You’ve probably heard about the importance of backlinks for SEO Michigan and growing your online presence. But how do you actually go about getting valuable backlinks to your website or blog? This is where HARO can help.
HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out, is an online platform that connects journalists and reporters with sources for their stories. By becoming a source on HARO, you can secure backlinks and media coverage from high-authority publications. Here’s how it works and how you can use HARO to benefit your business:
What is HARO?
Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Peter Shankman, HARO serves as a matchmaking service between journalists and relevant sources. Over 60,000 journalists use its daily to find experts to interview or quote for their articles across a wide range of topics.
As a source, you can sign up for a free basic account on HARO and receive emails three times a day with journalist queries that match your expertise. Queries are organized by general topic category and include the journalist’s name, media outlet, deadline, and a short description of what they’re looking for.
If you see a relevant query, you simply reply to the journalist and pitch yourself as an interview source. If the journalist is interested, they’ll reach out to set up an interview or request a short quote from you. The best part? When the article gets published, it will include a backlink to your website.
Why Use HARO for Backlinks & PR?
There are several key benefits to using it for link building and PR:
- Backlinks from authority sites
Journalists on HARO represent high-domain authority publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, HuffPost, and more. Backlinks from these sites are extremely valuable for SEO.
- Brand awareness
Getting quoted or interviewed in news articles raises your brand visibility and establishes you as a thought leader in your industry.
- It’s free!
It is 100% free to use and only takes a few minutes per day. Compared to hiring PR agencies, it’s an extremely cost-effective way to gain publicity.
- Ongoing opportunities
With new journalist queries sent 3x a day, Its provides a steady stream of potential backlinks and PR opportunities. Checking HARO can become part of your regular media outreach routine.
How to Use HARO for Maximum Impact?
To get the most out of HARO, keep these best practices in mind:
- Set up email alerts for relevant categories so you only get queries related to your niche. Popular topics include small business, marketing, technology, and more.
- Check its emails daily and reply promptly to increase your chances of being the first source to pitch yourself. Many journalists have deadlines just a few hours away.
- Personalize your pitch to the journalist and their specific needs. Read their query carefully and explain why you’re the perfect interview source for them.
- Follow up if you don’t hear back right away. Briefly reiterate why you’re an excellent fit for what they’re writing about.
- Suggest a title or headline for the article featuring you. This makes their job easier.
- Prepare 2-3 concise soundbites that summarize your best points rather than long-winded answers.
- Include links to your website, blog posts, and social profiles so they’re easily included in the published piece.
- Express your appreciation after the interview and share the article once it goes live.
- Monitor your its replies to see which pitches convert to published backlinks. Refine your approach over time.
HARO Tips & Tricks
Keep these additional tips in mind to boost your HARO success:
- Use a professional headshot for your HARO profile picture. First impressions matter.
- Include your full name, title, company, and location in your HARO bio. This builds credibility.
- List multiple contact methods like phone, email, and social handles and make it simple for journalists to find you.
- Track your its metrics in a spreadsheet, including queries replied to and pickups achieved.
- Follow up periodically with journalists that you’ve worked with via HARO. Pitch yourself again for future articles.
- Know when to politely decline a query if it’s off-topic or a poor fit. Don’t waste journalists’ time.
- Upgrade to a its Pro membership for early query access to really increase your odds.