You are sending hundreds of outreach emails. But links = 0. That’s so frustrating! You write great content, you make a good site, but no one cares to link to it!
Now, before you give up on your site, you need to try out 1 strategy.
It’s called HARO Link Building.
It’s the most effective link building strategy. In fact, I have used HARO to get authority links like these:
Without any further ado, let’s dive right in.
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a free service that connects journalists with bloggers. Basically, what it does is that it sends you queries that journalists have and you have to answer them.
In return, you get good do-follow backlinks, FREE PR and exposure! And HARO is used by authority publications like Forbes, Inc, etc…
Now, you know what HARO is, let’s start building links through it!
Building authority links through HARO is a 3 step process. Here’s how that goes:
1. Create an account
2. Look for questions that journalists have
3. Respond to them with a great pitch
Before anything happens, you need a free account at HARO. Just visit this link or search Google for ‘HARO’.
Once you are on their homepage, click on the button that says that “I’m a source”. What this means is that you are the one who will answer the questions which other journalists have. If you are a journalist looking for answers, then sign up as a journalist.
Once you click that button, you will be lead to some rules which you must follow. Now, you must click on the sign-up link on the page.
On the next page, you’ll have to enter your email, name and other details. Also, you must make sure that you use your business email address with HARO as you would be interacting with top journalists. A G-Mail address won’t work right!
Sign up using this link.
Once you have signed up with HARO, you will be in this dashboard of yours.
Here, you will have to scroll down and select your preferences. So, according to your niche, you will have to select the type of emails you would like to receive.
I am currently subscribed to High Tech and Business and Finance.
Onto Step #2 Now!
Once you have signed up to HARO, you will receive emails Monday-Friday at 3:00 PM IST, 10:00 PM IST and 3 AM IST. Here’s how they look:
These emails will have 5 to 10 questions related to the topic. For example, an email of High Tech contained the following queries:
At the top, the mail comprises an index of questions asked. Below that, you have specific details given. Here’s what that looks like:
These specific details are very important. They contain the following elements:
1. Question of the reporter
3. Email to respond
4. Media Outlet (the brand asking for answer)
5. Deadline to submit the answer
6. Detailed summary of the question
7. Some specific requirements.
It’s important to comply with the requirements which reporters have. Only then will they accept your pitch. For example, some will specific requirements like this:
Others will just ask you for your name and email.
Now, before you start responding to every pitch you get, here are some important tips:
1. DO NOT respond to pitches not related to your website. So, if you have a tech website, then don’t respond to gardening queries. Doing so will make your website look suspicious to Google.
2. DO NOT send your pitch if the deadline has passed. The journalist’s inbox would be buried with emails from other respondents. If the deadline has passed, don’t send your pitch. It will be a waste of your time.
3. DO NOT only respond to authority websites. If you only pitch to authoritative websites, then Google will get suspicious of your link profile. Pitch to both small and big websites to maintain a balance in your backlink profile.
4. Only respond about topics you know about. Don’t copy and paste from the web or you could get banned from HARO.
Now, let’s start writing our pitch!
So you find a query that fits your website. Great! Now let’s write the pitch. To send a response, compose a new email and select the email which came in the HARO Summary as your receiver. Now, to write a great pitch, you need to remember a few points.
1. Keep it short and concise: You must get to the point without much blah-blah. Journalists are busy. Start your pitch directly with your answer. You can write Hi.
2. Write according to the requirements: If a journalist has a specific requirement like he needs an answer of 200 words, then don’t go overboard. Only write to 200 words. If a journalist requires a more detailed answer, then write long answers!
3. Divide your email and keep it readable: You must format your answer correctly so that it is easy to digest. Don’t write long para’s. Instead, break up your answer.
4. Write only actionable and the best content: If you want a high success rate, then write the best and most detailed response possible. Write as if you were writing for your website! Because of great pitches, I have a very high success rate with HARO.
5. Write your Bio after your answer
Here’s an example of a perfect pitch I wrote to a media outlet:
One bonus tip I would give you is that you respond as quickly as you can to a question. If you land quickly in the reporter’s inbox, your answer will be much more likely to be included!
Now, our work is done! Now, you just have to wait and watch the backlinks roll in! Now, it’s time for some bonus tips and tricks!
HARO is the best way to get backlinks because of 3 reasons:
1. Instead of you sending 100’s of outreach emails, you are directly getting backlink opportunities in your inbox!
2. It’s free!
3. You can get featured on top sites like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, etc…
HARO has paid plans too which unlock additional perks and features. The paid plans start from $19/month (Standard) and go all the way up to $149/month (Premium).
Some of the features you get in the paid plans would be:
1. Questions sent early to you
2. SMS Alerts along with Email
3. Keyword Filter. If you are in the SEO niche, then you can set a filter to show you only SEO questions! Cool!
Now, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of HARO:
- High-quality backlinks
- Exposure to new websites
- Can lead to future opportunities for guest posts or other partnerships from a brand
- Tons of people use it making it tougher to stand out
- If you only acquire high-quality backlinks, your website could get suspicious for Google
- Links point to your homepage, so your posts won’t rank as well. Although, your overall Domain Authority will get stronger
HARO is probably the best link building service for new websites. It’s free, easy and doesn’t take more than 10 mins. If your website or service is new, then try getting exposure through it. This post outlined the exact steps to get free PR and backlinks using HARO!
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