We all know the boosts it gives to a blog when it features an important personality. And if you haven’t been thinking of it before now, I think you should reconsider.
While this is not always very easy to achieve, it’s not impossible. Imagine interviewing someone like Linda Ikeji, one of the most popular bloggers in Africa. It might take you quite some effort to get her to be interviewed on your blog especially if you are just starting out. But where there is a will, there is a way!
You must be prepared with the right questions that are straight to the point. No time for beating about the bush.
While most people may not be disposed of having a one-on-one interview session with you, many of them will prefer a written interview sent to their emails. This makes it easy for them to fill in the answers to the questions.
That way, you get to reduce the workload as you don’t need to transcribe the interview or set up a studio for the video shoot (except you’re a vlogger).
Let’s cut right to the chase and get you prepared for that interview.
A) Quickly introduce yourself – this isn’t the time to start laying out your life history or educational achievements. Tell the person who you are, what you do and the name of your blog. If you can boast of a large audience, mention that too. You could also add that your blog covers the same niche as the important person.
B) Let them know your reason for the interview – don’t be shady and think you are smart. Some bloggers interview top personalities and go ahead to use it in a paid material. Some people may overlook this, but not everyone will. Not only will it present you as being insincere and lacking trust, but you would also shut the door to a future relationship with such a personality.
Be sincere and let the interviewee know what you intend to do with the interview. If it is going to be used for a blog post, or for a paid-for-material, let it out in your introduction letter. While you are at it, let them know how you are going to conduct the interview – through email, voice or video recording. It’s better you get their approval or rejection, and not deceiving them into granting you an interview.
So, you have finally convinced this important person to be interviewed on your blog? Congratulations! That’s one mighty feat you just achieved.
Now, it’s time to make sure you don’t mess it up. Here is how to make sure you get the best out of the interview without boring the interviewee out:
- Make use of short sentences when asking questions – you might want to use bullet points when asking questions (if you prefer). But whatever you do, avoid long sentences as they tend to confuse the person that is providing the answers. Each sentence should address a particular question you want the interviewer to answer. And don’t worry about whether the interviewee will be compelled to make his/her answers brief because of the brief sentences. Nigerians like long talk and so, tell your interviewee to feel free to go into details. You will be surprised at the level of details you will get from a single question.
- Refer to something about them that you have read – although this may not be so important to the blog post, it will, however, make the interviewee feel that you are genuinely interested in them.
- Ask if there is any other thing they would want to add – while you may not have all the questions, the interviewee can help you out with some ideas by telling you more about them, their field, or achievements.
- Ask for their advice for people looking up to them – by asking this question in this manner, you will be robbing their ego and also having the opportunity to get their opinion on what newcomers to the scene should look out for.
- Conclude your interview with appreciation – appreciate them for the time they took in answering the questions. Also, let them know that you will inform them when you finally publish the interview.
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