How David Siteman Garland Used Web Interviews to Grow a Massive Audience

  • July 24, 2012 by Caleb Wojcik
  • 24 Comments

We’ve talked before about how you can spice up your blog with interviews. Now we’re going to hear directly from someone who has built a six figure business by interviewing over 300 entrepreneurs.

David Siteman Garland runs the web show and blog The Rise to The Top and is the creator of the course “Create Awesome Interviews.”

In this exclusive session with David, you’re going to learn exactly:

  • Just how big David’s audience has grown over the past few years (wait till you hear this, it’s incredible)
  • How you can get started doing your own interviews quickly and easily
  • Why having a web show is so important for your online reputation
  • How to get in touch with the biggest people in your industry (and get them to agree to be interviewed by you)
  • How David turned an interview-based web show into a multiple six-figure a year business (you won’t want to miss this part)


(If you are reading this via email or RSS, you can view the video here.)

Get Started with Interviews

If you are looking to get started with doing interviews on your site or you are struggling to capitalize on the ones you’ve done so far, David put together a course called Create Awesome Interviews to help you out.

To check out his special free video about “The 7 ‘Rookie Mistakes’ web show hosts make and how to avoid them” and you can find it here.

Have You Done Any Interviews? If Not, What’s Holding You Back?

If you’ve done any interviews for your site, we’d love to hear about your results in the comments below. Tell us what interviews have done for your blog or site.

If you haven’t done interviews, what’s holding you back? What are you struggling with? Let us know in the comments below. We might be able to help.

Subscribe to the Think Traffic YouTube channel for more videos like this about building your online business and audience.

Thanks for watching!

Written by . Caleb Wojcik is one of the 3 C's at Think Traffic and Fizzle.co. He writes at CalebWojcik.com and hosts the Cubicle Renegade Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @CalebWojcik.


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Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging July 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

Thanks for this interview.

I was looking to do this from long time, but i think that i should start doing it now.

Thanks for interviewing great one in this topic.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,
Ahmed Safwan
ToSTartBlogging.Com

Pamela Dale July 24, 2012 at 7:28 am

Hi David, Corbett, and Caleb,

OMG! I can’t believe it. This post has come at just the right moment for me.

I have been interviewing people for the last 3 weeks (I have 2 scheduled for today in person, so off I go with my Sony voice recorder) and have a website in design phase with a launch date of 5 weeks away. I do the interviews in person on audio for now to get practice with webcam coming in next week. Everything you spoke about in this video is what I am doing. I am so excited to see that it is a viable business idea. I was doing it as a way to get started in business for myself by asking others what works and doesn’t work and also because it is naturally what I am good at. I work with women who are entrepreneurs and I put a networking spin on it. The concept is that for $20 a person can ask someone out to lunch and get some advice on business. It is about unplugging for a few hours and talking to someone else. Starting from a place of not knowing.

Through SABTM I dug down deep in myself to see who I really was and what I had to offer.
I knew for me it had to be more than just a blog. I wanted a business that had the potential to make money almost immediately. I have lots of ideas on how to do that….coming soon!

This is such an inspirational post. I thank you so much for sharing this information.

It all about relationships. Real relationships.
Pamela

Sheyi | Ivblogger.com July 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

Thanks for bringing another niche in the interview niche – so it means I can create a product on how to interview well? Its been my passion all this while which made my blog go viral with great guests.

Sheyi

Greg Hickman July 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Great interview Corbett. I have to represent David’s Create Awesome Interviews course. I took it and it was exactly what I needed to get started on the right path.

It’s well worth the investment. I’ve found myself plotting the next steps in my site/business and I always look to both you and David for inspiration.

Keep up the good work!

greg

Matt July 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

First, David is the man. I know he’s living it up on vacation right now and fully reaping the benefits of all his hard work.

Second, you guys must have been reading my mind. While on a mini vacation myself, I’ve decided to pivot my own blog to interview more in my niche. This couldn’t have come at a better time!

Surely there needs to be more comments on this thread – this was an amazing and insightful interview!

Justin Miller July 25, 2012 at 12:10 am

I recently interviewed David myself but with regards to the transformation he made in his health. Fully enjoyed this. Some great actionable tasks I can start working on immediately. Thanks Corbett and DSG

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon July 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

Awesome interview Corbett! I’ve heard people mention Rise to the Top before, but this is the first time I’ve actually paid attention and learned more about David and his show. I’m really interested in doing something similar in a different niche (even outside my Mobile App Tycoon as well) so this really comes at a great time – thanks!

Thomas

Jen Brown - Sparta PT July 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

Great interview Corbett.

Ever since I launched my website (about 18 months ago), I’ve been doing (nearly) monthly interviews with professional athletes (or amateurs at the top of the game). And some of them have proven to be my most popular blog posts.

These have been done by email and I’ve asked each person the same 6 questions as I thought it would be interesting to get different perspectives on the same questions and topics. It also meant that I was able to create a separate blog post which was a compilation of the answers to one of the questions (which was about the advice they would give their 18 year old self).

However (as David rightly points out) asking the questions via email has meant that the turnaround time is very slow (and in some cases non-existent).

As for expanding who I interview and how I do it (ie, using video or audio rather than in writing is what I’m most comfortable with), it is quite simply a lack of confidence that has held me back. Time for me to step up to the plate and try something different!

Regards
Jen

Clare J Fitzgerald July 25, 2012 at 6:41 am

Such a good post Corbett. Loved all the hints and tips that David provided – there were some real gems in there.

One question for you Corbett – what set up do you use to do your interviews? I notice that you seem to film in HD and you have a very sexy white microphone. Have you done any posts on your set up that maybe I’ve missed?

Trent Dyrsmid July 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hey Corbet & David,

Thanks so much for posting this interview. I’ve done 37 interviews already and I still learned a ton from David. Kick ass stuff, lads!

Cheers,
Tretn

Joanna July 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I just started my blog a few days and I’ve already done 3 interviews. It seems to be working well for me so far. All interviews of text based so far, but once I’ve done it for a few months then I’ll switch it up to video.

Ayaz July 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi Great interview and its been worthy watching the video.

David is always been a great speaker and I was looking for the interview.

Thanks for sharing it with us :-)

Mike From Maine July 26, 2012 at 2:20 am

Corbett and David,

You’ve got me pumped to start a podcast now. Not sure about video…it’s a little scary, but perhaps in the future.

Alan | Life's Too Good July 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Hi Corbett & David,

first of all – thanks for a great interview.

To answer your question – yes, I’ve started with video and done an interview on my site, but what I know so far is that I have a looooooong way to go.

I’d like to do more but it where I think it;s easy enough to start, it’s probably quite an art to get it right.

On that subject, Corbett, hat’s off to your video talents – your videos are really awesome these days, I love the crisp picture and sound and the HD reproduction – obviously to get all of that takes some time and some investment, particularly for storage.

I wouldn’t stand a chance of getting this quality yet (still rocking a WP 64MB upload limit) but hope to get there very soon once I get some better media storage solution (I’m thinking libsyn at the moment) set up,

It has occurred to me that when it comes to interviews, particularly if well planned, written is easier, but video is definitely better…

thanks again for doing what you do Corbett,
take care & best wishes,
Alan

Kevin Cooper July 27, 2012 at 8:30 am

Great great information thanks I love the value

Mike Ambassador Bruny July 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Corbett:
Thanks for the video. It was filled with great practical advice. This is the second of your interviews I’ve watched and I love what you are doing. Definitely has got me inspired.

Sunny July 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I like the web show idea, and I can see how interviewing other successful people in our industry is key to gaining a loyal audience of readers and visitors to our blogs. I like how you show step by step what to do and how to get the same results for reaching our goals online.

Morgan Williams @ InboundFunnel.net July 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

I found David’s website shortly before reading this article.

I love his approach to the interview process and I believe that his easy-going and fun personality is definitely a crucial part of his success.

I think that that interviews are a great way to meet and connect with thought leaders and provide incredible value to an audience, especially for someone who is just starting out and trying to get their foot in the door in their industry or niche.

I also believe that most people think that it is very hard to do interviews.

I am by no means an expert at interviews but I am launching a blog on labor day of this year and interviews have been a pivotal part of my launch strategy.

In fact, In a short period of time I have either interviewed or have scheduled interviews with some A-List internet/content marketers and bloggers that I would have only had expected to get appointments with until months and months down the road.

I also listened to David’s 7 Rookie Mistakes video on his site and his bonus mistake, caring too much about what people will think about you, is incredibly true. I definitely believe that most people won’t do interviews, or try to create a presence online for that matter, because they are afraid of what people will think of them, especially if they fail.

It is natural to have this fear and nothing to be ashamed of having. However, I have tried one small tactic that has helped me get past this hump:

Just start scheduling f****** interviews

Get out of your comfort zone and start scheduling interviews even if you feel uncomfortable.

Your natural inclination to not look like a complete idiot on camera in front of someone will force you to prepare yourself well.

These few things also work for me:

- Have a direction for your interview. If you want the person to teach, and your audience to learn, pose questions that will promote responses that will allow your viewers to take action immediately after the interview.
- Have at least 10 questions written before hand. I keep these in a notepad file on my computer and keep them as close to my webcam as possible on my screen so that I won’t be looking down at a piece of paper during the interview.
- Look at the camera when asking a question
- An awesome tip that I got while talking to one of my interviewees after an interview: Talk to the person on camera a little bit before the interview to relieve jitters. I will definitely start doing this.

I do not consider myself an authority but I am taking action and trying. I believe that if you at lease take action you will be way ahead of the pack. I am just starting my journey with interviews and I completely believe in what David says about doing online interviews:

Those that truly stick it out will be rewarded.

Good luck to everyone

- Morgan Williams

Chris Green August 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

Awesome.

Been watching David for a long time. He’s got a great way about him when he interviews people and i’ve spent hours and hours on his website.

Oh … and have you seen how ripped the bloke is? Putting the rest of us to shame!!

mark brenwall August 2, 2012 at 6:30 am

Great interview about interviews!!

My business partner (musician) and I (web / social media engineer) recently (in the last six months) started a site geared towards musicians using social media to promote themselves and their music. We use these to help promote other leaders in the space and more importantly to provide different views of the subject to our cherished audience.

So far the results have been awesome. Here are a few examples:
http://www.socialmediaformusic.com/social-media-for-musicians/shine-on-with-hip-hop-producer-and-artist-tee-double/
http://www.socialmediaformusic.com/social-media-for-musicians/how-to-promote-music-online-with-no-money-christine-infanger-interview/

We are definitely going to keep interviews as a cornerstone to our content!

Darlene August 6, 2012 at 11:25 am

Corbett and David – thanks for much that was very informative. I’ve signed up for David’s newsletter updates and am looking at his course. It really speaks to me.

I recently did my very first video interview about 10 days ago. I had done one email one previously as I knew that was the simplest way to start, but I also knew video or sound ones are also important. You got me thinking on a few points

1 – having two mediums is important. I know that but have sort of been afraid of videos so far, not having any experience in video or editing.

2 – that having the opportunity to do an interview gives me a break from having to always write content which was a big eye opener for me too. I struggle with writing articles time wise, and this is something I think I can do.

3 – that interviewing someone I want to learn from is like a free coaching session! DOH that’s brilliant!

With my first interview it sort of came about real fast. I went to Maneesh’ program at WDS and he suggested I do a webinar to promote another person’s affiliate course that was coming out soon. I didn’t have time to put that together but I did manage to pull of a 20 minute interview with a really busy guy. The fact that for my first it happened to be Trey Ratcliff (photographer, one of the most circled people on google plus with about 3 million followers) was a bonus. You suggest starting with people you sorta know – well I did meet Trey in person once at a photowalk and Google+ conference in San Francisco and have emailed with him about other things in the past. So I went for it (not knowing your suggestion).

I think that’s good advice to start with who you know first and ask each one for a new person to interview. I’m going to follow that. I just happen to be lucky that my first one was a big name dude. He posted it on his site and G+ too and I’ve gotten some traffic from it.

Corbett – question for you that’s more technical in nature. I really like the quality of video you are getting on your end. Your image is crisp, you’re very well lit, and your head doesn’t look all distorted like the smaller web cams do. I’m interested to know what hardware you are using to record and light your interviews? Camera, lights, etc? Feel free to email me – you should have my address yes?

Thanks guys, awesome info as usual! You have one of my favourite blogs, I read EVERYTHING you put out!

Darlene August 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

PS here’s my first attempt – I’m open to feedback. I was super nervous!

http://www.herviewphotography.com/2012/07/24/interview-with-trey-ratcliff-art-photography.html

Tiago Almeida October 12, 2012 at 2:21 am

Hi Corbett

I haven’t done one interview or a video to my blog.
The reasons are simple.
-I don’t know if they will like it
-Dunno about what i can talk with them

So in the end i think that is because i am afraid :p

By the way great article as always.

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