Guest Posts are Dead, Long Live the Interview

My new idea… (yes, it does need a little intro sort of moment)…

Guest posts have failed but that doesn’t mean we should give up on finding a new way to get ourselves promoted while we mix with other bloggers we want to meet. Instead of offering to write a guest post – offer to interview someone instead. 

First, an interview is flattering. To show enough interest in someone to want to know more about them and to write nice/ good things about them can only go well, in my opinion. Don’t be overly flattering, don’t fawn over them in a sickening way. Just be forthright, tell them why you want to interview them, what you find interesting about the things they are doing, creating or writing about. Be honest. If you can’t be honest then you should be doing research until you have real, honest and sincere answers to the question of why you want to interview the person.

Second, in most cases, the person you interview will mention the interview and link back to your site so that others can read the interview. This is why you don’t write a lame interview. Get good quotes from them – this is much easier when the interview is done through email. It’s very hard to misquote someone when they have typed it in themselves. Make a list of things the person is involved with, projects they are working on, etc. Ask them how the events/ projects are going and if they are any new coming up or any you had not found out about on your own. These are all reasons for them to want other people to read the interview you wrote. Remember, be flattering but not sickening.

Third of all, people will like that this is about them and NOT about you or your sites. This is not a promotional scheme about getting your links on their blog. (Yes, you hope to get a link back). People are more likely to give you a link back out of gratitude for a great interview, out of their own good natures or just because you made the effort to get to know them and you are no longer one of the nameless, faceless masses. Keep in touch with the people you interview. Add them to your Twitter account and whatever social media you tend to watch. This way you might even find yourself getting more interviews with the other people in their social network.

Interviews are not a new idea. But, they have not been given enough credit. Make sure you do some research, put thought into the questions you ask. Have some standard questions, ask more questions than you need and develop a style to the interview as you get good at interviewing. Come up with a theme, or one unique question which you use in every interview. Give yourself some individuality as an interviewer. Most of all, learn something along the way and keep it social and interesting for yourself as well.

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