Help a Reporter Out, or HARO is among the least well-known and easiest tools that you can use to gain free publicity, build external links, and to boost your SEO for your business.
HARO is described as a type of tool that connects journalists with news sources. Did you know that as an owner of a business, you are classified as a “news source”?
It is an outstanding resource that is useful to obtain immediate publicity on the top-rated media websites from BuzzFeed and CBS for your company, and this is all possible through an easy-to-use, Free subscription service.
Here is all the information that you need on how you can effectively use HARO to your benefit.
This Free subscription service offers journalists with a database packed with sources when it comes to upcoming news feeds or stories and provides opportunities for sources (that would be you), to secure invaluable media coverage.
The advantages you can obtain as a “source” is twofold: you receive media coverage for free for your industry and business, and you gain essential backlinks from these authority news websites. If you know anything about off-site SEO, you are aware that backlinks happen to be incredibly powerful tools when it comes to increasing your rankings on Google. Yet this is often one of the more laborious tasks in order to achieve.
One of the advantages of using HARO is the fact that the journalists are coming to you. This is very different when compared to traditional link-building methods where it is your job to conduct the outreach and to put in the hard work.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of this tool is the fact that every major media outlet is already making use of this service (we are not talking about the small local news outlets). We are talking about CNN, Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Time, and more.
The opportunities to obtain fantastic press coverage along with landing high-authority backlinks directly to your website are all within your reach. Here is a break-down on how you can use HARO to your benefit.
The first thing you will need to do is sign up for a free subscription. From here you will instantly start receiving master emails 3 times daily. These emails will contain PR leads which are broken down into categories, like lifestyle, technology, business, and more.
To filter the emails down that you receive, only check on categories that are applicable to your industry. However, we strongly suggest that you skip out on this step. While you might need to sift through these emails on a daily basis, you also do not want to miss the ideal opportunity due to it coming through one of the categories that you did not select.
It is always a good idea to keep all your options open. In some cases, the best opportunities might be filed under a “general list”, and this means if you only receive technology and business leads, you might be missing out.
When receiving these emails, you will be shown the title for each opportunity along with the name of the media outlets in brackets. Read over these lists as they are sent to you, and if anything appeals to you, we suggest jumping on it right away.
When it comes to using HARO, you need to know how to use this tool effectively. In this post, we will give you the information that you need on the way to maximize your chances of receiving coverage and how to avoid wasting your energy and time.
Below is a list of the 6 best tips on how to use HARO effectively:
1. Respond Fast – Avoid Wasting Any time
The most important HARO success factor involves catching and then responding to leads as quickly as you can. This is why you should quickly scan through the HARO emails that you receive as they come into your inbox. Set up an alert, to ensure you are notified immediately. As you receive an email look over the index and decide whether any opportunities look promising or interesting to you.
When it comes to the big news outlets, the opportunities that they offer also mean more responses. This means you should be ready to take action to secure your position when it comes to snagging the best leads.
2. Your Response Needs To Be Unique
Reporters receive countless responses from the sources that are interested in getting featured, which means your response needs to stand out. Avoid wasting time on thinking about it and rather craft a fast yet unique reply.
When possible avoid the conventional approach when it comes to your response. Rather offer insight and value that is unique to your business and you. Think about something that will attract the attention and interest of a reporter.
3. Answer Questions Directly
While it is vital that your response is unique, it should still follow the actual requirement of a query. If you are not able to directly answer the question or follow what is required of you, your response will more than likely be deleted before it is properly considered.
Once identifying an opportunity that can work for you, take at least 30 minutes to create your pitch. In most cases, reporters will provide exact and explicit instructions that you are required to follow. Take notice of them and follow the instructions as accurately as you can.
4. Always Attach Your Headshot To Your Emails And Make Sure You Have An Excellent Bio On Hand That Describes Your Credentials
After typing up your response make sure you have attached a headshot along with including your bio within your reply email.
If your response gets chosen and published, it is important to get as much credit as possible. You also want to avoid forcing the reporter to chase after you for any additional information.
For the best results, make sure your impeccable bio is always saved and that you can copy-and-paste to each email that you are sending out.
5. Include Your Website URL and Your Social Channels
You should also include your website URL and your socials so that people know how to reach you. Using HARO effectively will mean making sure you have given yourself as much coverage as possible to make sure your business is heard and seen. This will make it easier for others to engage and connect with you.
Links to your socials and website is the ideal way to attract new people and bring these people directly to your brand.
6. Watch Out For Your News Placement
Reporters often receive 100s of responses to the queries they send out. This often means you will not receive a reply when yours is not chosen. In fact, you might not even receive a response even when you have been chosen.
In some cases, you may receive a response from a reporter if they need more information from you or they are interested in using your tips or advice in their own stories, yet you will not always receive a response. The information you have supplied may be published without any response.
The easiest method to monitor news placements includes setting up a Google alert (use your name), and to subscribe to the different news outlet feeds. If the reporter has not gotten back to you that they will be using the information you have supplied in their stories, you will receive an alert.