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How to Use Interviews On Your Blog

InterviewIt’s time for another reader question…

Eric Allam from 52 Reviews asks:

Hey Darren… I’ve read many an interview from problogger, and I was wondering if you had any tips for getting people to agree for the interview?”

Thanks for the question Eric – it’s a good one and something I’d been meaning to touch on for a while now. I’ll attempt to answer it from my experience both as someone who conducts interviews on my blogs but also as someone who is interviewed from time to time.

I actually want to break the topic of interviews on blogs into a three part series over then next few days. The three posts will cover:

  1. Why interviews are a good idea for blogs
  2. How to approach others for interviews for your blog
  3. How to be interviewed as a blogger

Let’s briefly tackle the first one now.

Why are interviews good for blogs?

I’ve used interviews at numerous times on a variety of my blogs and have found them to be really useful on a number of fronts:

‘Free’ Content - one of the reasons I’m sure many bloggers use them is that they are relatively ‘easy’ (once you’ve actually secured the interview). While you do need to put some effort into thinking up good questions – the interviewee actually does a lot of the hard work.

Give a Perception of Connectedness – I can think of a number of occasions where new bloggers came on my radar as a result of an interview that they did with someone that I respected or admired. Getting a high profile person to agree to an interview can lend a degree of legitimacy to your blog.

Added Expertise – a benefit of interviewing someone who knows what they are talking about on a given topic is that they added a certain level of perceived expertise to your blog (and you). I’ve seen a number of interviews over the years where the interviewer came off very well by demonstrating their knowledge of a topic by the type of questions that they asked and by the two way conversation that resulted.

Impress Your Interviewee – demonstrating your own expertise (see last point) and being a pleasure to work with as an interviewer can win you a lot of brownie points with your interviewee. If they are someone who is well connected this can open up a lot of opportunities for you. I remember listening to some of the early interviews that Mick and Cameron did on the G’Day World Podcast and marveling at the doors that seemed to open up to them just through the relationships that they formed with key people in the time that they interviewed them.

Why are Interviews good for Interviewees?

Of course it’s not just a one way street. Interviewees also benefit from the exchange:

New Readers – the most obvious benefit of being interviewed is that you have the opportunity to be exposed to new potential readers for your blog.

Perception of Being in Demand - you can make a little too much of this but there is something about being featured in an interview on another blog that adds a perception of you being in demand. Like I say – don’t pump yourself up too much about this or someone will knock you right down – but it doesn’t hurt to mention it from time to time on your blogs.

Perceived Expertise – similarly, when you’re interviewed on a topic it can add to your own credibility and legitimacy as an expert on the topic. Of course if you’ve got nothing to say on the topic it can also expose you as being a fool!

Tomorrow I’ll looks at answering the meat of Eric’s question in a post on How to approach others for interviews for your blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Ken says:

    That’s a great idea. I love doing interviews for work, but I’ve never thought of featuring an interview on my blog. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Very timely post for me, I’m in the middle of doing an interview series for a research project, and finding it’s really adding a new dimension to my blogging. Apart from prompting me to take the plunge with podcasting, I’m finding it a fascinating way to engage with some people whose work I admire, and to use my blog as a forum for their views.

  3. Damien says:

    Looking forward to this series — I’ve been playing around with the idea of snagging a few interviews myself..

  4. Thanks for such a simple layout of the benefits of interviews on both sides. This has opened my mind to interviews and I plan to try one in the near future.

  5. Sophi says:

    For me interviews are always a great source of motivation.
    good post darren.

  6. Joe says:

    Hey Darren,

    Did I ever say “Thank You” for the Interview you did for my Blog?
    I’m sure I did, but let me say it again, “Thank You!”

    I’m still getting hits on that post, and when people dig through the Interview category, Your’s is the first they click, Liz Strauss is second.

    Of course, they are the only 2 that I have, but I am working on more.

    Thanks again (third time’s the charm),

    Joe

  7. Hsien Lei says:

    The interview series I am currently running on GeneticsAndHealth.com was a lot of work because it required thinking up unique questions for each interviewee, keeping track of who did or did not respond, and putting them up on a weekly basis (each interview was very long despite having only 5 questions). But it has been tremendously rewarding because I’ve learned a lot and it has definitely put me in contact with some of the big names in genetics blogging.