A great way to increase your traffic is to feature interviews with notable, influential, downright interesting personalities on your blog. You get to capitalize on the SEO juice of their name, make a great new connection and benefit from that person promoting your blog to their friends and followers. Even if you aren't pulling in thousands of page views a day, you can still reach out to big names, if you have a compelling pitch.
Just like the pitches you receive from PR companies each day in your inbox, your interview ask is likely going to come in the form of an email. To increase the chance that your potential interviewee says yes, make sure to do the following:
Ask for the interview in the subject line
Get right to the point and let your contact know you want an interview in the email subject line. You can try things like:
Interview Request: Q&A for Fashion/Travel Blog Suite Style
Press Request: I'd like to feature you're career advice on my fashion blog, Suite Style
If your blog has recently been featured in a magazine, included on an award list or reached a milestone, try and work that in, like:
Interview Request from Lucky Mag's recent Blog of the Day, Suite Style
Interview Q&A Opportunity with Top 10 Professional Style Blog, Suite Style
Pick out unique details about their background
In your opening line make it clear that you have done extensive research on this person's background, interests, etc. It's important to demonstrate why this opportunity (i.e. your audience) is a fit for the person you are writing, and to quickly establish a bit of rapport. Try something like:
Dear Fancy Pants,
I've long-admired your professional career – from your early days as a prop stylist (Dreams Come True is one of my favorite films) to your recent collaboration with Sak's this past holiday season. In my blog, Suite Style, I explore the idea that you can dress professionally without sacrificing your personality, and I love to show my readers real-world examples from successful women I admire. I currently have about 2,000 unique visitors a month and a combined social media reach of nearly 4500.
I would love to interview you about your professional wardrobe as well ask you some questions about your and creative process.
If you have recently done interviews with other people of note in her circle, feel free to name drop those as well. Try:
If you say yes (crossing my fingers!) you'll be in great company – I just published an interview with Arianna Huffington, which you can read here.
Clarify the level of effort
If your interview request requires even one re-read to understand how much effort it is going to require, you've missed the opportunity. Use bold, bullet points and headers to make it easy for your interviewee to figure out 1) how you want to conduct the interview 2) how much time it will take and 3) what creative assets you need from that person. To continue with the example above, your next step is the following:
Style Suite Interview Details
- I'll send 10 questions sent via email + then schedule 15 minute phone conversation to discuss
- Please send over a selection of hi-res images (2-4 is ideal) to accompany the post
Have a specific deadline in mind
Be clear about when you would like to run the piece. If you leave it open-ended it's too easy for your interviewee to push your request to the bottom of her pile. Instead, try something like this:
I'd love to send you the interview questions by end of week, schedule our follow up conversation the week of the 15th, and run the finished piece on the 28th. Will that work with your schedule?
Feel good flattery to close
It's always a good idea to let the person know how much you are looking forward to the opportunity to share their story, tips or fashion sense with your readers.
I'm going a bit out on a limb here in reaching out to one of my professional idols – but I figure it never hurts to ask. I'd be simply over the moon if you said yes.
Who could say no!
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]