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How to Create Expert Roundups To Round Out Your Content

Retro style image of a businessman holding a stack of six wooden cubes with the letters EXPERT balanced on his palm.Creating content is not easy.

No, wait. Creating content is easy.

Creating epic content is extremely difficult.

It’s a full-time job. First, there’s a lot of research involved. You need to know what your audience wants to read and how to explain it to them. You need to collect data, case studies and examples to get your point across. You need to read what’s already out there so you’re not repeating the same old message.

And then, after all that research, you get to start writing.

But again, writing a post is not as simple as it sounds. Even armed with your research, you still need to put it together coherently and tell a story.

Finally, there’s that bit about promotion. Content marketing equals content plus marketing. You need to push that post out if you want to get a return on your efforts.

Heck, it’s more than a full-time job. That’s why so many small businesses and startups struggle to maintain a consistent publishing schedule. If you’re a solo blogger, this is your life.

Fortunately, there are ways to produce content without doing a lot of work. In this post, we’ll discuss one of my favorites—expert roundups.

A Primer On Expert Roundups

An expert—aka influencer—roundup is a compilation of content around a single topic from various influencers or experts in your industry. This content could range from a couple of sentences to a couple of paragraphs.

So, instead of writing an entire post yourself, you simply get a bunch of experts to do the writing for you! Let’s say you want to write a post on ’10 Ways To Start A New Business’. You could spend hours doing it yourself, or you can get ten experts to contribute one tip each.

So the obvious benefit is that you save time. The only research you need to do is figure out a topic and find experts.

They provide the meat of the post, and you just write an introduction and conclusion. Finally, by virtue of them being influencers, a few shares from them can help you generate thousands of views and links.

Another benefit is you start building relationships with these influencers, and that gives you more visibility and exposure in your industry. As your relationship grows stronger, they start recommending you to their followers and even linking back to you. Soon, you become an influencer yourself, simply through association.

Ready to find out how it’s done?

Step 1 – Topic Ideation

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It starts with figuring out exactly what content you want the experts to contribute.

Remember, they’re usually very busy people, so go to them with something specific. If you have a well-defined ask, it’s much easier for them to answer.

Obviously, choose a topic related to your blog or site. A simple but effective topic idea is a list of tips or tricks to achieve something related to your niche.

If you’re in the fitness industry, pick a topic like, ’10 exercises to lose belly fat’. If you’re in the pet industry, ’10 tricks to teach your dog’ could be a good one.

I’m only using ’10’ as an example, but make it as big or small as you want. The point is each influencer then only needs to contribute one tip in the list. One exercise, or one dog trick, or one whatever else.

If you can get ten people to write 100 words each, that’s a 1000 word blog post right there!

Step 2 – Finding Experts

Once you have a topic, you need to ask experts to contribute an answer. So then the first thing you need to do is find the right influencers.

You probably already have a list somewhere of the big names in your industry. Maybe you read their stuff, follow them on social media, or maybe you’ve already communicated with them. If so, this is the best place to start.

But if you’re falling short on influencers, or haven’t started building a list yet, a simple Google search will do. Chances are there are already other roundups related to your industry. Simply search for those roundups and find out who contributed. These people will likely contribute to yours too!

Note that some of them might be too busy to respond, while some will take too long. So always contact more than you need to for the post. And keep track of who responds, who doesn’t, and who has already submitted an answer.

A simple way to keep track is with a spreadsheet.

I prefer to use Streak, a free Gmail CRM extension, because it keeps all my information in one place—my inbox. It also allows me to send bulk emails, which is great for when I do large roundups. I don’t have to write the same email to each person.

Start by setting up a pipeline to track which stage each influencer is at.

For example, in the screenshot below, Leads are those I want to contact but haven’t yet. Once I contact them, I move them to the next stage, Contacted, and so on until I’ve published something from them.

If I’m doing regular roundups, this helps me keep track of which influencers I haven’t yet featured.

CRO roundups

Step 3 – Influencer Outreach

Now that you have your list of leads, it’s time to email them.

This is the most crucial part of the entire process. Remember, many of these influencers, though helpful, are extremely busy. By being vague or rambling too much in your emails, you are only going to annoy them and give them more reasons to say no.

We’ve got a detailed guide on how to write the perfect roundup query. Here’s the gist –

  1. Introduce yourself, and let them know you’re a follower by referencing something they wrote.
  2. State your goal clearly, and let them know you’re doing a roundup.
  3. Explain what you need in detail, like the topic and how long their response should be.
  4. Finally, give them a deadline so they know if they have time for it or not.

Here’s an example of an email I sent that got a 100% response rate. I set it up in Streak and it automatically replaces the {{email_givenName}} tag with the influencer’s name as stored in my pipeline. I then hit send, and it automatically emails every lead in the pipeline with the same email.

create expert roundup post

The email is short and to the point. I don’t mention a connection with them because I’m sending this to people I’ve already been in touch with before.

I give them a topic, tell them it’s due next week, and that they need to send a short paragraph. I also tell them what’s in it for them, like links to their site and social profiles.

Step 4 – Post Compilation

If your email is good enough, you’ll start getting replies. Some will say no, and that’s OK. Some will say yes, but they’ll forget to respond with the actual answers. And some will send their answers right away.

For those who say no, make a note somewhere. You can put them in a ‘Declined’ stage if you use Streak. They may decline now but you could contact them for your next one.

For those who say yes but forget to send an answer, you need to send a reminder. A quick note a few days later asking them if they are still interested in contributing is more than enough.

Finally, when you get an answer, remember to thank them. They’ve done you a big favor by contributing so let them know how much you appreciate it.

With all your answers in hand, it’s time to compile the post. This is probably the easiest part of the whole process. If you’re an experienced content creator, you know what to do. Write up the introduction, list out the answers, and then wrap it up with a conclusion.

If you promised influencers a link, headshot, or social media profiles then add it to the post. Something like this from Crazy Egg is really simple to create in WordPress.

experts

Step 5 – Publishing and Promotion

The last step is to publish the post and start promoting it. Remember, you already have a bunch of influencers who have invested time into this post. They’ll be happy to spread the word!

Again, with Streak, you can create an automated thank you email with a link to the published post. Let the expert know it’s live and that you’d love it if they could share. If you’ve submitted it to an online forum, you could ask them to up-vote it as well.

This initial promotion will help you attract way more visitors and shares. You might even find that some of the experts link back to the post in one of theirs.

Of course, you need to do your own promotion too. You can’t rely on influencers to do it for you. They’re a bonus, but there’s still a lot of work you should do on your own.

Start Rounding Up

Make expert roundups a regular part of your content strategy. Not only is it a great way to generate content with relatively low effort, it also allows you to connect with influencers and grow your audience faster.

Have you tried publishing an expert/influencer roundup? Let us know how it went in the comments!

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