When it comes to blogging for your business, the primary goals are to drive more visibility and traffic to your website, build inbound links, and spur social engagement. This is easier said than done since it’s usually an uphill battle for businesses to get their blog the attention it deserves from their target audience.
One technique for creating quality content your audience craves and distributing it to a large audience is to regularly produce an expert roundup blog post.
The basic idea with this type of blog post is to capture the insight of several experts in your industry in a few sentences or paragraphs based on a particular prompt your team provides. It’s considered a form of content curation since the article pulls input from many different experts into one location.
Most readers enjoy roundup posts because they feature insight from many industry experts all in one place, saving the reader time while still providing value.
An often underutilized technique for getting more visibility from your blog content, creating an occasional roundup blog post can help drive influencers in your industry to share your content, link to your website, and drive qualified traffic to your offerings.
Following is our step-by-step guide to creating an effective roundup blog post for your company’s blog.
1. Create a Compelling Bank of Content on Your Blog
The goal of a roundup blog post is to drive additional visibility and engagement to your blog, but this added push in distribution of your content won’t be as effective if your blog doesn’t have other engaging articles already.
When traffic is directed to your blog from a roundup post, it’ll be most effective if your blog has a bank of quality content for a visitor to review. This way, a person visiting your website from that post can potentially read other blog articles from your company and will have an opportunity to learn from your business by better understanding the types of content they can expect from your team.
Building a blog audience requires a focus on the topics that are of interest to your target market by publishing articles around those subjects on a consistent basis with distribution in mind.
First impressions online are extremely important for gaining the trust of an audience, which is why it’s important to have a few weeks or months worth of content published on your blog before writing an expert roundup blog post.
2. Develop a Series Around Your Audience’s Interests
The best use of a roundup blog post comes by regularly including this type of blog article as a part of your overarching content marketing campaign. Plan on publishing a roundup blog post once a month, a few times a quarter, or a few times a year.
It’s important that your business doesn’t overuse this tactic but also includes this type of article on your blog regularly enough to make use of the virality that typically results from this content and to alert your audience that this is, in fact, a regular series that they should watch for.
Each roundup blog post should focus on a specific topic of interest to your audience, but it is also ideal if your business follows the same format for your roundup blog posts every time they are published and that these topics always relate back to your business offerings in some capacity.
Creating a consistent series of roundup blog posts will drive more results for your business in the long-term, which is why it’s important to map out your strategy for the future.
For each roundup blog post, focus on a specific topic that you’ll create a question from for each participant to answer in the article. For example, if you’re a cookware company, it would make sense to ask top chefs, restaurant owners, and other well-known foodies what tool in the kitchen is the most useful for first-time cooks.
Once you’ve come up with a specific topic and pulled together an interesting prompt about it, it’s time to identify which participants you’re going to invite to give their input on the subject.
3. Identify the Influencers You’re Going to Contact
The most important part of developing a roundup post is deciding which experts will be providing input. The ideal contributors to your article are influencers in your field who have vast expertise — as well as a strong social media following — to offer your roundup.
Many influencers in your industry are too busy to answer all email requests, especially if your business has no prior relationship with them. However, since a roundup blog post promotes an influencer on your network and the networks of their peers as well as providing a link back to their website, they will be far more inclined to participate.
If you’re starting fresh and don’t have anyone in mind, begin by searching Twitter for individuals talking about the subjects related to your business. For example, if you’re a technology company, search hashtags related to tech and see who is tweeting insightful information that highlights their knowledge of the industry.
A participant should be an active member of your industry online but not a direct competitor, have a following comprising individuals similar to your customer base, and be an expert on the subject you’re covering in your article.
An influencer’s expertise is far more important than his or her follower count across social media, but if you’re able to achieve both, then it’s even better. Influencers active on social media with 10,000 to 20,000 followers are far more likely to respond to your outreach than a person with a much larger following on Twitter or elsewhere.
Besides providing a unique perspective for your article, these participants will likely share your content on social media once it’s published, helping drive traffic to the resource. This is why analyzing the social habits of the participants you’re reaching out to ahead of time is important to ensure the post receives the most amount of visibility possible.
There isn’t a set amount of experts to include, but it’s recommended that each roundup post contain the input of at least five participants.
Also, remember that this is an opportunity for your organization to network with influencers in your industry. Make sure to represent your company appropriately and see if you’ll be able to stay in contact with these participants without being invasive.
4. Craft an Email with the Prompt for Influencers
Once you’ve identified the influencers you’re going to contact and the prompt you’re going to send them, it’s time to find their contact information and craft a message.
Most of the individuals worth adding to your roundup posts should have contact information readily available on their social media accounts or website. If for some reason contact info isn’t listed, use social media to reach out to them specifically.
When crafting an email, create a customizable template to send each potential participant that lays out all the necessary details of your request succinctly.
When emailing these professionals, give them two weeks to respond to your request. If you’re looking for the input of six experts, email 10 experts to ensure your business gets enough responses. Always reach out to more experts than necessary because occasionally, they won’t have the time to respond to your email, let alone participate.
Here are the essential components of the email template used to contact potential participants:
- Choose a subject line that directly asks the person to contribute his or her input in a short question.
- Identify yourself and your company briefly. Personalize this line or two if possible to comment on something about the expert to show you did your homework.
- Explain that you’re putting together an article consisting of multiple experts in the industry and your business would love to include their input as well. This helps explain your intentions as well as compliments them.
- Share the prompt for the article and how long of an answer they should provide. Be reasonable with their time; typically ask for a few sentences or a paragraph or two. Bold the prompt to help it stand out in the email.
- Provide them with a deadline for the submission if they are interested in providing an answer to the prompt. Bold the deadline to help it stand out in the email.
- Give them a short timeline for when the post will be live after they’ve submitted their insights.
- Ask them to include a one-line bio with a link back to their website as well as a headshot of themselves. If they don’t send one, alert them that you’ll take their photo from their website, LinkedIn, or Twitter if they aren’t opposed to it.
- Thank them for their time and interest in participating.
Here’s an example of the type of email to send:
5. Compile Your Responses and Put Together a Blog Post
Once you’ve sent out all the emails to the experts you’d like to include in your roundup blog post, give them a full two weeks to respond, but before the two-week deadline, email them a quick reminder if they haven’t responded by the end of the first week.
You’ve hopefully received enough responses at this point, and it’s time to put together the blog post with their responses. This part is pretty straightforward since you have all the information for the blog post, and it just needs to be organized properly.
First, include your own introduction to the article in approximately 200 words and provide the prompt to your readers to give them an understanding of what question the participants were presented with.
Then, list the answers from your various participants one at a time, creating a header to describe their input to drive attention to each piece of advice. After each answer, include the headshot of the expert, his or her name, bio, and link to their website.
At the end of the article, prompt your readers to answer the question themselves and participate in the discussion of the topic in the comments below.
6. Publish the Blog Post, Distribute Effectively, and Repeat
Once the article is live, email all the individuals who provided their expertise in the piece and let them know that it has been published and thank them for participating.
Politely ask that the participants take the time to share the roundup blog post with their network, which most will happily do to help promote the article and their contribution to it.
In addition, share the blog post across your various marketing channels such as email and social media, making sure to call out the participation of the industry experts. For example, mention the insights of one expert when you’re calling out the article in your email newsletter while including the handle of some of the other experts when tweeting about your article.
Get creative with the distribution of these posts by paying to promote them on social media, interviewing one of the experts in more depth, including the images of certain participants in your updates about the article, and so on.
These types of posts are a wonderful tool for amplifying the distribution of your content and educating your audience with leading insights from experts across your vertical.
A roundup post can help build relationships between experts and your business, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re always including professionals in your field based on their expertise and the value it imparts — not solely as a means of distributing your post to a larger audience due to their inclusion.
Repeat this entire process for each roundup post again in the future at whichever interval your team decides is best for your particular company’s blog.