I have a secret blog post approach that you should know about.
Okay, so it’s not really secret, but it seems to be coveted enough that most bloggers aren’t taking advantage of it.
It’s called a Round-Up Post, and it’s changing the way traffic is moving to your site.
Basically, a round-up is an article where a series of experts and influencers answer a burning question in your field of expertise. The reason it’s so powerful is that not only are you sharing it on your social media channels but so are they.
This is exactly what you want.
People gobble up these “pillar” or influencer posts like last night’s leftovers.
If you’re looking to stand out in your area of expertise, drive more traffic to your site, and increase your brand and visibility, you need to take the time to do a round-up.
And I’m gonna show you how.
1) Create a List of Influencers
Who in your niche or area of expertise makes you squeal with delight when you get their email? Who do you look up to, accept advice from, or swoon over when they come into town for a big conference?
The name that just popped into your head needs to be the first name on the list. Write it down.
Now keep going.
Write down at least twenty-five names of influencers who you would like to reach out to. Include their email address, Twitter handle, and LinkedIn profile.
Visit their social media handles and blogs. Look for the following:
- Do their posts have lots of social shares?
- Are people commenting on their blog?
- Do they have a mighty social media following?
You want the answer to be YES to all of the above, or the power of a round-up won’t work.
This part takes some time and isn’t very much fun, but I promise it will be worth it.
2) Come Up With a Question
Now that you have a list of influencers to reach out to, it’s time to come up with a question that your blog readers are hungry for.
Don’t make it an every day, question, either. Come up with something unique and meaningful. It should be a question that comes up in your businesses a lot.
The idea here is to drive traffic, right? To do that, you need to become the authority in your field. And one way to do that is to be the superstar who can solve problems.
I write for a pair of app creators whose target is millennials. They wanted me to create a round-up post that answered a fairly simple question:
Given the higher cost of living, are options like coliving, being a married couple with roommates, or renting spare rooms (Airbnb) becoming more mainstream?
That’s it. That’s the question they wanted to be answered. And so with my list in hand, I prepared to send at least twenty-five highly engaged influencers and set out to email them.
3) Read a Few Of Their Posts
This is probably the most important part of this entire process, yet it’s the shortest point here:
Go to each influencer’s blog and read a few posts. And I mean read them.
You’re going to be referencing the content in your cold email, which is the next step.
4) Fire Off an Email
This part gets a little scary for some. It’s called cold emailing, and it intimidates plenty of people.
But don’t let it intimidate you.
The reason I had you gather the names and contact information of twenty-five influencers is that less than 20% will respond to you. That’s fine. If you can gather between 5 and 8 responses, you’re golden.
So you know how you went to Ben Superstar’s blog? And read his truly awesome post? You did it so that you could personalize the email so that he is more apt to respond to it.
If you just send someone an email that says: “Hi. I have a question. Will you answer it?”
You will NEVER get an answer.
Here’s an actual example of one I sent out to create my own round-up:
Hi, (Influencer) –
My name is Joleene Moody. I stumbled across a few of your blog posts on Pinterest and immediately embraced the content. Just recently, I found your post: “4 Ways Freelance Writers Can Overcome Anxiety When Sending Out the First Pitch.” There are days I feel like superwoman doing this, and other days I definitely get anxiety! So thank you very much for a great post. It’s content like yours that makes other writers feel safe.
Your blog and expertise are also why I am reaching out to you today. I need a voice like yours for a round-up post I’m creating and I thought of you, especially because you offer such sound advice for other writers. You are trusted, and I would be so very humbled to include you in my article.
Would you be willing to provide your take on the following question?
“How can businesses, large or small, benefit from hiring a seasoned, professional writer? With content mills a-plenty, and newbie writers offering their services for practically nothing, professional writers are sometimes skipped over because of cost. What would you tell a business when it comes to choosing a content writer who might cost more?”
I would so appreciate your professional feedback.
Can you offer your take via email in no less than four sentences? I’m collecting the most powerful responses from influencers like you and sharing them with my readers in a blog post. Your name and website would be linked back to you so my followers can learn more about you. Your input would mean a ton.
Thank you so very much, (Influencer). I look forward to hearing from you.
And that’s it.
Personalize each and every email. Be authentic. You’ll end up with responses that will not only give you a great answer but will give you another great connection in your network.
5) Follow Up
If you don’t get a response in five business days, send a quick follow up. Nothing special, just a gentle reminder that you love them to pieces and would like to hear from them:
Hi, (Influencer) –
I was just following up regarding my email from last week. 🙂
I would be so very humbled to include you in my round-up blog post. It’s evident your voice is strong out there in the land of content marketing and writing, and I know my readers would appreciate any feedback you can specifically offer.
Are you able to write up a quick a response to the question I posed in my original email? Again, I would be super grateful and thrilled to have you as a part of the post.
The question is in the original email below if you need to take another quick peek.
Thanks so much! I look forward to your response.
Wait another five business days.
Still no response? Send one more follow-up:
Good afternoon, (Influencer):
I’m still hoping to hear from you regarding the post I’m creating that asks the question:
“How can businesses, large or small, benefit from hiring a seasoned, professional writer? With content mills a-plenty, and newbie writers offering their services for practically nothing, professional writers are sometimes skipped over because of cost. What would you tell a business when it comes to choosing a content writer that might cost more?”
Your response would mean the world to me.
Can you offer me a few minutes to provide an answer? Your opinion is highly respected and I would be humbled to include it.
Thanks so much. I look forward to your response.
If they still don’t respond to you after three emails, move on. If you want to keep reaching out, you can. But I personally give it three touches before I finally get the message that they have zero interest in helping me.
6) Write Your Post and Share
Now pull all the pieces together and write the most amazing round-up post that the world has ever seen.
Once it’s published, email your influencers and encourage them to share the post.
Tag them on Twitter and LinkedIn when you share there, too.
The more you share, the more traffic you drive to your site.
Don’t be shy, and don’t be afraid to ask them to share the post. It makes them look good, too.
I created a 4-part interview series asking influencers how they left the job they hated. That was over a year ago, and I STILL have a few of the participants sharing it regularly.
I’ve given you the tools, the tips, and the language to use, now take the time to create a killer post
Come back ‘round to us and share your results. We love hearing the positive outcomes when a plan comes together.
Joleene Moody is a ghostwriter, screenwriter, and actor based in Central New York.
Learn more at www.joleenemoody.com