How to Rock the Roundup Post
So I’ve been sharing with you different types of blog posts you can create to diversify the types of content you publish. You’ve learned how to write a listicle, interview someone, and use video, and I know your blog is banging as a result.
Now I want to teach you how to write a roundup post, or as I like to refer to it: “writer’s block post.”
The good news is that it takes little actual writing or creativity to create a roundup post. However, there will be some effort spent editing, emailing, reminding people to respond, and then putting it all together.
Why Roundup Posts Kick Butt
The first reason I love roundups is that you get many experts (some blogs use upwards of 30 experts in a post) to share tips on a given subject. Because of these experts’ various experience, you usually get really great, diverse responses that add to the value of your blog.
Another perk is that each of these experts will share your post with their social networks. So the more experts you include, the further the reach of your post! Some blogs use roundup posts explicitly for the marketing punch they pack.
And finally, when I’m not feeling creative or am sure that I can’t come up with another word of content, I like roundups because all I have to do is ask questions. The experts I reach out to do the rest.
Come Up with a Killer Question
A great roundup post starts with an excellent question or topic. For TweakYourBiz, I might ask entrepreneurs what led them to start their business, their biggest mistake they learned from, or what tool they can’t live without in their business. Ultimately it should be a question that hasn’t been answered a million times on other blogs.
If I do want to write a post on something more general, like marketing and promotion ideas, I stress that I’m looking for out-of-the-box tips, not the standard fare. When I get responses (more on how to get those coming up), I choose the most unique.
Where to Find Experts
If you’re lucky like me, you have a professional or social network with experts you can turn to for your roundups. I know people who will respond to an email with a roundup question within hours, which is wonderful. But sometimes I need experts in another field, or more answers than I can get through those channels, and so I turn to Help a Reporter (HARO). If you’re not familiar with this tool, check it out. It’s free to use, and lets bloggers and journalists post queries for articles they’re writing.
So in our case, we would post a query for whatever kind of experts we were looking for. Let’s say we’re creating a roundup on Using Livestreaming to Market Your Business (hmm. That’s a great topic I probably should write about!). We would create a query asking the following:
Looking for innovative tips for how to use livestreaming to market a business. Please send tips as well as examples of successful livestreaming campaigns.
Short and sweet. You’ll start to get a flood of responses from your HARO query. Let them all roll in, then sort through them. Some people — and this is so annoying — will introduce themselves or the individual they do public relations for, and invite you to interview them. I trash those responses because I have so many who sent me tips directly that I don’t need them.
I send a reply to anyone I plan to use in my roundup, and if I need additional information, I ask for it. It’s nice to include a headshot of each expert and link to their website. I also like to ask for their Twitter handle so I can tag them once the post is live and I promote it. Oh, and here’s a good tip: put a deadline for them to get back to you with whatever information you need. I like to pretend I’m on a tight deadline even if I’m not. Most people will respond promptly, but there are often stragglers that delay your ability to publish.
Tips in Crafting the Post
I find that the more specific I am in my HARO query, the better the responses I get. Once you have those responses, here’s what I suggest in the writing process.
- I like to keep the responses of similar length, which can be challenging when some people send a two-sentence response and others write an entire page. Feel free to edit. If you need more meat from the shorter responses, ask more questions to get your experts to open up.
- Examples are great! If your experts can point to successes they’ve had with a tip they’re sharing, include it in your roundup.
- Use H3 headers for each section, especially if you have a lot of experts. This will break up the content and make it easier to consume.
Once You Publish
Always follow up with each expert once your roundup post goes live, since they will be eager to see their name in “print” and share your post. You might consider crafting a few pre-written Tweets that your experts can copy and paste, practically guaranteeing that they will promote your post on your behalf.
Always tag your experts if they’re on social media so that they see that you’re promoting them. They’ll reciprocate.
Now that you’ve published your first roundup and have new expert contacts, keep them in your contact management database and consider using them for future roundups. Connect with them on social media and support them by sharing their content when you have the opportunity.
The other side of writing roundup posts is to subscribe to HARO and look for opportunities where you can be included in other people’s roundups. I’m now frequently invited via email to participate in roundups on topics related to marketing and entrepreneurship, and it’s always gratifying to be included.
The roundup post is an excellent addition to your blog arsenal!
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