I’ve got a confession to make. Sometimes – quite often actually – I absolutely hate writing. I know this sounds weird coming from a professional copywriter and content marketer – but I’m afraid it’s true.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I love writing – most of the time luckily. In fact I’d say the balance is about 70/30 in favour of my enjoyment at putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Effective content creation isn’t all about writing though – that’s why I try to mix it up with other formats like podcasting and the occasional infographic. I should do more video too and that’s definitely something I have in the pipeline.
Listen to an audio version of this post or continue reading below...
What I’ve also come to realize about the writing thing – is that loads of you struggle with it too. That’s why the tactic I’ve got for you today – which can be leveraged into a cross-platform authority post - may just put a smile on your face.
Granted, like most things worth doing this will take some work of another kind (i.e. not writing), but it's all relatively straightforward.
To cut to the chase, this technique is called 'Interview X2' (or Interview Times Two if you like).
As with all my methods, we can divide this into small 'doable' chunks of thirty minutes in your daily workflow, so it's not too much hassle.
These are all easy to use and come with extensive user manuals that will have you up and running in no time. (If you have any questions, just shoot me an email).
With all the above said, you’re probably keen to get started - so let's dive in with some action steps outlining the whole process:
Day 1. Write ten interview questions based on common questions your customers ask you about your business, industry, prices, team, company ethos etc.
If you don't know what questions these are, talk to someone in sales - as they'll have dozens of questions or 'objections' they frequently encounter.
If you don't have a sales team, visit popular blogs and forums in your industry, and note down ten questions that keep popping up about a certain product type, service or industry sector.
Next, decide who is best suited to answer these questions in your organization. Touch base with them and say you're conducting an audio interview for no more than twenty minutes.
Send your colleague the questions in advance so they can prepare.
If you don't have a sales team and need someone to interview, either get a partner or friend to interview you - or approach an industry expert from Alltop.com or by searching the sites in your niche using Google.
You can use this email:
You may need to think laterally about the types of people you approach – but you’ll get the hang of it after you give it a go.
Lets keep going…
Day 2. If you're interviewing a member of your team, all you need to do is record the interview using Audacity, with them sitting at your laptop in a quiet room in the office.
If possible, try and pick a room with curtains and lots of soft furnishings to dampen any echo (the bane of any editor as it’s impossible to completely remove).
To record a Skype interview, you simply install your Skype recorder and hit the red button on the recording software once the call has connected.
Easy right? Ok, let's move on…
Day 3. Rough edit any howlers, pauses and coughs out of your recorded interview and save it as an mp3 file.
At this stage, if there’s a big discrepancy in volume between the two recorded voices, run the file through Levelator (it’s also free) and you’ll both sound the same. This is not essential though in most cases.
Sure, there is a learning curve to all this but we want to be Content Champions right? So we’re prepared to work at it and beat our competitors by taking this stuff to the next level.
Right, onwards and upwards…
Day 4. Set up a free SoundCloud account and upload your edited mp3 audio file.
You can now get the embed code from your Sound Cloud file and cut and paste it into an open WordPress draft post.
Write a brief introduction outlining the context of the interview, and include your main keyword in the blog post tile. Put a conclusion in there too if you’ve got some meaningful takeaways to share.
Lastly for day 4, go to Rev.com and pay the small amount for them to transcribe the audio interview from the URL of your Sound Cloud file. (The guys at Rev are great and always turn things around very quickly and with very few errors).
Save your post as a draft and go get a coffee - that's it for now, apart from telling everyone about the superb new content you’re creating.
Ok, onto the next stage…
Day 5. As mentioned, Rev are accurate and fast, and at some point on day three your completed transcript will arrive.
Proof read this, and make any minor edits (there will only be a few), then add the text to your draft post and hit publish.
Share it first on your social media channels as we’ll go on to do more promotion on day six…
Day 6. Continue sharing and promoting your content in the usual ways. The more effort you take to promote your post the better, so use everything in the arsenal over the next few days and weeks.
If you just spend half an hour running through this checklist every morning and do one more thing each time – you’ll soon be miles ahead of everyone else online.
The added bonus of this technique is that once your post has gained a bit of traction on social media, you can also ask the interviewee to promote the content too once it's been published.
In addition, as the interview features a member of your internal team – you can email other colleagues and ask them to share it on social media too.
This should give you a good initial buzz of traffic and interest – so don’t forget to have your key call to action in place on the page – whether that’s a strategically-based email signup, quote form or direct offer.
That’s it! You can now breathe a sigh of relief that another quality post has been published on your site.
You’ll have done a minimal amount of writing but produced an authoritative 1,000-word plus blog post complete with a professional sounding audio recording.
Your readers will love it, social media will love it and the search engines will eat it up too. What’s not to like?
By the way, a variation of this process is the same one I use for my podcast and some audio posts, except I host the former on a paid service called Libsyn.com.
In summary then, the Interview X2 method is a great way to leverage the power of your original content and I recommend you give it a go.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.