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Interview with Minuca Elena on Expert Roundups

Interview with Minuca Elena

Hi Minuca,

Thank you for getting involved with the interview today.

We recently connected as I wanted to put together an Expert Roundup on my site to discuss what is the healthiest diets. You helped to reach out to 61 nutrition experts to give their advice and put together the article on my site.

As well as getting awesome fresh content for my site, we got a bunch of great quality backlinks too. This is a win-win!

I am keen to find out more about how you get into this very niche service and how this could work for other bloggers.

So, thanks again Minuca for spending time with me today, and let’s jump straight into this with our first question.

1. Can you give us some background information on you, where you’re from, any particular study or courses you did, and the early days at work?

Hi Adam! Thank you for inviting me! It was great working with you.

I’m from Bucharest, Romania, South-East Europe. I’ve been doing expert roundups full-time for 5 years.

I studied social assistance at the University of Bucharest. In high school, I did a lot of volunteering so I wanted to become a social worker.

Later, I realized that, although this is a noble profession, it isn’t very well paid. After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree, I worked for four months at a call center while I was studying for my master’s degree. I hated the call center so I quit that job and started working online.

Minuca in Milan

2. How did you first get started working online?

I had an acquaintance that was doing affiliate marketing and copywriting. I started helping him out, initially as a favor, and then as VA. I was doing social media promotion, WordPress editing, online research, and writing content.

3. You’re getting a reputation for being the “Expert roundup” as you help bloggers connect with influencers. How did you first get started doing this?

After almost a year of being a VA, I decided to become a freelancer so I created my website, MinucaElena.com. I didn’t know exactly what topics I could blog about because I didn’t consider myself an expert in any particular area.

So, I made an expert roundup about the biggest challenges that bloggers face. I had some experience with roundups from my previous activity as a VA.

I worked so hard on that post, I got 40 experts, even some big names like Neil Patel, Tim Soulo, Gael Breton, and many others. It was my first post on my blog, I had a free theme, no fancy design, still, it was very successful. It got over 300 shares and about 20 backlinks.

After that, I did another roundup as a guest post for a potential client who was interested in getting regular roundups for his website but later changed his mind.

Then I did another roundup for Sue Anne Dunlevie from SuccessfulBlogging.com which had contributed to my first two roundups. I did an amazing roundup for her, which featured 110+ bloggers talking about social media, and it got over 3k shares.

That expert roundup really launched my career as a roundup expert because I connected with some influencers that were much above my newbie level.

Later on, I did two more roundups for Sue Anne, and she also recommended me to some of her students that were enrolled in her course.

4. You work with a lot of digital marketing and SEO as part of their marketing strategy. Can anyone with a blog or e-commerce site benefit from an expert roundup?

Yes, almost anyone that has a blog could benefit from an expert roundup. Still, there are some niches that I avoid, like online gambling, porn, and websites that follow black hat practices.

Before taking a new client, I always ask myself if there are other experts from that niche that would like to be featured on the client’s blog, to share the roundup and link back to it.

If the website promotes things that are very shady, then it’s possible that other experts won’t agree to contribute to the roundup so I wouldn’t be able to complete the post.

It’s more about the niche, really. Although it’s easier to get influencers to agree to be featured on established websites, I’ve also done successful roundups for sites that were new and had zero authority. It’s more difficult for me but the results are still great.

5. When we first got started with our expert round-up we spent some time deciding on the best question to ask. This is not as straightforward as I initially thought. Can you outline the best type of questions to ask and what questions don’t work?

The best type of questions to ask are questions that receive interesting answers. Avoid questions that can be answered by yes or not.

Other people that have done roundups suggest asking questions that can be answered very easily, like what are your favorite SEO tools, or what are your favorite plugins.

I don’t like such questions, because they are designed thinking of the experts, what they could answer in two sentences. Basically, it means sacrificing the content, and the reader, to gather as many experts as possible, especially influencers that wouldn’t take time to write a more detailed answer.

I prefer to focus on the readers, so I ask a question about how to achieve something that the reader would like to learn how to do, something important from that niche or field.

It’s best to come up with questions that don’t have a unique correct answer. An example of a question that you should avoid:

What is the best type of image to share on Pinterest?

This question is bad because there is only one correct answer, vertical images work best for Pinterest. Reading answers from 40 or 60 bloggers all saying the same thing it’s boring. People will stop reading after the third answer.

A good example of a question is the question that we asked for our roundup:

What is the healthiest diet?

This question is great because there are a lot of different diets so the answers aren’t the same. Also, even if some experts recommended the same diet, you can read about each person’s experience. In that roundup, the experts explained the benefits of 12 diets so it has a lot of diversity.

healthiest diet

6. Typically you’re looking to get the round-up content shared and receive a backlink from the influencers’ websites. What have been the best results you have achieved using this approach?

When I first started making expert roundups I was more focused on receiving a large number of social shares. My clients were also begging bloggers so they were more interested in getting more traffic to their websites.

As I’ve become more experienced, I got clients that were very focused on SEO and on improving their rankings, so I also shifted my focus on getting backlinks first, and second on getting social shares.

Although, I follow the same structure of the roundup, when I edit it on the client’s website, the way I am making the roundup has changed a lot since my first posts. Readers don’t realize that but I have improved a lot the backend process and the communication with the experts.

I work to improve myself and my work every day, so the roundups that I make now are better than the ones I made a year ago, and I believe that the roundups I will make 2 months from now will be better than the ones I’m working on right now.

I’m always expanding my network. I’ve done roundups in so many niches like internet marketing, health, fitness, food, beauty, fashion, parenting, tech, gardening, home decor, real estate, music, cars, horses, finance, career, traveling, personal development, dating, lawyers.

I’ve learned a lot of info from my roundups as well. With every new roundup, I either increase my network by getting involved in a new niche or I strengthen my relationship with experts that I already know by making yet another roundup in their field.

I know experts that replied to me when I was doing a roundup for a famous website, and they liked me and my work so now they agree to contribute even to roundups for new websites which they wouldn’t do if they would be asked by someone they don’t know.

The best result I had in terms of backlinks… is actually the roundup I did for you, with backlinks from 42 referring domains in a roundup with 61 experts.

In roundups, like in every other field of internet marketing or even in life, it should be about getting benefits for both sides, a mutual win. Most people make the mistake of trying to take advantage of others and seeking only their own interest and that’s why people fail to work together and help each other.

Building relationships, investing time and effort in cultivating them it’s a skill that’s immensely helpful in internet marketing, and in link building in particular.

The best result I had in terms of backlinks while taking into consideration the rapport between the number of experts from the roundup and the number of links that I got, is actually the roundup I did for you, with backlinks from 42 referring domains in a roundup with 61 experts.

[Adam – Awesome, thank you. Super happy with the content and results!]

7. What’s next for your Minuca, any big plans for 2021 and beyond?

At the moment, because of the pandemic, I can’t make any plans for the distant future.
Normally, I like to travel a lot, and I go to different city breaks across Europe, especially in the spring and the summer.

This year, I stayed mostly at home. I only went on a few short trips to Romania. Luckily, I’m used to working from home, I’ve been doing it for 6 years, so it wasn’t such a big change for me.

I hope things will get back to normal soon.

Minuca in Bratislava

Thanks for your time again Minuca.

Anyone looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing and think an expert round-up would add to their website, then reach out to Minuca on email or on social media.

You can see examples of Minuca’s roundups on her website.

You can connect with Minuca via social media:

Interview with Minuca Elena on Expert Roundups
Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

3 comments

  1. Hey, Elena. This is great.

    Came from your Instagram page where I saw the link.

    I’m inspired that I can study for my Master’s while having some time for side Hustles.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Quite interesting what we can achieve if we just get started and persevere.

    Have a great time.

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