Jenny is an avid writer, treasure hunter, and game enthusiast. She also is the founder of Kardtects Building Cards, cards specially designed for building anything that comes to the imagination from houses to pyramids and even castles. Jenny manages multiple websites with a variety of content and purposes, such as MysteriousWritings.com, AllAboutFunAndGames.com, and KardTects.com, to fulfill her passions. Jenny is a Children’s author with books like “Higher and Higher” and “A Life for Gnarly” available at: amazon.com/author/jennykile.
To top it off, Jenny has been volunteering with NEPA BlogCon this year, and she has conducted multiple speaker interviews in preparation for NEPA BlogCon 2016 (only 2 days away)! We’ve decided to turn the tables and get inside the mind of someone who conducts interviews. As we have found, interviews are a good content resource for your blog or website, and honing in on interviewing skills is essential to pull the best material from the experience.
So, let’s get started!
Jenny Kile, Founder of Kardtects Building Cards, Author, and Researcher
Q1. You’ve been conducting and writing interviews with this year’s BlogCon presenters. What steps do you take before conducting interviews? Also, how do you research your interview subjects?
I always enjoy getting to know as much about the person as I can. Usually I can do this by visiting their websites, and/or by reading different articles, books, or forums they have written or commented on. Most times this is enough to inspire questioning. If not, and I am interviewing about a particular subject, then I research the subject to stimulate questions of interest. This is easily done by placing the keyword of topic in google, reading top articles, and getting to know what I can.
But what is sort of wonderful about interviews is- You don’t have to know everything about a topic matter because you are asking questions to learn more about their work, goals, life, interests, and/or topics.
Don’t take that wrong though. For myself, doing the extra research and work, to try and best understand who the person I am interviewing, and the topic matter, is very important to me. It helps me to form better questions. My objective in interviews is not to throw a few quick questions from off the top of my mind to the person and then sit back and have them write a post for me. No! And I hope I never give that impression.
My objective is to try and craft questions that allows for best answers to be given on interesting topics in order to provide value to the audience reading, and which puts the interviewee in the spotlight. I believe in the Quote, ‘ask the right questions, get the right answers’. If the questions aren’t right, the answers won’t be. It begins with the questions, and I feel this must be taken seriously, possibly more seriously than the answers, to create a powerful interview.
I hope to convey, through my questions, that I am genuinely interested in, and care about creating a worthy interview; one which achieves its purpose (and there are different purposes) for not only myself as the person asking the questions, but for the person answering as well. Only by both working together do you get the best results. I appreciate each person’s participation and feel grateful for their awesome answers.
Q2. What questions are the best to ask someone you’re interviewing? Any other tips on conducting a successful interview?
I wrote ‘Six Best Interview Tips for Bloggers’, so I think I should just link to that as it contains ‘six best tips’, and I sort of liked that post. But, to answer briefly here, and to use the beginning quote I used there, “When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new.” ~Dalai Lama.
I feel interviews are a great method to provide different perspectives to your audience, and to learn new things yourself. Never am I disappointed when doing an interview. I always learn something new, and I believe my audience can too by ‘listening’. It may not always be in what is specifically written/said. Most of us may know ‘how’ to do things or know ‘what’ we should be doing or know the surface level of topics. But I feel interviews can offer a realness, and this often holds the needed spark to start the fire within someone.
We never know what will inspire a person, or ourselves, to go do that little bit more, or try again, or believe. A different perspective, a twist of thoughts, a smack in the forehead, might be all that is needed. I feel listening to others is an excellent way to encourage this.
So I love to ask questions that might provide the person I’m chatting with the opportunity and platform to shine bright and possibly ignite the audience. It is what I try to do. I don’t know if I’m always successful or not, but it is my goal.
Q3. How can other bloggers use interviews as valuable content to their blog?
No one knows everything. And everyone knows something you don’t know. So for a blogger, interviews offer opportunities to expand your knowledge base and deliver content from different angles, experiences, and perspectives.
This is extremely beneficial for reaching and giving to your audience. Because each of us processes and gives out information uniquely, interviews supply bloggers with a tool to communicate, relate and connect to a wider array of people.
For instance, not only can people you interview share new information, but they might be able to connect with a reader differently. Even though two people say the exact same thing, it is sometimes the way, tone, or manner, etc. that one person says it, from another, that might touch or sound a chord inside a listener. This might be the one thing they needed to grasp to spur forward.
Our minds are amazing, and how they work truly mysterious sometimes. I don’t claim to know much about them….lol….I just feel ‘Hey, I know I might not relate to all people, but if I can interview someone that might inspire and light that spark for someone, then cool. Or I should say, let it burn baby!’
Q4. What are your favorite stories that you’ve heard so far in interviewing?
For the interviews I have done with upcoming speakers for BlogCon, I love all their ‘stories’ so far. They are all so heartwarming, sincere, and powerful. Now I realize maybe you were asking for specific ‘stories’, but I’m sorry, I really can’t pick any or shorten the interviews as a whole. One of the fascinating aspects of interviewing is learning how each person has an amazing story and things to share. To pick some over the others would make me cringe, for I love them all. They have all touched differently, uniquely, and positively.
Q5. Has interviewing been a positive personal experience for you?
It has and I enjoy it so much. I am always charmed and inspired after each one. I find it extraordinary the knowledge, passions, and unique experiences each person has. We all hold and can offer so much to others. If our stories are shared positively and enthusiastically, this optimistic attitude and outlook towards life is contagious. I enjoy learning from the different gifts each person offers. I feel it is a privilege to discover them, and I just hope I am successful in expressing my desire and thankfulness for the opportunity to learn and grow from them, and to offer it to the audience as well.
There is a quote from Rumi:
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It won’t lead you astray.”
I’m actually quite a shy person, but feel this deep pull to discover the unknown and share it. Which means I often have to go out of my comfort zone, because I’m quite fine by myself. But I find one of the ways to discover and share things I don’t know is by interviewing. It hasn’t led me astray, and keeps leading me to new places. To the once unknown.
I keep that quote close and trust Rumi knows what he is talking about. I suppose I might keep doing interviews.