I often write about creating better content. Content that’s more valuable for your reader and helps them make informed decisions means more trust, more authority, and more customers.   I’m going to explain how as a content creator you need to use some basic journalism skills to create better, authority content for your business and avoid accidentally plagiarising someone.

How do magazines, newspapers, and other media conglomerates tend to produce well-researched and unique content on a regular basis? Think about that for the moment before I share the answer and sources with you.

Content writers for the web are able to search to find similar information, but more often than not they are getting their information from other websites rather than the source of information.   In other words, web content for article writing can be incredibly incestuous and misinformation, fake news, and wildly inaccurate content gains traction because of sloppy content creation skills. They're plagiarising plagiarised content… Don't be that kind of content creator.

You will be found out. Your readers are not stupid. If Marie Forleo talks about Imposter Syndrome and her top 3 tips are

  • Believe in yourself
  • Separate your feelings from fact
  • Do the work

You read that article and decide you will do your own imposter syndrome article with 3 tips… And your 3 tips are

  • Separate your feelings from fact
  • Believe in yourself
  • Do the work

All you've done is switched the original content around. You've plagiarised someone. And no, Marie Forleo has not shared these 3 tips, I pulled them out of thin air. Your readers who follow the both of you will know you've ripped off Marie. They won't like you so much once they have this epiphany.

When you read something you absorb that content, and your brain may let you think it's your own content when in fact it was someone else's!

It’s time to stop step off the hamster wheel of echo-chamber content and start creating content with authority that's uniquely yours.  If you are a regular reader here you will know that I am an advocate of citing your sources of information. Not only does it demonstrate how well-read you are, and how you understand information, it also protects your reputation if the source is inaccurate. You really don't want to be the next Jay Shetty.

Start with citing your sources in your blog posts. This simple technique is used by journalists worldwide. If someone you admire writes a post that inspires you then link to it. Your audience may be inspired by that person too. They may have seen the content already and now you have a common connection – but you've not stolen a word, even accidentally.

Magazines and newspaper journalists work somewhat differently from content marketers when it comes to writing articles. They don’t just use the web and other articles. They find expert sources to produce authority content.

Expert Sources: How do they do it?

  • Interviewing Experts

Journalists take time to call / email experts to get their opinions on topics, even if they are an expert in that area themselves, they will call up someone and invite them to share their opinions. If they are talking about cosmetic surgery they don’t just rely on medical websites for information, they’ll call a plastic surgeon and someone who has had plastic surgery. Sometimes they will call someone who has had a positive experience and then a negative experience and create an article from that, with the expert sharing information through the article.

If they are doing articles related to cars, they will call on manufacturer executives or plant managers to ask about the details of the topic they are covering. They ask for quotes and extract soundbites. You might not get the same respect as a Times reporter when you’re starting out as a small publisher, but you’ll be surprised. There are actually plenty of people who are more than willing to give you advice to use in an article. You just need to ask.

How much better would your article on imposter syndrome be if you interviewed a psychologist specialising in the topic?

30 Expert Sources For Your Content

  1. Neil Reisner: Records Retention Trick
  2. Profnet.com
  3. Expert Click
  4. Find an expert online
  5. Expert Central
  6. BusinessWire’s ExpertSource
  7. SourceWire.com
  8. Find a TV Expert
  9. Women’s Room
  10. Find a Media Expert
  11. University of South Carolina: Experts on War and Terrorism
  12. MediaResource Service
  14. Experts.com
  15. ExpertClick.
  16. MediaMap
  17. Newswise.com
  18. HealthGrades: Find a Doctor
  19. American Society of Association Executives
  20. ExpertClick
  21. National Speakers Association
  22. Keen.com Expert Database
  23. PR Newswire Press Room
  24. AskMeHelpDesk.com
  25. Guestfinder Experts Database
  26. Geologists and Earth Scientists
  27. Library of Congress: Ask a Librarian
  28. Lawyers.com
  29. WhoRepresents.com: Agent Database
  30. SFLink.net

Remember you can always use #JournoRequest on Twitter to get experts recommended to you as well as sources for articles. I’ve found this works really well and have found many interesting people this way.

  • Books and Offline Publications

Printed publications, especially research papers, official studies or academic papers, and written books are another great source of information.
You can get more in-depth information about the subjects by looking up books and studies written by the experts in the field as well as stats and research to support what the expert is sharing with you. These are the things that you don’t usually get from just browsing websites.

If you are an amateur astronomer the chances are you have a blog and can be found that way, which is handy for the “Astroid is heading to earth, lands in three hours” style article, but for more in-depth articles and detailed analysis, then books and academic papers from astronomers are a goldmine of information. Just credit the ideas and where they came from in your post.

Go to your local library, or Amazon and do some research. You will be surprised at the type and quality of content you will find.

  • The Public

The public at large can also provide you with great information. Though you shouldn’t expect technical information, there are many subjects that the public could contribute to.

Survey them: Asking them questions that directly affect them is a good place to start. Some examples might be fuel prices, mortgage interest rates or unemployment.

This is a powerful example of information that you wouldn’t get by simply punching a question into Google. You wouldn’t get an answer as comprehensive and as rich as the ones given by people who live it day in and day out. Getting real information from the public can be powerful and is something you will not find by searching on the web. If you can record the conversations using Soundcloud you can embed the conversation and you now have the multi-media aspect to your article.

Remember to credit the members of the public in your content. There's nothing worse than a crowd-sourced article where the author takes the answer but doesn't credit the person giving it.

As you can see, magazine and newspaper writers have a lot more sources of information as compared to most online writers, but there's nothing to stop you from using expert sources in your content. You'll find your content has more authority and is less copy-catty.

Granted, these research methods require more effort and time. But it will be time well spent especially if you create content that is impactful and insightful to your target audience.


Sarah Arrow

With over 20 years of experience, Sarah Arrow (me!) knows the ins and outs of effective blog writing, which is why she makes her excellent at website copywriting, or, as a blog copywriter. My expertise ensures your blog will captivate readers and deliver your message effectively. Experience? This spans various industries, giving me a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. This extensive background means she can adapt her writing to fit your specific needs and audience.

Ready to elevate your website or blog? I am the writer you need. My experience, skill, and passion for online writing make me the perfect choice for your blog copywriting needs. Contact me today and see the difference a professional content writer can make.

What Sets Me Apart?
Human Touch: My writing resonates on a personal level. I understand human psychology and use this to create content that connects.
Attention to Detail: Every post is detailed. Grammar, style, and accuracy are important in my work.
Consistency: I deliver high-quality content consistently, ensuring your website blog remains fresh and engaging.

If you're ready to get started join the free blogging challenge and do it yourself, or call me on 07816 528421 to do it for you.

  • Hi Sarah

    Great article and a fantastic resource . Obviously producing content using off line sources takes considerably longer. For content marketing purposes – ie for businesses who have to balance producing content with running their business as opposed to bloggers whoes business is writing content, what are your thoughts on how frequently they should be producing this type of content. Should they only use ‘well research’ content and post once or twice a month ?

  • Interesting article – I like the different sources you have mentioned too – it is easy to forget such places as public libraries and the opinions of ‘real’ people too!

  • Thanks for this Sarah – youŗ own posts always make you stand out as an expert in your field, so it’s really useful to know where some of these great resources can be found.

  • Great post Sarah. One of the things I am really passionate about is sharing other people’s great information. I’m a life, coach law of attraction practitioner and EFT master practitioner so I’m pretty well clued up about how to help people create the life they want but there are also some amazing people out there who know some amazing things that I don’t or even just say the same as me in a slightly different way. I personally love learning and connecting with other people, so you post has really confirmed some ideas for bringing this sort of thing into my blogs and YouTube videos. Thank you.

  • Thanks Sarah. I don’t think I followed the suggestions of this article to the letter, but i definitely did in spirit. I’ve been using sites like morgueFile.com to get pictures, and a lot of the artists there don’t require attribution if you use their stuff, but I still have been doing so, and trying to email them to let them know how I used their work. Seems like something I would like to know if I were in their shoes.

  • Sarah thank you so much for this resource list above, I’m going to take a look and see if I can get myself ON these lists as well as use them to find expert advice. Bookmarking this one 🙂

  • You often hear people say that you have to have good quality content to get traffic, but what they fail to explain is what quality content looks like. In writing, there is a concept called show, and don’t tell. What Sarah has done in this post is to explain what she means by quality content, that means she has shown her readers, and she doesn’t stop there, she provides resources to help you to enhance your blog post. Thanks for the list of resources.

  • Thanks for this list, Sarah. I write occasional articles for an online student website and the deadline is always a week. Your list will make finding an expert at short notice much easier!

  • Thanks Sarah, Really useful list of references you have there. Think I agree with Anupama that it’s a little daunting and “Where do I start?” is my first reaction. Think it’s going to take me a while to find what works for me but here goes!

  • Hi Sarah, a minor correction and a question.

    You mean ‘cite’ as in citation, not ‘site’. I had to do a lot of referencing for a recent MSc dissertation, not something I particularly enjoyed. For the purposes of a blog, do you mean something more informal, like embedding a link to a useful site, or saying where you found someone’s contribution interesting? Is there a standard approach for citing the source of Words and Ideas, the equivalent to Creative Commons for Pictures?

    Thanks, as ever, for the ideas and links 🙂

    Tony @ITelementary

    • Indeed I do Tony. I knew I had that error in a post, I just couldn’t recall which one :D. And yes, informal referencing is good. If you are in the scientific community there are guidelines. There are general rules around this, but nothing concrete and it changes from country to country. I understand that fair use is around 5% of the content, however, if your 5% stops the source from earning money, it could be a different story, and again it depends on country and niche.

  • What a useful list – to be honest I hadn’t even thought of using expert interviews for a blog post. You’ve opened up my eyes to even more ways to create content.

  • Great resources! As a wellness site I would love to have some expert weigh in on weight loss (lol) and these are some great resources to do so. Have you found experts to be receptive to amateurs?

  • This is great. I also write for an online magazine, and we have like a brainstorm session if we need with the chief editor and this helps me even with my personal blog.


  • Thanks for the article. Another resource for US writers is HARO (helpareporterout.com). I believe it isn’t free, but you can use it to volunteer yourself as an expert source and get publicity for your business, or to find experts.

  • This is something I have never done, but definitely see how it will add credibility and keep me from having to always come up with content from scratch. I will check out some of these sources.

  • Thank you for the great resources, Sarah. It’s one thing to tell someone that they need to speak with experts to get unique information or point-of-view. It’s something else to provide the way to do it.

    Also, I’ve been conversing with one of the other bloggers in your 30-Day Challenge, and she is basically becoming my expert for one of my future blogs. Now, to ask her permission to quote her. 🙂

  • Great post here Sarah! There’s so much to learn. Love the detailed resource list put up here and I know I’ll find it immensely useful for my blog on customer experience and content marketing as well as my personal blog. Thanks again!

  • Sarah,
    Thank you for all the resources!! The 30 Day Challenge is definitely a challenge for me, because I am still working full time while attempting to get my business off of the ground. I appreciate every challenge though! Your challenge actually encouraged me to do something that I think will utilize all the tips through-out the challenge, boost my SEO AND (hopefully) get me some clients! Stay tuned for it! I’m putting it together – then I will be posting it daily in your group! =)

  • What a long list! Also got me thinking that as experts in our own field, we should certainly be adding ourselves to some of these directories, so people can find us for our views and advice!

  • I never thought of going out and conducting a survey or interviewing someone for richer content. That’s brilliant! I don’t know why I thought us bloggers were limited to simply posts.

  • Hi Sarah!
    Writing good content is not only important for the blog, but for my daytime job as well. That’s why I’m so happy about reading your posts in this challenge – they are filled with useful tips. Thank you!

  • People don’t really talk about all there is or all there can be to blogging when first starting out. For my next subject piece I’ll have the tools to dig a little deeper for a great article with great facts.

  • Great article Sarah! I am also trained in journalism but often use guest bloggers instead of quoting this. This is something I am going to try to do more of. Thank you for your great course and this blog post!

  • There’s a #journorequest email too – you can see what’s being asked (and some of the answers). Great for an idea for articles that are coming to tie into on your blog.

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