Do you know what a roundup post is?
A roundup post is when you gather a bunch of experts and get their input on one subject. It's like a mini interview with dozens of participants, usually focusing on one topic.
They're a fantastic way to get comprehensive on one particular question.
They can also be great for driving traffic.
For example, I put together a roundup post a few weeks back:
In just four days, this post received over 250 social shares and 560 unique visits.
And since then, it's sent me even more.
Additionally, it's been a great way for me to build relationships with influencers and all around cool people in my niche. For example, I now have some consistent dialogue going with Cody Mclain, who I featured in my last post.
People probably think a roundup post is easy because you don’t have to write anything, but I would say it is just as much work as a regular post and potentially more. There is a lot of communicating that has to be done. You have to get a lot of people involved and promote it everywhere to try and make it worthwhile for the people who participated.
Let's go through the process together in 5 simple steps.
1. Find The Contacts
Roundup posts are fairly common nowadays as they have been shown to bring in a lot of traffic by inviting lots of people to share.
But first, you need the people.
The ideal person is
- An authority on the question you are asking
- Has a large following
- Open to appearing on blogs and being featured
Finding just one of these people is tough - now you have to find at least 20.
First, start with your friends. Depending on how large your network, this will probably get you a few submissions.
But in all likelihood, you'll have to find more.
My favorite places to look are sites that are doing daily entrepreneur interviews, for example
I know they have a wealth of people to draw from and they have done the research to find cool people with large audiences and usually share their contact info as well.
I asked my VA to get the contact information of everyone who has been featured on those sites. Then I look for relevant people, related to the question I am asking.
This might not work for you if you are not in the entrepreneurship niche, but all you have to do is find the places where your community gathers.
Triberr, for example, can be another great option.
2. Warm Them Up And Contact Them
Running up to someone with demands is not likely to get a lot of people on your side.
Best to warm them up a bit and get on their good side. You can start by doing the following:
- Follow them on social media
- Share their blog posts
- Comment on their posts
- Subscribe to their newsletter
This gets you on their radar and helps break the ice when you email them.
Now you will hit them (gently) with an email.
At the end of the day, even after this, you can expect that only 30-40% of people will reply to your email and get back to you.
Here is an example template:
Subject: "Hey John"
My name is Dave and I run a business blog 18.104.22.168/blog
I saw your interview on EOF and loved it. I was wondering if I can feature you in a blog post?
I'm putting together a massive entrepreneur round-up post and I would love for you to be a part of it. I've connected with some very big names and I know that if you have just a few minutes to answer this question, it will provide some great exposure for your brand when it's published. Plus it will be a very cool post, as our first sales always have a special place in our hearts.
Here's what my audience would like to know:
What was the first product or service you ever tried to sell on a "large" scale? How did it go?
By large, I essentially am asking you to ignore any small sales, like selling an old computer on eBay. I'm talking about a service or a product you offered.
If you can elaborate on it (how you came to the decision, who you targeted) great!
Feel free to be as specific or vague as you like, and I am happy for you to include any links to your sales page if it is still active.
I know you're very busy, but I have to set a deadline on this. If you can get back to me in 7 days (that's May 5th) I can include you, plus a photo and bio/links (if you have them handy great, if not I can go digging).
Let's break this down.
- Personalize the subject to increase the open rates
- Lead with who you are and follow that by how you "know" them
- Hit them with the request, and tell them why it is worth their time
- Tell them that you appreciate your time
- Set a deadline (several days before you actually need it)
This will cut down on the back and forth and get you what you need, when you need it.
As the responses come in you're going to have a lot to deal with. You may not be writing the post, but you still are responsible for formatting it and getting additional information.
A lot of people will forget to send you photos or author bios, and you will have to get them yourself.
When I know I have such a massive post coming up, I immediately turn to my Virtual Assistant and show him what I am looking for regarding formatting.
I generally format two myself as examples and then ask him to do the rest.
Additionally, I have him create a Google Doc and include the following information
- Image Link
- Twitter Handle
- Author Bio
This is everything you are going to need to make it a success.
It is also great to have this information handy if you ever feature them again.
4. Post Features
Aside from the answers, you might want to put in the following to help guide your readers through such a massive post (mine ended up being over 12k words long!)
Cliff Notes: A little summary at the beginning, which I called cliff notes and a table of contents. People want things to be easy. Long is great because it looks comprehensive but it also deters a lot of people from following through, so in order to engage with that segment I cut to the chase in various parts.
Tweetables: It's nice to organize some snippets into tweetable phrases that mention you, the post URL, and the author's Twitter handle.
Custom Image: I used my illustrator to help make a custom image for the post, but remember to ask for a few different number variations because some people submit late. I had three submissions come in after I published the post, which I then added.
5. Publishing And Make It Easy To Share
Now comes the most important part - publishing and sharing.
Before I published, I spent an hour or so going through the peoples' blogs and commenting on their stuff, tweeting them.
Basically, Warm Up Part 2.
Because I was engaging with them immediately before publishing my post, I am subtly reminding them why they should share the post I just put together.
Once it has been published, I sent them an email:
Here is the template:
First and foremost thanks again for taking the time to answer this question for my audience.
I said I would be connecting with some big names and I hope I didn't disappoint.
39 entrepreneurs stepped up and gave some GREAT answers that totaled over 12k words.
If you have a chance to look and share, that's awesome. If you're busy, I've made it easy for you to at least tweet it by clicking here.
Click here to tweet
Additionally, if you belong to any of these networks feel free to give it an upvote.
Thanks and if there is ever anything I can do for YOU, you know where to find me!
- Remind them of the article and how awesome it turned out
- Make it easy to share with a click to tweet (at a minimum if the person is busy, they can do that)
- Send them links to other networks you've submitted the post so they can upvote it
People will love you for making it so simple to share
Roundup posts are a lot of work, and if you stick to the process, you will find it is considerably easier than otherwise would be.
In addition to the traffic, link building, and social shares I've received from the post, I've also gotten a podcast invite, a guest post on my blog, and networked with a bunch of important people in my niche.
So definitely keep this one in your arsenal!