Today, I’m going to show you, step by step, how I created 3 successful expert roundups.
You can easily replicate it whatever your niche is: finance, blogging, internet marketing, dating, you name it. That’s the beauty of expert roundups: They can be created in almost any niche and bring great results.
Here are the expert roundups I created:
Check the 50 SEO Experts roundup.
First the numbers: We got 3519 highly targeted visitors, around 300 new Twitter followers, 500 social media shares, 20 email subscribers and 14 new backlinks. This is the result for the first 30 days after the roundup was published.
I think is pretty good, considering that this was my ever roundup and I’ve made some mistakes. You will see them mentioned, so you can avoid them.
Also, I was invited to participate in another expert roundup created by Hussain Omar.
As you see, this roundup helped me to develop some great connections with awesome bloggers and influencers in SEO niche. In general these people are very busy and otherwise will be, let’s say, at least difficult to interact with.
1. WHAT IS AN EXPERT ROUNDUP?
An expert roundup post is a type of blog post that features contributions by multiple experts in your niche. Typically, you as the host blogger will provide an interesting topic for discussion or a question and then reach various experts to share their opinion.
Each participant should be someone with some authority, that has something to contribute to your audience.
The most effective roundups pose a very specific question that the experts can easily respond to. It should be a question that people would like to find the answer and contain some actionable advice that will help them.
Here are several examples of successful expert roundups in the SEO niche.
- Top 60 SEO Quotes of 2016/2017 – Expert roundup
- 90 SEO Experts Talk White Hat Link Building, Outsourcing And Scaling
- 23Experts Reveal Best SEO Advice For Newbies!
- 14 experts reveal their essential marketing tools
- Hiring a SEO Agency? 45+ Experts Tell You What to Look For & Avoid!
But you can guest experts roundup in any other niche as well:
- 89 Travel Experts Reveal Their Best Travel Apps
- 22 Nutrition Experts Reveal Top 3 Natural Weight Loss Tips
- 75 Relationship Specialists Teach You How To Get Back Your Sexual Desire For Your Partner
- 16 Cycling Bloggers Tell You Why You Should Start To Ride Your Bike Now
As you can see, a roundup can really be about any topic so you can do it in any niche you are active: travel, dating, fitness, diets, finance, you name it. In each niche, there are bloggers and experts that people would love to hear their opinions.
Check the 5min video I found on youtube about expert roundups that briefly explain how to create an expert roundup.
So now that you have a pretty good idea of what expert roundups are let’s see what are your benefits to host one:
2. EXPERT ROUNDUPS BENEFITS
Before speaking about benefits I’d like to warn you there is some work involved. You should prepare for at least 40 hours of work to plan, create and promote a successful expert roundup. That is what it took me for the first one but some things can be automatized using tools so I think it’s safe to say you can end up with 25-35 hours of work for a roundup.
The good news is that there isn’t any deadline so you can split the working hours between your other important tasks. Other than the time you may spend some money if you decide to give a little boost to the roundup and do paid Facebook advertising or even send a press release with the conclusions to get more traffic.
Here are the benefits for the blogger that organize the expert roundup:
a) Establish yourself within the blogging community in your niche
This is an excellent strategy to quickly establish yourself or your company within the blogging community for your niche. Especially if you are quite new and not many know you.
And since you will be linking, sharing, and promoting the responses of your contributors, many of them will be willing to help you down the line.
b) Will give you heavy targeted traffic
Most of the experts that participate will send traffic directly to your post by sharing it with their social circles. And because a roundup is a compilation of smart insights from knowledgeable figures, it’s the type of content people actively want to share.
c) Will earn you some good backlinks
As I’d like to say, when we talk about SEO, backlinks are the currency. Everyone that wants to optimize a website needs backlinks. Experts roundups are a pretty effective way to get yourself some backlinks in two ways: First, many experts have a page on their blogs with all their contributions, interviews etc.
Secondly, the conclusions of the roundup are a piece of research that bloggers and journalists can use in their materials. For instance, my roundup was quoted by several bloggers that wrote articles on what we should focus on SEO in 2017.
d) You will get email subscribers
In my opinion, email subscribers are more important than social shares, followers and even most of the backlinks you will get. I explained in this article why. You should create a 1-3 pages booklet with the conclusions of the roundup. Offer it to your visitors in exchange for their email address.
e) Establish relationships with blogging influencers in your niche.
The biggest advantage roundups provide you with is RELATIONSHIPS, not just the social media shares and backlinks generated as a result. That leads to more successful blog posts in the future and guest blogging gigs with some of the best blogs available in your niche.
A relationship can bring you hundreds and thousands of leads and clients down the road versus a link or Tweet that can generate a sale or two.
3. HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE EXPERT ROUNDUP
Before creating the roundup there are several things that need to be done. All of them will influence the response rate, making it a success or a failure so make sure you have them all right:
a) Do your research
Before launching an expert roundup I encourage you to check previous roundups created in your niche. This will help you to come up with a different topic/question that was not asked before (especially if you are in a small niche with not so many influential people). Also, will help you to make a list of people that already participated.
Google your niche + experts, your niche + experts roundup, your niche + specialists, your niche + roundup to find previous roundups.
b) Prepare your website/blog
The blog/website where you host the roundup is very important and there are several things you need to take care:
Make sure your hosting package will support traffic spikes so you will not have your account blocked or your website slowed-down.
Check your website for broken pages or images and list your contact link or email address and social profiles in visible spots. The about us and contact pages should be updated and working. Also if you haven’t written anything new for a long period make sure you update your content. Not many will contribute to a website that is not up to date nor has visitors.
c) Tweak your social profiles
Most of the experts are active on social media. Depending on the niche you’re in they may be using Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook or Twitter. If you are in digital marketing most of the experts are using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google+ (in this order).
Check your social media profiles and make sure there are up to date, clean and share quality information not pictures from the latest party, when you got drank. Most of the people you will contact do not know you and the first (digital) impression is crucial.
d) Your email address should look like a pro
Add your blog, social media accounts, and website in your email signature. Also, you may add your last blog post as well. Most of the people you contact will like to find out more about the guest of the roundup as they don’t like to have their names listed in shady places. Check this tutorial for more tips on setting up your email signature.
4. HOW TO CREATE THE EXPERT ROUNDUP
So you still want to create an expert roundup and enjoy the benefits I’ve listed above. Good then..let’s go. I will show you how I did it step by step to create my roundup so you can replicate the strategy in your niche.
4.1 Choose a good topic
The first thing you need to figure out is what topic and question to focus on for your roundup. Questions that focus on solutions to specific problems, software tools to solve a problem, or tips and tactics are great directions to go when creating a roundup.
Whatever topic you choose, you want to make it as easy as possible for your experts to answer the question. Make your question specific and limit the scope so that busy experts can provide shorter answers.
If you don’t have any idea yet, check previous roundups created in your niche as I’ve shown you already and tweak them a little bit.
Here are several general questions/topics you can tweak:
- List the top three tools/applications you are using for [your niche]?
- What are the trends in [your niche]?
- What should we focus this year on [your niche]?
- Best advice for newbies in [your niche]
- Best way to solve [problem in your niche]
- What should you look for [when do/buy something in your niche]?
4.2 Create a list of experts
Create an Excel/ Google drive document with the following fields (Name, Website, Email, Phone, Social Media Account #1, Social Media Account #2, 1st contact attempt, 2nd contact attempt, Answer, Contribution) and introduce each person you are willing to participate. You will use this list many times so make sure you keep it up to date.
The experts you will contact will most likely reply back and will like to participate to your roundup if they know you or your website have a lot of traffic and authority. If you’re new, prepare yourself for a lot of rejection or silence from their end.
And let’s face it, these guys are pretty busy managing big companies, attending conferences around the world, or drinking cocktails at the pool. Answering experts roundup requests from all kind of newbies is not like their first thing in the morning.
I was surprised to see two or three of really successful influencers that answered pretty quick to my request, willing to help me which I highly appreciated but this is not a general rule.
4.2.1 Where you can find experts willing to participate to your roundup
a) Check your email inbox /contacts list / Skype and business cards, for influencers you already know. If they know you or there is a common friend that can introduce you to make sure you ask him to do it. Politely ask them to participate in your roundup.
This step is very important.
As I’ve said, you will see way better response rates as people you already know are more willing to work with you.
b) Scan social media accounts for prospects. I’ve used mostly Twitter and Linkedin to get in touch with my prospects as these social networks are mostly used in the SEO niche. On 3rd place is Facebook and Instagram comes on 4rd. Use the search functions to find out influencers in your niche.
c) Look for experts that participated in previous roundups
Experts that already contributed to previous roundups are more willing to participate as they know the benefits of this type of posts. Also, they are already seen as the authority in your niche and your readers will like to see familiar names.
Use Google to find previous roundups and contact the participants. Use keywords like: “[your niche] expert roundup”, “[your niche] roundup”, “[your niche] bloggers” etc. Most roundups list the website and social media profits of the contributors so there is a no-brainer to contact them. If you don’t have those contacts you may have to search their names in Google and on popular social networks to find their accounts.
Add all the experts that you’d like to have featured in your roundup in the sheet along with their social media profiles and websites.
d) Search on Google for blogs and magazines in your niche
If the experts have a blog and social accounts is good that before contacting them and asking them the favor to participate you should get yourself introduced by commenting on their posts. Nothing too much or too intrusive. All you need to do is to make your name and your face familiar to them.
When they will get the email with the request from you and ask themselves “Who this guy or this gal is” a natural answer should come in their minds: “Is the guy that commented on my blog, or the guy that asked me that question on the conference”
You can search for experts in your niche by using Google manually or using tools like BuzzSumo, ScrapeBox, NinjaOutReach, PitchBox, Outreach.Buzz or LinkAssistant (the free version is good enough) from SeoPowerSuite.
I haven’t used any tools for my first roundup but I will definitely use them when creating the second as it speeds up the process a lot.
Create a list of keywords for your niche and add blog, blogger, influencer, expert at the end of every word and run searches on Google. You should contact the people from the first 3 pages. Also, you may look for bloggers lists already created by others and contact the people from that list.
Add all the experts that you’d like to have featured in your roundup in the sheet along with their social media profiles and websites.
4.2.2 Fine-tuning the list
If you followed all the steps above now you should have a pretty big list of experts. Please note that I’ve emptied the email column before taking the screenshot to protect the privacy of the contributors. Make sure you have for each prospect at least two contact methods (Email, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Phone number etc).
You can use a tool called URLProfiler which comes with 14 days of free trial is enough for what you need. With URLProfiler you will get most of the details of the websites – social media accounts, contact page, email address, phone number, etc. It is a great tool if you do outreach and I recommend it.
If you have issues finding contact email addresses of websites try Hunter.io It’s pretty good in finding working email addresses. The free plan allows you to make 150 requests per month which should be enough for your roundup.
4.3 How to contact the experts for the roundup
As I’ve said previously you may use outreach tools like BuzzSumo, NinjaOutReach or LinkAssistant but I wouldn’t recommend using tools especially if this is your first roundup. Instead, try to get personal and address each contributor one by one.
Here is a special offer for Monetize.info readers:
You can try NinjaOutreach for two weeks without entering your credit card details. Simply fill the form and you will be able to use all features of Ninja Outreach. 2 weeks are more than enough for you to find out if this tool works for your and your niche or not.
If you can’t find a particular expert’s email address, you can try sending your question directly on Twitter. I did this successfully in my first roundup to collect answers from four people that I otherwise would not have been able to reach.
4.3.1 Contact the experts on Twitter
On Twitter, you contact the users by mentioning their username in a message, asking them politely if they want to participate. This way you attract their attention as they get a message when someone mention them. When you get their accept you send them the details of the roundup. For my roundup I’ve used the following message:
@Username Hello. Would you like to participate in an SEO expert roundup regarding 2017 seo trends ? Thank you
You should also follow them and if they follow you back you can send them a direct message. However the mention short message i find’t being more effective as direct messages are used for self promotion and spam mostly so not many twitter users check them.
4.3.2 Email outreach templates
Here is the template you can use to outreach. When you got confirmation of some of the big names in your niches you may mention those to make it more attractive to contributors:
Expert Roundup Outreach email example 1:
This is [YOURNAME] from [YOURWEBSITE].
Because you are a highly-respected member of the [YOURNICHE] industry, I wanted your opinion about [YOURQUESTION].
If you’d like to be featured in my post, please answer this question by [DEADLINE]. You may include any resources you recommend, a short bio and a picture.
When the post goes live, I’ll let you know and send you the link.
Have a great day,
[YOUR NAME] [WEBSITE] [SOCIALNETWORK ACCOUNT or PHONE]
Expert Roundup Outreach email example 2:
This is [YOURNAME] from [YOURWEBSITE].
To keep it short, I invite you to participate in an expert roundup on [YOURTOPIC]. The question for the roundup is: [YOURQUESTION]
You may include any resources you recommend, a short bio and a picture. Also, try to send it till [DEADLINE] so we can publish it on time.
Please reply if you’d like to participate or have any questions.
Have a great day,
[YOUR NAME] [WEBSITE] [SOCIALNETWORK ACCOUNT or PHONE]
4.3.3 Outreaching Tips:
- Use personalized email accounts like email@example.com as works better than firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 🙂
- Make sure you TRIPLE CHECK the name of the expert before sending the email. It happens to me to send an email to an expert without replacing the [YOURNAME] tag or leaving the previous persons’ name and I was ashamed. Fortunately, the person that received understood the situation and acted cool.
- It’s quite common that most of the experts have multiple websites (personal blog, company website) and social media profiles. Without keeping a list with people that you already contacted you may end up sending multiple invitations to same persons. That is quite annoying as it will give the feeling of SPAM. Create an excel/ Google doc list with people you contacted and when along with all the contact details.
- Make sure the deadline is reasonable. Make it at very least one week and a half from the moment you send the invitations. As the deadline approaches, you can send any expert who hasn’t replied a gentle reminder that they still have time to contribute. They may have intended to reply but forgotten to do so.
4.3.4 Centralize answers and post the content
When you receive an answer add it in a document with the answer along with the bio, picture and social profiles of the contributor. You may also create a post on your blog and add the answer directly one by one as long as you receive it.
Don’t forget to update your spreadsheet of participants so you will have a clear picture of who did send the contributions and who didn’t. Also, send immediately a thank you email to the contributor. Add that you will let them know when the roundup is live.
The length of your roundup article depends on how many people you’ve invited to participate, and of course how many people actually respond as well.
This is the content you need to create for the roundup:
- An attractive, SEO Friendly title that should include: number of participants, and the question they answered.
- A nice, attractive image for your roundup that includes the number of experts, the roundup question, and participants faces, if possible. This image will also be used to promote the posts on social networks so spend enough time to make it great. I used Canva.com as the free plan covers most of my needs.
- Introduction text of the roundup. Here you should include the reason for asking that question, and a list with the participants.
- Contributors and their answers
You may create a PDF file with conclusions that your visitors can download it in exchange of subscribing to your list or for sharing the roundup.
Once the deadline is reached and you’ve finished putting together your roundup post, and once you’ve edited and proof-read it a hundred times over, you’re then ready to hit that publish button.
5. PROMOTE THE ROUNDUP
Ok so now you have published your first expert roundup. Well, that’s great but your work is not finished. Not even close. You have to promote it and attract visitors.Not only will you be promoting the post, but potentially everyone who has made a contribution to your roundup post will also want to promote it as well.
5.1 Inform the experts the roundup is live
Once the post is live, you will want to let the experts know that it’s ready for full-on promotion. But you don’t want to just send them a link to the post and let them figure out what to do from there.
Start by creating a ClicktoTweet link that will allow the expert to share the post immediately with a custom message.
5.2 Promote the roundup on social media
Share the post on all your social media accounts and tag the contributors. On Facebook and Google+ You can tag them all in one place. On Twitter, you are limited to 160 chars so you will need several posts to include them all. You may include 3-5 per each post daily and in several days you will tag them all.
You may also purchase Facebook advertising. If you target well the audience with less than 10 dollars I doubled my reach (1,037 organic and 1,076 paid reach)
5.3 Inform your readers about expert roundup.
Before posting the roundup you may send an email to your list letting them now to check your website on the date of publishing. Tell them to prepare their questions for the experts as they will visit the roundup post and answer the questions.
Remind your readers about the big launch a couple of days before you post. Then send them the big announcement email on launch day. Sending multiple emails raises awareness and adds a sense of importance to your roundup post.
5.4 Announce other people from your niche
You have created a nice piece of knowledge so you may outreach people from your niche to check it and add their inputs. Use the same techniques to find influencers and tell them to check the roundup. Invite other bloggers and helpfully
5.5 Let the press know about the roundup
Don’t forget to email journalists about the roundup as this kind of article gets easily noticed in the media. You can get one step further and send them the pdf with conclusions so they can create quite easy the press article. Also, you may send a press release with the conclusions of the roundup.
6. WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
I’ve asked several participants to the roundup what is their opinion on the roundup and what tips they have for expert roundup creators.
What has worked for me in terms of creating an expert roundup consist of the following:
- Find an emotional topic that will get the reader’s attention or a hot topic that is relevant to your industry
- Determine who are the experts in your industry that you can reach out to and actually contact via email, phone, etc.
- Reach out to those experts. Try to ask double or triple the amount of experts as all of them will not respond. Follow-up at least 2-3 times to get a response.
- In the pitch to the expert, let them know about other experts that could potentially be in the roundup (these are the ones you asked). This may entice the expert to provide their feedback as well. Give them a deadline for when they need to provide their responses. Make the expert feel special in the pitch and their opinion is valuable. Lastly, let the expert know you will link back to them in your post.
- Compile all of the expert advice, use it in a blog post or create an infographic like what I did here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/392376186262182285/
- Once the content is completed, publish the content, and email each expert the finished piece and ask them to share it on their social media channels and anywhere they feel necessary. The more readers are the better!
When done correctly, expert roundup posts can really help you and your blog stand out. Above all else, they can provide a ton of value to your readers and blog followers.
Now will have an amazing piece of content that you, the experts, and your audience will love – and will love to share.
Yes, they do take time to put together, but they’re so worth your time folks. You will also have made new, influential connections in your niche.
When you’re starting out, writing great content isn’t enough to get noticed. Use expert roundups to make yourself noticed and establish great relations with folks in your niche. Now that you introduced yourself to the experts you may create interviews and keep them connected.
Download now all the resources used here and this post in a nice formatted PDF by filling out the form below:
Hope you enjoyed reading our expert roundup creation guide. It’s your time now: Create one for your website and let me know in the comments form below how it worked for you. Also if you have questions I will gladly reply.