Facebook page. Maybe also put some ad budget behind the post to ensure more exposure.
All in all, make it worth their while to take the time to answer. These people are often billing hundreds of dollars per hour so taking 20 minutes of their time is often worth $200 or $300. Can you provide value that matches that.?
We talk about a lot more outreach tactics in this post if you want to check it out.
Joe’s method is good!
When he emailed me to contribute here he kept his emails and questions brief enough to get through my Inbox of 12,000 emails.
If you are struggling to get a reply though you could try Tweeting, Facebook page, YouTube and blog comment the candidates too so that it is impossible to miss their radar.
The subject line should be personalized. I’m much more likely to open if I see something like “Lisa, can I get your feedback” than I am if I see something generic like “Expert Roundup.”
Also, make sure the questions don’t require long answers or a lot of answers. I never answer round-ups that have too many questions.
The bottom line…. make it EASY for them to answer and don’t take up much of their time with the questions.
It also doesn’t hurt to add something personal in the email, such as, “I enjoyed your last post on X.” Who doesn’t love a little ego stroke every now and then? 🙂 Plus, it makes the request seem more genuine and personal.
Finally, space your requests out. There are people I had to stop answering because they had a request almost every month. Too many requests can wear people out, and you have to remember that there are others emailing them too.
I would make it as easy as possible for the expert to reply. This includes giving direction on exactly what you want the reply to look like…
- From how many characters to the tone and who the audience is that will be reading it.
- I would also share an example of a great answer that you would like the expert to model so they never have to think if what they are writing is going to work.
- Finally, I’d make the next steps as clear as possible. This includes the deadline, who to reply to, where the post will go up and if you need anything else from the expert.
Remember that people are busy and the more work you can do for them, the easier it is for them to respond and help you with your roundup post.
Send emails as a credible person, also reach out on social media first use nice headings like “quick question for you James?”
Ensure you tell the person why the post is worth getting involved in who’s involved, the sites traffic, how you will seed it.
Seed the post via those involved make it easy, add paid boost on Facebook, seed via growth hackers and inbound.
Influencers are too busy with their own businesses and if you want to have a glance at your email then it should be more authentic than ever.
It should be the combination of passion and quality. No one would ever reply to your email if you’re about to ask something unusual. Pro bloggers like uniqueness.
And the most important thing is how you represent yourself. If you’re a person who is so lame that you can’t even elaborate your question then it won’t work.
Tell something about you, your previous work, your blog and then come to the point.
It’s all about the direct approach with the true intentions. An influencer should know where are you going to spread his/her words.
The basic concept is making bonds. Comment on other blogs and then try to ask for their contribution for your roundup post.
Suppose someone sends you a random email and you don’t know that person. What would be your first response? Would you even think about it once? Well, no one would.
Jumping directly just because you want to embrace the creditability of your roundup post isn’t good.
“Make connections, get noticed and then go for your question.”
How To Arrange Your Post For Success
There is not much that you have to do when it comes to putting your post together. That means the tasks you have left need to smash the socks of your reader.
The first task you have to tackle to make sure you get the best from your roundup is the headline.
So many people stick with the norm!
This is ok but it’s boring, check keywords that are a good fit for your roundup and spice it up. What sounds better to you?
100 Link Building Tactics That Will Make Your Blog Rank
100 Expert Link Building Tactics
The first one is benefit driven and doesn’t sound like… the norm!
Once you have crafted a kickass title you need to move onto your intro because this is the next chance you have to hook your readers in.
Did you know that 55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website? So those first sentences really matter.
The format I use for my intros is to let the reader know exactly what they will get.
Today I have the best link building tactics to share with you today. Not just one, though, today we have 100.
Next is to address the problem your audience face…
Google can send you a tremendous amount of traffic but the truth is most never get to experience the Google Effect!
Because it is so damn hard to rank.
Before you dive into your roundup you want to let them know that your blog post delivers the answer.
I had to work out how some people could rank easily and others couldn’t. I simply reached out to SEO experts and asked them this one question…
What is the best way to build links that help a site rank in Google?
By now your readers will be desperate to know what you have for them. So give it to them…
The wait is over here is 100 link building tactics to help you rank your new post.
Bang we have given another benefit to the reader and the post begins. Let’s see what our experts thought on this one… Give your best tips on how to write an attention-grabbing title and intro…
My best expert round up posts are always created from a space of manifestation, not manipulation. Meaning I focus heavily on having fun, giving rocking bloggers some shine and not being concerned at all with getting traffic or social shares through the post. This means I use simple, clear, clean titles and basic, clear intros without much fluff and without delving too deeply into pain points, and maybe even, injecting humor into the lead in.
So many bloggers mean well but see expert roundups as a way to get stuff. I see them as a way to give love. Making that energetic shift will do wonders for your ad copy, your titles, lead ins and any aspect of your blogging campaign.
Keep things simple. Keep things authentic. Your moral compass will make you more moolah than you ever dreamed of.
Every expert roundup post follows the same sort of format (e.g. “100 experts share the best…”) which is getting pretty tired. It’s hard for people to read through 50+ experts, and when they see that in the title in can discourage them from clicking and reading.
I recommend keeping it to just a few uber-influencers and have them contribute more than just a paragraph of a tip. I also recommend making their contributions an integrated part of a bigger piece of content rather than being the sole focus.
Thus the intro should dive into a deeply explored topic and the influencer insight should be just a slice of the pie. If the article only focuses on what other people are saying it doesn’t have a good flow and story.
Once you have nailed your title and intro you just have to list all of your answers. If you have a list of over 50 experts I would suggest you add navigation to improve your user experience.
Sue Anne Dunlevie
The best headlines focus on the readers and what they’re going to get out of reading the post.
Think of what your reader is struggling with most, and write a title that promises them the answers they have been looking for.
Beyond that, writing titles that are different, appeal to the readers’ emotions or have a sense of urgency tend to be interesting and do well.
Jennifer Van Iderstyne
It all depends on what you really want in the long term. Do you want to rack up the rabid fascination clicks? Or are you looking to become a highly credible source of informed insight?
In the latter case, you’re going to want to think about titles which are more focused on addressing current industry events, trend, and concerns. It also helps to provide detailed how to’s and answering questions to common problems in the space where you are trying to build authority. It’s not as sexy, but it is a more solid foundation on which to build.
If the goal is to get clicks, then capitalizing on impulse and emotion is a proven tactic. Over the last couple of years, we’ve really seen titles as click bait evolve to cliche levels. The formulas like “number” + “superlative” + “adjective” + “popular subject” for – “25 of the best adorable kitten pictures” – “30 of the most horrifying Instagram fails” etc. There’s also the fear of loss and shock techniques “You won’t believe what these kids did” – “You have to see what happened to this man at Walmart”. We can look at these and see them for exactly what they are. We may even chuckle at the blatancy of it, but we’ll still click.
Strategies using these techniques may be entirely obvious but we wouldn’t have seen their meteoric rise on social if they didn’t work. So can you use them? Sure. But do you want to be “that guy” in the space? If so, then it still works to shock, titillate and appeal to guilty pleasures and schadenfreude.
A killer title would be a title that scratches the itch of many people.
For example Office gossip.
I don’t know about you but here in my country, office gossip is so prevalent and is a cancer to the workplace that it is a very itchy topic.
Articles that have titles to address that are an immediate hit!
Of course, the title would direct the rest of the article so you need to put in as much time crafting your title as you write the body of the content.
I asked some experts what their number one tip was that ensures your roundup looks epic?
In order for a round up post to be successful, it usually needs two main things: firstly, a really good question that your audience wants answering, and secondly, a host of experts whose opinions they trust.
In terms of the look, though, I would recommend you create a shareable image/banner to add to the beginning of the post and to be used when promoting it.
Where possible, try to also group the answers with subheadings – this makes for an easier, more pleasant reading experience.
Most roundup posts look pretty much the same.
They often have photos of the guest contributors.
Maybe there’s a bio of a few sentences about each writer, with a link back to their blogs.
They include, of course, contributors’ responses to a question like “what’s your favorite tactic for …”.
Now, to make a standard roundup post like this appear to be more epic, I believe you need to include more images, graphics, and even videos.
For instance, you might get some screen captures from contributing bloggers’ own websites.
Maybe from their About Me page.
You could even include a two-minute video interview with each expert.
Ideally, the contributing expert bloggers would submit their own images and graphics… maybe a screen capture from a blog post they wrote on the topic of the roundup, or an original image to illustrate a point.
You could also suggest that they submit their own 1 to 3-minute video giving an overview of their response, or expanding on it.
There’s no need to make it mandatory to add media clips and images, simply point out, as added incentive, how they could benefit your contributors.
To the extent that they get enthused about beefing up their statements with these media upgrades, your roundup will acquire an added dimension and the appearance of being truly epic.
Plus, as I mentioned, asking each contributor to include something special like an infographic or an image pertaining to their answer should be offered as an opportunity to promote themselves beyond just their text statement.
You can also make your post look more epic by asking contributors to adhere to a minimum number of words.
An alternate way of accomplishing this would be to ask the authors/experts to “list their top 5 methods” or their “top 3 methods” or some similar guideline.
Lists will serve to lengthen the responses you get, and at the same time, will help contributors be better organized and more complete in their answers to your roundup question.
Using bullet points in your roundup posts also make them more readable for your visitors, and gives your entire presentation look more professional and detailed.
A final way I’d suggest for making your post appear more epic is, of course, to invite more bloggers and experts to contribute.
Multiply the effect by asking each contributor to give you 2 other names of people they think would be good choices to be included.
Then you can contact those new prospective bloggers and introduce yourself, telling them you were referred by … whoever referred them.
While making your roundup post look epic is a great content marketing idea, don’t ever let it detract from your main mission… to give your readers great value, help them solve their problems and improve their lives and businesses.
Here is an example of a roundup I did to showcase my readers!
If you’re not afraid of the extra work and have some money to spend on a graphic designer, I’m especially impressed by expert roundup posts that create custom cartoon illustrations of all participants. This doesn’t have to be expensive there is a lot of free tools that can do this.
Sometimes they look a little goofy, but they definitely make the post stand out amongst many others!
All written contents’ aesthetics should be maximized with white space and subheadings to ensure the reader has a smooth ride down the page. In specific reference to expert roundups, I’d say try to include contributor photos (headshots) if you can and make sure they each get their own section in the piece.
Sometimes that can be a little difficult, but as long as you make the reader’s ease of journey a priority it’s okay.
Make your roundups look their best by including quality pictures of each expert. Don’t just grab their photo from LinkedIn or other social media site. Ask them to provide a quality headshot that’ll add a professional look to your post.
Be sure to focus on formatting and page layout to make sure everything looks great and reads with ease.
Include less known people that have written compelling content.
Most people doing roundups are asking the same people the same questions and getting the same answers.
Once you have all your awesome answers it is time to write the conclusion. This is your chance to thank your readers and your experts. They have given you time out of their day, let them know you appreciate it.
I would also add in a short summary or tip that just finishes the whole article off, this could even lead your readers to opt-in…
These link building tips are great especially the guestographics method. You are adding value to your readers and infographics are loved by all. Why not try my checklist for promoting your next infographic.
Just keep it simple and be helpful!
Blog Post Promotion That Will Blow The Crickets Far Far Away
You are on a one-way ticket to free promotion. Remember this is not a one-sided thing, though, people aren’t contributing to boost you.
You need to help each other… a roundup should show off the experts. Yes, you will get a lot of benefits but if you don’t let them shine it’s basically all about you.
That won’t work for anyone.
I always suggest starting with the easiest traffic first to get the ball rolling. The easiest for this type of post is to email every single one of the experts. Tell them that the post has gone live and that you are starting to promote it.
Here is an example…
We are Live! How good does it feel?
Thank you for all your help on this post I really appreciate it. Here is the link…
If you need anything amended please let me know and I will put it straight for you.
I am working on promoting this hard, if you know anyone that it would help please share with them, I certainly will 🙂
If you have a resource list it might fit it be great if you could add it 🙂
Once again I really appreciate your answer, let’s smash it!
This email is to the point you have offered ways that they can help you but you have also assured them that you will be sharing the post too. Your job is to get this post in front of as many people as possible.
People will be well chuffed if they get a traffic spike thanks to your post!
Once you have emailed the experts and shared the post on all your profiles it is time to mail out your subscribers. These are people that have shown they love you, send them the link and ask them to share.
This get’s some more easy traffic to your roundup!
Now if any post deserves some sort of paid promotion it is this one. You are dropping a massive value bomb with this one!
Once again I want to give you the best tools, so let’s see what our experts do to get traffic to their post…
If you were to write an expert roundup post tomorrow, how would you promote this post to get more traffic?
Well, the most obvious thing would be to email everybody that you featured (aka the “experts”) and inform them that the post is live with the hope that they’ll share with their own audiences. That said, many of them (depending on niche) participate in enough of these things where it will be harder to get them interested in doing so.
So, think outside the box a bit. 🙂
For instance, one way to maintain more interest would be to ask an atypical question that will stand out to the experts and get them more interested in sharing it.
You could also explore trying something like Twitter ads, but highlighting the expert’s name in the ad and targeting their Twitter followers. Twitter ads are ninja like that. 🙂
And, of course, if you have a strong call to action in the post and there’s business sense to it, you might even explore other forms of paid content amplification, such as Facebook ads targeting the specific interests of your target market.
The promotion of your round up starts before you even go live with the actual post. When starting a roundup, you should have a number in your mind of how many people you want to feature when your post goes live. To achieve this number, you will likely need to send out emails for 3-4 times that amount. This is important, as when your post goes live, you will follow up to all of these contacts again (the ones who answered you) to let them know they were featured on your site. Inside this email you should also include a request for a social share back to the post.
Another good tip is to set up continued social sharing through all networks. When using Twitter, be sure to tag everyone in your round up post. This will likely require setting up multiple tweets. Every time you send these tweets out, there is a good chance a few of the experts will once again retweet it out to their lists.
Lastly, also promote the roundup to your own mailing lists, link to it from other articles on your site and maybe even leave it as a sticky post at the top of your page. These are all actionable tips I’ve used for my latest blogging roundup, which has well over 700 social shares already.
Promotability of expert roundups starts with the credibility of the site publishing the roundup. You have to consider, “Would these people be honored to be featured on the site?” Is it well designed? Does it have a great name? Is the content high quality?
Being selective about who is included with legitimate criteria is next followed by making it easy for participants to share. Also, be sure to connect with the participants on other social channels in a meaningful way beforehand and communicate with empathy – it must be all about what’s in it for the contributors. What do they get out of participating and promoting?
Sure, you could try all kinds of promotion tactics yourself, but why not do a fantastic job of creating something people will be highly motivated to promote for you? 25 people who are proud to be included in your roundup will be far more effective at promotion than 25 different tactics you implement yourself.
It’s Over To You
What are you waiting for it is time to start brainstorming your first or next expert roundup blog post. This is by far the easiest way to get in front of the right people and fast.
Think about it, you have a group of people eager to see the finished article because they have been featured in the post. The more experts you feature the more initial views you will have,
In the beginning, this is key because your visitors never want to be first. So by attracting shares from you experts, you are taking that going first away from your readers. This makes it easy to get people over to your blog.
When you download the pdf guide you will find all the awesomeness that you find here and some extras to make your roundup rock…
Click Here to download the PDF or you can click the image below…