Are you looking for ways to grow your audience?
An effective way to do so is by crowdsourcing your content. Here, you don’t come up with content ideas or write up blog posts yourself. Rather, you use the contributions of your audience and other experts to create content.
Making content through crowdsourcing creates several advantages that include:
More attention and interest when varied experts and sources are featured in your posts
Your audience becomes more invested when you use content that they’ve made
Crowdsourcing content is an additional source of material that you don’t have to write yourself
Sounds good? Great!
Now, let’s look at how you can crowdsource content that grows your audience in two main ways, by getting topic ideas and building posts, especially expert roundups.
We know that producing fresh content regularly is important for SEO rankings. It can also be challenging to find blog post ideas that your audience wants to read.
When you crowdsource your topic ideas, you have a virtually endless source of ideas for writing posts and social media content. You’re also far more likely to create content that’s relevant and timely since you’re getting ideas from your audience.
Where to begin? Start by checking out online platforms for discussions where real people discuss ideas, problems, and news in great depth.
Looking up online forums where vibrant discussions take place and using ideas from there is a form of crowdsourcing. Here are some practical examples with images to illustrate how to crowdsource ideas.
One of the most highly visited websites where interactions form the core content is Reddit. It has several subreddits dedicated to niches where marketing content is not tolerated. If you’re looking for ideas to write on AI, you could look at some AI, machine learning, or deep learning subreddits.
The top post at the time of this screenshot is an interesting application of AI in solving Sudoku puzzles. I’d write a post about ‘fun and unique applications of AI’ for an audience that wants updates on artificial intelligence.
Likewise, look up topics like AI on Quora to find questions that people are asking. You can also explore the Related Questions feature in the sidebar for more ideas. From the image below, it’s evident that a major talking point in AI is finding ways to become skilled at it. This is a fantastic idea for a post or even a whole category of content.
Finally, here’s a Facebook page on AI. A top post is a question asking about the best development platform for a task. Questions like these give you a virtually endless source of content ideas.
Crowdsourcing your content ideas in this way is a research-heavy method, but one that’s highly effective. I would also explore membership sites dedicated to information about AI. Such places are gated but this means that you’re more likely to get an in-depth look at what people are seeking.
Alternatively, consider creating a survey form and asking your audience what they care about. A direct approach will give you direct answers and you should always take the opportunity to find out what your readers are thinking.
Crowdsource posts and other content
Forbes frequently publishes expert roundups consisting of advice from a varied number of experts on a topic. Instead of a long post written by one person with their single viewpoint, you get actionable advice from a variety of people with different backgrounds.
While these posts are interesting and offer great content, creating them can be hard unless you have the following:
Access to a large number of experts who have different perspectives to offer
A high domain rating on your site so that people will be willing to have their links featured on your blog or site
But even if this isn’t the case for you, you can still build an expert roundup type post. Here’s how
This is essentially the first step. You need to find experts who know their subject and are willing to share their insights. Aside from directly reaching out to people after doing a Google search and contacting them through their websites, here are two other options.
Use an influencer search platform
Most prominent influencers gain their vast followings by winning their trust. Getting them to participate in an expert roundup can be a gamechanger. Use a search platform for influencers to find relevant, mid-level influencers. They may be more amenable to doing an expert roundup and you could also collaborate to offer their following discounts or some other offering.
Contact people who comment avidly
If you make insightful posts, it’s likely that you have great feedback and comments from your readers. Sometimes, you can get comments that offer even more value than the original post. That’s a goldmine waiting to be used.
It’s important to frequently read comments and engage with people. If you find an opposing view you can draw them further into a conversation. You can get content ideas here and you can invite these commentors to contribute to a post.
These are two different ways to find people to contribute to your expert roundup. Let’s move on and look at other aspects when crowdsourcing content for more engagement.
Ask the questions
When creating a crowdsourced expert roundup post, you want to ask a question or set a topic that generates a thoughtful response. A question with a Yes or No answer won’t serve you. The question should also be narrow enough that it doesn’t need a one-page answer.
You want to ask the right questions that trigger a thoughtful response. Not Yes and No and definitely not something that takes pages of answers. A serious enough issue you might face is getting the same answers from different sources. You’ll have to give your experts a way to know what other people are saying or have said so that they can offer a different answer.
Share it on social media
The point of making an expert roundup is to get traffic and to convert visitors to your site. Once you’ve gathered answers and compiled it, don’t forget to share your final post on social media so it’s visible. Also, tag your experts and ask them to share the post on their profiles. It’s also good form to thank your contributors by sending individual emails. You may want to contact them again for a similar piece.
Making crowdsourced content can help you vary your content and provide good information. It required effort and a good strategy but the outcomes are often worthwhile. It’s also a great relationship-building strategy that helps you get connected with people in your industry. Use the crowdsourcing suggestion mention here as an additional way to bring value through content.
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