Positive PR and online exposure can do wonders for your website’s SEO. It can help you build credibility, generate organic traffic and introduce new customers to your brand. However, if you don’t have many connections or your brand is still relatively small, you might think getting featured in major publications is out of reach.
But that might not be the case. There are a number of strategies and platforms that can help even the smallest brands generate visibility and reach a larger audience. One of these platforms is HARO, or Help A Reporter Out.
What Is HARO?
HARO, owned by Cision, is a service that connects journalists with sources for their stories. It’s a win-win for both parties – the journalist gets the information they need, and the source gets exposure for their brand.
In its simplest form, HARO is a platform that allows journalists and other media professionals to request quotes and feedback from experts in various industries. In return for their help, the sources gain valuable exposure to a larger audience.
It’s a great way to get your brand in front of a larger audience. It can help you build credibility, generate traffic, and introduce new customers to your brand.
Anyone can become a source on HARO. Although the platform was originally designed for journalists, it’s now being used by reporters, influencers, bloggers, content writers, brands, and other media players. Businesses looking for exposure, backlinks, and guest bloggers can also find value in HARO.
How Does It Work?
HARO is a subscription-based platform. You can sign up for free, but you’ll only have access to a limited number of opportunities. You’ll need to sign up for a paid subscription to get the most out of HARO. You’ll get access to more opportunities, support, and features with a paid subscription.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll start receiving daily emails with a list of opportunities that match your interests and expertise. Each opportunity will include a brief description of the story, the deadline, and the publication in which it will be featured. If you see an opportunity that’s a good fit, respond with your quote or feedback. Once your response is approved, it will be included in the story.
It’s important to note that you’re not guaranteed to be featured in every story you pitch. But if you’re strategic about which opportunities you respond to, you can increase your chances of being featured.
How to Signup for HARO?
If you’re interested in becoming a source on HARO, simply head over to their website and create an account. You’ll need to provide basic contact information. Post signup, you’ll be asked to set up a profile and confirm whether you’re a reporter or source. If you’re looking for backlinks or PR, you’re a source.
After that, you’ll be asked to choose your preferences. This tells the HARO platform which lists and emails to add you to. You can pick your industry and industries related to your niche.
Once you’re all set up, you’ll begin receiving daily emails with opportunities. Start by responding to queries you feel are a good fit for your expertise. With time, you’ll get better at pitching and be featured in some major publications.
What Are the Benefits of Using HARO?
There are a number of benefits of using HARO, both for journalists and sources.
HARO provides a quick and easy way for journalists to find experts in specific industries. They can easily get quotes and feedback for their stories without having to cold-email potential sources.
For sources, HARO is a great way to get exposure to their brand. They can build credibility, generate traffic, and even land new customers by becoming a source on HARO.
How Does It Help In SEO & Link-Building
As a small business or startup, getting visibility can be tough. With HARO, you have the opportunity to get your brand in front of thousands of people who wouldn’t have otherwise heard of you.
It is obvious that once you’re featured in major publications, you’ll instantly gain credibility. This can help you attract new customers and clients. The more credible you are, the easier it is to close deals.
When you’re quoted or referenced in a news piece, blog post, or article, it’ll almost certainly contain a backlink to your website. This enhances your SEO and plays a direct role in making your website more credible to search engines. So it’s a great link-building tactic.
Popular publications have a large readership. So, if you’re featured in one of them, you can expect a surge in traffic to your website. Moreover, this traffic is usually high quality and relevant, so there’s a good chance of a conversion.
A lot of people think that to get featured on HARO; you need to have a large audience. But that’s not necessarily true. If you’re a source on HARO, you can become an authority figure in your industry or niche. This happens because people start to see you as an expert. This helps build credibility and authenticity for you and your brand.
By becoming a source, you open yourself to a range of PR opportunities. You might be featured in an article, or a reporter could even interview you. This can do wonders for your brand awareness.
All in all, HARO is an excellent platform that can help you achieve several marketing goals. But to get the most out of it, you need to be strategic about which opportunities you respond to.
How to Use It Effectively: Tips for Pitching Reporters on HARO
1. Read the Queries and Description Very Carefully
When you first sign up for HARO, you’ll start receiving daily emails with queries from reporters. The key here is to read each query carefully and see if you’re a good fit.
People often make the mistake of responding to queries they’re not qualified for. This is a huge mistake and one that can damage your credibility. So, make sure you only respond to queries that you’re an expert on.
2. Provide Insightful and Well-Thought Out Answers
Once you’ve found a query you’re qualified to answer, it’s time to start drafting your response.
When responding to queries on HARO, always provide insightful and well-thought-out answers. Remember, the reporter is looking for an expert opinion on the subject. So, don’t just regurgitate information that’s already out there.
3. Keep Your Response Short and to the Point
Another common mistake people make is writing long, rambling responses to queries. Reporters are busy people, and they don’t have the time to sift through a wall of text. Moreover, it is possible that they might have received dozens of responses to the query.
So, keep your response short and to the point. Include only the information that’s relevant to the query. And if you can, try to keep your response under 200 words.
4. Follow the Instructions In the Query
Most queries will have specific instructions on how to respond. Make sure you follow these instructions.
For example, some queries might ask you to send responses in a certain manner or format. Others might ask you to include a specific piece of information in your response.
If you don’t follow the instructions, there’s a good chance your response will get ignored.
5. Avoid Attachments
Avoid sending attachments with your response unless the query specifically asks for it. These take up a lot of space and can clutter up the reporter’s inbox.
Moreover, many reporters are hesitant to open attachments from people they don’t know. So, it’s best just to avoid them altogether.
6. Include a Brief Bio and Contact Information
When responding to a query, always include a brief bio and your contact information. This makes it easy for the reporter to get in touch with you if they’re interested in using your quote or response.
And if you have a website, make sure to include a link to it as well. This is a great way to get some valuable backlinks.
7. Monitor Your Email Inbox on a Daily Basis
Once you’ve sent in your response, monitoring your email inbox is important. Reporters might contact you for further information or to schedule an interview.
If you don’t reply to their emails in a timely manner, they might move on to someone else. So, make sure you check your inbox regularly for any new messages.
How to Maximize Results on HARO: Bonus Tips
Sending a successful pitch is only half the battle. You also need to have a solid strategy in place to maximize your results. Here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Check Account Notifications Regularly
When you first sign up for HARO, you’ll be asked to choose your account preferences. One of the options here is to receive notifications whenever you receive a message from a reporter.
I highly recommend that you enable this option. This way, you’ll be able to reply to queries as soon as you receive them. The sooner you reply, the better your chances are of getting featured.
2. Use the Right Keywords In Your Query
When searching for queries to respond to, use the right keywords. This will help you filter out irrelevant results and find the most relevant queries to your niche.
For example, if you’re in the SEO industry, some of the keywords you might want to use include “link building,” “SEO,” and “content marketing.”
3. Search for Queries by Location
If you’re a local business, you can use the “location” filter to find queries that are specific to your region. This is a great way to get some valuable exposure for your business.
To use this filter, click on the “More Filters” option and select the “Location” tab. Then, enter the name of your city or region in the search bar.
4. Connect With Other HARO Users
One of the best ways to maximize your results on HARO is to connect with other users. This way, you can share queries and give each other tips on how to improve your pitches.
You can connect with other HARO users by joining relevant Facebook groups or forums. Some of the best groups to join include “HARO for Startups” and “HARO for Entrepreneurs.”
5. Nurture Your Relationships With Reporters
You need to nurture your relationships with reporters to get the most out of HARO. The more you pitch them, the more likely they will remember you and use your quotes in their articles.
Make sure to thank them every time they use your quote and always reply to their messages in a timely manner. If you nurture your relationships, you’ll surely get more mentions in the future.
HARO is a great way to get some valuable exposure for your business. But if you want to get the most out of it, you need to have a solid strategy in place. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be sure to get some great results.
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