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Skip Google: 5 Easy Blog Research Tactics for Uncovering Original Stories

Many bloggers want a shortcut to finishing their next article.

When they want a story, they turn to Google.

When they want a statistic, they turn to Google.

And if they’re feeling particularly adventurous, perhaps they turn to Bing.

The problem is: the result of all this googling is an endless rehashing of the same stories and stats across the web — as if the world had a shortage of interesting things to talk about.

Fortunately, another blogger’s laziness is your opportunity to be interesting.

Here are 5 simple tactics for finding more creative and unusual stories for your next article:

1. Ask around your network

I frequently tap my personal network to uncover industry-specific stories, quotes, and statistics.

When I used to blog for an Austin real estate company, I regularly contacted a handful of my homeowner friends for quotes about living in certain parts of town. A simple text or email to my friends often resulted in original quotes that enriched my articles with fresh perspectives.

Recently I struggled to find original stories for a lighthearted article about IT. It finally dawned on me to text my first roommate, Matt, who is an IT Systems Analyst in Florida.

He quickly sent me hilarious stories about hackers, disgruntled former employees, and other IT mishaps. The article was suddenly packed with fun stories and practically wrote itself.

2. Turn to social media

One step outside your personal network is your social media network: friends, colleagues, followers, and that stranger you bumped into at a conference in Tulsa.

The point is: every follower and online connection is an opportunity for new stories.

If you’re looking for someone to offer a new perspective on a topic, just ask.

Write a simple post on social media. You can ask a specific question and await responses in the comments or request people to reach out to you for a proper interview.

When you ask these questions on Twitter, I recommend including the hashtags #JournoRequest and #PRRequest. These are popular journalist hashtags for connecting with sources.