Authority Interviews

When it comes to generating more traffic for your website, the best options help your website accomplish a number of different outcomes:

  • They establish your authority as an expert in your industry with your audience
  • They create linkable assets for your business, assets that help your website continue to generate links with little effort on your part
  • They attract traffic through social media, referrals, and organic search
  • They build relationships with other brands and businesses in your industry

One of my favorite tactics to use to increase traffic to a website? Interviews!

It’s easy to get started with interviews as a link building and traffic generation strategy. There’s three types of interviews that you can create and share:

  • Text Interviews are the easiest to get started with. You send the interviewee a list of questions, collect their answers, and build an interview around their answers.
  • Audio Interviews are slightly more difficult to get started with, but are an easy way to produce longer-form, high-quality content. To do them well, I’d recommend using a headset, Skype, and something to record the call.
  • Video Interviews are very impressive, but take additional equipment (lights, microphone, etc) to do well.

For this article, let’s just riff on Text Interviews for a bit. They’ve easy to get started with, you can systematize most of the pieces, and when you’re ready to graduate up to the next level, the same best practices apply.

For something simple that you can get started with today, text interviews take the cake.

Let’s talk about the outcomes this tactic can produce for you:

  • Establish Your Authority — Who interviews experts, authorities, and business owners? Other experts! By interviewing authorities, you establish your own authority.
  • Build Linkable Assets — Interviews are a great type of high-quality informational, educational, and entertaining evergreen content. The type of content that your audience loves to read, share, and link to.
  • Increase Traffic — By interviewing an authority, you attract traffic from that authority’s audience.
  • Build Relationships — Interviewing a business (or business owner) is a great way to give first in your relationship, establishing and building a relationship.

All valuable outcomes for any individual or business. But out of all of those outcomes, I see the opportunity to build relationships with influencers, authorities, and businesses in your industry as the most valuable outcome.

Those relationships, over the long-term, will pay out in better image, more traffic, more sales, and more revenue for your business.

How can you get started with interviews as a link building and traffic generating tactic today?

First, make a spreadsheet with a list of 10-12 relevant, similar companies, influencers, and authorities in your industry. Include a mix of some big and some small. Make sure to get their basic contact information like email address, name, and phone number.

Then, send a cold email to them, introducing yourself, and asking if they would like to be interviewed in an article on your website.

After that, if they’re interested in working together, send them over a short questionnaire, with the questions you’d like them to answer.1

Next, write up their answers into the article. Send the article over to them for feedback.

Finally, publish the interview on your site. Email the person you interviewed, let them know that the interview is live, and ask if they could share the interview on social media and, if possible, link back to your site from their site.2

And, like that, you’ve built a relationship with an influencer or business in your industry, attracted traffic to your site (from their audience), and built a high-quality link to your website (from their website).

Best of all? This tactic scales very well — and as you scale it, you can expand it in a number of different directions:

  • Once you’ve interviewed 6-8 people, you can put the interviews together in one collection, creating another linkable asset for your website.
  • You can outreach to other influencers and websites in your industry, tell them about the interview, and ask them to share the interview with their audience.
  • You can create transcripts of the interviews and publish them on your site.
  • You can extract relevant topics, quotes, and questions from the interviews and transcripts and turn them into even more articles and resources.

There’s a number of different ways you can take this one tactic — interviewing experts, authorities, and businesses — and repurpose the content into a number of different shapes, create more linkable assets for your website, attract more traffic, and generate more high-value, high-quality content.

Because in the end, that’s your goal, right? To create something that’s so interesting, so engaging, and so excellent that your audience automatically wants to read it, share it, and link to it.

And if it isn’t, it really should be.


    1    I like writing out 3-5 questions in the email for them to answer, it’s more personal than sending them to a form. But if you’re pressed for time, you can use a Google Form to list out the questions for them to answer. Bonus? The form is reusable from interview to interview.

    2    Also? Ask them if they know of anyone else that they recommend that you interview. Hat tip to my friend Kurt Elsther for that tip.

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