Recently, a new interview series called 'Crazy Enough to Work' was released, which features actor Elizabeth Banks interviewing executives from companies like The New York Times and Dunkin’ Donuts.
According to the website, Crazy Enough to Work will uncover the trials, successes, and bold moves made by businesses to thrive and survive in today’s market - and as a small business owner, I’m already hooked on the idea, and excited to see which businesses are profiled in future. That’s because I genuinely love interviews. I like to be interviewed, to be the interviewer and talk to someone else, and to read interviews with other established professionals in a wide variety of fields.
The power of an interview is often overlooked as a blogging strategy by many businesses. The reasons may range from being too time-consuming to put together to fear that your outreach to the person you want to chat with will be rejected. However, when you decide to put fear aside and invest into doing it properly, interviews are one of the rare forms of content that can have plenty of meat on its bones to sustain over time.
Here’s a look at how creating them for your blog now can pay off later.
It’s a golden opportunity for great storytelling
There’s a difference between good and great storytelling, according to the American Press Institute.
Good storytelling is whatever the audience considers to be interesting or important, whereas great storytelling makes important news interesting.
Let’s use the example of a hypothetical blockbuster superhero movie coming out this weekend - good storytelling is reviewing the movie just enough to get readers intrigued and audiences in seats. Great storytelling goes deeper - this is where we see interviews with the film’s director, cast, and crew. All three can give us further insight into the film, what it was like to make it and work on set, and the nature of their characters, etc. The important news - that a big popcorn flick is coming out - has just become much more interesting thanks to this kind of commentary.
Interviews are your chance to become a storyteller. You may already be considered an expert within your field, but even experts have their limits. You don’t know, and haven’t experienced everything. Tapping into telling the stories of others, and sharing details of their intriguing journeys, can have significant benefits.
Interviews come equipped with legs
How often do we see video interviews from years ago replayed at pivotal moments in one’s career? Do you ever go back to a great podcast episode after listening to it and listen again? What about print and online interviews? When certain sound bites hit a chord with us while reading, how likely are we to jot them down, tweet them, or cite the piece as a source later on?
We seldom look back on cookie cutter chats - those conversations where only generic questions are asked and very little research is conducted into the interviewee’s background. It’s the juicy interviews where the interviewer has studied their subject, and is ready to ask them relevant questions, that we hang onto. These interviews have legs - as an example, look at the success of Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) opportunities where readers can ask a subject any question at all, and be rewarded with, generally, an honest, thoughtful answer.
The best part is that if an interview has legs, it doesn’t matter if it was short-form or long-form, or the kind of medium it was packaged in. The rules don’t apply, so long as the message gets across.
For a business blog, creating a leggy interview means putting in extra time and effort to make sure the conversation is the most informative and interesting it can be in this moment - but it’s an investment that will give it legs now to take the content into the future.
People want to talk and you should want to listen
There’s obviously more than three reasons why bloggers should feature interviews on their websites which I haven’t covered in this post. I didn’t touch on how interviews can increase site traffic, clicks, and social shares. All of this matters, of course, but the greatest value an interview offers is the chance for a skilled professional to speak and be heard.
What gets me so excited for initiatives like Crazy Enough to Work is that Banks is talking with individuals that might have had the chance to grab a bit of the spotlight for their stories, or may not have had such a chance at all. It’s easy to dismiss someone before you've had a chance to discover more about them - it’s the kind of dismissal that makes individuals feel like they may not have much to bring to the table when, in fact, they may have more than enough to talk about.
By implementing an interview series on your blog, you can be the catalyst to switch up the tired status quo. Add it to your considerations this year - or next year if you want to hammer out a stronger strategy then - and consider going deeper, talking more, listening intently, and becoming a better storyteller.