How To Interview Influencers For Your Blog?

by Nedim Talovic · Updated 14 Jul 2021

Interview is the type of content that doesn’t get the attention it deserves and that’s why I’ve decided to write a blog post about it.

Interviews are great for interacting with influencers (industry experts) and it's something that brings real value for you and your business.

In this blog post, I’ll give you the reasons why you should make an interview and how to do it right. I’m sure that, immediately after reading this, you’ll start preparing your own interview.

Let’s see!

3 Reasons Why Interviews Are Important

Credibility

Getting an interview with an industry influencer is not such difficult task as people usually think. Most of them are answering their emails regularly, so you can easily get in touch.

Although industry influencers are not celebrities like Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift, you should know your limits.

For instance, it’s not likely that you’ll easily get Elon Musk for an interview, but many others popular industry experts will boost your blog with the credibility you need.

Additional Value

Just by publishing an interview, your blog will get an ADDITIONAL VALUE, but it will fail to make the desired impact if don’t ask the RIGHT questions.

For example, ask your influencer about predicting the future of content marketing. That’s always interesting to people.

Try to get powerful thoughts from the influencer and then chose an important quote and create it as an image - people will copy that image and link it to your page as its source.

Backlinks

There are more than 200 Google ranking factors including website speed, HTTPS protocol, mobile responsivity, bounce rate and others.

Still, backlinks have been the most important ranking factor for years, and that won’t change so soon, no matter what they say. Making an interview lets you develop better relations with the influencer.

Based on that you can collect the important links.

How?

One of the ways is broken link building technique. For an example, you can find out the list of broken links at influencer’s website and after you publish the interview, you can ask him to replace the link.

In his eyes, you’ll be someone who recognized him as a top expert so he’ll be more interested in linking your website than those who use the cold outreach.

#1 How To Find a Right Person For The Interview

Twitter is a goldmine for reaching out the influencers. I’d suggest you to try with Followerwonk app.

Let’s assume you are in a digital marketing niche and you want to find out the list of influencers to get in touch. This is where Followerwonk comes handy.

Open the app and click on Search Bios in the menu.

Followerwonk

In search box type content marketing and hit Do it.

Search for "content marketing" influencers

You’ll see Twitter users with “content marketing” in their profiles.

Content marketing influencers

Among 28,796 results provided, there must be someone who is interested to get interviewed for your blog. You can sort the list by followers or Social Authority.

#2 How To Choose an Influencer For The Interview

Now when you have the list of content marketers, we need to pick the right person for outreach. I’ll open Jeff Bullas Twitter account and see if he is the right candidate for the interview.

Jeff Bullas

With 487k followers and social authority of 85 he is a perfect match.

Later on, I’ll explain why is this REALLY important. Let’s see are there any contact information on his website.

In the menu, there’s a CONTACT page and though there is no email available, you can use a contact form.

Jeff Bullas contact form

If you prefer an email, you can use a tool like emailhunter.co. Just hit jeffbullas.com and you’ll see something as this:

Jeff Bullas Email

It’s time to reach out.

#3 Contacting Influencer

At this point, I won’t contact Jeff for the interview, but I’ll give you a template you can use:

Hey Jeff, I know that you are one of the top digital marketing experts in the world. Also, I know you have 487k followers on the Twitter. My congrats. I won’t waste so much your valuable time, but I’d like to ask you if you’re available for the interview in the next few days. I’ll send you 10 questions so you can answer me whenever you have a free time. I think your digital marketing knowledge incredible and worth sharing with people, so please let me know what do you think. Nedim Talovic Jellymetrics.com

As you can see, the template is really short. This is important because influencers like Jeff are receiving too many emails, so you cannot write novels.

Let’s briefly analyze the three paragraphs I’ve written:

Paragraph #1 I’ve talked positively about the influencer and mentioned some stats so that he knows I’ve been following his work.

Paragraph #2 In this part I’ve told the influencer exactly what I want - 10 questions interview.

Paragraph #3 Finally, I told Jeff that his knowledge is incredible and that sharing his thoughts is definitely worthwhile.

Notice the CTA in the end.

#4 Preparing For The Interview & Making The Interview

Wait for a couple of days to see if the influencer is going to answer. If there is no feedback, return to step #2 and choose another influencer.

This is the game of numbers, and it’s just matter of time before you’ll succeed. Once Jeff accepts the interview request, I’ll start doing research about his business and prepare the questions.

But let’s presume that he had already confirmed and that I can move on to my further actions. My first step is SimilarWeb, a great tool for learning a lot about a specific website.

Jeff Bullas SimilarWeb

As you can see in the photo below, it looks like Jeff had a blog on WordPress.com (jeffbullas.wordpress.com) before he moved to jeffbullas.com.

Maybe I should ask him to tell me something about that, but before adding it to the list of questions, I’ll do some more research. OK, it’s true he had a blog on wordpress.com.

The last blog post was published on July 13, 2010, so the real question is: When was the first blog post published on jeffbullas.com?

In Google, search for site:jeffbullas.com, click on Search tools and filter indexed pages by Custom range…

Google SERP

Here’s the modal dialog you’ll see.

 Filter Google SERP

I’ll set from 7/13/2008 - 7/13/2010, and after that, I’ll sort by date.

Sort Google SERP

Now, it’s obvious that Jeff started publishing his blog posts in May 2009.

Jeff Bullas First Blog Posts

It took him 451 days (1 year, 2 months and 25 days) to completely migrate from jeffbullas.wordpress.com to jeffbullas.com.

I’ll ask Jeff about his experiences on moving from one domain to another.

Question #1: What is better, starting a blog on your own domain or using services like wordpress.com? Question #2: Do you suggest copying blog posts from example.wordpress.com to the new domain or not?

Let’s not forget question about predictions.

Question #3: What are your predictions about content marketing in the next year?

I just found that Jeff offers consulting services but I wonder why so let’s see.

Question #4: Why do you offer consulting services when you can create a digital marketing SaaS?

I noticed that Jeff’s bounce rate is 68.21% which is way below the average.

jeffbullas.com Bounce Rate

Question #5 According to SimilarWeb, your bounce rate is 68.21% and that’s far below the average in blog industry. What are your secrets?

There are only five questions prepared, but the principle is the same.

Now it’s time to send questions through email on scheduled time and wait for the answers.

#5 Promoting Interview

After you publish the interview, you need to promote it a lot, because without promotion your efforts were for nothing.

The first step is to send an email to the person you have interviewed so he can read it. Also, you need to ask the influencer to tweet about it.

Note that Jeff has over 487k followers, so if he tweets the interview, I can expect a lot of traffic.

Extra tip: Asking the influencer for predictions and making the answer as a content upgrade will lead to collecting a huge number of emails. Everyone wants to see industry expert’s prediction.

You have probably heard about BuzzSumo. It’s a great tool, not only for generating content marketing ideas but also for building traffic as well.

How?

Firstly, I’ve searched for content marketing interview and got the list of published content.

BuzzSumo Shared Interviews

As you can see, there are interviews with content marketing experts. They are all sorted by a total number of shares.

The most interesting part is View Sharers. It lets you seeing people who shared a specific piece of content. You can contact those people and ask them to share your content too. I know it’s a hard job, but it doesn’t get any easier and there are no shortcuts.

The alternative way of content promotion would be sending a newsletter to your subscribers, but that presumes quality email lists and several other things that are out of this article’s frame.

The point is, if you have a low number of subscribers and zero budget for PPC campaign, outreach is what you need.

Conclusion

Making the interview is an easy task. A difficult part is promoting it, especially when you’re on the budget.

I think that every piece of content must have its purpose - notice when I mentioned content upgrade. The idea is to split the interview into two parts:

  • 80% of the interview you publish on the blog
  • 20% of the interview that you use for the content upgrade

If you catch a real industry expert and gain some traffic, you’ll definitely collect a lot of emails - at least 4-5%.

You’ve seen how I’ve found five question within few minutes. That’s the process you can replicate yourself.

UPDATE: I sent an email to Jeff about this blog post, and he actually tweeted about it. Here is the evidence: 

Jeff's answer  

Jeff Tweet

It works!