How to Leverage Crowdsourced Content to Exponentially Grow Your Audience

Isn’t it a pain?

You spend all that time researching and writing a post, but people would rather tweet Seth Godin’s 100-word posts—in thousands!—than to share yours.

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There’s a good reason for this, though.

Seth is a ridiculously successful entrepreneur. He’s written over 17 bestsellers and shows no sign of slowing down.

So while some of his posts may seem simple (maybe you could’ve written them), people love them because they trust his opinion.

You don’t build this kind of success, trust, and audience overnight, however—it takes years of hard work.

But what if you could get Seth (or an expert in your niche) to write some content for your website? It would get a lot more attention than your writing normally does.

And it’s possible, I promise

You can even take it a step further by getting several experts with large followings, whom your target audience instinctively trusts, to help you write content.

This is called crowdsourced content.

The reason for the name is pretty obvious: you generate content from a crowd. Technically, the crowd could be anyone, including influencers in your niche.

Crowdsourcing has been growing in popularity ever since KickStarter exploded as a platform for people and companies to crowdsource investments for products.

The amount of money raised through crowdsourcing has nearly doubled every year since 2009:

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And it shows no signs of slowing down. In 2014, crowdfunding grew by 167% to $16.2 billion in raised funds, and in 2015, it will continue to grow to an estimated $34.4 billion.

We’re not talking about crowdsourcing product development (that’s an interesting topic for another day). What we’re talking about is using the connectivity of the Internet and the work of several others in order to create remarkable content that grows your business.

There are 3 main benefits of crowdsourced content:

  1. Reach a larger audience: People share things they feel invested in. When they contribute to content, most are happy to share it with people they know. In the case of influencers, this can be a huge audience.
  2. Connect with people: Whether you want to connect with an influencer or an audience member, creating a great piece of content together is a great way to open a dialogue and start a relationship.
  3. Build your authority: The more you’re associated with other people in your niche that readers trust, the more you become an authority. I told you that it takes a long time to build up authority, and employing this tactic can accelerate it a bit.

So crowdsourced content is the best thing ever, right?

While it has some massive upsides, it also has some limitations.

First of all, it’s not easy. I’m going to show you how to create effective crowdsourced content in this article, and trust me, it will take you several hours to put together a great post. Secondly, you can’t solely rely on crowdsourced content for two reasons.

If you’re constantly crowdsourcing your content, your website will lose your voice, which is something you need to have to develop a loyal following. Additionally, you will run out of sources or annoy the ones you have if you’re always asking them for help. You can’t do a crowdsourced post more than once every few months.

Want to grow your audience? Download this 6 step cheat sheet to learn how with crowdsourced content.

That being said, a crowdsourced article is a powerful tactic that you should have at your disposal. I’ll show you later how it should fit with your content strategy to get maximum benefit from it. For now, let’s look at how you should approach creating crowdsourced content.

Pick one of two types of crowdsourced content

As a general rule, there are 2 types of crowdsourced content.

The first type involves surveying or polling your target audience. This is typically most useful when you already have a sizeable following. You can find out what their problems are and write an article such as “The X Biggest Mistakes Made by [Audience],” or “The X Biggest Problems of [Audience].”

Carol Tice does it very well. She regularly tries to find readers with useful stories and combine them to create articles that resonate with her other readers:

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To a smaller degree, I like to do this as well when possible. For example, in my post on the 11 Things You Should Do After You Publish a Post, I included an example of a comment left by Maham to illustrate a point.

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The second type of crowdsourced content is where you ask experts to answer a question, and then you compile their responses. This is commonly referred to as an “expert roundup.” At its core, it’s just like an interview, except you’re only asking one (or a few) questions, and you’re posing it/them to multiple people.

While polling readers and users is a great way to get feedback and create some good content, it won’t do much for blog growth. However, this second type of content leverages your experts’ authority and capitalizes on their audience to help your blog.

That’s why I recommend that small- and medium-sized blogs, those focused mostly on growth, start with crowdsourcing content from experts. And that’s exactly what I’m going to focus on for the rest of this article.

The way you do it is extremely important. Some crowdsourced articles get barely any shares, while others get thousands. I want you to achieve the latter.

I’m going to take you step by step through the process you should follow to maximize your results from an expert roundup.

Step 1: Pick the right question

Pick the wrong question, and you’re done before you even started.

Seriously. If you pick a bad question to ask your experts, they just won’t respond.

Guidelines for choosing a question:

  1. Don’t pick a question that’s too simple.
  2. Don’t pick a question that’s too complicated.
  3. Don’t pick a question with an obvious answer.

If a question is too simple, it’s not worth answering. For example: “Do you think businesses should create a blog?”

That’s a yes or no question, and literally everyone will say yes, so it’s a pointless question.

If a question is too complicated, it’s too much work for an expert to answer. A question such as: “What is the best step-by-step process to promote a blog post?” would take thousands of words to answer.

Finally, if the answer is obvious to a particular expert, they’ll realize that your main goal is to try to get them to send you traffic, and not to create a great piece of content (which it should be). For example, if you asked an expert who blogs about email marketing: “What is your favorite marketing channel?”, the answer would obviously be email marketing, so why would you ask this?

Your question should be not too simple, complicated, or obvious, and be a question that your target audience cares about.

The best way to find a good question is with some simple keyword research.

Before we get started, make a list of keywords in your niche—they can be pretty broad.

For example, keywords for a nutrition site might be:

  • healthy eating
  • exercise
  • cooking tools
  • best diet

Now that you have your keywords, let’s see where you can get ideas for your question(s).

Idea source #1: Quora

Enter your first keyword into the search box. Click on “Topics” on the left menu to find the most popular relevant topic. Assuming you picked a popular and broad keyword, you’ll find a group with at least a few thousand followers:

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When you click on a topic, you’ll see a mixture of current and past relevant and popular posts. Look at the questions that have the most “upvotes,” preferably at least a few hundred.

Remember, you need to look for a question that can be answered by someone giving their opinion because that’s the main point of having experts answer it.

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The question “How do I ensure I’m eating well for university on a $30 a week budget?” has 546 upvotes, so it’s a popular question that people want answered.

However, this question is far too open-ended and complicated to ask an expert. What you could ask instead is: “What is your favorite healthy meal that can be made for under $2 per serving?”

For now, just note down the popular questions on a spreadsheet so you can come up with one later. Go through as many keywords and groups as you can.

Idea source #2: Reddit

As always, Reddit is a great way to see what people are most curious about.

If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s a community site where users can submit questions and links, and the rest of the community votes on them. We’ll be looking for questions that come up a lot and get a decent number of upvotes.

Start by searching for your keyword in the sidebar:

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The results will come from a variety of communities called subreddits.

You can either click the subreddit there to filter out results for that specific community, or you can navigate directly to that subreddit.

If you choose to filter the results, you’ll only see the most relevant results for your keyword. Look through these, and note down popular questions.

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From these results, it’s clear that questions about snack ideas are very popular.

You could derive the following questions for your experts from them:

  • What is your favorite healthy snack for traveling?
  • What are the 3 cheapest and easiest snacks you know of?

If you go to the main subreddit, you’ll see posts about all relevant topics (not just your keyword).

To see the most popular questions, click “order by top”:

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Do the same thing as before, noting down any questions that you think you might be able to turn into an appropriate one for your experts.

Idea source #3: Google Keyword Planner

While it’s a basic keyword research tool, it’s still really useful for a task such as this.

Type in your keyword, and click “Get ideas”.

Then, click on the “Keyword ideas” tab, and start noting down popular keywords that lend themselves to questions:

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Based on the above results, you could ask: “What do you think is the most important healthy eating habit?” or “What is your best healthy eating tip?”

Overall, it’s really not that difficult to find a good question to ask. You can find several good ones with each method. The tricky part is transforming it into the right type of question of the right difficulty.

The reason why you’re looking for popular keywords and questions is because the more popular the question you ask, the more interested your target audience will be in the answer.

Not only will it be an interesting article for people to read (more subscribers), but it will also lead to more sharing and traffic.

Step 2: Decide who you will ask

This next step is just as difficult as the first one.

You need to target experts based on the question(s) you want to ask.

I get hundreds of requests every month to participate in expert roundups. Some of them are asking me about topics such as nutrition and technology, where I’m not known as an authority. Obviously, I never answer such questions.

Not all examples are that obvious though. Experts who write about nutrition are very different from experts who write about healthy recipes or fitness. The influencers you ask your question(s) must regularly write about that topic.

If you target the wrong people, you will get a dismal response rate.

Your best targets: past participants

Not all experts like to participate in these roundups—or not very often. The good news is that unless you’re in a very uncommon niche, other bloggers have already filtered out these people for you.

The idea is to find experts that regularly participate in roundups.

Start by Googling “expert roundup + [keyword]”

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Depending on your niche, you will have to search for several keywords relevant to your question.

Go through at least a few pages for each term.

For each relevant roundup you find, write down all the experts that participated in it.

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If you’re in a niche such as marketing, you’ll have no trouble finding hundreds of experts. In those cases, scroll down to the comments and see which of the experts commented (or shared). It’s likely that they’ll at least comment on your roundup as well.

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Find some fresh blood

In addition to the same old faces that participate in many roundups, it’s a good idea to find a few low- to mid-level bloggers to include.

Since they don’t get asked very often, they’ll be more likely to participate and eager to share the article. Plus, it gives you a chance to get new opinions that your readers may not have heard before.

To find these hidden superstars, you will have to do some digging. You can employ three methods.

Method #1

Use BuzzSumo’s Influencer search. Enter a general keyword related to your question. In my example, I chose “healthy”. Use the filters as shown below to include only bloggers and influencers.

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What you’re looking for are influencers who aren’t extremely well known. Ideally, they’ll still have at least a few thousand Twitter followers (which you can see on the right).

Add as many quality experts as you can, and repeat the process for any additional keywords.

Method #2

Next, we’re going to use twtrland. Create a free account, and enter a key term in the search bar.

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This tool is designed purely for identifying influencers on Twitter, which is perfect for this. A free account only shows 50 results per keyword, but you should still be able to find at least 10-20 new influencers (try a few keywords).

Method #3

Finally, head over to Alltop. This site is a directory of blogs organized by niche. The other good thing about it is that almost all blogs were added by their owners, which means they’re highly active in promoting them (and more likely to participate).

Try to find your niche/topic in the menu to make sure you don’t miss any relevant blogs. If you can’t, search for your keyword:

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Either way, you’ll get a page of relevant blogs. You can click on the site titles to visit them.

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I left this method till last because it takes more work.

At this point, you need to check whether your question is appropriate for these experts, so look through a few posts to make sure it’s a good match.

Additionally, see if they have any following by looking at the number of comments and/or social shares.

Don’t stop until you have at least 50 quality experts in total. More is always better.

Find their email addresses

You will need to contact all the bloggers/experts at some point with your question.

Start by going to their sites and seeing if they publicly list their email addresses. Most likely, they don’t.

The simplest way to get their email addresses is to join their email lists. Go to their homepages or blog posts and look for a signup form somewhere. Any good blog will have one.

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You should get a few emails from their personal email addresses within the first few days of subscribing—perfect.

If for some reason you can’t find an email address, opt for a Twitter or LinkedIn account instead.

Engage your experts to boost your success rate

If you send 50 emails, would you rather get 20 or 30 responses? Obviously 30.

The biggest mistake most people make when trying to do an expert roundup is sending cold emails.

“If I know the person that’s sending the pitch…, I’m 20x more likely to contribute.” — Brian Dean

In general, the bigger the expert, the more you need to do to get on their radar.

You need to find a way to stand out enough that they know who you are by your name or at least don’t think you’re a stranger.

Here are some ways you can use to establish contact in almost any niche:

  • Leave thoughtful comments: Unless they only get a few comments per post, you’ll need to leave thoughtful commentsideally, near the top of the commenting section of each post. There are four or five names I recognize just because they’re always leaving me detailed comments within an hour or two of me publishing a post on Quick Sprout.
  • Mention them in articles: While you can’t do this for everyone, you can mention some experts in your other blog posts. Send them a quick email, telling them you featured some of their work, or mention them on a social network by using an “@” or a “+” symbol, depending on the network.

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  • Submit their best content on Reddit (or similar site): Then send them a quick email once it gets a few comments and upvotes. Tell them you submitted it and that the commenters would probably appreciate a response if your influencer has a spare minute.

The key thing in any of these methods is to do something useful or valuable for the expert and then let them know about it in a non-pushy/polite way. Don’t be limited to just these three techniques if you have other valuable skills you could offer.

Step 3: Pitch perfect

If it’s your first time doing this, the first two steps probably took at least a few hours. You’ll get faster over time.

Now you need to contact your experts through the email addresses you’ve gathered (it’s okay if that took a few days).

Just to set your expectations, you need to realize that even very successful bloggers get only 50-60% reply rates when they do expert roundups. If you have an unknown blog, it’s going to be at least a bit lower (but it should be over 30% if you follow everything here).

When emailing, the most important things to keep in mind are:

  • keep it as short as possible
  • make the question clear
  • don’t seem desperate
  • be polite/sincere

I’ll give you a template you can use, but as always, you should take the concepts here and create your own. That way, your email won’t look as everybody else’s.

Subject: Expert roundup for [website]

Hi (name):

I’m a big fan of your blog. You’re my go-to resource when I want to learn about [specific topic they write about – get this right!].

I’m creating an expert roundup, and you were one of the first names to come to mind that I’d love to include. Here’s my question for you:

[question]

If you could provide a 50-100 word answer, that’d be fantastic.

I’ve invited X other experts to add to the article. [Expert 1, 2, and 3 have already agreed – optional].

I’ll craft a great custom bio for you to attach to your response.

The deadline for an answer is [date – at least a week]. I really hope you are able to contribute.

Thanks,

[Name]

An alternative way to collect the responses is to include a link to a Google form that you create.

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You can include whichever fields you like. Only include what is necessary, though; otherwise, some experts might see the forms and decide it’s too much work.

I recommend including:

  • Name – so you know who’s answering
  • Email – only if you don’t have everyone’s email already
  • Question – obviously you need to include your question
  • Specific requests – ask them if they’d like to promote anything or link to a specific place

When people submit their answers, they will be sent to a Google Sheet that you can use just like any other spreadsheet:

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This will save you some work going back and forth between emails.

Important: After someone replies and answers the question, send them another email as soon as possible thanking them for contributing, and tell them that you’ll notify them when the article goes live.

Step 4: Craft an article that stands out

Now that you have your responses, hopefully at least 10-20, you can create your article.

Start with the headline. The rules for creating a strong headline here are the same as for any other article, but it’s much easier in this case.

The reason that it’s easier is because you’re limited in your options. You already have:

  • A number of experts
  • The fact that they are experts
  • The topic from your question

That doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room.

If my question was: “What is your favorite healthy snack for traveling?”, my headline would be something like: “22 Nutrition Experts Reveal the Best Healthy Snack for Traveling.”

Write an intro to introduce the topic, then summarize the results if you can (will depend on the question):

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Next, you just need to present the answers in an attractive layout. There are no specific rules as long as you are consistent.

Here’s an example:

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Get your experts’ pictures from your their About pages or Twitter profiles.

To write a good bio, you should have two or three sentences that explain:

  • who they are – not all the readers will know everyone
  • a highlight – say something notable about them (get from their About page)
  • any promotions – if you’d like to highlight a book or product

Don’t get lazy here. A good presentation will have a big effect on the number of shares and amount of traffic you get.

If you have a lot of experts (20+) and want to go the extra mile, sort the experts by categories.

To wrap up your content creation, you need to add click-to-tweet links throughout the content.

Install the TweetDis plugin. Then, select a good quote in each expert’s answer, and click the shortcut button in the WordPress menu.

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In the options, click on the dropdown arrow beside “Add” and choose “hint”:

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When you’re done, your text will look to your readers like this:

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If you pick a good sentence for each influencer, you’ll get quite a few extra tweets from your readers.

Step 5: Be clever with your promotion

The whole point of an expert roundup is to leverage the authority of your experts, so we’ll start with that.

Send out your thank-you emails

As soon as you publish, send an email to each influencer thanking them for participating, linking them to the post, and asking them to share it.

Here’s a template you could use:

Subject: Expert roundup is published!

Hi [name],

Thanks again for being one of the X great experts who contributed [what their opinion was on – e.g., their favorite snack]. The roundup is now up at:

URL

Please let me know if you’d like me to make any changes to your section.

If you’re happy with it, I’d really appreciate it if you shared it with your audience. I created a custom Twitter link that already has the title and link filled in if that makes it easier:

http://ctt.ec/Tab7Y

If I can ever help you share your work, just let me know, and I’d be happy to help.

Thanks so much,

[name]

To make that custom Twitter link, you’ll need to use ClickToTweet. Create an account and then fill out the form with your Tweet info:

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When you click on “Generate New Link,” you’ll get the HTML code for the link. Just copy the actual link from it, and paste it in the email.

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Email some more—to your list

Even if you don’t have a huge email list yet, this is still a great piece of content that they will be interested in.

Let the experts first share and comment, and then promote your post to your list a few hours later.

Contact commenters of other recent articles on the same topic

If you have the time, you can try this effective strategy to add highly engaged members to your readership.

The idea is to find other recent articles on a very similar topic. Anyone who has commented on these articles is probably still interested in the topic, and since you have a way better article, they’ll be happy to hear about it.

You can contact them to let them know about the article. You can also gently nudge them towards commenting and joining your email list.

To start, Google your article topic. Be specific:

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To filter the results to last week, click on “Search tools,” and then change “Any time” to “Past week”.

Open these links, and scroll down to the comment sections. Depending on your topic, you may not find any commenters that link to their sites (you can use their contact form). Even if you don’t, this only takes a few minutes to check.

If you do find someone, send them a quick email like this:

Hi [name],

I saw that you commented on [article title] on [website] a short while ago.

I thought I’d drop you a quick line and let you know about another article you’ll probably like. I rounded up X experts and got them to reveal [topic].

If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link:

[URL]

Let me know what you think about it. If you’re interested in more content like that, just sign up for email updates.

Cheers,

[Your name]

Alternatively, if the site uses Facebook comments or Disqus, try to leave a (non-spammy) comment that includes a link to your roundup.

Share it on social media

Just like any other post, you should promote this roundup according to your social media strategy. This means sharing it during the next few weeks.

Like I said before, you can also tag your experts on social media if they haven’t shared the post yet:

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Tag only a couple of experts each time you share the post so that you’re not bothering the same people over and over again.

In addition, find a relevant subreddit, and submit the post. Expert roundups typically do pretty well in most subreddits, which could drive another few hundred visitors to the post.

Step 6: Repeat and scale

I told you at the beginning that creating great crowdsourced content wasn’t easy.

That being said, it can produce great results for growing blogs.

If expert roundups work well in your niche, I recommend repeating them on a regular basis: somewhere between two to four times a year. Schedule them in your content calendar because it can take three to four weeks to put them together, as you’ve seen.

If you get exceptional traffic or links to your first roundup, you might be tempted to create them more often than that. But when you do them too frequently, you’ll either have to keep including the same people (many will get annoyed after a few requests), or you’ll have to include lower quality experts (which won’t produce the same results).

If you’d like to scale up your expert roundups, you’ll need to contact more experts. If you put together an article that featured 50, 60, or more experts on a really interesting question, it could have a long-lasting effect on your traffic.

To do so, you’ll probably need some help. Think about hiring a virtual assistant to complete the easier parts of this process. Show them this article, and have them find influencers and collect their contact information.

Additionally, they may be able to do some of the groundwork (creating bios, leaving comments) so that you could create your article without working on it for weeks or months.

Conclusion

If you don’t have authority, borrow it. I just showed you how.

Crowdsourced content is only going to get more popular in the future as other marketers and companies recognize the massive potential it has.

Most influencers get dozens of requests every month to participate in expert roundups but typically choose only a few to contribute to. If you do everything I laid out here, you will be one of them.

Have you ever put together an expert roundup? Let me know how it went in a comment below.

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Comments

  1. Super insightful post as always Neil.

    Do you suggest that we include an elaborate custom bio of each expert in a post which includes answers from 4-5 influencers, or can we simply link to their websites through their names?

  2. Hi Neil great post again I really appreciate nd respect your blogs.
    I need to have 10 minutes with you to explain my website nd explain what I am looking from you I want to make an admin of your name nd post blogs of you there to help my audience
    Thankyou please contact me
    Sam@soobanhaider.com
    +60102832806
    Facebook.com/Sooban9

    • Sam, shoot me an email at neil@neilpatel.com

      • Neil Weston :

        That’s funny Neil, I been thinking of asking exactly the same question 😉

        I have just the right spots for Social Networking and Nutrition blogs – actually anything at all about business and life. – But all laid out under just nine logical categories that makes them easy to hone in on and find.

        I am just in the process of finalising my blog pages now, but if you don’t mind over the next week or so,,,,

        Best wishes and thank you again for another great article – Neil

      • Sure Neil just to make it easy the subject will be ATTN: NEIL (SAM HERE) willl be delivered in 10 hours 🙂

  3. Would love to understand how one can study researching topics that are best suited for the blog they are writing. This crowd sourced one was just what I was reading because I have so much of it on my platform but I’m trying hard to understand how to build relevance. Most other sites have just one mention are still showing up. I have crowd sourced content that talks about the topic keyword at least 5 to 10 times and is rich content that engages well too!

    Am I suffering from lack of links and domain authority then?

    Would really appreciate you giving the site a look. 🙂

  4. Amazing post neil. Your posts are worth reading and you are gradually increasing their quality with each post.
    I loved this post, moreover the crowdsourced content thing.
    Thanks for sharing..

  5. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Neil,

    It is funny how short his posts are. I will say though, I like them.

    But, like you mentioned, he is a heavy weight in his NICHE.

    Which makes a big difference.

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

    • Christopher, they are so short 😉

      Glad you find them valuable. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  6. Abdullah saeed :

    Hey neil ! I agree it takes time to create fresh blood. But I have one question? How can i craft a blog on different topics?

    Thanks neil !

  7. Paul Manwaring :

    Great post Neil.

    If you are lucky enough to have sub 1 million ranking site on Alexa then you can use Haro to reach out to potential experts. We’ve used it and had good success in various industries.

    I’ve (stupidly) never thought about using Google forms to collect the answers, thats an excellent idea!

    • Paul, it’s something that took me a while to figure out as well. Try it out and let me know how it works out.

  8. Nilantha Jayawardhana :

    Very informative post Neil. Thanks.

    Far from being a frowned on practise, even large, established bloggers on major publications are using crowdsourcing to build up detailed third party resources and information around a topic, and it’s an often overlooked option for site owners struggling to create fresh content when trying to build up and improve their site.

    Quora, Buzzsumo, Reddit and Google keyword tool are very useful idea sources to generate a fresh, perfect content.

    Additionally above tools, I like Haro and Linkedin.

    • Nilantha, thanks for the feedback and insights. You’ll find that a lot of brands and companies use this strategy. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  9. Paul Manwaring :

    Another thing, as these roundup services are becoming more and more popular, the amount of true experts using the services is being diluted. Do you think Google might eventually penalise blog posts that do massive long roundups with tons of OBL in one post?

    • Paul, I don’t really think that will be the case seeing as how in-depth and informative those posts typically are.

  10. Awesome tips neil patel…. i also want to leverage crowdsourcing content to grow my traffic

  11. Great post, this is exactly the reason why I started Crowdsourcia, a place where businesses can get multiple eyeballs on their marketing material by writing experts before it is shown to their audience.

  12. Keith Bresee :

    Hey Neil!

    This is the perfect post for me since my croudsourced post is coming out next week with you, Guy Kawasaki, John Lee Dumas, Lewis Howes and many other awesome guys!

    When you were talking about organizing the content and the design of it, do you ever use quote boxes? Im trying to find a good feel for the structure of the content, but for some reason Im having a funky time with it.

    This post is so helpful! Thank you Neil! 🙂

    Be awesome!
    Keith Bresee

    • Keith, I have used them in the past and they have worked well. Let me know if you need help with anything else.

  13. Neil..Nice post as always. I really understand and deference your post. Your posts are importance reading and you are step by step increasing their quality with each post. One again thanks a lot for sharing your thought.

    Thanks
    Webleonz

  14. Michael Wiewior :

    Hi Neil,

    I was focused on publishing of the articles only on my blog http://www.slavis.net/blog. Next thing I am going to do next week is to prepare a roundup among specialists in my translation niche.
    I will inform you how it went.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Kind regards,
    Michael

  15. Boy, it looks so easy! And it probably is with some courage, perseverance and a guide like this one. Great job, Neil, thank you for your tips!

  16. Daniel Lofaso :

    Neil,

    Nice tip on finding bloggers’ emails by subscribing to their email list and waiting for the email. That is the first time I’ve ever heard of that and think it’s a great idea.
    Having direct access to email — rather than Twitter or social — seems to work much better from an outreach perspective, plus it allows you to get a few more words in than a Tweet would. Nicely done!

    Daniel

  17. Paul Anderson :

    Nice post Neil. I just check buzz stream as mention on your website and i think this will work great for crowd-sourcing.

  18. Awesome post as always Neil! I got very inspired to do a roundup.

    I have not done one yet and every the time you´ve mention it, it gets very clear to me how powerful it is.

    I got really inspired from your last post and went ahead to create a lead magnet.

    You also gave me an idea of a case study that I started earlier this week and where I´ve mentioned you and how awesome quicksprout readers are, and link to your $100,000 challenge 🙂

    Check it out if you like: http://meandyoumarketing.com/case-study-how-to-get-known-profiles-to-share-your-content/

    Thanks for teaching me new stuff all the time…

    Enyoj life – Jesper

  19. Barbara Weaver Smith :

    Hi Neil,

    I am always impressed with how much time you spend on your blog posts and the value you create. This one is a priceless how-to — thank you so much!

    Barbara

  20. tejas gavhane :

    again a great post sir I love the way you write 🙂 Neil sir is the name bcoz of which digital marketing interests me 🙂 thanks a lot sir . sir I have heard a lot about comments system matters a lot in seo I hope to hear from you in very next post about comment system please 🙂

  21. Stephanie Slack :

    Hi there Neil!
    Thanks again for yet another informative post (not to mention thorough!). I always take away so much and am able to immediately try out a few suggestions. As for the Expert Roundup idea…. When you are asked to do one what makes you say yes or no?

    I’m a small fry just starting out and am struggling to gain traffic. I have a blog writing service for small businesses and my clients have all experienced great success with my work but when it comes to my own blog, crickets!

    Is an expert roundup appropriate or am I still too much in the infancy stages of my blog for it to be effective?

    Thanks again for all that you offer!!

  22. Orion CompuTech :

    Additionally, you will run out of sources or annoy the ones you have if you’re always asking them for help. You can’t do a crowdsourced post more than once every few months.

    That being said, a crowdsourced article is a powerful tactic that you should have at your disposal.

  23. Hello Neil, I am big fan of your article, thanks for helping us out.

    How much time it take you to write this kind of HUGE articles? I am quite impressed but wondering do you write all content yourself?

  24. Hi Neil,

    Not sure if you are still answering the comments, but I always wondered:

    If I would ask you a question to create a post, what that question would be, in order for you to answer, considering I’m nobody?

    I had to ask. 🙂

    Thank you,
    B

  25. Duryab Aziz :

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for such a nice post. You are my favorite blog writer. I like the way in which you write..

    Anyhow, nice post…

    Regards: Duryab Aziz

  26. Dr. Muddassir Ahmed :

    Neil,

    Great blog, but one has to be careful of legal implications comes with using crowdsourcing for content. See example

    http://www.staffingindustry.com/eng/Research-Publications/Publications/CWS-3.0/July-8-2015/Crowdsourcing-supplier-settles-class-action-lawsuit

    Regards.
    Dr. Muddassir Ahmed

  27. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for this insightful post.

    I believe you wrote something along the lines in one of your detailed guides.

    And this post just made me realize how I could also write blog topics based on popular questions asked on reddit and quora.

    Rayner

  28. Mohammed Ezzat :

    hey Neil ,,,
    why you delete tech crunch seo case study ?

  29. Hi Neil,
    This post is all i need to craft round up posts. “If you don’t have authority, borrow it” is very thoughtful saying of yours.

    Thank you very much.

  30. Hi Neil, Awesome Article! Thank you for sharing your invaluable insights for everyone (:

  31. Great post! It seems amazing idea on How to Leverage Crowdsourced Content to Exponentially Grow Your Audience. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Hello I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Digg
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say
    thanks for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it
    all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
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  33. Hey Neil, is there any particular frequency of crowdsourced content that you’d recommend. I have done a lot of expert roundups and it doesn’t require as much effort as writing a post from scratch.

    But other kinds of content that you mentioned are somewhat new to me. It has inspired me to explore those opportunities in the near future. Thanks for the post.

  34. Seo Powerlink :

    Great information! It will be helpful for me when I will do article marketing. Thanks Neil!

  35. Hey Neil, another amazing post!

    Did you see any downside of linking out a lot?

    If you could link out unlimited a lot without problems, link exchanges would be the new way to play Google. That’s why I’m undecided if I should follow it. Same with linking out to 25 influencers every post. It just looks over the top to me.

    Are there more successful blogs doing that that are ranking fine?

    Thanks!

  36. Shajee Fareedi :

    Great Post!!!

  37. Rahul Sharma :

    Hi Neil,

    Great article, I really appreciate and respect your blogs that helps me to increase my website traffic.

    Another interesting thing when i attach my profile in comment of your blog my profile impressions increasing instantly.

    Thank You!

    Have a Good Day 🙂
    @AMRahulSharma

  38. szablony allegro :

    Very nice article. Thank You! 🙂

  39. Hi Neil,

    I am a candid follower of your blogs and love to read it as soon as it comes to my inbox.
    I had little idea of crowdsourced content and after going through this informative blog, I understood its potentiality….

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable insight..

    Regards
    Team Rabbits

  40. Thanks a lot Neil. I love the way you made it so easy to follow up by providing templates we can just slap some additional words on it and we are ready to go.
    I am definitely giving this a try, although I have been thinking about it but did not really know where to start.

  41. This is a uniquely savvy method of generating lots and lots of free traffic that converts into ad revenue and product sales. If more marketers thought creatively like this, they would prosper in a shorter timespan.

  42. Awesome, Neil! As alsways.
    I’ve learnt about tweetabe quotes myself only a while ago. +1 for TweetDis.

    And Quora, Buzzsumo & Reddit are really outstanding sources of ideas when combined with Keyword Tool

  43. David Smethie :

    Hey Neil, absolutely awesome in-depth post on how to create a crowdsourced blog post. There are so many marketers that are charging significant amounts of money for content that is not nearly as good as what you provide for free every day on QuickSprout.

    I have yet to do a crowdsourced blog post-although it’s now definitely one of my priorities on my content calendar. I have however had the honor of being mentioned in a few expert round-ups, thanks to my Twitter connections and a few HARO requests I answered, so I can see how such posts have the potential to generate floods of traffic, not only via the search engines, but especially through social media promotion.

    It’s flattering to be considered an expert and to be quoted in such an article, and it’s only natural to want to share that piece of content and do everything possible to promote it. When the curator of the post publishes the article and I get the email with the link, I instinctively share via Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, G+, etc.

    I’m by no means a well-known expert, but I have several thousand Twitter followers and a decent following on the other major social media networks. So I’d imagine my promotion of the post-which I’m going to push out as much as possible because it benefits my personal brand-generates a decent amount of traffic.

    So I really see the power when you get 20+ experts, especially if you can land a few major players. All pushing the content out via their respective social media channels. Such a simple but absolutely brilliant concept!

    I’ll end with a not so obvious but significant benefit of being listed in an expert round-up, even though this is the flip side of the topic of your article. One round-up I was recently quoted in was published on a small website that isn’t all that well known. However, a few of the 25 experts were heavy hitters in the digital marketing space and it was an honor to be quoted in the same blog post as them. This made it easy to reach out to these influencers, who previously had no idea who I was, and start to establish a relationship via Twitter and earn their following.

    Again, thank you Neil for the killer content!

  44. Incredible post Neil. I was just figuring out how to write a round up article and u saved me a lot of time.
    Thank you very much for your help

    Rox

  45. Damien McConnell :

    Hello Neil,

    Great post! It seems great idea behind this article. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks
    Damien McConnell

  46. Audra Carpenter :

    Hey Neil,

    Appreciate all the great content! I learn something new every blog post of yours I read. Quick question…where do you suggest we search to find talent like you have for creating great lead gen giveaways/ebooks type things? I need a couple detailed ones created and not sure where to find the talent.

    Thanks again!

  47. Neil, love everything you do 🙂 Your post always goes in such detail that it’s always very actionable. (Thanks for the tip on the tweet, i think thats very helpful).

    I like the idea of crowdsourced content and I have personally seen it successfully applied by many marketers since early 2006.

    But now in 2015, just like listicles (~I still like them), they seem to be dying off in value (~IMO).
    This is mainly due to the fact that if I would have asked 10 experts about Crowdsourced content strategy, the end result will never be as good as this post by you.

    I do understand that the ‘content type’ is very different – here we have a very tactical blog post by you where as a crowdsourced content would be more like a collection of opinions/answer of a specific question. But I still question if there is enough value in that, today (from the reader’s point of view).

    Often times a big challenge is to have experts return you a different answer (Sometimes these answers are very similar). How do you tackle that? You won’t be able to skip an answer because, this person who participated would know that you have posted this (without his answer — which isn’t very nice, if he/she is an expert in the field).

    Should we let all experts see what others have written so that they can craft their answer better? This may even encourage more responses. I could just make the Google Spreadsheet viewable as a link and put it in the email itself so that they can see all the answers coming from the Google Form.

    Just thinking out loud..

  48. Wow! Thank you for taking the time to lay all this out for us!

  49. thank you sir for greatfull information

  50. Good job, Neil, as usual!

  51. AzonMarverix :

    Hi Neil
    Awesome post. I have been lurking in the shadows just absorbing the great stuff you publish. I just felt compellled to share my appreciation for your post.

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  56. Taranpreet Singh :

    Another great piece of content from your end,Neil Sir.

    Since I’m researching about my topic of interest & learning about content marketing for my own blogging website, an expert like you can’t be left unread for the valuable posts you write.
    Particularly in this one, I’ve found a lot of useful information.

    Thanks again!

    • Taranpreet, glad to help. I try to provide as much actionable content as possible. Data is important as well. Let me know if you need anything specific along the way 🙂

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