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How Video Interviews Can Help Grow Your Blog

This guest post is by Torrey McGraw of Grind & Thrive.

For beginner and more advanced bloggers, one of the most important questions we must ask is, “How will my blog stand out in my niche?” With the ever-growing list of blogs that are created daily, this can be a difficult question to answer.

One way to set yourself apart is by incorporating video into your content strategy while others are primarily using written articles. It’s a wise move—according to the 2011 State of the Media report, over 140 million people watched online video in 2011. That number has been and will continue to trend up each year.

But let’s say you understand that, and you’re creating video posts on your blog. What else can you do with video to stay ahead of the pack?

Online video interviews can be just the thing to breathe life into old blogs and kickstart new ones. From the comfort of your own computer, you can converse with anyone anywhere with little to no inconvenience or cost. Then, you can work those conversations into compelling video interviews for your users to enjoy.

How interviews help grow your blog

Here are five powerful ways online video interviews can help you grow your blog.

1. Create an opportunity to converse with your niche’s most interesting people

Getting on the radar of influencers in your niche is a great way to establish who you are and put your blog on the map. This can be done by asking influential people in your niche to allow you to interview them. With typical in-person interviews, it’s more difficult to secure because they may be in a different city, have a jam-packed schedule, or both. Either can make interviews unfeasible, especially if they aren’t familiar with you.

Conversely, the option of an online video interview is often more appealing. Essentially, you’re just asking them to sacrifice a few minutes sitting in front of their computer, rather than traveling to a specific location or totally rearranging their schedule.

2. Create a differentiation point between you and your competition

I alluded to this earlier. Think about the websites and blogs in your niche. Chances are only a few (if any) are creating content via online video interviews. How great would it be to separate your brand from everyone else’s? Online video interviews may be your ticket to do that.

3. Create compelling content

Online video interviewing gives you the opportunity to create compelling content. It is an awesome alternative to someone who wants to make a mark online, but lacks the writing skills or desire needed to create text articles. Or you may simply enjoy conversing with people, rather than emailing them the typical question-and-answer document that’s often reproduced on blogs. An online video interview will appeal to people who enjoy learning through an interactive conversation.

4. Build an audience

Of course you’re interested in growing your audience, right? My most popular interview to date is my conversation with Essence.com relationship blogger and professional matchmaker Paul Carrick Brunson. When he told his passionate online community of fans and followers to check out the interview, my site was flooded with people. Many subscribed to my site after our interview. Even to this day, he refers to our interview when asked how he got started as a matchmaker.

When that happens time and time again, you’ll see how easy it is grow your own passionate audience through guests promoting your interview.

5. Establish credibility

Make interviews part of your content strategy, and over time you’ll interview several key people in your niche, and come to be known as a go-to site for personal insight.

Let’s say you blog about natural hair tips for women.  You can easily interview natural hair experts, natural hair stylists, and natural hair product creators on a regular basis. Over time, you’ll become a trusted resource because you’ve created a valuable resource on the topic of natural hair. People will begin to trust you because you’re providing awesome content from the best and brightest people in your industry.  The end result is you establishing credibility with your community and your peers.

Tools of the trade

If the idea of online video interviews intrigues you, it’s quick and inexpensive to get started, and you won’t need much equipment:

So there you have it: everything you need to get started conducting online video interviews. Give it a shot and have some fun!

Do you think adding online video interviews to your content mix can help you grow your blog? Let us know in the comments.

Torrey McGraw is the host of Grind & Thrive, a webshow featuring candid one-on-one conversations with today’s trendsetters sharing lessons from their roads to success. Say hi to Torrey on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. I think this is a way to start with video but interviews (I.e. people just talking) is probably not the best use for for video. That can get old fast. (If it’s just folks talking maybe make it an audio podcast?)

    I think video is best used with b-roll (video of people doing something related) with the person’s voice over the video (if you have someone talking about something).

    Better yet, have a nice story line and add animations.

    I realize that is a bit more advanced than what you perhaps intended to describe here … But thought I’d share my two cents.

    Of course, producing good videos (just like writing) takes practice.

    Christoph

    • Torrey says:

      Online video interviews isn’t for everyone nor would it resonate with every community. But it is an option that has been a proven business model (see Mixergy.com as an example).

      For beginners, telling them to start out with all the glitz or editing and such may scare them away from even starting. Content has to be good regardless of how much stuff you add in. But I agree that adding features to make it like a professionally produced show is awesome.

  2. Daniel says:

    As with my response on the previous post re: Vlogging: I think if ” The interview” is done well(not too much meandering, yet not too brief on details), and the the audio/ visuals are of good quality, this should be a helpful inclusion to site establishment and promotion methods.

    Some sites are based solely on Interviews with ” Authority blogging–website” figures. The only difference being in a non video format.

    Though, come to think of it, there are sites that are just video based, with all their posts being in video format. Those “video posts” may actually include video interviews, as well.

  3. I created a video of several talking-head testimonials, then posted it to YouTube and added a link to it on my website. Visitors interested in my freelance writing services find it reassuring to actually see and hear satisfied customers sining my praises.

  4. Joan says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting a webcam and microphone and doing videos on my blog. Now that I’ve got my blog going good with posts, I just started putting some videos on YouTube, which was easier than I thought it would be. All of this is kind of new to me but it is fun learning – lots to learn! Thanks for this post!

    • Torrey says:

      That’s awesome Joan. Let me know if you ever consider interviews! I’d love to see how it goes.

  5. Cheryl says:

    We are working on ways to incorporate videos to our website – as in the ideas are there, but the internet connection is too slow for Skype and our camera takes great macro pictures, not much more. It is a definite move for the future though and I think that posting videos will be popular in the long run as well, not just a fad. It helps to show that you are real, perhaps trustworthy and hopefully very unique.

    • Torrey says:

      Hey Cheryl,

      I recommend connecting to internet with an ethernet vs WIFI for a more stable connection when doing anything via Skype. But for you, maybe a basic Flip Video or comparable video would be a cool addition to your site. Cheers.

  6. Dan Ang says:

    Hi Torrey, I think adding videos will definitely help to get more readership. But what do you think is the best time to add videos in for newbies starting out like me?

    • Torrey says:

      Best time is now. Just start, don’t worry about mistakes and be genuinely curious about your guest.

  7. I definitely like the idea. I tend to check out sites I land on that I found through some video interview. Makes sense! Video is sooooo the future of the web anyway. Liked the post, Torrey.

  8. Eric says:

    We are an SEO company in Orange county, and there are so many potential contacts around us, that I forget the power of video (the cobbler’s son!). I need to get on that – thanks for the reminder!

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  10. I really like point #1 – you get to talk to these people! As in, actually have a real conversation with them. This makes the top people in your niche seem more like real people instead of superheros (which of course they might well be), but the “wow” factor for the audience of the interview might be something that makes it even more impressive :)

    Great guide! Now all I need is a victim! Ahem, that should of course be volunteer…

    • Torrey says:

      Rosemary you hit the nail on the head. I can’t tell you how many messages from peeps appreciating making my guests seem like a normal person vs celeb.

  11. Website says:

    Variety is so important with videos, and I think it adds a nice touch to include some talking head style interviews as per point #1. For starters it’s a great way to show potential clients and customers what your current client base has to say about you.

  12. Naeem Congo says:

    I started adding videos to my blog a few weeks ago, and definitely enjoyed it. And I can tell my readers enjoyed it too. You have to switch things up from time to time, to avoid getting stagnant and predictable.

    Great post Torrey!