Building a strong online presence is essential for both individuals and businesses in today’s digital world. One effective way to achieve this is through link building, a strategy that involves acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. Among the various link-building techniques available, the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) technique has gained significant popularity. This article explores the HARO technique, its benefits, and how to effectively leverage it for successful link building and media coverage.
Understanding the HARO Technique
HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out, is a platform founded in 2008 by Peter Shankman. It acts as a bridge, connecting journalists and reporters with expert sources for their stories. Journalists submit requests for sources and quotes, which are then distributed to a network of experts who have also signed up for the service. Sources can respond to these requests, providing insights and expertise that may be included in the journalists’ articles.
Benefits of HARO for Journalists and Sources
HARO has become immensely popular due to the benefits it offers to both journalists and sources.
Journalists benefit from HARO in several ways. Firstly, it provides them with a quick and efficient method of finding reliable and knowledgeable sources for their stories. This saves them time and effort that would otherwise be spent searching for sources independently. Additionally, HARO allows journalists to tap into a wide range of expertise and perspectives, enhancing the quality and diversity of their articles.
For sources, HARO presents a unique opportunity to gain exposure and credibility. By being featured in major news outlets and publications, sources can showcase their expertise and build their personal brand. Moreover, HARO facilitates the establishment of relationships with journalists and reporters, opening doors for future collaboration and media coverage.
Key Features of HARO
To ensure a seamless user experience, HARO offers several features and tools:
Daily emails: Three emails are sent out by HARO each day, each of which includes a thorough list of the requests and answers from the previous 24 hours. This enables users to stay abreast of new opportunities and give prompt attention to pertinent requests.
Categories and Tags: HARO allows journalists to categorize their requests by topic, enabling sources to easily find requests that align with their expertise. Sources can also tag their responses with keywords, increasing the chances of journalists discovering their valuable insights.
Premium Options: HARO offers premium options for both journalists and sources. Journalists can access additional features, such as anonymous requests or responses from verified sources. Sources can access a database of journalist contact information, aiding in establishing relationships and pitching their own stories.
Moderation: HARO maintains a team of moderators who review all requests and responses. This ensures that the platform maintains high standards of quality and relevance, maximizing value for journalists and sources.
Using HARO for Effective Link Building
Link building is an essential aspect of improving website visibility and search engine rankings. HARO provides a strategic approach to link building, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Here are some tips for utilizing HARO effectively:
Sign up and monitor queries: Register as a source on HARO and regularly monitor relevant queries. By promptly responding to journalist requests, you increase the likelihood of being included in their articles.
HARO Website Link: https://www.helpareporter.com/
Craft a Strong Pitch: When responding to a query, create a concise yet compelling pitch that highlights your expertise and its relevance to the journalist’s request. Be sure to avoid overly promotional language and focus on providing valuable insights.
Include Relevant Links: Include a link to your website within your pitch, ensuring it adds value to the article. Irrelevant or overly promotional links may hinder your chances of being considered.
Follow Up: After a journalist publishes their article, follow up with a thank you note or message. This helps build a relationship with the journalist and shows that you appreciate their work. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to offer any further insights or information that may be relevant to their readers. When following up, be sure to keep your message brief and to the point, as journalists are often busy and may not have time for lengthy correspondence.
15 Alternatives to HARO for Link Building
Another important aspect of media relation is being proactive in your outreach efforts. This means identifying relevant journalists and publications and reaching out to them with story ideas or pitches that are tailored to their interests and beats. To do this effectively, it’s important to research the publications and journalists you’re targeting and understand what types of stories they typically cover.
Here are 15 alternatives to HARO:
- SourceBottle: Similar to HARO, SourceBottle connects subject matter experts with journalists. It offers customization options and welcomes small-scale bloggers and journalists, making it an excellent alternative. Pricing starts at $1.
- PitchBox: PitchBox is a powerful link-building and influencer marketing outreach platform with additional features beyond HARO. It automates the prospecting process and offers email templates and follow-up automation. Pricing ranges from $200 to $1,500.
- PitchRate: Like HARO, PitchRate connects content experts with journalists. It has a rating system to improve interaction quality and is completely free to use.
- Qwoted: Qwoted offers three account types, catering to media entities, PR agencies, and SMBs and bloggers. It provides media coverage opportunities and backlink building as an expert source. Pricing starts at free, with a paid plan available for $149 per month.
- Terkel: Terkel is a decentralized Q&A platform where content is produced by experts and questions are posed by publishing partners. Although it produces fewer links than HARO, it is more successful. Free to $199 per month are the price points.
- OnePitch: OnePitch uses AI to connect users with media outlets relevant to their pitch. It helps uncover hidden opportunities for coverage. Works best with the tech industry.
- Pitch Response (formerly Sourcery): Sourcery is an analytics and automation platform for journalist outreach. It provides data, helps improve pitches, and offers tracking features. Pricing ranges from $30 to $200 per month.
- Muck Rack: Muck Rack offers journalistic searching, news monitoring, and coverage reporting. It’s a powerful platform, but it comes at a high cost and is primarily intended for large agencies and PR professionals.
- JustReachOut: JustReachOut links users to bloggers, podcasters, and journalists. It provides services beyond those of conventional reporters and aids in evaluating the caliber of opportunities. $50 to $200 is the price range per month.
- Kiti: Kiti focuses on lifestyle, culture, and travel publications and journalism. Access requires an application, and it’s designed for industry professionals seeking high-quality opportunities.
- Meltwater: Meltwater offers outreach and brand management services, including social listening. It helps users respond to mentions and connect with journalists. Pricing can vary, but tends to be high.
- ProfNet: ProfNet, owned by Cision, is a service that connects experts with journalists. Access is through their PRNewswire portal.
- Prowly: Prowly, powered by Semrush, helps identify media outlets and journalists for pitching. It also provides a media newsroom feature for managing PR information. Pricing is around $200 per month.
- Twitter: Twitter can be used to connect with journalists actively seeking experts. Search for relevant hashtags like #JournoRequests and #PRRequests to find journalists open to receiving requests.
- Hunter.io: Hunter.io is not a HARO-like site but helps find contact information for outreach campaigns. It’s useful for finding direct contact details for editors, private journalists, and bloggers.
It’s important to be responsive when journalists reach out to you for comment or information. This means being available for interviews or providing timely responses to requests for information. It’s also important to be transparent and honest in your interactions with journalists, as this helps build trust.
HASSAN TARIQ MALIK
Freelance SEO Consultant | Technical SEO | Digital PR | Rebranding | Content Marketing