Blogger Outreach 101: How to Interview The Top Bloggers & Business Owners Online

Today we’re talking about Blogger Outreach 101 and I’ll show you how I interview the top bloggers and business owners online.

I wanted to create this guide because I’ve had the privilege to interview some of the most successful people online from different industries and share their stories on my blog.

Actually, I just checked and I’ve interviewed over 100 people over the years. This year, I’m focusing on that even more because I just love it and there are benefits to everyone involved. That’s not just free and quality content for me, but it also means we form a relationship and I can reach out to them again if I want to in the future.

Also, their name appears on my website and if they’re known in the industry, that’s a keyword phrase on its own. So I actually optimize the interview for their name sometimes or for their blog name or another keyword. But in any case, my platform can be found online thanks to that and other people learn about my blog and can reach out to me and we can just collaborate in any other form.

Many of the interviews I’ve done appear on the first positions in Google for the names of the people I’ve featured and often people have reached out to me saying that they saw I’ve interviewed this person and they just offer something else.

The types of bloggers I like to interview

An interview with a blogger is also one of the most inspirational and empowering things I can share with my audience because it shows them it’s possible for them too. It’s possible to achieve what that person has achieved.

These interviews show you what’s happening behind the scenes of a blogging business, whether it’s a small or a big one, and these are people who started from nothing.

Honestly, these are the only types of people that I like to learn from and who inspire me the most. They’re now self-employed or even self-made millionaires and yet they’re super down to earth.

They can immediately respond to an email I send them and say yes to being featured on my blog. They would actually write a two thousand word article which is all about how they got started in business, the challenges they went through, how much they earn now, how they increase their blog traffic and anything else you ask them.

But how do you find these people? How do you reach out to them? What do you do if you don’t hear from them or if you get rejected? That’s what I’ll be covering in today.

Blogger Outreach 101

This topic was actually requested by a member of Blogger Playground, the community and membership I run where I share strategic content so you can grow your blog traffic and income sooner. But I decided to share this on the blog and podcast as it’s such an interesting topic and I’ve never covered it before.

Hopefully, this guide will give you permission to start interviewing successful bloggers or business owners because it takes some courage to actually reach out to them. But there is nothing to lose as you will see in a bit, and most of the people who seem like a big deal in an industry and who actually are a big deal, are pretty approachable. But only when the offer is worth it and when you do it right.

So, without over complicating things, let’s dive into the basics of blogger outreach. First let’s discuss why it’s worth interviewing others on your blog.

Why interview others on your blog

Maybe you’ve been thinking about doing that for some time now but never found the courage. Or maybe you’ve never considered it but now you actually try it.

Well, I believe your blog or any other main platform that you have is your legacy. It will probably live forever or as long as you are alive and it will keep inspiring people.

Also, what I love about blogging is that any article you publish today can rank a year from now or can be found by anyone in the future and can lead to something unexpected that will help you grow your business.

Everything is related. You just don’t know how exactly that’s going to work in the future but you have to publish content consistently and that’s not always easy.

It’s also good to diversify your content to not just share your story on your blog, and strategic content on whatever you teach, but to also get other people involved and let them share their perspective. To let this be one more way that you contribute to the industry you’re in because I’ve been reading these interviews since I can remember. That’s also one of the reasons why I started publishing them.

I know how valuable it can be. I know that on those days when I was feeling like giving up, when there was almost no traffic or income coming from my blog, when I had no proof that this was ever going to work, I would find another blogger interview. I would read it, I would get pumped up and I would use that momentum to work on my blog that same day and for the rest of the week until I needed to get motivated again and find another interview.

Maybe that doesn’t work for everyone, I know. But there are so many examples out there and they all show us that this can work.

People that come from all walks of life who are in different niches, who have families, they have a few kids and they still make it work. They have a day job, they don’t have any extra time and yet they dedicate their mornings and late nights and they make it work. A few years later, they have a six-figure blog, most of which is passive income.

If you’re exposed to that kind of content as often as possible, your brain just starts believing that it’s possible for you too.

It starts focusing on why you can do it, not on why you can’t, which is usually our default programming. We’re in this negative cycle and we have to get out of it to actually take action. We have to see the possibilities, to believe in them and in ourselves. This has to overpower the doubts and fears that we’re inevitably going to have on this journey.

So that’s why I think it’s absolutely worth it to interview others on your blog. But it’s also important to make sure that fits into your blogging strategy.

How to make interviews part of your blogging strategy

I teach blogging as a business. Obviously, that fits into mine just perfectly because prior to publishing interviews, my story was the only sort of case study that I could share with people.

The rest of the content on my site was how-to content and guides. It was inspirational but no other people were mentioned and once I started bringing those, everything changed.

I could now really show my audience that anything is possible online and that the pandemic doesn’t change that. The fact that AI is a big thing also doesn’t change that. In fact, it opens even more opportunities.

The fact that there are many more blogs today than there were 10 years ago when I started also shouldn’t be a factor.

The fact that there is a lot of competition in every niche doesn’t mean people don’t need yet another blog and yet another person who can help them solve their problems. These are just universal needs and as long as the Internet exists, that’s probably going to be a thing. So you might as well start your blog now.

passive income blog boss graphic

This is what I want to show people when I feature others on my platform and, of course, it’s always going to be an inspiration for me. That will never stop empowering me. It gives me so much joy to read the interview that the person wrote, to know that they’re dedicating this unique piece of content to my website, that it’s going to live there forever. That new people can find it every day and maybe start a blog just because of that, just because they read that piece of content.

So how does this fit into your blogging strategy if you want to do it?

If you teach business, that’s great. Then you definitely want to show success stories which can also lead to getting more subscribers to your email list. It can lead to then forming relationships with those people.

Maybe they will invest in your products over time. But even if you don’t teach business this can just be an additional category you cover on your blog. If it inspires you, if you know it will inspire others, it’s totally worth it. And as you’ll hear in a bit, it doesn’t need to take much of your time and it doesn’t cost you any effort.

Becoming professional before doing blogger outreach

The next thing you want to make sure you have in place is the foundation of your business and platform.

First, have the platform online where you can interview the people. That can also be a podcast, not just a blog.

Technically, it can also be a YouTube channel or Instagram account or another social media where you can do lives with people, but this isn’t really my thing and you don’t have full control over these. A blog and a podcast, though, are two solid things that will live forever.

Then, make sure your site looks professional, that you have the main branding elements in place, that you’ve published some content already, you’ve been around for some time (maybe a year), you’ve built some traffic and domain authority.

Obviously, if you reach out to a person that you want to feature on your site and they go to your blog and it doesn’t load fast, it doesn’t look good. Maybe there is not much content, your About page is not sharing any experience or it’s super short or you haven’t put any effort into it. Or you don’t have the contact page, the legal pages – just those professional elements which are a must.

The same goes if you don’t have HTTPS enabled, which means you need to have a good web host. They take care of the SSL certificate for your site and this makes your page secure.

If any of these basic elements are not in place, the person might decide not to collaborate with you just for that reason. If you were them, you would probably do the same. So take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your website and see it from the perspective of a more professional blogger.

What can you improve? What can you do better? How can you increase your metrics?

Is there any page that you still have to publish? Are your header and footer set up correctly? Do you have the right elements in them?

In the case of a podcast, that means to:

  • have some episodes already;
  • promote your podcast on other platforms;
  • get downloads for every episode;
  • get people on your list from there;
  • form relationships with them;
  • have a website;
  • optimize your episodes;
  • have the basic branding elements in place, such as the podcast artwork.

How I started doing blogger outreach

Here’s how it went for me:

I didn’t interview people in the first years of growing my blog. By the time I started reaching out, I had already built a name for myself, the site was growing and I had been featured on other platforms as a guest contributor or I was also interviewed.

So if they did a quick check, they would see my name appear on different platforms and they could see my website’s metrics. For that you can use an SEO tool, but there are often free and it’s really easy to use them.

Another thing I want to remind you is that the people you want to interview already know the benefits of being interviewed pretty well.

It’s their chance to talk about their blog, to get backlinks and these are usually dofollow for interviews so they get SEO benefits from that, especially as your site grows in the future.

They can also promote their lead magnets, content or products directly inside the article. They can include pictures and this is just their chance to find new fans, new readers, get new subscribers and get their name out there more so people can find them.

If they offer one-on-one coaching or any other services, maybe they’re going to get their next client thanks to this one interview, you never know. What they know is that this is possible even if they’re being featured on a small blog. So don’t worry if you don’t have too much traffic or domain authority yet.

The next aspect of blogger outreach to discuss is how to find those people online.

How to find bloggers to interview

That might be another challenge you face, but it’s actually really easy. The simplest way is to reach out to business owners we are already following, learning from and admiring. That’s going to make the blogger outreach email even more personal as we can share how long we’ve been following them and add some details that will show you actually know their story and what they’ve been up to lately.

Another method is with a quick Google search.

You can find bloggers in specific niches or better yet, their interviews on other sites. This gives you the green light as they’ve already said yes to being interviewed by someone else, so obviously they’re willing to invest time in this, so you might try to approach them too. Again, use that in the outreach email to make it stand out.

Say that you found them through an interview on another blog or podcast and you’d like to feature them too. Honestly, not much else needs to go in that first email. And if you want to make things work as quickly as possible, here’s a task you can complete right after reading this guide.

Quick blogger outreach exercise

Go ahead to the page with interviews on my website. Open every story that grabs your attention and will be valuable to your audience.

Head to the person’s website, find the email address and reach out to them. You can say you saw the interview on my blog and that you would like to interview them too. If they are open to it, they will say yes.

If they say no, that’s totally fine. Don’t take it personally and move on to the next blogger outreach email. If they don’t respond, follow up a week or two after.

If they don’t respond again, there’s nothing else you need to do after that. Again, please don’t take it personally.

So if you’re wondering how to reach out to important people and some of the top bloggers online, it’s as simple as this. Find the email address and send them an email.

What to include in the outreach email

What I like to write in the subject line of the email is interview feature. I also don’t add any fluff to the emails and I get straight to the point.

They don’t have time to waste and they, like me, probably get hundreds of emails weekly. Let’s face it, they know you want something, otherwise you wouldn’t reach out. So getting to the point as quickly as possible is actually very helpful to them.

You can, of course, mention that you admire their work and what they’ve achieved online and think their story will turn into an inspiring piece that you can share with your audience. I usually do that.

I like to end the emails with “Let me know and I can send over the questions.”

This simple sentence shows them that there is not much else they need to do and they know what the next step is. It’s a pretty straightforward process. Another thing I include in the blogger outreach email is that we’re talking about a written interview and I share the page on my site with the recent ones so they can check out the format.

Some might not have been interviewed many times or ever in written form, so I want to make it clear. Others know everything about blogger outreach and getting featured, so they don’t need even that explanation, but I still add it there.

Handling rejection

The most important thing for you in order to actually see success with this is to let go of the fear of being rejected.

Sometimes people have told me that they aren’t accepting interviews anymore. Others missed the email for some reason, because let’s face it, we’ve all done it, right? And then we were happy that the person followed up. So when I followed up weeks later, they actually apologized and confirmed they want to be interviewed. But even then, some didn’t get back to me with answers to the questions I sent them.

Others never responded in the first place. It happens. A lot is happening online, a lot is happening in people’s inboxes and our time is precious and limited.

So keep that in mind. You can’t just stay and wait for responses from people and take it personally anytime you don’t get that. This takes a lot of your energy and time and instead you can just invest that into growing your blog or reaching out to other people to interview.

Another thing I’ve realized is that the busiest people don’t even need to respond to a blogger outreach email if they already know they won’t say yes. But we do all this for the people who will confirm and whose stories will live on our blog forever. So focus on that.

Another thing that might work well for you, especially in terms of mindset, is to focus on quantity over quality. Set a target for how many outreach emails you want to send weekly or monthly and actually do that. The moment you send one, let go of it.

Follow up only once and track everything to actually follow through on that. Now I do that using Asana, a project management tool.

Blogger outreach via email vs via Instagram

Someone asked me whether blogger outreach via email is similar to how people pitch on Instagram. I would say it’s much simpler and more direct than that.

One email where you say who you are, how you learned about the blogger and what collaboration you’re offering is more than enough. Then it’s up to them. Usually, some just don’t have space in their calendar for such things.

Some bloggers prefer not to work with smaller blogs, which is also okay. But the chitchat happening on Instagram to warm things up isn’t really necessary via email.

Always be respectful. Be honest. Don’t try to convince them why being featured on your platform is good for them. Ultimately, that also comes down to picking the right people to interview.

I never really had problems with this, but I have to admit that some people didn’t really put in the effort and just got it done quickly. I still went ahead and published it because it was still valuable.

I would never tell them to rewrite it make it longer. But if it’s really bad quality and not worth publishing, then I think you have every right not to move forward with this. And you have to let them know.

But it’s easier if you just make sure in advance, before you reach out, that the person has actually achieved something already, has built a great blog and has a story to share. Only then does it really create the effect we’re going after here.

In conclusion

I’ll leave you with this. There is no right or wrong. There are no strict rules when it comes to blogger outreach.

You do what feels right and you approach in the way you yourself would like to be approached. It’s a skill after all. Like any other, you will get better the more you do it.

After getting a few positive responses, after being rejected a few times and after not hearing anything from a few people, you’ll get used to it and you’ll get over it more quickly. But it’s worth it.

Publishing interviews is such a special thing for me.

I also constantly find new success stories by reading interviews or listening to podcast episodes that feature people and what they achieved as a blogger or course creator or with another business model. There is something to learn from everyone.

For example, these days I’m publishing an interview with someone I found through a podcast and who took an AI site from $0 to $21,000 in monthly revenue in under one year.

This is wild, but it happens. I reached out to him, he got back to me the same day. I sent the questions, he sent back his answers, which actually turned into a super detailed interview, over 2,000 words long. I scheduled it for two weeks later because I already had another one planned for that week. That’s how it works.

Yesterday, I sent interview questions to a recipe blogger who earns $5K a month and who has a lot to say about SEO and building blog traffic as well as monetizing it.

Another interview I have scheduled is with one of the top finance bloggers online (Sam from Financial Samurai) who is just such a smart guy and has a net worth of $3 million and makes $250K in passive income annually. He’s been featured in all the places online, including the top websites, and yet he responded to me and got back to me quickly because he knows the overall impact of such interviews.

And I definitely don’t just feature big names. It can sometimes have the opposite effect to new bloggers. I know that.

They only see how much they haven’t achieved if they compare themselves to those who earn six or seven figures. Although my main goal with this interview is to show you that this person started from zero, knew nothing about blogging once, and it took them years to build their online empire.

But I also interview smaller bloggers, those who earn $1K a month from affiliate marketing, those who go to 10K page views, those who still have a day job but are about to replace it thanks to their blog income, and so on.

This gives me so much joy and yet it’s no effort for me. I’m just a person reaching out and then publishing the content and sharing it with my email list.

If you want to see all future interviews, by the way, make sure you get on my list. That can happen through any of the opt-in forms on my website. You can grab the five-figure blog checklist below:

One fun thing I’ll be doing this year is featuring guest experts inside the Blogger Playground membership.

The first interview of that kind was published yesterday and it was focused on one specific way you can grow your blog. It’s something I have no experience with, so in cases like that, I leave it in the hands of those who do.

My plan is to invite more experts and let them create a piece on one specific thing they’ve mastered online so that they can share their insider tips and specific strategies that have worked for them.

That can be SEO, AI for blogging, email marketing, Pinterest, or anything else that can help members grow their blog in less time and with fewer mistakes.

So, that’s what Blogger Outreach is all about. It doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t need to worry about it.

You can just go ahead and start doing it. But don’t do it just once. Don’t just send 5 outreach emails and when you hear crickets you just give up.

No! Maybe you need to send 50 or 70 emails until you land a few interviews or feature one big name in your industry. But it’s worth it. Then you can use this as proof that you’ve already collaborated with others and to show the next people you email the format that you’re looking for.

Just give it time.

Prefer to listen to this guide on blogger outreach instead? Tune into the podcast episode below:

Wondering how to interview someone for your blog? How do you find successful people to interview? How do you reach out to them? What if you get rejected? Here's your blogger outreach guide: