Saturday, June 07, 2008

Finding Sources

If you start writing in a niche industry and you are even the littlest bit successful then you'll find yourself using the same sources over and over again. I wrote a Q&A column for several years, it was focused on horses and each month I had to find four experts to answer questions. After the first year I'd used everyone I knew who had any kind of good level of expertise!

When seeking sources, you need to get creative. Here are some examples:

  • Mom Groups – postings on bulletin boards at the local gym or YMCA
  • Mass emails to family members and close friends (you know, the ones who aren’t going to report you as spamming!)
  • Professional Associations – email a request to the communications of a non-profit asking them to forward your request for sources to their membership, often they have regular newsletters
  • Emailing the “Investor Relations” contact at a related company
  • University Professor listings – every university or college I’ve looked at has bios and contact info for their staff members
  • Craigslist,, Facebook or any other site that offers you to post an “ad” for free
  • Set up a google alert for the phrase “is a mom who” because Google will send you an email each day every time that phrase appears. I’ve done it for my name, blog name and specific phrases like “a veterinarian specializing in lamenesses” to find vets with specialties…

The BEST resource I've seen, by far, is Help A Reporter Out. During a recent posting I received over 60 emails in response.

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