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There is a blog out there for almost every topic you can imagine. Whether you’re into macaron-making, house-flipping, or bee farming, you can find content online. But, that doesn’t mean you can trust every website or blog that covers these topics.
The best bloggers not only write in a style all their own, but they also produce compelling, authoritative content. Some of them achieve this by tapping into their own expertise (think a real estate agent who produces a real estate investing blog), while others use subject-matter experts to give their content more heft.
If you currently run your own blog and want to become a go-to source that your readers trust, here’s why you should consider using subject-matter experts in your posts — and how to find them.
Why and when to use a subject-matter expert
Readers need to know what you’re saying is credible, and one of the best ways to earn their trust is to share the knowledge of others who have years of experience in the subject at hand.
Sometimes, this could be you. For example, if you have a travel blog and you’re a digital nomad who’s spent the last five years traveling the globe, then readers might already value what you have to say on the subject.
But if you’re not, seek experts who are. In fact, Google will reward you for it. Google now places a higher value on content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Using insights from a subject-matter expert is one way to produce higher-quality content that potentially lands near the top of search results.
Where to find subject-matter experts
If you’re writing about a highly technical or complicated topic, such as taxes, investing, or “Triple Aim” in healthcare, it might be time to interview a subject-matter expert, especially if you feel out of your depth.
Thankfully, there are plenty of places to find them:
Search for the type of professional you’re seeking (e.g., a nutritionist or a life insurance agent), and you’ll see results for people who have used this keyword in their profile. You can then send them a message or connection request and ask if they’d like to be interviewed.
Hit up Google
Enter the job title or a description of the type of subject-matter expert you need. For example, if you’re writing about budgeting, search for “personal finance expert” or “certified financial planner.”
Contact universities or associations
Universities, membership associations, and national organizations are great resources for experts. Many professors have spent years researching specific areas, so search the departmental pages of local or well-known colleges to find an expert on your topic. You can also do a Google search for membership associations and organizations related to your topic, visit their website and find their media contact page, and request an interview.
Work with public relations professionals
Establish a relationship with PR professionals. Their job is to pitch their clients and increase their visibility, so partnering with them makes perfect sense. Search online for industry press releases (PR NewsWire is a great source) and look for the PR contact listed at the bottom of the press release. Call or email them to set up an interview. Many companies also have PR departments, so make a list of companies in your topic area and search their website for a media relations contact.
Use HARO or ProfNet
ProfNet and Help a Reporter Out (HARO) are great resources for finding experts. Just create an account, submit a query with your request, and wait for responses. Both sites will send your query to PR professionals who represent different companies and clients, and they’ll pitch you their subject-matter expert. Using these platforms is one of the most efficient ways to find sources. Just make sure you double-check their credentials via a quick Google, Google News, or LinkedIn search.
Creating more authoritative content
With millions of websites online, it’s crucial to stand out. Using a subject-matter expert is one way to do this and build your brand’s authority.
It also boosts search engine optimization. Google now values quality over quantity, and sharing the perspective of subject-matter experts in your posts could make your content more engaging and useful to your audience. That, in turn, can increase the time they spend on your site and compel them to share your content, which will boost your site’s visibility.
The bottom line is that it’s never a good idea to churn out lackluster content that just regurgitates what everyone else has already said. Instead, interview subject-matter experts to produce original content your readers can trust.
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