Tips for conducting interviews and growing your blog audience

By Monica Lee. Photography by Darcy Miller for Design Sponge.

Interviewing people on your blog is a great way to increase traffic and add content to your blog. When I started Smart Creative Women I didnʼt even think like that. Sure I wanted an audience, I guess? The real story is that I was immensely curious about how some creative women seemed to be rockinʼ their businesses and others seemed to be spinning their wheels. If you are thinking about adding interviews to your blog here are some things you might want to do:

1) Be efficient
When you are contacting a potential guest for an interview understand that they are busy. Really busy. Long emails with long introductions and explanations take a long time to read, and someone might say no simply because they think it will take too long! Be concise in your contact. You might tell them how many questions you are going to present to them so they will know what to expect so you acknowledge that their time is valuable.

2) Be interesting
When you are asking guests questions, weave the story for them. I have asked designers on to my show to not only highlight their products, but also to highlight how they handle their social media. People are thrilled to realize that you see good things in them, things they often donʼt even see in themselves. If they are a popular figure, and most people know their back story, skip that aspect and ask something new. This leads me to the next point which can make or break your interview.

3) Be curious
A naturally curiosity about people and what they do is what makes a good interview. See if you can ask good questions that will draw them out in a good way. Think about what people really want to know. How does she do it while having 3 children at home? Does her husband help her pack orders? How did they land their very first client?

4) Be realistic
If you think that having an interview of someone “popular” on your blog will make your blog popular, you may be doing it for the wrong reasons. I remember Srinivas Rao of BlogcastFM telling me that his traffic came from his own audience sharing his interviews and not his guests sharing them. Fortunately this put me in the right mind set from the start with Smart Creative Women since he was right. Consider your audience always! Bring a guest interview on for your people to enjoy. This is the real key to using interviews to grow your blog. It’s not about you, it’s about what you are offering others. Your guest may never even reference back to the interview online, which leads me to my next point.

5) Be courteous
I never ask a guest to promote or even link back to the interview. I tell them what I plan to do and let them take it from there. Sometimes a guest can be uncomfortable in the spotlight. Who knows? Almost all my guests have been more than willing to share about an interview on social media, but I would suggest you make it easy for them to repost, tweet, and share. The work behind having a guest on your blog is yours, not theirs. Make it easy and fun for them. Conducting interviews has helped me in countless ways. It has given me insight in to my own business and it has enabled me to help others grow theirs. In short, it has been very rewarding and it may be for you too!