Ever read awesome blog interviews and wonder how the host put it all together? Here are some tips for a successful event.
1. It takes two. Both participants are responsible for making the interview fun and interesting for the readers. Both have something to gain from the experience–the interviewer gains a reputation for being a fascinating host, and the interviewee gains followers or readers that may not have found them any other way.
2. It takes time. A great interview can’t be rushed. No emailing ten easy questions, getting ten easy answers, and posting them up the next day. This will get both of you some canned bland dialogue and little, if any, interaction with readers. Allow an exchange of several emails over a few days to dig to the meat of an interview.
3. It takes genuine interest. It’s not worth posting interviews if the two of you wouldn’t find things to talk about if you met in person. There needs to be at least one topic you could visit enthusiastically about. Find it and talk about it!
4. It takes spontaneity. Be willing to detour from your planned script if something catches your attention. You’ll find your most memorable conversation by jumping outside the box.
5. It takes focus. This does not nullify the previous post. Interviews can and should be edited for length and/or clarity. Find the nuggets and kick the dross to the curb.
6. It takes organization. Set up a template email for clarifying your steps to potential guests. Make it easy for them to understand if you want photos, links, special formatting, or whatever.
7. It takes promotion. Tweet the interview, using your guest’s Twitter handle in the tweet. Mention it on Facebook, on e-loops, in your newsletter, and anywhere else you can think of. Encourage your guest to do the same. Both of you will benefit.
8. It takes interaction. Invite your readers to participate, and encourage your guest to return throughout the next few days to answer questions and carry on conversation.
What brought on these thoughts? Just yesterday I was interviewed for the very first time as an author, by the lovely Keli Gwyn. Stop by and say hello!