Recently, our friends at BlogPaws published a post asking the question “Should Pet Bloggers Be Considered Expert Resources?” The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” On that point, I agree with author, Carol Bryant, completely. Carol is, by the way, a good friend and a brilliant blogger in her own right.
However, that leaves us with question of how a blogger becomes an expert resource. To some extent, depending on who you are, you may already be considered an expert. For instance, as a veterinarian, I consider myself an expert on pet health care and I hope my readers do as well. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t look outside of my experience/knowledge base for further information or corrobation when necessary.
To a lesser extent, when you publish content about a specific topic or subject on a regular basis, people tend to see you as an expert. For this reason, it is critical that bloggers always strive to make sure that the information they are posting is accurate and up-to-date. Bloggers and website masters that provide inaccurate information may actually be causing harm to those they’re trying to help.
As a blogger, if you don’t have the knowledge yourself, it’s perfectly acceptable to search for the information in a reliable source. It’s also perfectly acceptable to reach out to other people who do have the knowledge and experience to be called experts.
Carol, in her post, suggests using a resource known as Help a Report Out (HARO) to find experts which you can interview and quote. You can also use HARO to find reporters and bloggers who are looking for information in your field of expertise. I agree that HARO is a great resource. I’ve used it as well and have connected with numerous experts there as well as being used as an expert source myself.
Another resource that I’ve found useful is Radio Guest List. This is a resource much like HARO but it focuses on radio and podcasting. You can sign up to receive requests for radio or podcast interviews as well as posting your own request for a guest expert.
Looking within your own circle of contacts is often worthwhile also. Take advantage of your social media channels to connect with experts in your field of interest and reach out to them when you need help with a post. Some sources may turn you down but most will be more than willing to help. I’ve provided quotes and/or interviews for many of my online (and offline) friends. But, even more importantly, I’ve also developed contacts who are more knowledgable than I in certain areas and have reached out to them when a quote or interview was needed to strengthen a post.
Where do you go to find expert sources? Have you used HARO or Radio Guest List? Do you have another resource you’re willing to share?