Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog?
An expert roundup post is a great way to help your blog go viral by using the following of top influencers in your niche to your advantage. It also gives you a way to provide unique opinions and advice to your audience.
In this post, we strip expert roundup posts down to their core and provide tips on how to execute every step, starting with finding a topic and influencers to include.
Let’s get started:
Finding a topic for your expert roundup post
We’ve spoken about the importance of figuring out what your audience’s biggest pain points are so you can create content that’s optimized for them.
You can use this same strategy to come up with a topic idea for an expert roundup post, only you’ll need to be a little more meticulous about your decision than you would for the average blog post.
This is because the expert roundup post is no longer a niche marketing tactic. With so many marketers contacting the same influencers you’ll be contacting, you need a way to stand out from the rest.
You can do this by coming up with a unique topic idea that’s unlike anything these influencers have been asked before.
Asking your audience about their biggest struggles directly is the most effective way to discover this information, but it may not be the best way to discover niche topics. Focus on online forums and bad reviews for products related to your niche instead.
Try to find forums that allow you to sort through topics by number of replies. This will let you see which topics spark the most amount of engagement. I stumbled upon a gold mine when I did this with a candle making forum, leading to unique topic ideas like “what scents do you hate to make” and “what cheap, nonstandard materials do you use to make candles.”
Also, don’t discredit Reddit. While a small amount of its user base may earn the site a bad reputation, it’s a decent place to find forum topics for just about any niche.
In the case of bad Amazon reviews, look for statements where customers complain about topics that were not covered or not explained thoroughly enough.
In the case of candle making, I found a review where a customer pointed out that the candle making book they purchased did not explain how much scent oil to use. This sparked a topic idea: “what’s your oil to wax ratio.”
Take some time to come up with unique topic ideas, then use keyword research, social media searches and your own curiosity to determine which specific idea may perform best.
Choosing experts to include in your post
Once you have a topic picked out, you may be tempted to get the ball rolling by contacting every relevant blogger you find. However, it’s important that you take the time to choose experts to include in your post carefully.
This may be a scary number, but you should contact at least 100 influencers in your niche. This is to increase the number of replies you receive in total as you’re not likely to receive a reply from every influencer you contact.
Use blogger outreach tools to find and collect influencers as leads efficiently. BuzzStream is especially great at helping you filter leads by niche, follower count and more. Hunter is fantastic at outreach as well, though it mainly focuses on finding email addresses.
There are a number of different criteria you can use to organize potential influencers’ ability to help you go viral from most likely to least likely. Use a spreadsheet to make things easier on yourself, and add the following columns:
- Email Address
- Social Media Accounts ( + Follower Count)
- Active on Social Media (Y/N)
- Guest Posts (Y/N)
- Writing Grade (Great, Good, Okay)
Keep in mind that follower count doesn’t tell the whole story in terms of an influencer’s reach. Some influencers have large followers but very few engagements per post. Others have small followings but a lot of engagements.
For the Active on Social Media column, simply put “Yes” or “No.” Prioritize influencers who are more likely to share your posts.
For the Guest Posts column, put “Yes” or “No” as well. Research each influencer to see if they have articles posted to blogs that don’t belong to them. These influencers know the struggles of getting noticed online and will therefore be more receptive to your proposal.
For the Writing Grade column, give each influencer a grade of “Great,” “Good” or “Okay” in regards to their writing skill. You want your article to be as engaging as possible. Responses from talented writers who are more likely to give insightful answers will do that for you.
If you want, you can also use a tool like SE Ranking to see how many pageviews per month and backlinks your influencer’s blog has achieved. If nothing else, adding these metrics to your spreadsheet can help you pinpoint potential blogs to pitch guest posts to.
Once you have a list of at least 100 influencers in order of priority, you’re ready to start contacting them.
Blogger outreach: contacting your experts
Blogger outreach tools like BuzzStream and Hunter provide the simplest ways for you to contact influencers in bulk. They all have templates that make crafting emails as easy as can be. Hunter even has a free forever plan you can use to send email campaigns with limited features.
You should have your influencers saved as leads in one of these tools by now. Your next step should be to create a template for your campaign. This will give you a starting point for every email you send.
Although you can send the same email verbatim to every influencer and save yourself some time by using these tools to their fullest extent, your response rates will be much higher if you personalize them.
You should also consider starting your campaigns before you send your first email. Interact with each influencer’s social media posts, and be sure to follow them. Comment on their blog posts as well.
They’ll start to recognize you over time, which will make them more likely to open emails from you. They may even check out your own social media account and decide to follow you. This will give you the opportunity to send direct messages through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Back to your template, start with the subject line. Come up with something catchy yet descriptive, such as:
- “Expert advice needed”
- “Expert roundup post on oil to wax ratios”
- “Hey [first name], what scent do you hate to make?”
Your outreach tool should have attributes you can insert into your subject and email body. In the case of the “first name” attribute, it’ll replace the attribute with the text assigned to your lead’s First Name field.
Also, use sentence case so influencers know your emails are casual.
Next is the outreach email itself. While you can start with a template in whatever outreach tool you use, you can’t automate this step if you want results. Take the time to write better outreach emails.
Start by using your tool’s attribute feature again to personalize the beginning of your email with the influencer’s first name. A simple “Hi Adam,” will suffice.
Next, get right to the point, and tell the influencer about the expert roundup post you’re writing. Here’s where you can start adding personal touches to demonstrate you’ve taken the time to properly research and vet each influencer.
In the email for my example on the scents candle makers hate to make, I’ll write:
“I’m writing a roundup post featuring opinions from professional candle makers about certain scents they sell but hate creating, no matter the reasoning.
I noticed you sell a few fairly obscure scents (old books and urine are pretty out there, you must admit), so I’d love your opinion on this matter.”
However, I’ll add the first part to my Hunter template, then add a note reminding myself to include anecdotes about unique scents each candle maker sells.
Next, sell yourself by telling your lead why they should take the time to provide an answer for your roundup post. Influencers deal with countless “offers” that have very few benefits for themselves.
Here are a few things you can brag about to let them know a mention on your social media page or blog will give them a boost in traffic:
- Monthly visits to your blog
- Follower count
- Engagement count per social media post (especially if it’s higher than the influencer’s)
- Popular blogs you’ve written for
- Email list size
- Number of comments and social shares per blog post
With that said, don’t mention every single thing on this list. Just pick one or two you feel would truly impress your lead and let them know you can help them as much as their response would help you.
If you really want to sell this post, wait to receive a few responses before you send more outreach emails. This will let you add another influencer’s response to your template, which may incentivize your next lead to provide their own response.
Lastly, give your lead a call to action by telling them exactly what you want from them. Don’t ask for a specific word count or something as equally complicated. If your roundup is about a question, it’s as simple as asking them:
“So, Adam, as thorough or plain as you want to be, I want to know…
What scents do YOU hate to make?
Eagerly awaiting your response,
Once you have a template, use it alongside the advice in this section to begin sending personalized email campaigns to each lead. Your outreach tool should also let you set up automated follow-up emails if leads don’t respond in 7-14 days.
Writing your expert roundup post
There are two ways you can go about writing an expert roundup post: list their responses in order of your original priority list or turn their responses into a list post.
For the first option, use high-quality images of each influencer. After your heading, which should include the influencer’s name and blog, dedicate a few paragraphs describing who they are, what their blog is about, products they sell, noteworthy accomplishments they’ve achieved, blogs they’ve written for, etc.
Then, feature their quote with a callout feature, as a shareable image or a click-to-Tweet element. Be sure to include links to their blog and social media accounts as well.
Use the second option if influencers give a lot of the same responses. For example, if multiple candle makers cite “old books” as one of their most hated scents to make or if the scents you receive as responses can be categorized, turn those responses into list items, then include the quotes in each list item.
Be sure to include descriptive paragraphs and high-quality images for each list item as well.
Communicating with each influencer who provides a response to you is a great way to establish a relationship that goes beyond this post. Show them the final product before you hit publish so you can receive their feedback, and let them know when it’s going to be published.
Most importantly, follow up with them once the post is published, and provide a shortened link for them to share. If you don’t have a go-to tool already, check out our URL shorteners article for some more options.
Once all is said and done, you’ll have a fantastic expert roundup post experts and users alike will love to share.
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