How To Get Experts To Write Free Content For Your Blog

You’ve seen the posts. The ones that get the top expert’s opinion on a variety of topics.

Experts love giving their opinion, which is perfect to generate free content.

You’ve probably thought about writing posts like these for your own website. You probably thought it would be easier than coming up with a long-form piece of content on your own.

But then, you discovered it’s not as simple to compile as you thought it would be.

How To Create Free Content With Expert Roundups

Here’s how to create free content with expert roundup blog posts in a nutshell. You come up with a great question that relates to your niche that you want answering by the experts.

You find 50 top experts in your niche and ask them the question. 32 experts respond with an answer for free.

You compile the 32 answers into a blog post and publish it.

How does this differ from you providing your own answer to your question?

Simple. Instead of just having you to promote your blog post, you now have 32 experts that not only created the free content –  but they also promote it for you as well.

You get the chance to rank your content in search engines for the names of the niche experts that participated in the post.

You get to create a great list post. Like them or not, numbered lists always perform well when it comes to social virality.

list posts go viral

And last, but not least, it opens the door of communication between you and the top experts in your niche.

 These relationships can be beneficial for you in multitudes of ways in the future.
 
A relationship can bring you hundreds and thousands of leads and clients down the road versus a link or Tweet that can generate a sale or two.

Who knew that creating free content with expert roundups like that was so lucrative?

How to Simplify The Free Content Process

Expert roundup posts can take more or less time to develop, depending on your process and your tools.

Do it right, and you’ll feel like you’re cheating the system by creating an amazing piece of free content with minimal effort.

What you’ll need to simplify your expert roundup posts are the right tools and the right process. Here’s mine.

1. Find the niche experts most likely to answer your question

Do you want to send out 100 emails and get a 75 responses, or do you want to send out 100 emails and get 20 responses? The former, I’m sure.

How do you guarantee more responses for your free content?

 Start by asking the right people.
 
To find the niche experts most likely to answer your question, start by asking the experts who already answer similar questions.

For example, if I want to ask a question related to SEO tools, I would search for all of the expert roundup posts about SEO tools and write down the people who responded.

experts search 1

Next, I would find lists of experts in the industry.

I wouldn’t target everyone on the list, but just those that engaged with the list. In particular, I would aim for the experts who said thank you for being included.

experts search 2

Those experts are the most likely to be flattered by being asked to participate.

Depending on your niche, you may have 100 people to ask just from these two research tactics.

If not, you can use tools like Followerwonk to find more popular people in your niche. Use the Followerwonk search to find people with your niche keyword plus blogger or writer.

experts search 3

Targeting bloggers and writers allows you to reach out to people who like to write, and therefore will be more likely to respond to your question.

As you are compiling your list of experts, I suggest doing it in a spreadsheet. Include the name of the expert and their email address, or a link to their contact form.

This spreadsheet will come in handy the next time you do an expert roundup post so you don’t have to start the research process from scratch.

2. Create a Google Drive Form

Next, you will want to create a Google Drive Form for your question.

Not only is Google Drive free to use, but it also allows you to compile all of the answers you receive in one spreadsheet.

This step is a vital part of simplifying the expert roundup free blog content process. Otherwise, when you go to compile your answers, you will have to open email after email.

Start a scucessful blog today

Plus, using the Google Drive Form will allow you to collect answers in a standardized format instead of a free for all of information and formatting that the email replies would produce which then makes it easy to create free article content to publish.

So what should you ask in the Google Drive Form, besides your main question? I like to add fields for the following.

Name – So I know who answered the question.

Email – In case I need to follow up with them about their answer and so I have their direct email for next time instead of just a contact form. Include a tip in the form that says that their email will not be published – it is for internal use only.

Twitter – Good place to grab their most current photo in a standardized size, for the most part. Ask for the Twitter handle only.

One-Sentence Bio – Let’s people know they can promote themselves with their answer, but prevents them from writing a paragraph. Also saves you from having to create something that they will inevitably want to change.

Website – The one website link they would like included with their bio.

Recommendation – An optional field that lets the expert suggest someone that they recommend you contact to answer the question.

Once you’re finished, the form should look like this one we used for our upcoming expert roundup post.

crowdsource survey form

When you save your Google Drive Form, you’ll get a link to share the form with others.

A spreadsheet for the responses will be automatically created. Once you start getting answers, it will look like this.

create free blog content from these answers

And now you’re ready for the next step.

3. Create outreach templates.

With expert roundup posts, you will need to create at least three outreach templates.

The first template is the first email you will send to your expert. It will invite the expert to answer your question and, most importantly, include a deadline for the answer.

I like to send the email on Monday and have a deadline on Friday – it gives people plenty of time to answer, but not too much time to forget.

Hi EXPERT,

This is Matthew from MatthewWoodward.co.uk. Because you are a highly-respected member of the SEO industry, I wanted your opinion about SEO tools. Not just your favorite tool, or the one you use the most, but the one that helps you get your best results in search.

If you’d like to be featured in my post, please answer this question by Friday the 13th using the following form.

[LINK TO FORM]

When the post goes live, I’ll let you know and send you the link.

Thanks so much,
Matthew

The second template is the second email you will send to your expert if they haven’t answered by the deadline. It’s a reminder email that the deadline has arrived, but there is still time to answer.

Hi EXPERT,

This is Matthew from MatthewWoodward.co.uk again. Because you are a highly-respected member of the SEO industry, I wanted your opinion about SEO tools. Not just your favorite tool, or the one you use the most, but the one that helps you get your best results in search.

A few people are on vacation this week, so I’ve extended the deadline to answer this question to Monday the 16th. If you’d like to be featured in my post, please answer this question using the following form.

[LINK TO FORM]

When the post goes live, I’ll let you know and send you the link.

Thanks so much,
Matthew

Alternatively, or in addition to the second email, you may want to tweet the expert just to ensure they’re getting your emails.

Gmail users who use Sidekick by HubSpot will be able to check who has opened their emails and who hasn’t and customize their second email or tweet accordingly.

The third template is the thank you email that you will send to experts who reply to your email to let you know they’ve submitted an answer.

Hi EXPERT,

Thanks so much for submitting your answer! When the post goes live, I’ll let you know and send you the link. It’s going to be EPIC!

Thanks so much,
Matthew

The fourth template is for expert recommendations that you begin to receive from the first people you contact.

Hi EXPERT,

This is Matthew from MatthewWoodward.co.uk. EXPERT recommended that I contact you about your opinion on SEO tools. Not just your favorite tool, or the one you use the most, but the one that helps you get your best results in search.

If you’d like to be featured in my post, please answer this question by Friday the 13th using the following form.

[LINK TO FORM]

When the post goes live, I’ll let you know and send you the link.

Thanks so much,
Matthew

Once you’ve got your templates in order, start sending them to the email addresses and contact forms you’ve collected for your experts.

On the deadline, be ready to send the second reminder email to those that haven’t responded.

4. Create content from your answers.

Once you’ve hit the final deadline, you’re ready to start compiling the answers into your crowdsourced blog post.

First, you’ll need the images for each expert that answered your question. To get it, you can simply go to each expert’s Twitter profile, click on their profile picture, right click and save as, and you’ll have it.

create content with expert photos

When you save the photo, save it with the expert’s first name and last name as the filename.

Keep these pictures in a specific folder on your computer as they might come in handy for future roundups, unless you want to repeat this process to keep pictures up to date.

Next, you’ll need to copy and paste the information from the spreadsheet into your post and upload the photo for each expert alongside their answer. When you add the ALT text for the photos, you can enter John Smith’s Favorite SEO Tool, or similar.

Once you’ve written a good introduction, compiled all of the answers, and written a conclusion that invites readers to share their own answer, you’re ready to publish.

5. Send the “It’s live!” email to all of the experts.

Once the post is live, you will want to let the experts know that it’s ready for full-on promotion. But you don’t want to just send them a link to the post and let them figure out what to do from there.

Start by creating a ClicktoTweet link that will allow the expert to share the post immediately with a custom message.

clicktotweet promotion

In the above, you’ll want to copy the http://ctt.ec/7ArcY URL to share in your email.

If you can get your crowdsourced post submitted to sites like Inbound.org (or a similar popular voting network for your niche), grab a direct link to the Inbound.org submission so experts can vote on it.

In the end, your email will look like this.

Hi EXPERT,

Thanks for one of the 29 awesome experts who shared their favorite SEO tool. The post is live at the following URL.

#INSERT YOUR URL#

If you want to share it quickly with your Twitter audience, just click on the following link. It will create a tweet you can share with your audience as is, or you can edit it and then share it with your audience.

http://ctt.ec/7ArcY

Also, let’s make this post hot on Inbound.org. If you’re a member, be sure to give it a vote at the following URL.

http://inbound.org/articles/view/discover-the-link-building-seo-tools-these-29-experts-rely-on

Thanks again for participating! I’ll reach out again when I have another SEO-related question for you!

Thanks so much,
Matthew

This email lets the experts know where the post has been published, gives them the ability to tweet it with minimal effort, and directly links them to a place where they can vote on it.

It’s a win-win for you to boost promotion of the post, and for them by making it super simple.

6. Share it on your social networks.

Don’t forget to do some promotion on your own and be sure to tag everyone that participated.

For Twitter, you could do a round of tweets over the next several days that includes a few experts at a time, so that after a week, you have included everyone in a tweet.

tweet promotion

For Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, you can tag all of the experts in one post for each network. Or as many experts as you can tag at least, based on your connections and their settings..

facebook promotion 2

If any of these experts miss your email about the post going live, chances are they won’t miss the Twitter mentions or tags. And it may give them more ways to share, such as sharing your Facebook or Google+ post.

The Results? – Free Blog Content!

Once you’ve completed your first expert roundup post, you will have an amazing piece of content that you, the experts, and your audience will love – and will love to share.

You will also have made new, influential connections in your niche.

And the best bit? You just created market leading free content for your blog!

Check out my dedicated website content tutorial if you need any more help creating amazing content.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get free content for my website?
If you want to get some high quality free content for your website then the best people to get that from are the experts.

Creating a roundup post is the perfect way to give your audience fantastic advice and drive traffic to your site. And the best part… it is free.

What is crowdsourcing and how it works?
When it comes to content, crowdsourcing basically gets lots of different people to contribute to one article.

This could be answering a question, giving their point of view or a topic to discuss. All you need to do is put it all together.

How do I get content for my blog?
There are plenty of different ways to get content for your blog.

First of all, you can write it yourself or bring in an inhouse writer. You could accept guest posts or hire a freelance writer. A great way to get top quality content at little to no cost is to create crowdsourced content.

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