You might know that getting backlinks from high authority sources is a significant factor in ranking well in search engines. Obtaining these links, however, can be a challenge.
I will teach you how to use HARO help a reporter out to build authority backlinks to your website. The service works by connecting journalists with sources.
You can try blindly pitching yourself to various blogs, magazines, and newspapers, but that can be a significant investment of time and energy for little to no results. What if these high authority sources came to you instead of the other way around?
A service called Help a Reporter Out, makes it happen. HARO is an excellent way to get traffic, build backlinks, and gain authority for your business website.
It is the secret weapon of many a content marketer.
What is Haro / Help a Reporter Out?
The acronym stands for Help a Reporter Out. It is a service designed to help journalists.
These writers need connections to experts in various fields. The service lets them put out calls of precisely who and what they are looking for. This allows you to send direct quotes to someone who is already looking for sources, a much better option than the blind pitch.
A wide array of publications use HARO on a daily basis. Including many very high quality, high authority sources, like The Huffington Post, Mashable, Time, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Good Morning America, to name a few. More than 35,000 journalists use HARO in all.
I hope my simple infographic will help make things easier for you. Feel free to share it, or save it.
How to To Get Links From HARO and Gain Website Authority
Help a Reporter Out can have a steep learning curve and also be time-consuming if you jump in blind. There are different tiers of use, including both free and paid versions with monthly membership fees. It is well worth checking out as part of your link building strategy.
Do I use the Free vs. Paid Version
Is Haro Free? : Getting started with HARO is as simple as signing up with your email address on their website. No need to spend a penny. Once you sign up, three emails will show up in your inbox each weekday. The emails will include 30-50 inquiries, broken down into categories like Business and Finance, Health and Fitness, and Travel.
Each inquiry includes a brief summary that lists the requirements. It also consists of the publication, contact information, and a deadline. You can choose to reply to as many as you want. You just contact the reporter via email provided.
The daily email of topics you get as a free HARO user can be overwhelming. It requires time to scan through to see if there is anything relevant to your niche. The paid version lets you focus on specific topics and areas of expertise, making it easier for you to see only what is relevant to you.
You can also create a personalized profile that you can attach to any reply you send. The different levels of paid memberships also offer other perks like text alerts, early access, the ability to create more than one personal profile, and capacity to search all current inquiries. The paid version provides a small advantage over free users.
Paid HARO membership plans start at $19/month and go up to $149/month; they accept all major credit cards. At the higher end levels, you get more perks like the ability to filter for several keywords, capacity to have multiple personal profiles, early access to opportunities, and support via phone and email.
It is possible to find great benefit with the free version, but the paid memberships can make it easier to succeed. You can view Haro reviews on Yelp.
How to write a pitch that will get noticed:
- only reply if you meet all the requirements
- provide enough detail and follow the instructions
- make sure you respond to each part of the journalist’s need
- always include a brief author bio and your website link with your pitch
Your email reply should always be your highest-quality writing. Establish yourself as an expert source. Be sure to pay attention to spelling and grammar. Always proofread with a tool like Grammarly! Try to strike a balance between providing enough detail but being concise.
Typically, your response should only be around one paragraph (4-6 sentences) in length. The exact length will vary depending on the inquiry. Some pitches will need to be much longer and more detailed.
The tone of your message should always be friendly and polite. Address the journalist by name, if provided. I have found a small personal note offering to follow up or elaborate increases the chance of getting a reply.
The Benefits of Using Online PR Correctly
Using Help A Reporter Out correctly will bring traffic and awareness while improving rankings and domain authority.
Yes, it takes time to rank in Google and help a reporter out is just one tool at your disposal.
It is a good idea to check the domain authority of a source before pitching them. Pitching high authority sources could give you a huge boost. Spend extra time on a more critical potential link building opportunities.
These high-quality experts, however, are almost certainly getting tons of responses from people like you.
It is vital to make sure your reply is of the utmost quality and will make you get noticed.
You cannot expect for every pitch to land a link to your site.
As you get more practice with crafting the perfect pitch, you will start to gain more traction. Be consistent and pitch every opportunity that is a good match for your expertise.
A well-crafted pitch can be memorable, and that is always a good thing to be.Even if a source does not use you for a particular article or piece, they may think of you in the future.
My Personal Top Secret HARO FAQ and Hacks
- Be sure to answer ALL the questions from Help a Reporter Out. The journalist looking for sources does not want to read why you are qualified for their story and then you not provide the answer they need. Never leave a journalist wanting more information. Chances are they will skip your email without asking for more details.
- No rambling allowed when you write your pitch. Granted, journalists appreciate a well informative response, but they do not have time to read an essay. If they have further questions, they will contact you for the answers. KISS, keep it simple stupid. Understand how to write a haro pitch.
- Do not include attachments. Ever. HARO will remove any attachments sent to a journalist. If there is an image requested, use google drive or dropbox.
- Use a quality custom subject line about the topic to get the writers attention. I can not stress enough the importance of the e-mail subject, think of it as a headline.
- Don’t send generic replies. Even though it is tempting to send the first thing that pops into your mind, don’t waste your time. If it seemed like the natural answer to you, then it probably did to another couple of hundred responders. Think outside the box and be original.
- Don’t appear as a cheesy PR or salesperson. The journalist will know an actual expert versus the “car salesman” gig. You are building links, not trying to sell them a car.
- Say more with less. Tell as much as possible in as few words possible. Your response should include a concise summary of your qualifications and a direct response to their query filled with useful information. Make sure to answer the question in the query directly.
- Offer quality expertise and advice. If you want to be included in the article, you need to be sure it contains a value to those reading it. Read the query very carefully and respond with only details you are qualified to reply about. Responding to questions efficiently is critical.
- Meet deadlines because most are working on a very tight schedule and are busy pulling a story together. You may have very little time to respond to queries. Therefore, you need to stay on top of your game, or you risk missing out on a great opportunity of getting noticed.
- You will receive your emails the same time every day; morning, afternoon and evening. To reap the rewards, you need to respond quickly but professionally. Perfect your reply timing techniques.
- The majority of HARO listings are online publications but don’t neglect visual and audio inquiries, such as podcasts and tv or radio stations.
- What tools and Software do I use for PR?
Other Tips For Help a Reporter Out Link Building
Pay attention to reporters deadlines. Journalists are often busy and working with tight deadlines. As a result, some inquiries have a quick turn around. You need to stay on top of it, or you will risk missing the perfect opportunity for your website to get noticed.
The emails come around the same time each day: morning, afternoon, evening. To get the most of the service, stay on top of these emails so you can act fast.
HARO queries go in daily emails out at:
6:30am CST , 12:30pm CST, and 5:30 CST
Don’t always expect a response to your pitch
You likely won’t get a “rejection email.” Try not to take offense. Do not contact them again to check in, as it is a fast way to make sure they will never use you in the future. Instead, move on. Remember that doing SEO for your business is a long-term approach with many benefits.
Not every email is going to be a winner. In fact, the majority of them will fail. When HARO does produce a link, it usually has a significant return.
Be patient and consistent, and you will succeed.
How to use Google Alerts to monitor for mentions
To get started with Google Alerts for Haro, here are a few steps you can follow to set up your account:
- First go to Google Alerts, then enter whatever name you want for your account. Since the purpose is for your name or brand alerts, you can place “Haro Mentions” in the field.
- Once you have set everything up according to your liking, you can start setting up your alerts. Click the Show options on the drop-down menu to configure your alert.
- Make sure that you set up your alerts one a time. Enter your first alert into the field. If you are already signed into your Google Account, your Gmail will automatically send you alerts to your account.
- Once you have filled out the appropriate options, you will see a list of alerts according to the settings you have set.
- If you are already happy with the results, all you need to do is click on the Create alert button, and you are good to go.
How to handle mentions without a link
What do you do if you get a mention but no backlink?
Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that your contribution does not go unnoticed:
- Contact the reporter – if the reporter includes your name, but with no link, you can contact them directly through their email address.
- Be polite – Reporters are very busy. Make sure that you ask politely if they can include a link to your website.
- Use twitter – If the reporter does not respond to your email, another way that you can contact them is by sending them a direct message on Twitter.
Are there any Help a reporter out alternatives?
Sourcebottle is an alternative to HARO that works similarly.
Hire a HARO PR Expert
Still confused how to use Haro and gain media attention? Maximize your results by making use of my expertise and experience.
Contact me today for help using Help A Reporter Out as part of your online marketing SEO strategy.