I kid you not: Roundup posts can still get you truckloads of website traffic.
I know that some marketers and business owners are against using roundup posts because they find them to be “too mainstream.”
However, when you think about it, so is sending outreach messages.
How about video marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and blogging? All of these can also be considered as “mainstream” at this point.
In a world where information floats around freely online, every effective content marketing strategy can’t be kept a secret.
The image below should tell you the full story:
Image source: Content Marketing Institute
The truth is, just because a good number of people are using a certain marketing method doesn’t mean that it’s no longer effective.
Just like in most things in the marketing space, whether your roundup post succeeds or not depends on how well the content is crafted and what you do after the post is published.
We’re going to look into the nitty-gritty of both.
After all, if you’re thinking of using a roundup post to get your audience to flock to your website, then you need to get both elements right.
Do you like what you’re reading so far?
If you answered with a “yes,” then buckle up and put your learning cap on.
We’re going to look into several actionable tips to helping you create a stunning roundup post that can get you boatloads of website traffic.
Let’s hop right in.
Creating the roundup
Before anything else, I’d like to mention that the term “roundup post” can mean all sorts of things.
It could be a collection of tools, strategies, statistics, or other related items.
For this post, however, we’ll be very specific and talk about “expert roundups.”
As an example, check out this awesome roundup post from NicheHacks, which happens to feature me:
Looks interesting, right?
Here’s how you can make something similar:
Step #1: Pick the right topic.
As the roundup’s first mover or “host” blogger, your job is to come up with a topic or question that the other experts can relate to.
If you want your roundup to attract loads of readers, you need to come up with something in-depth and specific.
Since popular influencers already receive dozens of roundup requests every day, it’s pointless to pitch something they’ve probably done before.
In other words, this task can be very time-consuming (especially if you have no clue where to start).
To point you in the right direction, start scouring Q&A sites and forums for questions that your target audience is currently asking.
For general niches, Quora would be a good place to start.
Simply typing your keywords in the platform’s main search bar should give you some ideas right off the bat.
In the example above, all suggestions — except for the fourth — are usable as questions.
Not only are they specific, but their structure also makes room for creative answers, which means that influencers are less likely to have similar answers.
The fact that these questions are suggested by Quora also indicates that there’s currently a demand for an answer.
If you’re unsatisfied with the results, click “Search,” and then choose the “Questions” option for more ideas.
If you want to scrape ideas from forums, you’ll need to do your homework and search the best message boards yourself.
The good news is, most forums already have search and filter functions.
The Warrior Forum deserves a special mention as one of the longest-standing forums related to internet marketing.
With the search feature, you can easily look for trending questions or talking points you can cover in your roundup.
Step #2: Pick the right people to include in the roundup.
Since the success of your roundup post is largely dependent on contributions, it’s okay to be a little picky when it comes to the participants. Be sure that they are:
Popular – As much as possible, you need people who already have an established presence in your specific niche. The bigger their readership, the better.
Proactive Sharers – There are two types of experts in a roundup creation: Those who will help promote your post and those who won’t.
A quick inspection of their social media activity will help you distinguish which is which.
Willing to Contribute – If the influencer has articles on two or more sites, there’s a good chance that they’re game for a roundup post.
Talented Writers – Lastly, be sure to check their capacity to produce publish-worthy write-ups.
There’s no need to overcomplicate this step — simply check out their blog or contributions to other sites to measure their flair for writing.
Let’s face it, a roundup post that features only 5 people doesn’t have the same “wow” factor when compared to a roundup post with 15-20 influencers.
Who wouldn’t be hyped if they are greeted by a header like:
Image source: Magnificent
Now, imagine taking away the “1” from “51”. I highly doubt the header would look as epic as it is now.
That being said, go for the latter.
I know it’s challenging, but you can always count on tools like Ninja Outreach to speed up the process of finding influencers and reaching out to them.
From Ninja Outreach’s main dashboard, head to “Content Prospecting.”
From here, you can enter your keywords.
You can also uncheck “Exact Match” for broader results. However, I recommend that you leave it on for your first search.
To look specifically for experts who can contribute to your roundup post, select the tags “Blogger” and “Influencer.”
Once you have your results, the information you need to move forward should be readily available under the “Contact Info” section.
At this point, you can use an external email marketing or outreach platform to send messages or reach out to the influencers.
However, I suggest that you keep everything streamlined by doing your outreach within Ninja Outreach.
Just click the “Save Prospect” button to add the contact to one of your lists.
When creating a new list for your roundup, I recommend using something memorable like this:
You can also choose from one of the four options below for list creation.
If you’d like to cut to the chase and use a premade list, click “Load our hand curated lists.” Then, pick from one of the available niches and click “Load.”
Not really feeling Ninja Outreach as your go-to influencer research platform?
Don’t worry— there are plenty of other alternatives!
The important thing is that you now have a means to find your ideal influencers in bulk, and you can even obtain their contact information.
What comes next is what others would consider the hardest part — conducting the actual outreach.
Step #3: Create a powerful outreach message.
Developing an outreach message isn’t rocket science.
I mean, sure, there’s no way for you to completely avoid getting ignored or rejected by your prospective influencer.
However, you can always increase your chances of success by paying attention to the crucial details of your message.
Consider these points when writing your outreach messages:
Personalize your message. Remember that you’re dealing with influencers here. The worst you can do is send a generic email that reeks of spam.
Keep it short. Influencers are constantly flooded with emails from hopeful marketers. If you want them to participate in your roundup, then get straight to the point.
Here’s an example:
Don’t ask for too much. The easier it is for the influencer to participate, the higher their chances of joining.
If you ask them to send you a 1,000-word write-up, I doubt anyone would participate in your roundup.
Emphasize the benefits. Instead of talking about who you are or what you’ve accomplished, focus on what they can get out of participating.
The benefits you share is what will compel them to participate.
Go easy on the subject line. You don’t need to come up with anything profound. Just be casual yet professional, as if you’re sending an email to a close friend.
Know when to go big. If you’re reaching out to thought leaders or company executives, don’t hesitate to craft personalized messages for each of them.
If you want to increase the chances of the influencers participating in your roundup, start early by interacting with them days (or even months) before sending your outreach email.
You can leave comments on their blog posts, mention them on social media, provide feedback on their site, and so on.
This is called the “pre-outreach” phase, and you can bet that it can make or break your success.
If you feel like you’ve hit a roadblock because you weren’t able to get a single contributor, then stay calm.
Sometimes, all you need is a simple follow-up 2 days after your initial outreach message.
Here’s an example:
It’s also ideal to reach out to twice as many people as you actually need to complete your roundup.
For example, if you want to create a roundup with 20 people, reach out to 40 or more.
This isn’t an exact science. But by sending twice as many messages, you’re more likely to hit your goal for your roundup.
Ultimately, your success boils down to how you craft your outreach message.
Which reminds me…
On Quick Sprout, I wrote about the crucial mistakes that cause your outreach emails to fail.
It’s quite a long read, but it’s definitely worth it.
The anatomy of an epic roundup post
After accomplishing your outreach goals, it’s time to nail the actual roundup post.
Here’s a thorough checklist of the things that make a roundup post a true work of art:
Write a catchy headline – Roundups are no different from regular blog posts — they need an attention-grabbing headline to lure in readers.
Try to insert the words “experts,” “pros,” or “thought leaders” to signal how awesome your roundup post is.
Use headings that make sense – Without the proper use of subheadings, it will be difficult for readers to skim your roundup. Your best bet is to use a one-liner quote from each expert as a subheading.
Talk about your readers’ problems – Why should readers care about your roundup? Try to answer this within the first 2-3 paragraphs.
Introduce your roundup participants – If needed, you can introduce every expert in your roundup as briefly as possible.
Mention their biggest accomplishments or the most noteworthy companies they’ve been a part of.
Add picture quotes – Why use tweetable quotes that are shareable on Twitter when you can use photo quotes that are shareable anywhere?
A graphic design tool like Canva can help you whip something up in minutes. Also, you don’t always need to include the influencer’s photo. While you can always ask for their permission, stock photos also work:
Image source: DrLisaThompson.com
Add a clear call to action – Do you want the readers of your roundup to subscribe to your newsletter or webinar? Add a CTA asking them to do just that.
Use content gates – Sometimes, you just need to hold your own content hostage to get better conversions. This usually works for actionable, unique, and extremely valuable content — everything a roundup post should be!
Add truckloads of questions to make the write-up engaging – You can spice up your roundup post by asking additional questions outside the main topic. Don’t overdo it, though.
Write in the second person – Let’s be real here: One of the main reasons why it’s boring in school is that textbook authors write in third person. Enough said.
Add freebies – Who doesn’t like free stuff? By adding freebies to your roundup, or any post for that matter, you can significantly improve the engagement of your readers.
Insert useful contextual links – If you want to expound a point that one of the experts mentioned, don’t go out of your way and write entire paragraphs about it. Insert a contextual link that will take them to a relevant resource instead.
Create a beautiful featured image – Posts as epic as roundups deserve so much more than a stock image.
Here’s a relevant featured image on my personal blog.
Finish with a solid conclusion – You’ve already come this far to write your roundup post. There’s no time to be lazy now. Take the time to read everything the experts said and enumerate the key takeaways you want the audience to remember.
Phew. That’s a lot of pointers.
But there’s one last thing you need to do before you finalize your roundup post.
Just like with any other piece of content you’ve ever written, you need to proofread your post. Polish it until it sparkles.
Remember, you need to create a piece that the influencers themselves can be proud of and want to share.
This will make what comes next a lot easier.
After publishing the roundup
After shedding blood sweat and tears to complete your roundup post, you’ve finally clicked the “Publish” button.
At this point, your mind is running 270 miles per hour.
You can’t stop thinking about how much traffic you’ll get.
How your signups will skyrocket.
And how you’ll enter Sales Wonderland in no time.
Well… It’s been four days since you published the roundup and you have yet to see your website getting more than 20 daily visitors.
Don’t freak out. I promise you that if you’ll wait for your roundup to magically market itself, the chances are good that it’ll never get any traction.
I mean, check out what Worldometers says about the number of blog posts written today.
With that kind of noise, I’m pretty sure that you now understand why you should take the time to actively market your roundup posts.
And so the question becomes: “What do I do with my roundups after I publish them?”
I’m glad you asked.
Here are 5 ways to promote your roundup once it’s live:
1. Share the roundup with your audience.
I know this is common sense, but considering how other marketers and business owners still believe in the publish and pray strategy (if you can ever call it one), I just had to mention this.
Once your post is live, please take the time to share it across all the mediums that you have access to.
This includes everything, from your mailing list to your social media pages.
A simple tool like Buffer should get the ball rolling quick.
For those of you who still think that sharing something is all there is in social media, you seriously need to think again.
There are enough powerful social media strategies to fill dozens of e-books, so let me just condense some of the basics into a couple of hacks:
- Create a tweetable quote using ClickToTweet.
- Include a floating sidebar with social sharing buttons with AddThis.
- Make images easier to share with the AddThis Image Sharing tool.
- Participate in every social community in your industry.
Try to customize your posts based on the platform you’re sharing them on. After all, most platforms have their own ecosystem that you need to adapt to.
For example, if you’d like to share your roundup post to your Instagram followers, consider sharing a candid photo of your mouse pointer hovering over the “Publish” button.
It won’t make sense without the description, so be sure to accompany it with something like: “Just finalized my roundup post with 20 content marketing experts! Check it out here.”
Of course, you can always fall back on the proven image types, such as selfies, “behind-the-scenes” shots, and photos of your espresso.
If you’re totally out of ideas, just use the roundup post’s featured image and you should be fine.
2. Ask the participants in the roundup to share the live post.
You need to inform the participants that the post is live. If you did a great job writing the piece, then they should be more than willing to help spread it.
In fact, a simple reminder like the one below should prompt them to share your post:
Still, influencers lead very busy lives, so there’s a slight chance that they’ll forget about your roundup.
Sending a simple reminder shouldn’t hurt.
A quick way to do this is to send an email that contains a link to your post and a short “thank you” message.
If you used an outreach platform like Ninja Outreach (if you did everything manually, you’re a legend), you can simply blast another email using the roundup list you made earlier.
You can find this by going to the list management section.
If you want to maximize its visibility, a more efficient strategy is to share the post on social media and tag the participants.
3. Repurpose the content, then share with participants.
Influencers have a reputation to keep.
As much as possible, they want to share the best possible content for their audience to see.
It may seem cold for them to ignore your request to help spread your roundup post. But if they aren’t really impressed with your roundup, there’s a chance that they’ll simply go silent.
This is highly unlikely though, especially since they’re featured in the post.
Regardless, you need to consider repurposing your roundup post to make it even more share-worthy.
Giving it the visual treatment, for instance, can make it more shareable. A classic example of this is how tweets with images would often get 150% more retweets.
Since I love infographics, I’m going to show you real quick how to create them for your roundup post.
There are a handful of tools you can use for this, particularly Canva, which I’ve mentioned so many times before.
This time, however, we’ll take a look at something slightly different — Venngage.
What I really like about this tool is its level of personalization for each specific user.
To boot, you are asked to describe your organization’s size, specify your role, and so on. This will ensure you receive template recommendations that are relevant to you.
If you’re creative enough, you should be able to use any template to create a stunning infographic with your roundup content. But if you ask me, a “listographic” template makes the most sense for roundup posts.
Under categories, look for “Listographics” and choose whether you want a list, guide, or how-to template.
Did you find a template that you’d like to use?
Hover your mouse over it and click “Create.”
This will allow you to modify every single element in the infographic.
For example, suppose I picked the “10 Most Popular Foods In America” template.
I’m sure my roundup participants wouldn’t appreciate it if I used food icons instead of their pictures. The good thing is, I simply need to select these images and hit “delete.”
Afterward, it’s time to upload the participant’s photo.
From the left menu, look for the “Uploads” option. Click “Upload Image” or drag and drop the photo in the appropriate area.
Once your images are all set, everything else in the infographic can be edited via the editor.
You can refer to this post for even more tips on how to make that infographic shine. (Have fun!)
Infographics are great, aren’t they?
As effective as they are in bolstering readership for any content, they’re not your only option.
For those who were diligent enough to use picture quotes in their roundup, you can use those images to easily create a slideshow presentation.
There are no special steps for this strategy. Go ahead and boot up PowerPoint (or any other alternative you may use) and insert the picture quotes as slides.
SlideShare will then walk you through the entire upload process. Just follow the onscreen instructions to complete the next step.
Once you’re done, you can simply copy the URL from the top of the page or use the sharing buttons below the slideshow.
4. Offer to do an exclusive interview with each participant.
Milking brilliant content for more traffic is nothing to be ashamed of, especially if what you want to do will also benefit the readers.
Think about it: you already broke the ice by getting an influencer to write for your roundup. If I were you, I’d take this relationship even further.
Guest posting? Sure. But that’ll immediately give away your true intention of leveraging your connection to build your own brand.
What you need to do is to secure that influencer’s trust.
A good old-fashioned interview might do the trick, and it all starts with a well-written pitch.
Since you recently did a roundup, using a subject line that relates to that may get their attention. Also, there’ll be no need for a soft pitch on who you are and what you do.
Just be straightforward and write something with a friendly tone, like:
Next comes the waiting game.
At the very least, the influencer should reply and acknowledge your success with the roundup post.
5. Offer to write a guest post on each of the participants’ sites.
At this point, your relationship with the participants would already be established to some extent.
After all, you’ve just included them in a roundup, sent them several versions of the roundup, and even interviewed them.
With all the interactions that just happened, they won’t see you as a total stranger who’s offering to contribute to their site.
They’ll see you as someone who’s given tons of value, all without charging anything.
At the end of the day, a roundup post is just like any other form of online content. Creating it is just half of the work. You also need to dedicate every fiber of your being to promoting it.
Now that’s how you plan, create, and promote an epic roundup.
Rather than straight-up cold-emailing influencers for guest posts, asking them to contribute to a roundup post first is a much more promising feat.
The thing about roundups is while you’re asking others to do something for you, you’re also doing something for them in return.
The win-win situation it affords you and your prospective influencers can lead to strategic partnerships. This will bring even greater opportunities for both parties in the future.
It’s also worth mentioning that your followers (and the followers of the participants), also end up becoming winners.
Not only will they be able to learn from your advice through the roundup, but they’d also know the thoughts of other influencers about your roundup’s topic.
If you’re thinking of using roundups to generate traffic, sales, leads, or even signups (among other things), then you can follow the points that we’ve covered above.
What do you think it takes to create a successful roundup post?