Tips to make an extraordinary Interview series for your blog

Interview TipsThese days many bloggers are focusing on the interview series as it is creating lot of buzz among online entrepreneurs, webmasters and in particular bloggers. People are very much interested to read success stories and facts shared by some of the successful entrepreneurs and bloggers. As I am focusing more on blogging, I want to share some of the important tips in making a successful, awesome and a descent interview series for your blog. Creating an interview series needs no special training or techniques as it can be mastered and done by anyone who could actually put few things in their proper places where they exactly should be. This post helps you to be innovative and focuses in some areas where you need to be careful in making your interview series a success. So following are the steps, requirements and tips to jump-start your interview series.

How to choose a person to interview:

This is the most important part which plays a vital role in your interview series, the person you choose will actually decide whether you are going to create a buzz or not. If you choose a person of least popularity then you are sure that you wont get good exposure to his/her interview. You should be able to find a person who has got good number of subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Google Plus friends, loyal readers and above all little bit of popularity. Below I have summarized a step wise method to conduct an interview.

1. Select a person who actually fits to your niche:

If you have a blog on how to make money you can’t interview Chris Coyier who is a good CSS designer, and if your blog is about designing then don’t choose Pat Flynn. I think you understood what I am trying to explain, you need to do a bit of match the following like in the image I have done below. Select a person who exactly fits into your niche to get more focused and exact traffic what your blog actually needs. Also check the persons familiarity with the audience, whether he is a popular person loved by many in your niche. By choosing a person like this you could actually get more people involved in reading your interview article. Also do a bit of googling on the person if he/she has previously given any interview before. If they have been already interviewed then don’t focus much on them as still there are 450 Million bloggers who could be tried. But even then you want to interview the same person then you need to prepare fresh set of questionnaire.

Chris Coyer Pat Flynn Gina Trapani Darren Rowse Interview Tips

2. Contact the person whom you want to interview:

Second step after choosing the person whom you are going to interview is to land up in their about me page. Now that you have an access to their contact information, send a decent and appealing mail requesting for an interview in your blog. Just add some words of courtesy like it would be great if I get some insight into you life and blog and so on. If you want a sample, I have given an example below.

Hello Blogger(Name of the person whom you will interview),

I am (your name) who blogs for (blog address) and I have a way of introducing some people who actually inspire others to make life easy and you are one among them. It would be great if you will spend some of your valuable time in sharing your views through an interview. If you are interested then please do give me some time.

Regards
(Your Name)
(Your Blog Address)

Most of the time you wont get an instant approval from pro bloggers as they will be busy or some times they won’t be interested in your blog as it hasn’t got good exposure. But even then don’t worry but keep on trying other people and once you get a chance from one or two successful people in your niche then this process would become lot easier in future. Do not send repeated mails after a person disapproves your request but switch to some other person.

3. Research the interviewers profile and blog:

This is the most important thing which you have to do in order to make a successful interview. You have to read about me page of the person and try to read some of his popular blog posts, do some research in Google regarding the person. Doing this you will actually get more knowledge on the person and facts he has already shared. Now you will get an idea on what to ask and how you could proceed your interview. If the persons blog has good traffic you could well ask on how he is driving the traffic so on and so forth. So researching on a person and knowing what exactly is his/her field of expertise you could frame beautiful questions which your users would love to know.

4. How to interview the person:

There are two ways to conduct an interview it could be online via chat or offline method where you would write some of the questions in a word or doc format and send an e-mail to them. Both have its own advantages but online interview is more preferable than offline mode. Some times there would be lot of difference in the time zone, you could be in mid night and the person giving interview could be busy with his morning schedule. So adjusting the time factor and availability of the person is a must before you go for an online interview.

5. What to ask and what not:

In the second step itself you will have an idea on what to ask and what not. You also need to study the behavior of the blogger. Some bloggers maintain a very low profile such bloggers wont like more intimate and personal questions, so avoid asking about family, income etc. Some people wont have a clear photo, it means they actually don’t like to expose themselves much, so don’t ask for a photograph but try to go with the low quality photograph with what they have given or used for twitter or Facebook or about me page (but do take permission from them before posting in your blog). Try to focus on their area’s of interest as they love answering more of such questions than off beat ones. Don’t ask questions which they have already wrote in any of their blog posts or about me page. Try to ask questions which would create interest for the person who is giving an interview and also for the audience who are reading.

Bonus Tip:

If you want a quick approval and more exciting interview series, then you just need to develop a relationship with the person. You could do so by following them in Facebook or adding them in Gmail for chat. Slowly try to make the person easy in your company and try to share as many things as you can and then when you ask for an interview they would surely not say no to your request.

Conclusion:

There are many blogs which do such interview series simply get in touch with such blogs and learn the in and out’s of such series. You could also learn a way to frame some innovative questions. Sometimes we get also get some sucess tips from interviews so there is no harm in following some blogs. Is there still you would love to know then post a comment below.

12 Comments

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  1. Nice tips u shared essential for a successfull Interview series. The first tip Select a correct person is the key point

  2. Thanks Vijesh,You have covered one of the unique topic.I see lot of bloggers interview other popular bloggers but I wish to think something better like ProBlogger published interview of Flippa founder but the center of attention remains the same “Blogging”.

    One drawback is for interviewing popular persons you need to have some influence on the niche otherwise they won’t turn up.

    • Truly said Vivek, until and unless one doesn’t have some influence on their niche no one would turn up for an interview. But some times some are lucky they get the approval without much effort.

  3. Hi Vijesh,

    All your points are quite remarkable and I have a slightly different opinion on the first point, i.e. chose bloggers from your same niche..

    My first 3 interviews were not from my niche however they all got amazing responses and I also got readers who got pulled into my niche..

    Your thoughts on this please..I am a newbie and please excuse me if I am wrong..

    Kindly see my interviews and please give me your thoughts..!

  4. Hey Rafi, I have visited your blog many times and thanks for your comment. Please don’t mention yourself as a newbie, you write beautiful content. I came to your blog for reading Rahul Kuntala’s interview. The beauty of your niche(inspiration) is you can post variety of inspiration stories you need not focus only on inspiring people who inspire others. Actually story of a designer, blogger, entrepreneur, website owner, person who makes money or any successful person in any niche all comes under inspiring stories category only then how could you say that the stories you posted are not from your niche? Your niche can also be considered as an exception.

    Any story which inspires others is an inspiring story irrespective of the niche. If you are not satisfied with my opinion then please do forgive.

  5. Obviously it’s going to be difficult to find an interview subject if you aim for the world’s most well known pro-bloggers. That’s why aiming a bit lower is probably a good idea. You can still find influential bloggers at this level who will be quite flattered to do an interview and who also have the time.

    They may well also mention the interview their own blog, giving you a backlink and some traffic.

    • You are right Matt finding little lower influential bloggers does help us in getting an interview.

      I also agree about the back link too, an interview series acts as a mutual benefit for both host and the guest.

  6. Hi Vijesh,

    Great post!!! Learned so much just by reading your blog. I haven’t done any interview just yet. I would like to interview someone someday…either through Skype or via email. I think via Skype will be more interesting. I just started blogging last November 30, 2013. Although I’m not quite new to blogging; I have done livejournal for 8 years in the past…BLOGGING is still pretty new to me. Livejournal then was just FUN. But this is more FOCUS on my profession. So it’s entirely different. Anyway, found you from Rob Goss’s blog. Hope you have a nice weekend.

    Angela

    • Thanks Angela, for your words of encouragement and your opinion on your future interview series. Skype is an excellent tool to make a live interview. I wish all the best and a happy weekend too.

  7. ERROR: I mean, Nov. 30, 2012.

    One thing about WordPress, I wish I could EDIT my post here sometime but guess that won’t be very good…I’m sure they have their good reasons.

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