- Roundup posts are pieces of content in which a list of selected experts give their insights on the same topic, in short descriptions that include their opinions, predictions, or reviews.
- Creating an expert roundup post for your website or blog can take some preparation and organizing efforts, but it brings undeniable long-term benefits in terms of traffic, authoritativeness, and peer recognition.
- In the following guide, I will take you through every step of creating an enticing expert roundup post for your website.
Publishing valuable content is a constant challenge when it comes to the formats and topics to cover. As a blogger, digital marketer, or content creator, you already know how much thought goes into offering your audience fresh, engaging content on a regular basis. Readers appreciate formats they are familiar with and can consume easily. A roundup post is an example of a successful approach to topics of interest in your industry.
Roundup posts are pieces of content in which a list of selected experts give their insights on the same topic, in short descriptions that include their opinions, predictions, or reviews.
Creating an expert roundup post for your website or blog can take some preparation and organizing efforts, but it brings undeniable long-term benefits in terms of traffic, authoritativeness, meaningful relationships, and peer recognition. By gathering a group of experts to answer the same question, you will not only generate relevant content for your website but build a strong relationship basis with experts in your industry.
Having a list of selected experts answer a well-placed question gives you a valuable piece of content that is highly shareable, so let’s see what it takes to do it right. In the following guide, I will take you through every step of creating an enticing expert roundup post for your website.
1. Brainstorm potential questions
The first step you need to take after deciding to publish an expert roundup post is to find the perfect question to ask the experts. This will be the key element of your post, and it will dictate whether it will be successful or not.
The perfect question might not be easy to find, but take enough time to find it. Brainstorm as much as you need before you decide who to invite in. All the further efforts of finding influencers and experts could be in vain if the topic you choose does not fit the roundup format, or doesn’t spark interest in your readers’ minds. So I’d recommend you find a question that resonates well with both your readers and experts.
Things to consider when brainstorming
To better understand what kind of questions are fit for a roundup post, you should picture the end result. You want to have your experts give your readers a piece of their own judgment, advice, or insight on a subject that your readers are familiar with. It won’t be a 101, a critical debate, or brain-picking for ultra-specialized information.
Your question needs to be:
- Easy enough to give your respondents room to elaborate and get ample answers from them without the need for extra-questions.
- General enough to give you a reasonably long list of influencers, experts, and peers. Go to niche and you might be able to talk to a handful of people about it.
- Original enough to get your readers curious about the topic, and what experts have to say about it.
What about the topic will you be asking about? Naturally, it has to be specific to your website or niche and what you usually write about. The key is to find a subject that your audience is curious or interested in. Perhaps a trend, or a subject that usually sparks debate or behind-the-scenes type of information that regular posts don’t really get into.
You have the chance to get insights about the latest trends everyone is wondering about, or tips and tricks, good practices that expert peers have discovered through their experience and expertise.
Examples of questions:
- What’s one piece of advice you’d give to beginner bloggers?
- What’s one thing you would’ve done differently when starting your blog?
- What do you think the future of blogging is?
How to get ideas
Easier said than done? If you don’t already have a topic you’ve been pondering about, compile a list of possible questions for your roundup with a little research.
Use tools like the Ahrefs Content Explorer to find trends in your industry, and subjects that seem to attract a lot of readers. You can filter results by their social shares, number, and quality of referring industries so that this tool and similar ones can give you a good idea of what subject should be pursued.
With these things in mind fuel that creative engine and start putting ideas on paper, whether they seem perfect candidates or just potential pursuers. It’s best to have a long list to start from when drafting the winning question for your roundup post.
2. Find talented experts
After finding your question, you should have a good idea about the expertise of your respondents. Assuming that you are active in your industry for a reasonable time, you should already know who the experts in your niche are. You want to compile an extensive list of experts of at least 50+ because not all will reply to your inquiry.
Let’s make a profile for the ideal respondent in your expert roundup post:
- They are directly related to the industry you are writing about
- They have a good follower base and an audience that regards them as influencers
- They have contributed to roundup posts in the past
- They are continually sharing thought-provoking, original ideas on their social media and on personal or business blogs
- They have authority in the field: company owners and founders, top positions in companies of the industry, public speakers, success bloggers, and more
A practical, fast way of identifying possible candidates for your roundup post is to check other roundup posts in the industry. Does this approach seem lazy at a first glance? The redundancy of a roundup article doesn’t come from the list of people contributing to it, but from the very topic, you will choose for it.
As long as you are able to provoke your respondents to bring something original to the table, selecting them from other roundup articles is absolutely fine.
Depending on your topic, you might find tens of experts already showing potential for accepting your invitation. But don’t put your eggs in one basket: there are other ways of finding strong, authoritative voices in your niche.
A simple search on social media can give you a good idea of who is interested in the topic you have selected and fits the ideal profile described above. Twitter and Facebook are also great platforms where you can find experts in your industry.
For our roundup post about blogging tips for beginners, we have gathered content from CEOs and founders of content marketing websites, authors, bloggers, and podcasters in digital marketing. They were all able to give us valuable insight into what blogging is like for beginners, and what they should do to thrive.
Web search is another simple solution to putting together your expert list. We were able to find several experts by simply typing in our keyword or phrase onto Google. Find bloggers who have been covering your subject, or similar ones, and dig a bit more in their previous posts, to have an idea of who you’re going to contact.
Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, and Hootsuite are other awesome tools to research hot topics and authoritative blogs, as they display real-time data on their referring industries, traffic value, and the number of shares they get for their posts.
3. Find their contact information
Once you have a list of experts, bloggers, and influencers who can give you valuable insight into the subject you want to cover, it’s time to start gathering their contact information.
It’s best to keep a database of their information, on a simple Google or excel sheet with their names, email addresses, URL to their website, the date when you contacted them, and a column where you check if they submitted content or not. You can get a little more advanced by using a CRM or email outreach tool like Mailshake.
Keeping your contact information organized will speed up the preparation process and will help you avoid awkward situations like sending an invitation twice, or forgetting to do a follow-up with them.
Some of the experts you’re trying to reach won’t have a visible email address but you can use tools like Hunter.io to find them by simply entering their first name, last name, and their domain name. It will give you a list of the results it found. Ideally, you would launch your invitation privately, but if you still can’t find their email address, don’t hesitate to send a tweet that mentions your plan or a simple message via the other social media platforms.
Here are more tips on how to find contact information for people who you want to reach, and what good practices you should follow.
4. Reach out to your experts
If it’s the first time you are contacting someone, it’s a good idea to look into the good practices of a cold email. Roundup posts are great for getting quality backlinks, and the persons you will contact are aware of the positive influence their contribution can have on your traffic and domain. But they can’t endorse a website or a blog that doesn’t prove to be valuable on a constant basis.
We can talk about cold email outreach best practices for days on end but that would take too long. What I highly recommend is that you be genuine, polite, and kind when reaching out to your experts. This goes a long way and they’ll be able to tell when someone is being genuine since they receive hundreds of spam emails every day.
I also recommend you personalize each and every one of your emails. Yes, this will take time but you will have a higher conversion rate than if you were to send the same bulk email to everyone.
I don’t have a template to help you get started, but below I have provided a screenshot of an email I sent out to one of the experts that we included in our roundup. Feel free to use it for some inspiration and to help garner some ideas.
Another fantastic way of reaching out to experts is by joining and engaging with them via their live streams. We used this tactic to reach one of our experts who had not replied via email. It worked out, and he gave us some awesome advice while on his live stream.
5. Put it all together
Getting enough contributions from the experts you have contacted is a great achievement in the process of creating a stellar roundup post. But your job is not finished yet. Putting together the content you have just received from your guests is very important, as it will have to be a high-quality presentation that they will gladly share on their channels, therefore getting you some exposure to new audiences.
Things you want to include
- A headshot
- Their reply
- Short bio
- Social media and website handles
- And your own comments
As you can see in our roundup post example, each contributor’s section starts with a professional picture of the contributor, the content that they have submitted, finished with our own thoughts on their commentary. We have added easy-to-follow social media icons that take you to their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn profiles, the titles they hold, and links to their main projects: companies they work for, blogs, YouTube channels, and others.
We wanted to make it easy for our readers to follow and engage with our experts via their blogs, businesses, and social media accounts.
While you want to emphasize the value of each contributor, you must also have your reader’s interest in mind, and clearly answer a need or a question your audience has.
6. Promote your post
Promoting your posts should be done in the interest of all your contributors, yourself, and your audience. The effort you have invested in compiling these pieces of content will ideally be rewarded with significant organic traffic, a good number of quality backlinks, and most importantly the start of new and meaningful relationships.
You should also edit the content carefully so that each contributor gets the same level of attention and appreciation. Take your time to thank each one of them for their contribution and don’t hesitate to personalize your message with your personal impression of their content.
Backlinks are certainly welcome, but asking them explicitly might not be appreciated by all the persons you will contact. The best ways of getting your contributors to share the roundup post are to simply ask them if they could share it with their audience.
Infographics, tweets, quotes included in an image, newsletters, and paid ads are all great ideas for getting your content everywhere and promoting it like crazy.
Conclusion: Creating an expert roundup post is totally worth it
Publishing an expert roundup post might not be everyone’s style of content, but for certain industries and domains, it can be a long-term valuable resource, both for your audience and your peers. And, of course, for you.
Keeping your focus on the value your post should bring to your readers will help you choose an enticing topic, ask the right question, and select the right people to answer it. While no one can ignore the advantages a roundup post has for contributors and creators alike, backlinks and traffic should not be your singular concern.
Ultimately, the success of such a compilation is given by the shares, referrals, and traffic you get from your audience. Create a fantastic expert roundup post by asking a question your readers are interested in, and your contributors can easily answer.
Give this type of content the time and effort it needs and it will prove to be a fruitful initiative, both amongst your peers and as a relevant post for your website.