In my last post, I gave you 10 Awesome Ideas for Post Topics, but I also wanted to call special attention to interviews. These are a very common type of guest post opportunity for authors because let’s face it, the host doesn’t have to do a lot of work to get fresh content. Often, they have prepared a set of questions, and it’s up to you to answer. Easy-peasy, right? Yes and no. Here are some tips for getting the most out of every interview you do.
- Read all of the questions before you start writing. There may be overlap between questions, and you don’t want to repeat yourself. So give the list a quick once-over in order to plan out your responses and avoid repetition or running out of things to say.
- Look for ways to plug-not-plug your other work when possible. If you have written a blog post for your own site or as a guest post that is applicable to the question, try to figure out ways to work in a reference and a link. This helps drive traffic to the original post, and you also don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every interview.
- Sometimes, you may want to answer the question you WISH you’d been asked rather than exactly what is there on the page. If there’s something you are eager to share but it doesn’t quite fit, try to find a way to link it to the question you were given.
- Alternatively, you can ask your interviewer if it is okay to add or subtract questions to make sure you get to address what you want to. For instance, in my World-building Showcase series, I give the authors a set of questions, but encourage them to skip things that aren’t relevant or add whatever they want. My questions are a jumping-off point, but really I want people to write about whatever they want because they will be more engaged with the content that way. It will lead to more interesting posts both to write and to read.
- You can also offer to interview yourself. Not all hosts will have a set of questions to send out. If you can come up with 5-10 questions on topics YOU want to address and send them the finished product at the same time you ask them if they are willing to host, you make it super simple for them to do it.
- Videos will often get more people interested than writing a post. If you are comfortable with talking on camera and your host is game, consider a video instead. It’s a nice way to keep things fresh even if you are answering the same questions as a previous interview.
- If you are doing a written interview, don’t forget to send your host pictures to includes. This can be quotes or review graphics for your book, but also pics of yourself holding your book or something else relevant to the interview can be a great way to break up big blocks of text. You can suggest where you want the pics embedded to your host, or just give them a few things to choose from and leave it up to them.
- ALWAYS thank your host at the end of your interview. Be gracious about them sharing their corner of the interwebs with you.
- When it comes time to share about your interview on social media, make sure to come up with something snappy and intriguing. Just saying “I’ve been interviewed by so-and-so, check it out!”, isn’t enough. Try to tease at interesting tidbits you address in the interview and mention them. For example, you could say something like “Find out why I have mixed feelings about lizards, why I love rainy days, and more in my latest interview!” This kind of teaser makes it easier to attract new potential readers who don’t have a reason to know your name yet. Plus people who already follow your antics will be interested to find out something new.
Do you have other tips to share about doing interviews as guest posts? Share your ideas in the comments!
We’ll end there for now, but I’ve got one more post to go in this series. While being a guest writer is an awesome way to extend your reach, you may also find yourself in the position to host other people’s guest posts. In my final installment, I’ve got advice for being a good host.
Until next time, stay splendid!