Will try here since I only got sales pitches in another group.
Looking for your best tips for scoring backlinks with Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Looking to learn specifically… not buy, not an alternative, not to hear about you or your friend and how many HARO links you built last year.
Show me what you got! 👇
I spend a lot of time on the other end of Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – meaning I actually request quotes and read your answers. It's funny how many pitches I come across are clearly created by SEO agencies who employed Virtual Assistants (VA)s using fake contact info and only answer one of my questions (I usually have 3 questions). It's super obvious when someone who replies to my question hasn't read through my specifications or isn't really a subject matter expert.
Also from my experience (not speaking for other publishers), the one who responds fastest is usually NOT the one who's answers are picked. I find the quality of submissions get better the closer to the deadline it is, so I wait. usually after the deadline passes, i then gather all 50-100 submissions to find the best 4-5.
Good quotes are hard to come by let me tell you that. So my advice is, actually submit thoughtful and real responses.
Oh and sometimes you won't be published for 2-3 months because of the content calendar.
This is helpful. I feel like speed had been the main factor for me, but those aren't the better answers.
Yu » Daniel
Yeah because "speed" had been preached so much by SEO users, you wouldn't believe how many responses come in within the first 10 minutes of a query launching. I don't think I've ever seen a good response from those
Daniel » Yu
Good to know! Gives me hope. I've been working with an RD to submit responses. I feel as if I have my hands tied behind my back because I have to send the query, the RD writes an answer, sends it back, then I submit. It can be a lengthy process.
Charles ✍️ » Yu
Great tips, thank you!
Yu » Charles
No problem. I think I just saw the post where you got spammed services 😂
Greg » Yu
Can I quote you on that?!?!
After freelancing responses for a full year, I was sure coming in dead last was not a bad thing.
Our entire team (sending 5,000 pitches per month now) is against me! They're all "need for speed" about it.
But… I'm not surprised by a thing you wrote above.
Thank you for sharing!
Yu » Greg
Sure! I am just one opinion, but remember there are humans on the other side reading responses. It would feel odd that publishers with any journalist standards would want to quote spam in their high authority piece.
Though I don't represent news sites so I don't know what their priorities are, I know a lot of my colleagues in the tech/Software as a Service (SaaS) space are dying for good pitches.
Greg » Yu
As a fellow (former) freelance writer, I always coach our team with that exact line, "Remember, these are real humans on the other end!"
A little compassion and empathy go a long way, no matter what or where one is.
Kearo » Yu
What are the three most important things to pay attention to when submitting a pitch?
How important is formatting?
Should the pitch be shorter or should the answers be comprehensive?
Let's say, the author asks for expert queries and asks 3-4 questions. I could write a whole article to explain something. Is more content better?
I really would like to pick the brain of someone like Mason. That would be so awesome!
How do you check credentials and how important are they overall?
Should I list full bios of experts that we use for our site as fact-checkers and sources?
Or is it ok to just mention their name and credentials?
What if they aren't very active on social media?
Yu » Kearo
Again, just one person's opinion so not everyone does this the same way.
I think I've already answered the bulk of your questions in my initial comment.
For your other questions
-haven't seen formatting be a hindrance
-its better that the pitch brings a unique answer and isn't something I could've found on top 20-30 articles of Google
-the third question isn't really relevant to what I usually look for.
-credentials are important and I do go down the rabbit hole if something smells fishy.
– don't understand what you mean by experts/fact checkers and your last Qs
Have you pitched on HARO yet?
Speaking as someone who's built more than 2k HARO links here are my top 3 things:
1) Answer the question – Seriously, make sure you are actually answering it.
2) Focus on a unique value that you can provide. Journalist get hundreds of pitches so in order to stand out you need to either have some industry credibility, have a unique story or have some strong credibility like a podcast or ebook.
3) Know if the HARO is a roundup or a quote style post. Roundup articles are just looking to quote 20-30 people and use your exact response, easy link but very diluted. Quote is a more traditional quote where they just want a few quotes from industry experts to spruce up their article.
While our team is working for many years on Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and by doing a lot of experiments, For a new comer I would like to suggest these basic steps:-
1) Don't consider or take it as a rocket science. HARO can produce okay results in the beginning with just simple good and creative content production effort. While sending a pitch the content done for it doesn't have to be like a blog comment, but just a precise and direct answer to the question asked.
2) I think a good HARO pitch will have to be a) Straight forward answer b) Has to have English written in a media industry style c) Doesn't have to be a writeup around the query topic, but on the topic query d) Writeup should show that it is coming from someone having real expertise on it e) Intro, Outro should contain a shortest possible brief of the expert who wants to be cited f) If a reporter didn't use your pitch, that doesn't mean he can't use the 17th pitch sent to him g) Pitch should have a flare of being an influencing content rather than only educational.
3) To remain in this game and make it productive, a minimum and consistent 2 months practice is necessary, After that the coming results would be enough to keep you motivated and getting deeper into it.
4) It's totally fine to use a writer for your campaign, Coz sending 10+ pitches a day will take a lot of time and you can understand that a professional can't be doing this all the time so of course this work has to be done by hiring a resource.
4) You have to know that a reporter receives over 200 pitches per query posted and sometimes your pitch wouldn't even get read by journalists but over 60% of them will get read.
5) To make your pitch standing unique among all, You may like to use custom subject line and a few important terms in bold.
6) Overall it's PR business and pitch having a flair of trying to connect with the reporter also helps often.
7) When your results would start falling, Don't get worried with a lot of Nofollows, These are digital PR links and doesn't necessarily need to be dofollow all the time. Even a mention helps. Overall HARO links doesn't only attribute your brand, it mentions your team persona as well and having that same persona on site about/team page and mentioned on external sites via HARO, gives you a lot of Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT) SEO points.
Above all just my thoughts, I am not a pitch writer but a digital Public Relations (PR) agency owner where we are serving over 50 clients from many different niches and we are still a learner and often do mistakes but our results are sustaining our business. Hope my insights are helpful.
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