Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an innovative online platform that connects journalists and sources, helping businesses gain valuable media exposure, backlinks, and credibility.
Link building and public relations (PR) are crucial for the success of online businesses, as they drive organic traffic, enhance brand visibility, and build authority.
This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide on how to use HARO effectively to boost your link building and PR efforts.
Understanding HARO and Its Benefits
How HARO works
Connecting journalists and sources: HARO bridges the gap between journalists seeking expert sources for their stories and individuals or businesses looking to share their expertise and gain media exposure.
Journalists submit their queries, and HARO connects them with relevant sources who can provide insightful information.
Subscription model and daily email queries: HARO offers a subscription-based service, where users can sign up for free or choose from paid plans.
Subscribers receive daily email digests with journalist queries categorized by industry or topic, making it easy to spot relevant opportunities.
Benefits of using HARO
- Gaining high-quality backlinks: When your input is used in a journalist’s article, they’ll often include a backlink to your website. High-quality backlinks are essential for improving your search engine rankings, driving organic traffic, and enhancing online visibility.
- Establishing credibility and authority: By providing expert insights and being quoted in reputable publications, you can showcase your knowledge and establish yourself as an industry authority. This credibility can lead to increased trust from potential clients or customers.
- Increasing brand visibility: Being featured in popular media outlets can significantly boost your brand’s visibility, leading to increased awareness and recognition among potential customers.
- Networking with industry professionals: HARO can also help you forge connections with journalists, influencers, and other industry professionals, expanding your network and opening doors to future opportunities.
Setting Up Your HARO Account
Creating an Account
To start using HARO, visit the website (www.helpareporter.com) and sign up as a source by providing your name, email address, and a password.
After verifying your email, you’ll be able to access your account and customize your profile.
Choosing the right subscription plan
HARO offers three subscription plans: Basic (Free), Standard, and Premium.
The free plan is suitable for beginners, while the paid plans offer additional benefits such as early access to queries, keyword alerts, and the ability to view queries online.
Evaluate your needs and budget to select the most appropriate plan.
Customizing your profile
Fill out your profile with relevant information, including your name, title, company, and industry.
Providing a detailed profile can help journalists understand your background and expertise, increasing your chances of being selected as a source.
Selecting relevant categories
Choose categories that align with your expertise and interests.
By selecting the right categories, you’ll receive queries that are relevant to your niche, ensuring you can provide valuable insights and increase your chances of being featured in articles.
Responding to HARO Queries
Reviewing daily email queries
Once subscribed, you’ll receive daily emails containing journalist queries. Review these emails regularly and look for opportunities that match your expertise and industry.
Identifying relevant opportunities
Be selective when responding to queries. Focus on those that are most relevant to your expertise, as your chances of being featured increase when you can provide unique, insightful information.
Crafting a compelling pitch
- Answering the journalist’s questions: Carefully read the journalist’s query and address their specific questions or requirements. Provide concise, clear, and accurate answers to their questions, ensuring your response is informative and valuable.
- Providing unique insights and expertise: Share your unique perspective and experiences to set yourself apart from other respondents. Offer actionable advice, real-life examples, or data-backed insights to make your pitch more compelling.
- Tailoring your response to the journalist’s needs: Familiarize yourself with the journalist’s writing style and target audience, and tailor your response accordingly. Ensure your pitch is relevant, engaging, and easy for their readers to understand.
Following up on your pitches
If you haven’t heard back from a journalist after a week or so, consider sending a polite follow-up email to reiterate your interest and remind them of your submission.
However, be respectful of their time and avoid being overly persistent.
Tips for HARO Success
Being timely and responsive
Journalists often work on tight deadlines, so responding quickly to queries is crucial. Aim to submit your pitch within a few hours of receiving the query to increase your chances of being selected.
Establishing a consistent pitching routine
Develop a routine for reviewing and responding to HARO queries.
Consistency is key to increasing your success rate, so set aside time each day or week to review queries and craft thoughtful pitches.
Creating a pitch template
Develop a pitch template to streamline your response process. Include your name, title, company, and a brief introduction highlighting your expertise. Customize the template for each pitch to address the specific query.
Monitoring your success and adjusting your strategy
Track your HARO success by monitoring which pitches get picked up and featured in articles. Analyze your successful pitches to identify patterns or techniques that work well, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Maximizing Your HARO Exposure
Promoting your published content
Once your input is featured in an article, promote it across your social media channels, website, and email newsletter to boost its reach and impact.
Repurposing content for other platforms
Consider repurposing your HARO responses for other content formats, such as blog posts, whitepapers, or social media posts.
This can help you maximize the value of your efforts and extend your reach.
Leveraging your new connections
Maintain relationships with the journalists who have featured you as a source.
Engage with them on social media, share their articles, and express gratitude for their coverage. These connections can lead to future opportunities and collaborations.
HARO presents a significant opportunity for businesses and individuals to enhance their link building and PR efforts.