How to Create a Successful Expert Roundup Article
Expert roundup articles have been around for ages but they have been increasingly popular lately.
In a Huffington Post opinion piece written by James Parsons titled “Will Expert Roundup Posts Ever Lose Their SEO Value?”, he points out the pros and cons of this style of content. To me, it read like it was trying way too hard to make a point.
For instance, he says that there are a lot of expert roundups out there now. Why is that a bad thing? Is the implication that you can have too much expert advice? The thing about roundup posts is that they are both industry and topic specific. So an overabundance of them isn’t exactly a burden.
On the contrary, an expert roundup is a much more effective way of standing out from the crowd than any other form of content. It stands out because of the variety of opinions and insights. It doesn’t matter how many are already out there, yours is going to be bringing something new… provided you take an effort to make it unique.
I’ve seen lots of startups turning into top SaaS platforms, thanks to a well-crafted content strategy. Usually that’s a mix of high-quality guest blogging, inbound content marketing and influencer-driven content, i.e. expert interviews and roundups.
Expert roundups are pretty much the perfect way to drive bursts of traffic to your blog. Regular posts are great for everything from gaining social followers to improving overall search ranking.
How do you create the best possible expert roundup? It is surprisingly easy.
Look At Other Successful Roundups
First of all, it helps to take a peek at other roundups that have found success. Either that success will be measured in Google ranking, social shares, views, comments, or staying power. By understanding what the results have been, you can get a feel for what really works and what doesn’t.
This post by Tor Refland managed to get all of those into one. It is probably the best example of how to do an expert roundup right, and to turn it around for greater benefits. They were able to use it to boost traffic, improve their site conversions, post more guest posts on other sites that increased their authority, and get more roundups out that were also popular.
Another great post was by Ashley Faulkes. Success shows in social shares, but even more so in on-site engagement. Anyone who has been in the blogging business for awhile knows that one of the hardest things to get from a post is comments. This one got plenty of thoughtful comments which is a boom.
Not all roundups have to be massive in scale to make it. This article was much smaller, but did great in both ranking and social shares. Just in case you were worried that you had to find dozens of sound-bites to include in your post every time. And here’s an awesome example of just a few experts providing unbelievably in depth content.
Do Some Research Into What Your Followers Are Asking
With an idea of how to be successful, it is time to begin considering the question you want to ask. Knowing your topic will arm you with what you need to move onto the next step.
Research is important here. Not only do you want to go with what your followers are curious about, but you have to keep SEO in mind. Here’s a detailed article on how to research niche questions.
If you are into local content marketing, you need to keep an eye on local directories to watch local businesses and discussions. Yelp, DirJournal and Patch are top suggestions here. Customer reviews are a great source of inspiration!
Once you have a collection of popular terms by data, start doing social searches and post searches to see which match up to your audience’s needs. You may even consider asking them on social media what topic interests them the most out of a collection of questions. What do they want answered more? Abdullahi Muhammed has a few more great tips on how to use social media for content inspiration.
Don’t just come up with a single question here. Make an entire list so you have options for future roundup posts. I like to do this every couple of months, so I always have at least four questions at the ready. That leads to regular (but not too frequent!) roundups with alternating experts, creating fresh posts consistently.
Pick Your Experts Carefully
Some of the experts you choose are going to be a one-time deal. But others are going to be your round table – people you go to again and again. Experts are often more than happy to be a part of these posts regularly, because it gives them some exposure with very little effort involved. It takes next to no time to answer a question via email or messenger, and they get credit for it that leads to their own increased authority.
Take extra care in selecting who these people are going to be. They are your bread and butter. Then try and find the occasional influencer who is harder to get, and probably won’t be a repeat expert on your roundups.
Events like conferences, Twitterchats, live streams, Q&A sessions and open calls for questions on blog posts, are great places to get these soundbites. So keep an eye out for opportunities.
Use Every Promotional Method You’ve Got
Once you have your post, you need to promote it as much as possible. That means using every single tool you have at your disposal. Social media profiles, your blog, email newsletters – and especially asking the participating influencers to promote it on their own social sites and blogs is a great way to do it.
Make sure to ask the experts to let their followers know that they have been featured in the post. Most will end up sharing it on their social sites, or linking back to it in meta posts updating current readers. That’s the secret of the roundup success: With those contributing experts you are not alone promoting the piece!
Remember that people will only see your expert roundup if you are active about sharing it. So don’t be afraid to really dig in. You worked hard on it, you created it for a reason, and you want others to enjoy and benefit from it.
Do you have any tips for a stellar expert roundup post? Have any examples of killer ones you want to share? Leave us a comment!
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