There is no doubt about it: Building links is essential for websites. It helps a website rank higher on search engines. There are multiple ways to build links but not all of them will land you high-quality ones.
In this post, I will tell you about my favorite link building method to acquire high-quality links using Help a Reporter Out (HARO). I have secured many links using this strategy, and now I want to share it with you. So, let’s get to it.
What Is HARO?
HARO is an open-source application that provides journalists with a massive dataset of potential high-pitch topics for them to use and benefit from. The best thing about HARO is that the journalist comes to you, and you do not have to make an effort.
Many renowned media agencies are using this platform, and hence there is a vast pool of opportunities.
Here’s How To Use HARO
HARO is very simple and easy to use. All you need to do is to follow these three simple steps:
Step 1: Sign Up to HARO
The first thing you need to do is to sign up to HARO. The process takes less than five mins, and the effort put into it is worth it.
There is also a paid version of HARO, which you can sign up for if you want. I, personally, have been using the free one, and I do not find anything important missing.
Complete the signup process dutifully. Provide all the information asked for as it will affect the acceptance of your pitch.
After you have finished signing up, you will start receiving three emails daily at different times. These emails will contain the questions asked by journalists.
Step 2: Choose a Niche
Once you have created your HARO account, you will start getting three emails daily with information about the work. There will be multiple topics to choose from. Select the ones you are most comfortable with and can work around eloquently.
The link opportunities are sorted into categories. There are a vast number of categories to choose from. Scan and study the emails properly and then select what works best for you.
After selecting the category you want to work in, log in to your HARO account, go to “preferences” and choose what category best fits your work.
This will help you to be focused. Ultimately, you will have a clear path to work on and get better backlinks with less effort.
At first, the workflow might decrease after setting the preference, but it will increase with time. This approach will help you work and focus on an area you are most comfortable with. Hence, your work quality will improve, and so will your worth.
Step 3: Design Your Perfect Pitch
Once you have selected what categories you want to work on, the next and the most essential step is to draft a perfect pitch. This is the point where most of the users lose points. To create the best pitch, I would recommend following these simple guidelines:
- Read the request carefully: When you choose what request you want to work on, the first thing that you should do is to study the request thoroughly. Analyze each and every aspect of the demand and make a mental map of the workflow. This will help you to write the best pitch and the chances of you going off-topic will decrease.
- Avoid incomplete or multiple-questioned requests: I would advise not to choose any request in which the reporter has not given complete information about the requirements. This would not be worth working on as the chances of the request not getting approved are very high. The same goes for the request having two or questions. I personally feel like working on these requests takes a lot of time. So, it is better not to work on these but to choose other, more straightforward problems.
- Keep it short, sweet and straightforward: The issue with most HARO users is that they tend to get into too much detail. Reporters do not have time to read and analyze your lengthy response, so these are often not accepted. For me, keeping your response short and simple is the best way to get it approved. Try to embed the most information in the least number of words. This will rank your request high, and the chances of it getting approved will increase. A request of 200-300 words is enough, in my opinion.
- Structure your response: The reporters are working on very tight deadlines. An unorganized response would not be of any worth for them.
Try to keep your response well-structured. Keep the most essential information at the top and then proceed in the same pattern.
Proper structuring of your response will increase your chances of landing a link.
- Prioritize quality over quantity: As mentioned earlier, reporters work on very tight deadlines. They do not have time for reading lengthy responses. I would always recommend you prioritize quality over quantity. Keep your length short and quality high. Use a direct approach and make valid arguments to support your view in a straightforward way.
- Re-read the reporter’s instructions: In the end, all that the reporter is looking for is a response that fulfills their requirements. Working hard on a piece and not getting approved because of some petty factor would be a shame. I would advise you to read and re-read the instructions from the reporter. Check if all the requirements are met. Proofread your response and make any amendments needed.
Some additional tips to help you include:
Respond to requests fast.
Your goal, first and foremost, is to get your pitch approved. For that, the most important factor is to be fast with responding to reporter requests.
The reporters do not have the whole day. They will not sit around and read all the pitches they receive. So, be the first or, at least, one of the firsts to send a response in order to land a link.
Do not work on anonymous requests.
Avoid working on anonymous requests as they are mostly from low-ranked journals or media businesses. Such places may be shady and working for them will be a lost investment. So, avoid such requests altogether.
Wrapping It Up
This was a small guide to help you with landing as many quality links as possible. Follow these, and soon you will have more work than you would have ever anticipated. Best of luck with your venture towards success!