A “Cheat Sheet” For Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral

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How to Get Interviewed by Popular Blogs (Even If You’re Not a Big Shot)

How to Get Interviewed by Popular Blogs (Even If You’re Not a Big Shot)

Stings, doesn’t it?

Whenever a popular blog quotes an expert in your niche, you feel a little pang of envy.

And you can’t help thinking…

Why not me?

And it’s a good question.

Why did that person get asked for their opinion and not you?

After all, they’re no smarter than you. No more experienced than you. No more interesting than you.

But for some reason they received that call (or email or tweet) instead of you.

Which means they earned yet another mention on a popular blog, while you’re left feeling like a nobody.

And you start to wonder…

Why do the same small set of individuals crop up time and time again online?

Do they all belong to some secret experts club that gives them access to all the best opportunities?

And if so, how do you get to be a member?

The Frustrating Catch-22 of Becoming a Featured Expert

Consider the following situation.

A popular blogger wants to interview a group of experts on a hot topic and publish the results on their blog.

Naturally, one of the first steps is to compile a list of people to ask for a quote or two. (The same list you’d love your name to be on).

Usually, the first people they add are those they know personally.

But after that, can you guess where they find names to fill out the list?

Other expert interviews.

That’s right, to have a good chance of being invited to participate in an expert interview, you need … to have participated in an expert interview somewhere else.

Somewhat frustrating, right?

When you’re getting started, how on earth do you break into that circle?

How do you overcome this frustrating catch-22 situation?

Don’t worry, there is a way.

But first, let’s take a look at exactly why becoming a featured expert is so powerful for you as a blogger.

How Expert Interviews Can Transform You from a Nobody into a Somebody

Appearing as a featured expert in a group interview on a popular blog is one of the most efficient ways to raise your profile and gain authority online.

The following are just some of the benefits:

  • Increased exposure – You build your personal brand and raise your visibility in your niche (which results in more followers and mentions).
  • Greater authority – Your quote appears alongside recognized and trusted experts, which brings powerful authority by association.
  • Valuable links – You build powerful editorial links from established blogs, which also generate referral traffic* (and may result in long-term SEO benefits).
  • More opportunities – As explained above, experts featured in popular interviews are often among the first chosen for future round-ups and other projects (that’s the rich-get-richer concept).

*Here’s a good example to prove my point: My good friend and partner Gerald Weber mentioned our site Viral Content Buzz in this interview, and that article is now the third most important source of referral traffic.

Expert Interviews 101: Know Your Interview Types

The expert round-up is one of the most common interview types, but they come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

Some blogs get really creative in the way they feature niche experts and their quotes, but the following are the major formats you’re likely to encounter:

  • Solo interview – One recognized expert does a question-answer interview. (Here’s an example from TechWyse.)
  • Group interview – A group of experts answers the same questions thus giving the reader the opportunity to compare and contrast different perspectives and opinions. (Here’s an example from SEOChat.)
  • Group round-up – Several contributors share their favorite tactic or tool to solve one problem or answer one question. (Here’s a recent example from Social Media Examiner.)

But in practice, expert interviews are not limited to blogs. Other interview types include:

Twitter Chats (or Twitter Interviews)

Twitter chats use hashtags to organize a public discussion on Twitter.

Twitter chats expand your reach dramatically because followers of all the chat participants are able to follow the conversation and contribute as well.

Also, Twitter chats are often covered elsewhere in the blogosphere, which results in even more mentions. (Here’s an example.)

Here’s a detailed article on how Twitter interviews work. For examples of regular Twitter chats, take a look at this calendar I created for the chats I often participate in. Here’s another calendar by Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz.

Google Hangouts on Air

Another way to boost your expert brand and mentions online is to get invited to a popular Google Hangout on Air (HOA).

The Hangout Events Community is a great place to discover a Google HOA show to participate in.

Social Media AMAs (Ask Me Anything)

These are usually initiated by the interviewee: you post a separate thread on social media inviting people to ask you anything. Of course, it helps if you already have a bit of a following online.

In social media and marketing, the most popular AMAs are held on Reddit and Inbound.org.

In most cases, they are set up with the help and supervision of the community moderators, so before trying to create one, it’s best to visit a few AMAs and ask questions to get a better feel of how that works.

AMAs are awesome for brand recognition as well as for traffic. Here’s one I did on Reddit.

Podcasts

Podcast interviews get lots of coverage too.

Blog Talk Radio is the first obvious resource for making those important connections to get invited to podcasts. Webmaster Radio is another one to keep an eye on.

Which Interview Types Are Right for You?

The most effective interview types for you will depend on your preferences and strengths. If you prefer speaking to writing, podcasts may work better for you. If you’re already active on Twitter, getting involved in a Twitter chat may be a natural choice.

But whichever type of interview you choose to experiment with, the million-dollar question is:

How can you score valuable interview opportunities if you don’t already have a track record of being interviewed?

Here’s a three-step strategy to land your first opportunities.

Step #1: Make Sure Your Digital Footprint Shouts “Expert!”

When you’re being considered as an invited expert, one of the first things an interviewer will do is check you out online, so you need to make sure your digital footprint (website, social media profiles, etc.) leaves a great impression.

Create an About Me Page That Kicks Ass

Having a professional (but importantly, human) About me page is the first step to getting people who find you online to pitch you for interview opportunities.

I did a group interview asking some of my favorite personal branding experts how people can improve their on-site About Me page, which produced some of the following great suggestions:

  • Make sure your bio page is clearly and logically structured. There should be a short intro summing up your experience, a list of topics you consider yourself to be an expert in, and a list of your notable achievements, jobs and mentions. Demian Farnworth’s bio is a great example of a clear, convincing structure.
  • Always include links to your social media profiles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked someone’s bio page and failed to locate those important links. This may sound obvious, but your on-site bio page should work as the ultimate reference for where people can find you, including any active social media accounts.
  • Make it clear that you’re available for interviews. Most people miss this. Be sure to say what types of opportunities you’re interested in – for example, contributing articles, participating in expert interviews, providing quotes – and list your favorite topics to talk about. As part of your well-structured bio page, it’s a smart idea to create a highly visible “I am open for” and “Here’s how to get in touch with me for these and other opportunities” sections.
  • Tell your story. People love connecting with people who have interesting stories. (What’s your background? Tell some anecdotes!) Keep in mind, your unique story is the major reason why you will be interesting to bloggers and publishers.
  • Make sure you’ve got basic SEO covered. In other words, the title tag should contain your name – use some basic schema.org markup to make it search engine friendly. Here’s a concise list of best on-page SEO practices that you may want to apply to your bio page to get it well-ranked for your own name in Google and Bing search results. Linking to this page from other pages on your site and from your contributor bylines will give it extra visibility, and it’s also a good way to get it ranked higher in search engines.
  • Share what other people are saying about you. Social media testimonials work great for that, and Jason Acidre’s page is a good example of using Twitter testimonials to full effect.
  • Be creative to stand out from the crowd. For instance, you could add some creative visuals that give readers essential information about you in a more fun way – Neil Patel’s page is a great example of this:
neil-patel-example

Ramp Up Your Social Media Profiles

In addition to your bio page, you should also make the most of your social media bios.

Twitter has a word limit, so you should be concise but detailed (without being spammy). Personally, I don’t like Twitter bios that contain only hashtags or list projects and interests.

Here are a few examples of professional Twitter bios you might emulate.

Rand Fishkin’s bio mentions his core interest and his professional motto:

randfish-twitter-bio

Larry Kim’s bio lists his professional achievements:

larrykim-twitter-bio

Dr. Pete’s bio adds a touch of humor that makes it hard to miss:

drpete-twitter-bio

Your LinkedIn bio should primarily highlight your professional experience. In my view, the more detailed here, the better.

Maria Elena Duron’s LinkedIn profile is a perfect example of LinkedIn personal branding done right. It’s detailed, clearly structured and summarizes her expertise brilliantly:

maria-elena-dura-linkedin-bio

Google Plus has two places where you can talk about your expertise and experience:

  • Your Tagline – This is an important section because the first part of your tagline (36-44 characters or 286 pixels) is displayed on your Google+ Hovercard, which is visible in many places around the network.
  • Your “About” section – This has no word limit and supports simple formatting (bold, italics, hyperlinks), so you can go into as much detail as you like. Stephan Hovnanian has an awesome G+ “About page,” for example.

Step #2: Get Proactive About Finding Interview Opportunities

You’ve whipped your various public profiles into shape so that they give the right impression to any bloggers or reporters who happen to stop by.

Unfortunately, that’s usually not enough to start the interview offers pouring in – you need to proactively go after them.

However, once you get some momentum going, and people see your quotes being featured around the web, the opportunities will start to find you.

That’s the rich getting richer thing again. But to take advantage of it, you need to get the ball rolling first.

The following are some ways to do just that.

Leverage Platforms that Connect Interviewers with Experts

haro-logo

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is an established platform that connects reporters to potential sources. Once registered, you receive emails twice a day listing people who are looking for quotes – and if you have the required expertise, you can respond.

Be aware that this service does present a couple of challenges:

  1. More often than not, you won’t hear back from the reporter – even if they use your quote.
  2. Keeping track of submissions is time-consuming and hard to scale past a certain point.

These problems can be eased with an Excel spreadsheet. Record every request you respond to, and then once a month (or bi-weekly) revisit the relevant blogs to see if that topic has been covered (and whether your quote was used).

It does take a little effort, but knowing where you’ve been featured is important because you can help promote the piece for more exposure.

You can use a custom spreadsheet like the following to track HARO submissions (download a copy here):

haro-spreadsheet

To find out more about HARO, read this detailed tutorial. You can also learn about the different types of HARO requests and how to deal with each.

myblogu-logo

MyBlogU [Disclaimer: I am a co-founder] is another platform facilitating group interviews, which is geared toward blogging and community building.

You can browse existing interview requests, choose which ones you’d like to respond to and submit your answers.

It doesn’t require in-depth expertise on the listed topics as it’s more for collecting opinions rather than professional quotes.

MyBlogU is more time-efficient than HARO because it sends you an email when your answer is published, ignored or past its deadline, making it easier to follow up on your successes.

For a more complete list of options, try this list from Everything PR; just be aware that results may vary!

Use Twitter to Find Breaking Opportunities

Twitter is my main source of news and trends in my industry. I wrote a detailed article on using TweetDeck to stay on top of my Twitter feed and mentions from other users, and the same search and tracking tips can be used to find the latest interview opportunities.

tweetdeck

For instance, I’m using the following query to find interviews within my niche:

[marketing AND expert AND interview]

The great thing about TweetDeck is that you can set any column to send updates to your desktop, which means you can be among the first to reply to a public request.

If you want to experiment with different Twitter search queries and various keywords, I suggest using Cyfe (Freemium), the great social media dashboard where you can create different widgets with all kinds of Twitter search variations you are playing with:

cyfe

Find Potential Targets by “Slipstreaming” Prominent Experts

One useful way to find opportunities is to watch other experts in your niche to see where they are being featured – these same blogs may love to feature you in a future interview.

Start with the names of a few influential people in your niche (or a neighboring niche) who’ve been included in prominent interviews and try to find other places they’ve been featured.

Searching Google for [“Author Name” interview] is one option. (You can also filter results to show you the most recent and fresh ones).

interview-search-google

Another great tool is BuzzSumo, which lets you filter results by “interviews” and, more importantly, it allows you to “Save any search” to easily access it again and/or export any results to Excel.

I am using this tool to both search by author…

buzzsumo-1

…and search by keyword to keep track of various opportunities in my industry:

buzzsumo-2

Think Laterally to Expand Your Search Beyond the Obvious

For some sites, interviewing experts is the whole business model. That’s all they do, and it’s all their readers are interested in.

They’re easy to find too – just Google: “[topic] interviews” (for example “blogging interviews”).

However, that’s part of the problem. If they’re easy for you to find, they’re easy for other people in your niche too.

So it pays to think beyond your profession. Think about your original and personal experience, your unique perspectives or your unusual ways you’ve tackled problems in the past.

The following are some examples of sites that interview people fitting a particular profile:

Searching for these kinds of opportunities, you are likely to discover lots of ways for you to tell your story and position yourself as an expert.

The actual search terms will depend on your personal background and skills. For example, as someone who built a business while being a stay-at-home mom, I would use the following combination of search terms:

  • [productivity interview]
  • [work at home mom expert interview]
  • [woman entrepreneur interview]
  • [WAHM expert interview]
  • [life work balance expert interview]

You can get even more creative by replacing the [(expert) interview] above with all kinds of related terms: [podcast], [insights], [ask an expert], [Twitter chat], etc.

Step #3: Make Your Expert Pitch – and Close the Deal

The previous section should have given you lots of ideas on how to find bloggers who would be willing to interview you.

Now, let’s talk about how to approach – and land – any opportunities you may discover.

How to Craft Your Irresistible Pitch

Landing an interview starts with letting the right people know that you’re willing to be interviewed.

I’d recommend kicking things off with an email. Whenever you feel like you could be a great fit for the expert interview, go ahead and email the blogger.

Opinion is divided on how to best reach out to a blogger or a publisher. Some PR pros will suggest being as detailed as you can, explaining your background and expertise upfront to convince the blogger why you are the perfect interviewee. Others recommend being brief and to the point, which is my preference.

The following are some best-practice tips based on my own experience of being on both sides of the equation (i.e., as someone pitching for interviews and receiving pitches from others):

  • Use the blogger’s first name. You may need to check a few linked social media profiles to make sure you have it correct.
  • Keep your email brief. After the opening salutation, the perfect pitch email is just two lines long (not including the line with the name and the polite closing line). The first line explains why you’re getting in contact, and the second explains why you think you are a good fit for that.
  • Limit the number of links. One link (to a relevant resource) in the first email is more than enough; otherwise you risk your email getting trapped by a spam filter.

Here’s an example pitch:

Hey John,

I’d like to nominate myself for your “Frugal living interview” series.

I advocate sustainable living all over the web, including my personal blog: www.myblog.com

Please let me know,

Ann

Use the following tips for using social media to maximize your chances of successful outreach:

  • Follow the blogger on social media. This shows you’ve taken the time to go beyond a simple email, and it also gives you another way to follow up if you don’t hear back from your initial inquiry.
  • Find the blogger on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for outreach (assuming the blogger is registered) because it shows your “common connections” and you can ask a common connection for an intro.

How to Respond When Your Targets Take the Bait

Many bloggers, particularly those who do expert interviews on a regular basis, are constantly searching for original insights and unique stories. And in many cases, they will be happy to say yes to your pitch.

How you proceed with each opportunity will depend on the editorial specifics of each blog and the nature of the questions you receive.

Here are some rules of thumb I follow that you can use when responding to bloggers who want to interview you:

  • If you’ve published articles on the interview topic, add links to those articles in your interview answer. But be sure the links genuinely add value, e.g., by elaborating on the topic.
  • If you have a blog or other project that fits well with the interview, feel free to mention it (together with any appropriate disclaimers). Again, if it’s relevant to the topic being discussed, the link adds value.
  • You don’t need to include a bio unless the publisher specifically asks you for one. However, having a detailed email signature helps the publisher create an editorial blurb about you and why you got invited to the interview.
  • Attach your preferred headshot to the email when replying. This helps you control your personal branding by choosing the photos that go along with your mentions.
  • If a deadline looks too aggressive, it’s better to negotiate a later delivery (or even politely turn down the interview) than to answer when you are stressed. Being featured at your best has lots of networking and branding potential, so it’s better to do less and maintain quality than risk giving sub-standard responses.

These practices have helped me get more exposure to my projects and my personal brand when I participate in blog interviews – yet they keep me from being self-promotional.

What to Remember If You Don’t Know What to Say

The most important thing to realize is that bloggers really want to hear from YOU; they want to tell YOUR story and show YOUR perspective.

So the best thing you can do is truly be yourself. Try to remember related anecdotes from your life experience (that relate to the questions) and be transparent about what you do and how you do it.

Talk from your experience; that’s the unique perspective the blogger wants to hear.

What to Do Once Your Interview is Live

Despite the focus of this article, being featured is not actually the ultimate goal.

What matters more is the relationships you are building during the process.

So when you do get featured, make sure you follow up like a pro:

  • Always comment on the live article. That drives even more attention to you; more importantly, it’s the first step to building long-term relationships with the host and possibly other participating experts.
  • Always share that live article on your social media channels. And most importantly, tag the host and other experts who were featured – on Twitter and Google+, the people you tag will receive a notification.
  • Follow everyone related to the interview. The host, other experts, and readers who comment and share. The more connections you emerge with, the better your results in the long term. (Here are some tips on finding influencers who interact with your content.)
  • Consider adding hosts to a separate Twitter list or Google+ circle. That way you can easily keep track of those publishers you have interacted with – who knows what opportunities they may offer in the future!

Once the buzz around the interview has settled, keep interacting with your new social media connections and grow those relationships.

It’s Time to Join the Ranks of Featured Experts

So there you have it.

A rock-solid strategy for breaking into the inner circle of featured experts who dominate the blogosphere.

Mastering these steps might take a few weeks or months, but the rewards for those determined to break out of the orbit of anonymity are many.

As soon as you score your first high-profile interview – and see your name mentioned alongside the familiar experts in your niche – you’ll know the effort was worth it.

Each new interview creates more mentions, boosts recognition and builds your authority.

And before long you won’t need to search for opportunities at all – they will find you.

Because now you’ll be the envied, prominent expert in your niche.

About the Author: Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com and founder of MyBlogU.com. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for seven years; she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable.

118 Comments

  1. Don Sturgill
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 09:40:16

    I’ve published two group interviews, using the MyBlogU.com platform and have a third in the works. It’s fun. It allows me to speak with people I met never otherwise have met, and it is informative content.

  2. Don Sturgill
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 09:42:13

    Okay, that’s it, from now on I proofread my comments 🙂 …. might never otherwise have met.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:26:28

      Thanks for your continuous support, Don!

  3. Daryl
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 09:57:52

    Wow! Really loving the thorough, step by step approach you took there Ann! I definitely agree with the importance of thinking laterally – how your skills or services can fit a niche that wouldn’t usually be associated with what you do but ends up being a great fit!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:25:44

      Thanks for reading through, Daryl!

  4. Ash
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:15:32

    Wow! Just wow!!! That’s one comprehensive post. Looking forward to reading it over the next few days!!!

    🙂

    Thanks so much for posting it. Must have taken a LOT of work.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:24:54

      Thanks, Ash! It did! Luckily, I’ve had awesome support from Glen, THE editor!

  5. Elke Feuer
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:41:37

    Great tips! There’s a lot here I hadn’t considered. Thanks!

  6. Leanne Regalla
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:45:35

    Wow, Ann! What an amazing post! BBT has knocked it out of the park again.

    Thank you for this, I’ll be studying and revisiting this often.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:52:53

      Thanks, Leanne! It feels good to be here! GREAT blog – I am honored to be featured here!

  7. Godwin Adams
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:49:22

    Ann,

    You’ve said it as it is. Interviews are one of the ways of becoming an instant expert on a topic. The benefits are numerous, especially when the interview goes viral.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:05:12

      Thanks, Godwin! Maybe not that instant: It still requires hard work! 😉

  8. Ina Karadzhova
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:49:33

    the third Wow! in a row – fully deserved. Haven’t read such a thorough and thoughtful guide in a long time. Bookmarked.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:29:39

      Thanks for the kind words, Ina!

  9. Cynthia Lindeman
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:52:45

    Ann, love this — going to use some of these tips 🙂 — Cynthia

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:34:41

      Great! I love it when my articles encourage someone to act 😉

  10. Mi Muba
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:58:54

    Hi Ann Smarty

    A smart post on a very unique topic and will help a lot to those who still simply dream to be featured at top blogs.

    To be interviewed at popular blogs need a step by step plan.

    You won’t receive the first invite directly by a top blog. Initially it will be a small blog fully fit to your blogging stature.

    Here you need to be realistic and accept the offer so proudly as if you got a big honor. If you won’t be proud of that offer you won’t give your best for it and will talk casually without deep insight of the issues and won’t be noticed by others.

    So it is must to produce all you know about the topic in your first or a few initial interviews. So the next level bloggers will hear your voice and its echo also. So obviously next time you will get an invite of a middle level blog. So your journey should go on to eventually to be interviewed at top blog.

    But this won’t happen as theoretically as I mentioned here. You need to fully justify your other skills simultaneously.

    The blogger who wants to take the opinion of several experts on a topic will search those who are already connected with him or he happened to see them around. So show your presence with all your strengths at social media and all blogging communities to make others notice you.

    The journey to be interviewed at top blogs does not end here. While showing the proof of your worth online you equally need to support how great you are by creating great. This should not be a lengthy post of several thousand words which actually is a combination of several posts on a topic you read last week. Your idea will prove how powerful blogger you are. A post devoid of idea means a blank face without any express or a painting of beautiful girl without any feel of beauty.

    These are the points in addition to your in this one of the amazing posts on how to be interviewed at other blogs. I also mentioned a few of them with a way as I take them.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post with quite unique ideas. Well done.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:06:54

      Thanks for the great comment! Even though I get invited by big blogs now, I still see EVERY opportunity as an honor!

  11. damilolaniyi
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:59:10

    This article was really helpful. I see that blogging is a full-time job and however hard it seems, I try to make out some time to blog weekly even with my full-time job. I hope I’d get the opportunity to make a career of it. Many thanks, Jon!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:08:25

      Пood luck with that Jon! We all started as part-time bloggers, so you are on the right track 😉

  12. Demian Farnworth
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:11:23

    You rock Ann! Thank you for loving my About page. 😉

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:08:59

      Very-well deserved, Demian! Thanks for stopping by to thank 🙂

  13. Jake D. Parent
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:58:20

    This is packed full of all sorts of awesome, Ann. What a gem!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:09:25

      Thanks, Jake! I hope it will be useful!

  14. Doug Francis
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:10:22

    That post is going to require a second reading! Excellent. Really.

    When a writer from Money Magazine called me out of the blue, thank goodness I was sitting at my desk and not driving my kids to soccer in rush hour traffic. We spoke for 45 minutes on a specific topic that I blog about, so, my responses were content rich to help her write like an authority (and pitch the story to her editors).

    At the end of the call, she said “wow, I really called the right person.” Honestly, that opportunity was unique and I gave her everything I had… and my nugget, give that interviewer the best you have to give

  15. Dustin @ ventureblend entrepreneur magazine
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:16:24

    I run VentureBlend.com & we’re always looking for new people (specifically bloggers and online entrepreneurs) to interview – and we actually prefer to interview people that are NOT ‘big shots’.

    Feel free to email me at Dustin (atventureblend.com. Please send a link to your site/business and a summary what your blog or business is about or does.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:04:52

      I have just sent you an email, Dustin! Thanks for the comment!

  16. Dustin @ ventureblend entrepreneur magazine
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:17:51

    – In addition my post above, we welcome guest posts as well.

  17. Polina
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:47:30

    Ann, it`s super useful, thank you for sharing your knowledge. You rock!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:05:42

      Thanks a lot, Polina! You are awesome!

  18. Jeremy
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 13:06:28

    Killer post! So much useful information here. BBT just keeps bringing in amazing guest articles, I’m always blown away by them.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:07:58

      Thanks for the kind words, Jeremy!

  19. Susan Cooper
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 13:38:16

    Becoming a featured expert is kind of like finding a job if you have no experience or getting a line of credit if you have no credit history. Thanks for all the tips and tricks on how to get past that Catch 22.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:08:58

      Very well said, Susan! Being featured when you are not yet a celebrity may be tough but still doable!

  20. Zoe Uwem
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:30:52

    Very informative post, Ann.

    I tried using HARO sometime back but had too many “irrelevant” emails in my inbox. I’ll give MyBlogU a try and see how that goes.

    Thanks for the tips, links and examples. And thanks to the BBT Team, too.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 17:43:32

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, Zoe! See you at MBU!

  21. maxwell ivey
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 16:49:30

    Hi John; Well, the other readers are probably going to hate me. I have been interviewed several times. I have been featured in round up posts. And I have had a couple of guest posts published on popular sites. And I did all this without ever writing the first pitch letter. Please no one hurt me. 🙂 I did this by leaving memorable comments on a lot of blogs. I did have an advantage because in addition to my comments being memorable I am a bit unique. I am a totally blind blogger who started out selling amusement equipment. I am now also working at becoming a coach and public speaker hoping to use my story to motivate others to take action. I am scheduled to be interviewed again for the AFB, American Foundation for the blind. I do have a page on my site called as seen online with links to all of these events. But I do need to work on my about me page. I need to add the social media links. would you suggest links or adding them to the side bar or both? also as a blind computer user a lot of sites aren’t what you call friendly to screen readers. Of all the sites you mentioned in this post, is there one that you would put ahead of the others. I do plan to start seeking out interviews. of course it should be easier since I have these experiences already. and you are right it is a case of the rich getting richer or of a pebble slowly becoming a snowball and then an avalanche. Eventually they will be turning down offers or at least having to set better terms as to time and all. thanks again for this post. It helped me even though I am already on my way. Take care, Max

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 17:48:08

      Thanks for sharing your story, Max! It’s really very impressive!

      >>> would you suggest links or adding them to the side bar or both?

      I’d say both! Why not?

      >>> Of all the sites you mentioned in this post, is there one that you would put ahead of the others

      I am biased, so I’ll let someone else answer this question as well! But we would love to see you over at MyBlogU.com 😉

      • maxwell ivey
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 18:06:42

        Hi Ann; Its always nice to bfeel welcome so i will check out myblogu. and I can add the links myself but generally leave updating the side bar to my web master. so will add the links now and have him add the side bar connections later. I have them on my older site for amusement ride selling. but the blog for the coaching is newer and still needs a lot of work. Always open to new opportunities. 😉 thanks again and take care, max

      • maxwell ivey
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 18:15:59

        Hi Ann; have sad news. I went to sign up at MyBlogU and couldn’t because there isn’t a non video option for the security question. could you please set up an account for me and email me the details. thanks max

      • Ann Smarty
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 21:31:56

        I am sorry to hear about that! We’ll definitely need your help to improve accessibility of the site! I couldn’t find how to contact you on your site!

      • maxwell ivey
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 21:52:55

        Hi ann; I just looked on my site and sure enough there isn’t a contact form. I’m embarrassed. I will certainly fix that. but i couldn’t find one for you either. so my email is justask@theblindblogger.net as far as the total site goes this one has no accessibility problems. and the MyBlogU may not have any either other than the captcha issue. but it is encouraging that you want the site to be accessible. I don’t get that sense from a lot of websites. by the way I noticed you mentioned reddit in this post. do you know anyone there who could fix their captcha problem. not only do they not have a non video option but they make me enter one for every action. I don’t use their site because I’m not about to ask a family member to solve them over and over again for me. take care, max

      • Maxwell Ivey
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 00:07:46

        Hi Ann; thanks for telling me about not having a contact method. I just added contact form 7 which i love for its simplicity of installation. and I tested it to make sure it works. not having one was making me look unprofessional and may b the single most reason why no one has hired me yet. we have to make it easy. and my error was compounded by the fact that in my coaching page it says to use the contact me form. now i need to go link the form just to make sure they find it easily. thanks again, max

    • Leanne Regalla
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 17:53:33

      Hi Max, I would love to talk to you! I have a blog called Make Creativity Pay (http://Makecreativitypay.com) and one of my clients is a legally blind painter (she has a little peripheral sight). There are probably a lot of similarities with what you both are doing, let me know if you’d be interested in comparing notes. 🙂 Best of luck to you. PS – there’s a post on writing a strong About page on my site, you might want to check it out. http://bit.ly/YBcIcr

  22. Ralph Brogden
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 20:54:36

    This blog post is ten times better than most paid marketing courses. Print it out, mark it up, put it into practice. Well done Ann Smarty!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 21:29:22

      Wow! Thanks for the kind words, Ralph!

  23. Arijit
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 22:11:02

    Hey Ann,
    Keeping a link on my About me page to my linkedin profile will make people leave my website. Don’t I have a better chance of capturing a lead when the person stays on my website? I suppose this would hold true for interviewers looking for me too.

  24. Matthew @ Calming Music Weekly
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 23:25:28

    Hi Ann – echoing all of the other comments here, thank you so much for an incredibly detailed and sensational post with excellent ideas and suggestions. I will be implementing many of them over the next few days.

    One thing I am confused about… you mentioned that once your interview goes live to always comment on the live article… as you are obviously doing here.

    How do you actually do this ? I doubt that Jon Morrow or his BBT team have given you admin access to this blog here. Do they give you some kind of “guest” access rights to just this one single post only ? Is there some wordpress setting that the owner of the blog can tick a box that grants some other individual access to be able to post/reply to comments ?

    Thanks,
    Matthew

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:08:21

      Thanks for the feedback, Matthew!

      As for replying to comments, I am just replying as everyone else does! I make sure to come here a few times a day, check new comments and reply. Luckily, BBT has “Notify of new comments” option that’s making my job easier!

  25. Chris
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 01:19:54

    This information is worth million dollars and thanks very much, Ann for sharing it.
    I sure need this and I will use the information provided as a guide until I succeed in getting interviewed.
    Thanks again, Ann.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:09:32

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Chris! When you try to do follow the guide, please share your results! I’d love to collect some success stories!

  26. Zara
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 04:28:59

    Hello Ann,
    Because of time limitations, I quickly scanned your contribution. It is so dense with valuable insights and advice that it deserves more time and consideration than I can give it at the moment. So may I just thank you in the interim and tell you that I will arrange to block off a suitable chunk of time in the near future in order to show the piece, and all of your professional work, justice.
    Thank you and much further success for you in the future.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:12:42

      Thanks for the comment, Zara! I hope you’ll see great results when committing to following the tips!

  27. Daniel Sitoabasi
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 04:51:11

    This piece is very helpful i learnt a lesson from it thought what i expected was where to get interviewed.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:15:41

      Thanks, Daniel! I hope it will be helpful too!

  28. Simon Green
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:24:54

    What an amazing post, full of amazing ideas and useful advice! I will be sharing this far and wide. Thanks Ann!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:16:19

      Thanks for reading and sharing, Simon!

  29. Takeshi Young
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 21:28:09

    Great list! Another way to get featured in interviews is to be active in communities in your industry (like inbound.org or moz.com for SEO). These sites have a list of “top members” and bloggers will often draw from this list to find potential interview targets.

  30. Takeshi Young
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 21:29:31

    Another way is to speak at industry conferences. Conferences like SMX, SES, etc. allow people to submit pitches, so if you have unique insight on a good topic, that can be a good way to build your authority and lead to interviews down the line.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 13, 2014 @ 19:43:12

      Great tip, Takeshi! Speaking at conferences, even smaller ones (like regular meetups) open up lots of opportunities including interview features!

  31. Amanda Matheny
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 13:23:55

    Thanks for the great tips! Some of these I had thought of before, but still wasn’t sure how to put them into practice. Others I hadn’t considered. While I was reading this post I pulled up a buffer in my client t notify me of posts including parent and interview. Now I am going to try a few other terms. I appreciate all the great advice here. I actually have some research to do for an upcoming post of mine, so I may try out MyBlogU to see if I can get some answers. Thank you!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 13, 2014 @ 19:46:28

      Thanks, Amanda! Give MyBlogU a try – we’ll do our best to help!

  32. pragati
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 02:32:42

    Fantastic post, Ann..there is a lot of actionable advice here. Look forward to trying out some of the things given here. I find I tend to hold back while writing an About page or profile because I don’t want to appear salesy. I guess there’s a fine line, though.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Anna Fox
      Sep 14, 2014 @ 20:43:12

      Thanks for the comment! I definitely feel your pain when it comes to being “salesy” – I always have that fear as well… But at the end of the day, look at it as if it were your resume: You want to outline the best points while being professional!

  33. Sanjay Sajeev
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 20:19:51

    Hi Ann, Thank you for sharing this long valuable post. As a beginner in blogging, these tips are of amazing value to me. I will surely try these tips. Keep going, Ann.

    • Anna Fox
      Sep 14, 2014 @ 20:44:04

      Glad to know it looks useful, Sanjay! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  34. Glenys
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 00:20:15

    Identifying the most appropriate interview style is a good idea.
    This is a really comprehensive how-to guide that can help reduce the nervousness that comes from putting oneself forward.
    Thanks Ann, definitely a post to bookmark and revisit.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 15, 2014 @ 14:23:25

      Glenys, thanks for reading it through and for leaving great feedback!

  35. Jennifer Reeds
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 03:30:07

    I’ve been working a little bit on guest posting to begin to build an “expert” or at least “mildly knowledgeable” status. Thanks for the great idea. I’ll certainly be contacting experts in my field for quotes and tips.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 15, 2014 @ 14:36:14

      Jennifer, guest blogging is also a great tactic to build authority, so you may want to do both! 😉

  36. Ryan Biddulph
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 06:47:26

    Hi Ann,

    Excellent tips. I was featured on 30 plus blogs in the past 12 weeks – and 29 of them fell into my lap – and if one thing stands out, it’s to post intelligent, thoughtful comments on authority blogs. No matter if you’re commentor #1, or #101. I build bonds. I’m making friends. That’s it.

    It’s why I landed a good 10 interviews during that time frame, all solo, and why I was featured on about 15 other blogs. So we’re looking at 25 features where I shared my thoughts, and literally all of those folks asked me. The one time I reached out was when I submitted a guest post to Daily Blog Tips.

    Give what you wish to receive. Promote others, comment on their blogs and so many opportunities will flow your way.

    I dig your use of first names. I share this with my blog coaching clients, and with my readers. Make people feel special. Use first names to build bonds.

    Tweeting this in a bit.

    Signing off from Fiji.

    Ryan

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 15, 2014 @ 14:42:44

      Thanks for the great comment, Ryan! Yes, being useful and thorough is the first step to getting featured!

  37. Stacie Walker
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 00:13:39

    Hello Ann,

    What an outstanding piece of content. I have always enjoyed reading your words of wisdom. This was a very helpful blog post and I look forward to reading even more golden nuggets of advice in the virtual universe.

    Thanks for the mentioning my blog – Woman in Leadership. You are awesome!

    Much love,
    Stacie Walker

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 16, 2014 @ 10:12:04

      Great to see you here, Stacie! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  38. stephen fernandez
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 06:46:14

    Hi Ann,
    Thank you for your clear directions forward and your encouraging affirmations. It is a good way to improve our audience and engagement with our readers.
    Regards,
    Stephen

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 16, 2014 @ 10:12:52

      Thanks, Stephen! I hope the tips will turn useful!

  39. Sarah Davidson
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 05:59:06

    Ann, this is an excellent article in so many ways! I happen to have a marketing expert interview series of my own, and although I’ve been a guest on other shows, I haven’t actively pursued this avenue. You’ve also given me a few new ideas on how to recruit new speakers, plus some awesome tips on a great About page.

    Thanks so much!!
    Sarah

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 17, 2014 @ 09:55:25

      Thank you, Sarah! Interviewing is fun in both ways: Hosting and Being featured! 😉

  40. Kostas Chiotis
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 06:43:12

    Hi Ann, I think that what it all boils down to in the end is relationships. Those who know me have been hearing me go on and on about building relationships for some time. It is something that I feel is important when blogging. You have to get to know others in the industry. If you can do this and you can prove via those relationships that you have credibility then you will be asked to give your insights during these types of interviews.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 17, 2014 @ 14:34:42

      So true! Relationships are what matter… But you know what being featured actually helps build them: My best online fiends are those I either guest blogged for or contributed to 😉

  41. Alison Bengough
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 08:57:51

    Hi Ann!

    Thanks for an amazing post! I am such a newbie at this stuff and the tips you’ve provided are invaluable. My niche is as a therapist. I have an almost full time job and am currently doing my masters degree in psychology. Balancing these demands with trying to create amazing content and then promoting myself is really tough and sometimes my future just needs to be put on hold while I meet the responsibilities that gave me the start (which I am incredibly grateful and blessed by). Your post has made the future look a little closer as I now have some concrete, actionable steps I can follow. I’ve exchanged several guest posts with other bloggers and would love to spread my wings into podcasts and other such things.

    Thanks so much!!

    Ali

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 17, 2014 @ 09:57:17

      Thanks for the awesome feedback, Ali! I hope you’ll manage to do all what you plan (I know what it means to be swamped!:))

  42. Nick
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 12:14:49

    I use HARO a lot, or at least try to. There are usually interesting topics and I try to reach out but I have only really been successful with getting one response back- but that one fell through (not published). Doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying! 🙂

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 18, 2014 @ 10:58:28

      Hey Nick, it’s really easy to get discouraged by HARO because you seldom hear back! But don’t give up! Give MyBlogU a try as well 😉

  43. Andrew Park
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 16:59:13

    Great topic and yes, traditional full-length guest posts/interviews are now totally being replaced with new formats. Roundup-style lists of quotes are a lot more common, as are podcasts, but they’re still a good way to get out there and be heard, and (not to sound too mercenary) as long as you get your attribution and linkback, one interview “format” can be as good as any other.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 18, 2014 @ 11:05:20

      The real power is in combining all sorts of ways to get featured on big blogs: traditional guest blogging still works (this IS a guest post for example:)). Adding expert interviews into the mix will boost your efforts as well! Thanks for the comment, Andre!

      • Andrew Park
        Sep 19, 2014 @ 15:27:32

        Yep, absolutely–now more than ever, content needs to fit the format, not the other way around!

  44. Nathan Cooper
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 09:39:27

    This post is very encouraging, Ann, thank you for the useful tips, keep up the great work. Best regards, Nathan.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 18, 2014 @ 11:14:45

      Thanks for reading, Nathan! I hope you’ll try some of the tips and tools here!

  45. Colleen
    Sep 19, 2014 @ 10:05:51

    Ann, Thanks for all the incredible information. I am going to start now! I can’t wait to follow you for more great advice and tips. Enjoy! Colleen

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 19, 2014 @ 11:40:28

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Colleen!!!!

  46. Tomarhospitality
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 04:18:06

    Hi,
    This is Tomar…
    Actually, i need to promote my blogs… Please share more tips
    Thanks Ann Smarty

  47. Martin Culverhouse
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 14:15:13

    Thank you for posting, great from what I’ve read so far, I don’t have time to read all of it now, as it’s a rather long post. But I’ve book marked it and I’ll get back to it ASAP. Looks like there’s some great tips in there for getting interviewed as an expert in your field. Thank you.

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 25, 2014 @ 13:40:50

      Thanks, Martin! I hope you’ll find useful tips here!

  48. Rafael Lessa
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 12:28:45

    What an article!
    I loved each word.

    Thanks from Brazil

    Rafael Lessa

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 25, 2014 @ 13:43:28

      Thanks for reading, Rafael!

  49. Stevent Thompson
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 21:25:36

    Awesome Value Ann! A lot of tips in this article I had not considered. Thank you very much for sharing!

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 26, 2014 @ 10:28:04

      THANKS for the great feedback, Stevent!

      • steven thompson
        Sep 26, 2014 @ 10:56:32

        So hard sometimes to find good articles! Great work Ann!

  50. Antara
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 05:29:35

    Great advice about about me page.
    I made initially “about me” page short but looking to the successful bloggers’ about me pages – they all tend to be very detailed. I wonder how much is the advisable length of a good about me page?

    • Ann Smarty
      Sep 26, 2014 @ 10:29:14

      My About page is short too (I am still trying to find time to make it better!) One of my New Year’s resolutions 🙂 THANKS for the comment!

  51. maxwell ivey
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 01:18:05

    Hi beanie; just wanted to update you on my progress following this post. i didn’t have much luck with blogu because it just isn’t easy to use with speech. sorry about that. but I will try again in a few weeks to see if i have any better luck. but i did have some success i wanted to share. i signed up for radioguestlist.com they send out a free daily email telling about radio and tv shows or podcasts looking for guests. they include all sorts of information including how to contact the booking person. I have two spots lined up one on nov 4th forget their name and the other on nov 18th with twanna young of empowerment radio in alabama. i got them by sending pitch letters. I also signed up with a site called http://bloggerlinkup.com they have a place where you can post a free ad offering to be interviewed write guest posts or post guest articles. I put an ad up offering to be interviewed a little over a week ago. and this morning got an email from an author and blogger in africa named dario chongolo who wants to interview me for his blog. of course, being blind and having an unusual primary business of selling amusement equipment doesn’t hurt in getting remembered. also i learned how to cold call when i was booking the family carnival so the fear of rejection letters doesn’t scare me all that much. just wanted to show i was using your advice and that it was working. thanks so much, max

    • Leanne Regalla
      Oct 21, 2014 @ 14:43:21

      Hi Max, Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experiences! Very very helpful (I work with legally blind painter Rita Reed.) I’m going to pass this info on to her.

      • maxwell ivey
        Oct 21, 2014 @ 17:30:33

        hi lee anne; thanks for the kind response. I’m also friends with rita. she actually signed up for my email list and has offered some helpful thoughts about my ebook. I plan to write a blog post of my own on the subject but i should have thought to share those with her before you mentioned it. thanks for sharing. its a good feeling knowing something you said will be passed on so it can help others. just tell her that on the radio guest list to click the link for a show opportunity she is interested and read all of the info. because some of the shows listed there will expect a donation or require you to sponsor the show in order to be on it. me i figure that is unnecessary so i only send my pitch letter to shows that are completely free. still i have two interviews coming up just in time to promote the ebook. and that is the way it works. you have to send out quite a few cold emails to get booked. within you and rita all the best, max

  52. Bharath
    Oct 25, 2014 @ 00:54:08

    Wow…That is one great article. I know my comment comes almost 1 month late but just wow…As a small start up business, I always end up feeling over whelmed. There is so much to learn and know and I think HARO and other interview options are phenomenal. Thank you for sharing.

  53. Lesa
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 17:43:02

    I would add: once you do land an interview opportunity, be easy to work with!

    No one wants to work with a diva or difficult personality. By crafting a reputation as someone who is a pleasure to work with, those who work with you will be happy to share your name with others in your industry.

    • Ann Smarty
      Nov 17, 2014 @ 19:26:12

      That’s a great tip. Thanks, Lesa!

  54. maxwell ivey
    Nov 27, 2014 @ 09:58:07

    hi anne; I just wanted to let you know that I have been using your suggestions as well as trying out the sites you mentioned. I also ound a couple sites on my own. I wrote a blog post about it, and since I mentioned you and MyBlogU in it; I thought it would be okay to share here. If this was wrong, then I apologize. great article, max http://theblindblogger.net/2014/11/from-blog-commenting-and-community-building-to-podcasts-radio-shows-and-beyond.html

    • Ann Smarty
      Dec 19, 2014 @ 10:15:09

      Thanks for becoming a valuable part of MyBlogU, Max! We couldn’t have been happier!

  55. Tuhin
    Dec 19, 2014 @ 00:49:31

    Very detailed and informative post, Ann. Learnt a lot of basic techniques. Thanks for sharing this

    • Ann Smarty
      Dec 19, 2014 @ 09:54:20

      Thanks for reading, Tuhin ! I hope it will turn useful!

  56. Gaurav Kumar
    Dec 23, 2014 @ 07:35:36

    I appreciate the tips shared by Ann Smarty and comments made by Maxwell Ivey. Good comments are great to way to build good relationship with other bloggers and also it show how good a person, who is commenting on that post and if that person really cared to read the article or not. Also a good comment always stick to the topic and have a good discussion to increase knowledge or share knowledge.

  57. Jennifer
    Jan 16, 2015 @ 07:14:22

    Thanks for sharing the post.

  58. Colin
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 23:32:26

    Hi Ann, thanks for such a brilliant, in-depth article and thanks for sharing your experience! I am working for a small start up business, which focuses on functional fitness furniture – which at the moment is quite a niche. Bhoga exercises are the focus. I feel overwhelmed because I don’t know if I should focus my efforts on getting a review from an interior design, fitness, home or lifestyle blogger. I think I should focus on one of these categories first of all rather than reaching too wide. Which category do you think is the easiest or best category to reach out to initially (if there is one)?

  59. Domain
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 12:51:02

    Hi everyone tanx for this learning pattern. and yes agree with you and Nile Patel blog is light in darkness but your article are same.

  60. Roxana
    Mar 05, 2015 @ 13:20:00

    I think we all tend to forget that be it an influencer or a beginner, we’re all human. Sure, you might feel like you have less to say than others, probably because others have spent years before you building their online brand (personal/corporate), or they are a better story teller, but hey, let others be the judge of that.

    If you don’t try you will never know.
    Great tips, Ann. I just love how you empower others to try things out.

    • Ann Smarty
      Mar 06, 2015 @ 11:02:46

      Thanks so much, Roxana, for chiming in here! Very well said!

  61. Mark Curtis
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 23:05:13

    Yeah, I’m definitely kifi-ing this for future reference. Loved it! Thank you