I hope you've had the chance to read some of the blog interviews I've conducted here on Basic Blog Tips. Blog interviews are like a “hybrid” blog post – on one hand it's like a guest post, but on the other hand, not really because the interviewer gets to pick the topic in most cases. The reason we all enjoy blog interviews so much is because they are a great example of those successful collaborations I'm so in favor of, and the “engagement” that we all seek to have on our blogs is pretty much built in by nature.
Great Questions Make for Great Blog Interviews
I like the idea of two bloggers chatting away while the rest of the world listens in. Check out the highlights from two blog interviews and how asking the right questions made all the difference and helped surface some really unique and interesting responses:
…have you ever had a question that stumped you or that you had to do a ton of research to find the answer to? What was that like?
Oh yes… far more than anyone would believe honestly! I LOVE a good question that makes me do some legwork and WORK a bit LOL! While there’s no doubt I know my material forwards and backwards, it’s impossible for anyone to know the entire breadth and scope of the social tech industry off the cuff. My strongest skills that compensate for this however are really understanding how to find what I need in Google (asking Google the right question is key) and that I have an amazing network of people I’m connected to that I can ask for answers! I ADORE learning new stuff and when someone throws me a question that I don’t know, the hunt is on!
I love this answer because there goes those 3 C's again – connections, collaborations and confidence! Kim certainly has all three and she works her magic on the internet like nobodies business doesn't she?
The tables were turned and at times I became the interviewee (instead of the interviewer). One of my favorite interviews was with Atish from Tech Tricks World and for a minute this question almost had me stumped. After giving it some thought here's what I came up with:
What was the happiest moment of your blogging life?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I have a ton of really great blogging memories….
Back when I was still blogging on WordPress.com I knew I wanted to migrate over to self-hosted WordPress. I really struggled with the decision about keeping my old blog name or finding a new domain name. I knew that I had to find the right domain name that had SEO value and really represented what the blog was going to be about. I spent about 2 weeks thinking about names and changing my mind back and forth, until finally it actually hit me one day when I was in the car driving to work. Basic Blog Tips! I couldn’t wait to get to work and turn on my computer so I could check to see if the domain was taken. Oh how I prayed that domain wasn’t taken. As soon as I got to work, I looked the name up and when I saw that it was available I was ecstatic! So I guess if I had to pick one special moment I would say, that was it. Finding the perfect domain name was really a joyous day.
I’m really glad you asked that question because I never thought about it that way until now.
Tips for Great Blog Interviews
In a guest post I wrote on Blog Engage called The Basics of Blogger Interviews, here's some advice for those of you who are going to be interviewed:
1. Obtain a list of the questions or topics ahead of time
2. Add the interviewer to your list of contacts on Skype, Twitter, Google+ and other networks
3. Make a few notes of key points and people that you want to mention
4. Keep your voice even, and remember to be natural
5. Be sure to smile – so that your voice sounds energetic and upbeat
A few of these tips are specific to audio interviews, but many apply to written and video interviews as well. It's a good idea to keep a list of “canned” responses to typical interview questions so that you're ready on a moments notice. For example, most interviews open with a “tell us about yourself question” and end with “what's next for you” or “what are your predictions for the future…” Now is as good a time as any, to jot down your 3 minute elevator speech so that you don't get caught off guard. I'm not saying you need to rehearse word-for-word what you plan to say, because being yourself is vital to a great interview and you don't want to sound “scripted”. Don't forget, everyone who reads or listens to the interview will know that you're being genuine and it will go a long way in your efforts to gain trust and form a bond with your potential new audience.
My recent interviews
Over the last few weeks I was interviewed quite a bit. Each interview has a unique twist and shows even more insights to my personal life as well as my online en-devours. Take a look at (or listen to) my latest interviews:
- #20 – Interview with Ms. Ileane from BasicBlogTips.com on The TechMonks Podcast (audio)
- Ileane Smith: Blogging and Building Virtual Communites on the Paper.li Community blog
- Ms. Ileane Speaks on Podcasting, Blogging and More with the Spreaker blog
- CWA – Interview with Ms. Ileane of Basic Blog Tips with Atish from Tech Tricks World
- How to Blog Successfully – Tips from Ileane Smith with Tom Shivers of Capture Commerce (audio)
- Room 3026 Live: Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips with Damond Nollan (audio)
- Say Hello to Ileane Smith Contributor of the Week on the Biz Sugar blog
- Blogcation Energize Your Blogging Techniques! on Blog Wishperer (audio)
- Boo! An Interview with Ms. Ileane Smith on The Next Goal
- Interview with Ileane Smith on Building a Better Blog on Learn Blog Tips
- More to come….
Have you ever been interviewed? Let me know (using the contact form) if you would like to do an interview here on Basic Blog Tips. You can join the other bloggers with awesome interviews here:
- Gera from SweetsFoods
- Brankica Underwood
- Stella Anokam
- Bev Mahone
- Tim Arthur
- Brian Hawkins
- Kim Castleberry
- Tom Shivers
- Joost de Valk aka Yoast
- More to come….
What are your tips for giving and preparing for great blog interviews? Can you think of some additional benefits for conducting blog interviews on your blog?