How Do I Use HARO for Link Building

What is HARO?

HARO stands for “Help A Reporter Out”. It’s a service that allows journalists to get in touch with sources, and vice versa. In your case, you’ll sign up as a source. Depending on the frequency you choose, you get a certain number of emails a day/week full of leads for stories. The free plan I’m on sends me 3 emails a day.

Each email will have two parts (aside from the ad): The index and the individual stories. The index looks like this:

And an individual lead for a story looks like this:

Who should use HARO?

If you have any expertise in any area, this is for you! It’s a great way for you & your company to not only get exposure, but also links. If they choose your response to use in their story, you’ll almost always get a link (as long as it’s online & not offline).

How to start using HARO today

First you need to go to http://www.helpareporter.com/sources to signup. Start with their free plan. During the signup process you’ll have to choose the area of expertise you’re in; for me, since I’m an entrepreneur & digital marketer, I signed up for “Business & Finance”.

Once you start getting emails, choose the stories you think you can contribute to in a meaningful way, and respond to the email given (one will be associated with each). Here are some tips when responding:

Remember, only choose ones that are both relevant and ones that you can offer meaningful advice/insight to! If they ask you to hop on the phone, then it won’t be hard to see right through you if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Do exactly as they say in the response. Read it twice if you have to. Some will ask for one to two sentences, and if you give more, they’ll ignore you.
  • If you don’t meet the requirements, don’t bother, unless you think you have a very unique perspective. For example, there was a story about students getting the most out of computer science degrees, but were only asking for employers. Since I was struggling with this issue myself as a college student, I responded, and they accepted my insight.
  • Stand out. You’re probably one of twenty or thirty responses. Why will they choose yours?
  • Continue the relationships post-response. I’ve gotten to know a couple prominent journalists because I didn’t want things to end right after the story.
About the Author
Jon Cooper is the owner of PointBlankSEO.com and is well-known in the SEO community for his skills in link building and blogging. Jon also offers an excellent link building course that comes highly recommended.
How Do I Use HARO for Link Building is part of the How Do I Series of short tutorials and guides for marketers and coders. If you’d like to contribute to the series, please contact Chris Countey on Twitter or via email ccountey@delphicdigital.com.
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