Interview-Based Blogging: How The Busiest CEOs Create Their Best Content Marketing Without Writing a Word - Fluxe Digital Marketing

Interview-Based Blogging: How The Busiest CEOs Create Their Best Content Marketing Without Writing a Word

By Joel Widmer | Authority & Thought Leadership

Dec 21

There’s one thing every business coach, thought leader, specialty e-commerce store, service provider, and SaaS business all have in common — they ALL need content marketing.

Most of these businesses already know they need it, but do they commit to creating it? Consistently?

Of course not. If I did everything I knew I needed to do, my car’s oil would be changed every 3,000 miles, I’d floss twice a day, and I’d have six-pack abs (and so would you).

Consistently creating and publishing content marketing falls into that “should’ve-but-didn’t” category, and it’s not hard to see why. When you stare at that blank page and try to find things to write, it’s like your brain shuts off. Or, you struggle to articulate complex concepts in a way that’s easy for your readers to understand.

Or, you just don’t have the time. Plain and simple.

(Without a doubt, time is the main reason business owners don’t follow through with a content marketing strategy.)

Buckling down and creating content is no easy task. I remember sitting in a coffee shop with a client nine years ago, waiting on him to give me the latest batch of excuses for why he hadn’t written a word since our last meeting.

I was about to give up on him (and my entire business) when I decided to try something new. Instead of telling him how to write each blog post, I just asked him a bunch of questions about the content. And I recorded the whole thing.

Before I knew it, we had everything we needed to create his content for the entire month. It worked so well I created a process for it called “Interview Blogging”, and built my entire business around it.

What Is Interview Blogging?

Here’s the simple explanation…

Interview-based blogging is a streamlined way to have someone create all the marketing content you don’t have time to create yourself. In a one-hour interview call, we ask our clients a series of questions about topics strategically chosen to make the biggest impact on their business. Then, we go to work crafting all their content for the month...

A graphic of the 5 steps of interview blogging. 1 Create your strategy. 2 Interview. 3 Create. 4 Review. 5. Promote

The interview itself is a simple dialogue — a back-and-forth conversation, similar to a podcast. Our clients love the efficiency.

Their audience loves the authenticity.

And we love connecting our clients with their audience in a way they weren’t able to do before.

So why does it work so well? Here are the top 10 reasons:

1. It Helps You Identify and Articulate Your Unique Expertise

Every subject matter expert has knowledge they don’t often realize or appreciate.

They’ve been doing something for so long that their knowledge has become both deep and valuable.

Even though they may not value it, their target customer does.

This is expertise they use every day, often on autopilot, and they never think about it outside of simply getting their work done.

For example, let’s say you’ve worked on something for several hours. This particular task is specialized, but it’s second nature to you. Even with your mind wandering while you work on it, you still do it better than anyone else.

This is your unique expertise.

Now a client calls you with an “urgent” question about that very thing — your area of expertise. As you explain it to them, they hang on every word you say, trying to keep up. Meanwhile, you get bored of hearing yourself talk because it’s something you’ve repeated a million times.

You’re just too close to your craft.

Most business owners don’t realize they could leverage this knowledge and hidden expertise 10X more effectively to become a known thought leader in their industry and get new clients…

Until interview blogging helps them uncover this overlooked expertise.

2. It’s Written in Your Voice

Have you ever outsourced your content writing to someone who totally missed the mark on your voice and tone? It’s not a bad article, but it sounds NOTHING like you?

There’s no way to feel good about publishing a piece of content your readers know was written by someone else.

Another benefit of interview-based blogging is that it captures your unique voice.

In interview blogging, the writers don’t blend together your notes with three other generic articles they found on a three-second Google search. Your voice, your knowledge, and your words are the source that the writers use for the article.

Your perspective? Check.

Your tone? Check.

Your personality? Check.

Remember, you’re still the one creating the unique content, unlike in ghostwriting, where a third party writer creates the content from an outline.

In interview blogging, professional writers take your words and knowledge, amplify them, and optimize them for the channel where they’re published — whether that’s a blog post, email, e-book, infographic or social media update.

3. It Increases Your Efficiency Up To 300% 

Did you know talking is about 300% faster than typing?

In a recent study from Stanford, they found that:  

...with speech recognition, the English input rate was 2.93 times faster...than the keyboard for short message transcription under laboratory conditions for both methods...

Interview blogging leverages the difference in speaking vs. typing. That’s how you can create an entire month’s worth of content in only one hour.

Of course, the writing and editing done behind the scenes takes substantially longer, but for the expert being interviewed, it’s just 60 minutes.

Now compare this to creating content the traditional way.

You’ll still spend at least one to two hours writing the first draft of a blog post, and that’s on the low end. Writers often spend 10+ hours on a single post.

And that’s not including the editing, graphic design, content research, keyword research and topic selection, along with uploading, formatting and promoting the content.

4. It Frees You To Focus on the Concepts, Not the Writing

If you’re already a fantastic writer who consistently cranks out content like a machine uninhibited by time constraints… then I’m jealous.

For the rest of us, it’s not that easy. We can brainstorm and discuss concepts until we’re blue in the face, but when it’s time to turn them into an article, we hit a wall.

Most of us get stumped trying to perfectly articulate those concepts. Then we get stuck in the cycle of writing a sentence > analyzing it > second-guessing ourselves > rewriting the sentence > and repeat.

Maybe our "blank-screen syndrome" would feel justified if we discovered we weren't the only ones who thought talking — not writing — was the most natural way to communicate ideas.

Some of the most prolific authors and writers of all time never touched a keyboard (or typewriter).

Here are just a few examples of famous authors who preferred talking over typing:

  • Winston Churchill published all his books and newspaper articles by dictating them to his secretary.
  • James Patterson dictates most of his books over the phone to his secretary.
  • Stephen Covey, Jack Welch, and Richard Branson all used interviews with ghostwriters to write their books.
  • Ian Fleming, Creator of James Bond, dictated his books to a writer

Interview blogging removes the writing part, freeing you up to do what you’re already great at — communicating those concepts by talking through them.

As for the writing, there’s an entire team handling that aspect. Each interview blogging client has a dedicated content strategist, writer, editor, content manager, SEO expert and graphic designer.

5. You Get To Work Inside a Proven Framework

When business owners handle all content marketing by themselves, their “process” looks something like this:

One thing our clients love most about interview blogging is the repeatable, easy-to-follow framework we use for every batch of content.

They don’t have to come up with a new content strategy every month.

They don’t have to do their own SEO research to find hot new keywords.

They don’t have to sort through their calendar to find a time for the monthly interview.

They don’t have to experiment with headlines.

They don’t have to proofread content for embarrassing typos or grammar mistakes.

They don’t have to create images and graphics for each post.

They don’t have to wonder whether or not their content gets promoted through social media.

It’s all taken care of in a systemized interview blogging process.

6. It’s an Opportunity to Flesh Out Your Ideas

If there’s one thing entrepreneurs are never short on, it’s ideas.

Ideas are their bread and butter. Their wheelhouse. Their source of endless energy.

The problem is that most of these ideas don’t make it out of infancy. They’re the start of great ideas, but never really get fleshed out so they can reach maturity.

Interview blogging is an idea incubator. An interview creates the perfect environment to turn those uncultivated ideas into full-fledged intellectual property — through a simple, goal-oriented conversation.

Your entire thought process becomes clearer when someone’s there to talk to — someone who listens strategically and challenges you to go deeper.

7. It Creates Deeper, More Engaging Content

Because interview blogging is based on a two-way conversation, it’s not dependent on YOU.

A good interviewer will put themselves in the shoes off your prospect and probe deeper into interesting topics —topics you might overlook because you’re too close to the information. What might be obvious, common-knowledge to you could be life-changing to your target audience.

But by putting themselves in the target audience’s shoes, an interviewer can pivot the conversation and flesh out important concepts that may not have originally been planned for.

Some of the best content we’ve created for clients resulted from a conversation taking a left turn that led to tabling the current topic and exploring something they mentioned in passing.

This kind of spontaneity can’t be reproduced in isolation.

8. You Bypass Second Guessing Syndrome

Business owners and leaders often have a skill that their employees are missing. In the middle of a project, they can zoom out and look at the big picture to make sure they’re still on track. This is one reason they’re great leaders and managers.

But this skill comes back to bite us when we sit down to write content. It’s far too easy to get stuck in the editing-while-writing trap. We write a sentence, analyze it, rewrite it, and analyze it again. We worry that this one statement doesn’t fit in the overall picture, so we overthink it again, and finally delete it in frustration.

During an interview, you don’t have time to overthink your statement. In the middle of a conversation, you’re focused on articulating your ideas — not judging your ideas.

Think about where your mind goes when having a conversation with a prospect. It’s the same thing. If you paused after each sentence to second-guess it, they’d turn and run before you finished!

Talking with an interviewer shifts the focus from you and places the attention on solving the problem — not on how you phrase the solution.

When speaking to someone who’s asking for our advice, our brain automatically flips into problem-solving mode. This removes the focus from ourselves and leaves no room for overthinking.

If you’re a high-performer that thrives under pressure, this is exactly what’s happening. It’s why you’re so productive.

9. Massive Leverage: One Conversation Can Produce Dozens of Pieces of Content

If I wanted to sum up interview blogging in two words, they would be “effective” and “leveraged.”

Many content creation tactics are effective, but are they leveraged? That’s a different story.

I’ve often said a one-hour phone call can turn into a month’s worth of content, but what does that look like on a practical level?

A single interview blogging session can generate enough source content to create:

  • 4 blog posts, 8 social media updates, & 4 quote cards; or
  • 2 blog posts & 1 lead magnet; or
  • 3 blog posts & 1 infographic; or
  • 1 full-service Ebook guide; or
  • 1 7-part email sequence

Those are just a few examples.

This is only the initial content. It doesn't take into account repurposing your content. Depending on the content strategy that’s right for your business, a one-hour interview could create countless content combinations.

10. You’ll Actually Look Forward to it

One thing we learned with clients after being with us for a few months is that they went from dreading the thought of creating an article to actually looking forward to the interview.

Because they could focus only on what they did best, articulating their ideas, it was a time they could set aside to flesh out new ideas to turn them into IP.

Who doesn’t want more time for that?

Interview blogging puts you in your best state of mind where you can generate your best ideas. And then, those ideas become YOUR content — content that converts your audience into new clients.

Of course that’s invigorating and worth looking forward to.

How to Take Advantage of Interview Blogging in Your Business

Ready to put interview-based blogging to work in your business? Here’s a quick overview of the process and, below that, a detailed guide with comprehensive info on each step.

1. Create a Roadmap Strategy

You may be tempted to skip this part and get straight to writing, but if you do, you’ll be writing in circles again before you know it. A roadmap strategy focuses on the keywords your audience searches for. It answers the FAQs you and your sales team hear daily and is built around a cornerstone content model.

2. Refine Your Brand Voice

Have your content team read as much of your written material as possible and take notes on what makes you sound like you. Next, gather the team, listen and then share what you think is missing from their research. Write everything up in a brand voice document that will later guide your writers.

3. Conduct the Interview

A good interviewer assumes nothing. They’re armed with research on your product or service and have genuine empathy for your customers. They’re curious, not afraid to keep you on track if you ramble during an interview and insightful enough to spot a valuable idea that needs fleshing out.

4. Create the Content

Your writers must be familiar with your niche so they can transform the conversation into an article with a logical structure. They’ll need the interview transcript, your brand voice guideline document and their own research to create an impactful post that connects your audience with what they need — your expertise.

5. Review the Draft and Provide Feedback

Next, review their draft and ensure they understood and explained your interview effectively. Give feedback that creates rules for them to understand your knowledge and continue building the framework of your voice. They’ll weave your feedback into the final revision, and your first post is complete.

6. Publish, Promote and Measure

Once your team has uploaded the content and applied all of the internal links, metadata, and image optimization, it’s time to promote your content.

Download our free guide to discover detailed tips and tactics for each step.

Download our step-by-step guide for creating a month of marketing content in one hour. 


About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.

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