(Editor's Note: The following article talks about how to pimp your blog or Website like Rolling Stone by creating formatted question and answer pages including interviews with experts, customers or just about anyone to add visual interest and variety to your site. Whether you plan to hire a professional blogger to set up your site and create content or do it yourself, remember this tip to add interest and value.)
Q: So what's the idea here and what exactly are we talking about?
A: You're familiar, of course, with the iconic Rolling Stone interviews with musicians and celebrities which really transformed the nature of journalism and defined the famous magazine from which they take their name.
Q: Sure. Oh, is that the reason for the unusual formatting of this post?
A: Exactly. Interview pages like this one are an easy way to add variety to an otherwise stale looking blog or Website, provide some personality, grab attention and even drive more traffic to the site.
Q: So how do we get started?
A: Easy! First, identify someone you think might be a good subject for an interview. It could be an expert in a particular field, a business associate, a customer, a friend or even a fellow blogger or Webmaster. Make it clear that you will provide outbound links to a desired Website or Websites of their choice as an incentive for participating.
Q: And then?
A: E-mail them a list of questions. Make them short and open ended giving plenty of room for comprehensive response. You might ask them about their business, their expertise, ask them to give examples of what they do or to tell a story about how they got started. Anything you think the readers of your blog or other Website might find interesting. When you get the questions back, simply format them separating questions and answers with the <p> and </p> tags for paragraphs. You can also add <strong> and </strong> tags at the beginning and end of each question to make them stand out in bold.
Q: Anything else?
A: Near the top of the page add a JPEG headshot if your subject has provided one (It's always good to ask) or some other visual element appropriately sized for the page. Above that, add an "editor's note" like the one at the top of this page including keywords to make the site appealing to search engines. You've created a page more interesting than any ordinary promotional copy, an interview that conveys information while also entertaining the reader and a page your subject will likely want to promote on his/her own site increasing your traffic as well.
(For more on how to use interviews to improve the content of your blog or Website, please read "Creating better blog posts with interviews" at PostRanger.com)