The Recipe For Successful Expert Roundup Posts
Expert Roundup Posts.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read this?
- A solid link building strategy
- A silver bullet to make your content go viral
- An easy way to drive massive traffic to your blog or site
- A proven way to build relationships with other influencers in your niche
Super easy, right?
Well, if that’s the case, then why do most of the expert roundup posts fail.
One of the reasons is:
Expert roundups are a tricky piece of content.
They’re basically everywhere, and not everyone is doing them well.
When they hit a sweet spot, they can do wonders for everyone involved.
So, what does it take to do a successful expert roundup post?
In this post, you’ll find the step-by-step process I followed to do three successful expert roundups.
If you want to create a successful expert roundup post, even if you’re new to content marketing, you’re in the right place.
Let’s start. Shall we?
What is an expert roundup post?
A roundup post is a compilation of opinions by experts or influencers on a particular topic.
Readers love these posts because they get an opportunity to learn from some of the most notable people in their niche, all in one place. As each expert's contribution is short, it’s normally their best content and cuts through the fluff.
The Power of an expert roundup post (if done the right way)
We published three roundup posts so far asking experts for their opinion or advice on the burning topic in SEO niche.
For each of these post, we had 25+ different experts sharing their views. The outcome of these posts are:
- Around 2,500 social shares in total (with each one doing better than the previous one)
- 16,000+ page views and counting on all three posts
- A connect with 80+ bloggers and experts I now consider friends
Here is a quick screenshot from our Google Analytics account showing the traffic numbers:
Note: We will talk more about these posts later in the post.
Now that we have got a feel of how powerful roundup posts can be; let’s dive in and go through exactly how to create a roundup post for your blog.
Step 1: Coming Up With The Right Question
As easy as it may sound, but it can make or break the whole story that follows.
A right question is the first and an essential ingredient of your roundup post. Make sure that the question you pick is something that attracts readers and piques the interest of experts as well.
As everyone is trying to experiment with roundup posts, experts get a lot requests for their contribution. So, if your question is not intriguing enough; there are high chances that your email remains unread or unanswered.
Your question can be:
- About a trending topic in your niche, or
- A burning problem your readers are struggling with and want to learn about
The best way to come up with this is: Don’t assume anything, ask your readers. A survey to your list, posting in active forums and communities like Slack and Facebook groups can help you with a lot of question ideas for your roundup.
Here’s how I did it:
One of the benefits of this approach is, you have an initial audience waiting for your piece. And, if your content is of high value, you have an audience ready to shower some love on it by sharing to their extended network.
Once you have decided the question you want to ask, it’s time to move to the next step.
Step 2: Reaching Out To Right Experts
Reaching out to experts and having them contribute to your post is easier said than done.
If you are in the space from long, there are high chances that you have connections with experts. But, if you are new to the game, it takes a lot of relationship building before you ask an expert to share their views for your roundup.
This is where most of the roundups fail. As Ryan Biddulph aptly puts it:
“So many bloggers mean well but see expert roundups as a way to get stuff. I see them as a way to give love. Making that energetic shift will do wonders for your ad copy, your title, lead-ins and any aspects of your blogging campaign.”
Ideally, whether you are new or experienced, the warm-up period starts almost 3-4 weeks before you actually start with your post.
This is how I did it:
Find out the experts in the SEO space.
Finding experts is a hurricane task in itself. Let’s leave the thorough process for another post. To ensure we don’t deviate much from the main topic, I’ll keep it short here.
So, how did I find experts in my niche?
- Community forums (Inbound.org, SEO Chat, and GrowthHackers)
- Other roundup posts in the niche
- Social Media (Twitter and Facebook). The Twitter advanced search tool is my go-to tool.
You can use a Google spreadsheet for it. I used the following template to track and measure my efforts.
Be persistent with your followups. I was fortunate enough to get most of my response in second follow up. I attribute it to the efforts during the warm-up period.
Another thing that plays a crucial role in getting a response is - Your Email Template.
Here is the email that I used for the reach out:
My success rate with this email copy was over 60%.
So, what worked in my favour?
The previous interaction reference and the social proof.
- By mentioning the previous interaction reference, I clearly made a point that I am not writing to her out of the blue.
- The mention of other experts who had already agreed to participate, I added social proof that this isn’t just another round-up with mediocre content that will get a few reads before falling off the face of the content earth.
Once you start getting the responses from experts, next step is to compile them.
Step 3: Compile Expert Responses Into A Killer Roundup Post
The advantage of roundup posts is, you have 80% of content ready and coming up from ‘who’s who’ in your niche. As a host, you only have to manage the remaining 20%.
Sounds easy. Right?
It indeed is, if your post is structured the right way.
But, if you fail to structure the post correctly, your 20% can undermine the impact of remaining 80%.
So, what is the right structure for a roundup post?
Honestly, there is no right or wrong format. Here’s is what I follow:
- A post title that tempts potential readers to click
- An attention-grabbing header or featured image
- A convincing introduction
- Listing and categorizing the responses meaningfully
It doesn’t need to be a fancy one. I try to keep it simple and straightforward as what reader should expect from the post.
Example: 26 Experts On How AI Will Change The Way We Do SEO
Here is the graphic that I used for my recent roundup - ’How AI Will Change SEO’. The experts who contributed and readers loved this minimalist graphic to convey the theme.
There are multiple ways you can do it.
- You can 'reward' good answers by stacking the most thorough at the top, and then filtering down to the least interesting ones.
- Alternatively, you could arrange in order of experts with the biggest blog or social media following.
- Third and the easiest one is, listing them in alphabetical order.
Once you decide what order you are going to use; add a brief about the expert, a headshot followed up by her response. Here is a quick example:
Normally, these posts are lengthy and get a lot of scrolls. So, try and bold some of the tips or sentences that you think are worth reading. That can catch the eye a lot more. Also, include 'Click To Tweet' sections of the best quotes to increase shareability. Make it easy for readers to share it on social media or with their network.
Start with a ‘Thank You’ note to show your gratitude to people who read the whole post and made to this section.
Add a ‘too long; didn't read’ section that summarises the most common themes of what experts have said. You can also, show the question that you asked and a graph of how many people thought [X], [Y] or [Z]. For example:
Do you believe AI will shape the future of SEO?
- Yes - 52%
- No - 10%
- It already is - 38%
It helps in visual aids for people who drop off.
Sign off with asking readers about their take on the topic and share it in the comment section to keep the conversation going.
Step 4: Promoting Your Roundup Post For Getting ROI
Before we jump into the ways of promoting a round post, I want to mention the metrics I track to measure the ROI:
- Total traffic
- Exposure (social shares)
Promoting an expert roundup post is a bit different. You can risk all your efforts by following the promotion methods that you use for your normal posts.
Here are the following means I use:
- Email experts to inform that the post is live (and, ask them to spread the word)
- Share it with the groups and communities where you went to get post ideas (refer to step 1).
- Email to your list and drop the knowledge bomb.
- Promote it on social media. Targeted Facebook and LinkedIn groups can drive massive traffic to your posts.
- Finally, if you have the budget for the paid promotions, I highly recommend services like Social Exchanger and Quuu Promote. They help amplify your social media distribution.
- 16,000+ traffic to roundup posts (Refer to the Google Analytics screenshot at the top)
- Around 2,500 social shares (Below is screenshot of one the posts)
Asking experts to promote the posts is an excellent way to reach out to an extended audience.
When I pushed the post live, I sent out the follow-up email to all the experts thanking them for their contribution.
In the same email, I subtly request them to share it.
If you noticed, to take their help in promotion on multiple channels, I make it very easy for them. Maximum six clicks and I have them pushing or supporting the post on three leading channels.
If you can get the group admin to promote it on your behalf, it drives even better engagement. Here is a quick example:
The outcome of three roundup posts:
Wrapping It Up
WOW… This is too much information to digest at one go.
Around 1,800 words later… I would like to say a massive thank you if you have made it this far.
The good news is that you now have the exact step-by-step process that I followed to drive 16,000+ traffic and around 2,500 social shares with three expert roundup posts.
All you have to do is, follow each step religiously, check all the boxes, and sit back to see your post go viral.
And, yes. Don’t forget to share your result and experience with me in the comment section below.
All the best!