One of the ultimately effective ways to increase your online visibility, build the authority in the subject matter and enlarge your audience is writing a roundup post. Roundup posts are more often liked and shared, and if written under the right angle, they go viral. As a result, a well-crafted roundup post can generate your blog the attention any traditional piece of content won’t.
So, what are the secret and the magic of an expert roundup? Which steps do you need to take if you’ve never written posts of this kind before? Our IT resume service will share the recipe of a roundup that can become a big step to increasing your presence in the web.
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What is a roundup post?
To cut the long story short, a roundup post is a compilation of expert opinions or answers to a single question. In other words, you ask the fellow experts in a given field a question, and then create the entire article based on their answers. It takes more effort than the usual “The top 3…” of something that you typically write, but the result is different as well. In addition to a great post (which is likely to be shared by experts through their audiences), you build relationships with other bloggers. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Let’s have a closer look at the ingredients of a successful roundup.
The steps to successful roundup post
Choosing the question
It’s often the question that will make or break your roundup post. Avoid the simple and obvious ones – the questions like “The top 5 blogging platforms in the world” have been answered online for like thousand times, so a question of this type won’t make your roundup unique. Here are a few more steps to choosing and formulating the right question:
- Identify the needs of your target audience – if you choose an irrelevant question or the one which doesn’t resonate with the needs of your readers, the post probably will fall short of expectations;
- Do a research – first, if you’ve never written roundups before, you’ll need to know how the most successful ones look like. Second, a research will help you identify the topics in trend that your readers will approve;
- Avoid yes/no questions – your purpose is to get detailed responses on the subject that would enable you to create an informative blog post.
As soon as you’ve done with the subject area, it’s time to formulate the question in a way that will produce unique, interesting responses from the experts that your readers will be excited to read.
- Ask one thing at a time – the more specific you are the higher are chances that the experts will respond. Vague questions like “What advice can you give to a beginning writer?” won’t generate much interest.
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- Make the question personal – experts will likely respond if you ask to share the advice from their own experience. For instance, if you blog about writing, you can ask something like “How did you manage to get your first 1000 subscribers?” Not only personal questions receive more open and honest responses, but also they eliminate the odds that the experts will share similar, generic answers.
- Specify your target audience – when e-mailing your request to a blogger, add a few words about the audience you’re writing for. The matter is if you are going to make a roundup about writing techniques, the advice you need to give beginning writers and experienced ones will be totally different.
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- Use the attractive formula for your question – you need to formulate the question in a way that would make a catchy heading. Here are a few formulas you can apply for your question:
- What was the biggest change in ____ for the past year?
- What are your favorite tools for ___?
- If you could start ___ again, what you would do differently?
Finding the right experts
Create a list of featured experts (10-20 people depending on the depth of coverage and length of the blog post you’re going to create). Your task is to find the people that your readers know, trust and admire. However, keep in mind the following:
- Not all the experts will reply, so you need to prepare list that is long enough even if the response rate is low;
- Don’t e-mail top bloggers with millions of audience if you are a first-year blogger yourself. Focus on those experts whose audience is bigger than your but who is still considerably easy for your to approach. However, do try to get at least 1-3 impressive names for your post to make it more appealing for your audience.
Where to find the experts for your roundup? Here are a few ideas you probably haven’t considered:
- Ask your readers who they read and whose expertise on the subject matter they trust;
- When searching for sample roundup posts, see who from your niche have participated;
- Look for authors of posts on LinkedIn and other professional resources.
The experts and professional bloggers are very busy people, so be ready that a great deal of your requests won’t get a response. However, don’t e-mail 50 people straightaway – if the majority of them participate, your post will be a way too long even for a roundup.
Contacting the experts
Now that you have completed the preparations, it’s time to create a template e-mail that you’ll be sending to experts.
What to include in your outreach letter?
- Start with the name of the blogger to make it sound personal
- Indicate your name and the name of your blog
- Express the interest in their blog or explain how you found it
- Ask the roundup question
- Let them know the deadline by which you’ll be waiting for their answer
- Thank for their time and attention.
Here is how you can make the outreach more effective:
- Create an online form to fill out – using an online form will help you look more professional. You can create a Google online form – be sure to add fields for the expert name, their short bio and response to your roundup question;
- Add the paragraph expressing your opinion on their blog and/or latest post. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in their blog and not only want to get something from them;
- Indicate the names of other experts participating – if you’ve already received positive responses from a few influential bloggers, be sure to mention this fact;
- Inform that you’re going to heavily promote the post – so that they could see participating in the roundup as a way to expand their own audience;
- Let them know when the post is live and suggest that they share it in their own blogs. Some of the featured experts will agree, and here’s when you’ll get more visibility and new readers.
Writing the post
Got enough expert responses? It’s time to compile your post. However, simply listing the responses of influencers is far not enough. You need to thoroughly analyze the information and add your perspective on the experts’ opinion. Your own vision and attitude is what is going to make the post unique and attractive for your audience.
When drafting the structure of your post, consider doing the following:
- Make the expert names hyperlinked so the readers could instantly reach the personality that evoked their interest. If the person you’ve interviewed isn’t a blogger, a link to LinkedIn page would be fine;
- Include a headshot - it will make your post look better as the images will break the text. Moreover, a picture makes the information looks more credible as the readers see there’s a real person standing behind these facts you give;
- Put the most popular names at the top – to catch the readers’ attention at a glance, put the opinions of the most popular names in your field. So, the visitors who are just skimming through will click on your post and read it more carefully.
Read more advice on how to become a popular blogger – it will help you build better relationships with your audience.
Blog post promotion
If you have informed the experts that you have been going to promote the post, make sure it wasn’t just words. You shouldn’t solely rely on sharing of your post by featured bloggers. Use your traditional promotional tactics (such as social media buttons, ready-to-tweet tool, etc.) and consider posting paid ads in other online resources. If you feel that the post might be a success, these expenditures will pay off.
If you are a writer by trade, a quality roundup post may serve as a perfect sample of your work for a prospective employer or client. Make sure that your resume and cover letter correspond with this image! Check free sample cover letter if you need a sample to follow and create your own one.
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