What is Haro link building and how do you use it?
Haro stands for Help a Reporter Out. It's a free service that you sign up for and answer questions from 'reporters' or site owners that are looking for answers to certain questions.
They use these answers as content to post on their website. If they use your answer, they will link back to your site. This is great for SEO because it increases the number of backlinks pointing to your website which can move you up in Google. This normally results in more organic traffic.
Why Do You Need Backlinks?
Backlinks are a part of the Google algorithm. It helps the search engine determine if a website is credible and authoritative. Although backlinks are not the only ranking factor, they do play a significant role.
However, not all backlinks are the same. One link from a highly authoritative website is much better than a dozen from low-authority websites. This is why having a few high-quality backlinks from Haro can help boost your SEO efforts. It should be a part of every website owners link building strategy.
Why Use Haro Link Building?
I can give you 3 reasons - it's safe, effective, and free.
Link building with Haro SEO is a great way to get quality backlinks that can increase your ranking in Google, which leads to more visitors to your website due to the higher domain authority.
So whether you have an e-commerce website, a blog, or do affiliate marketing with a website, HARO links are great - especially when just starting out. You can't find an SEO agency that doesn't use HARO links.
They are considered safe. These are what are called "white-hat" links.
Black hat links would be links that you pay for or build on your own using PBN (personal blog network) type links. Stay away from these.
How do you use Haro?
Step 1. Sign up With Haro
Your first step is to head over to Haro at https://www.helpareporter.com.
You will see two options - "I'm a Journalist" or "I'm a Source". Since you are looking to build links, you will click on "I'm a Source".
You would only choose "I'm a Journalist" if you are looking for answers to your own queries.
You will then be brought to a page where you need to read the rules. Once you have done that, click on sign up at the top right.
Enter your information. This includes your name, email, phone number, country, and company name. For the company name, you just put the name of your website.
Once you have done that, click on sign up at the bottom.
You will then be taken to a page that says "Thanks for Joining Haro". You will need to check your email to sign in. This is why you need to make sure your email is functioning and will also be the email that you will use to answer queries.
The email will look something like this:
Once you click the link you will be taken to the welcome page:
Step 2. Choose Your Preferences
Click on "Update and add to your Account Details" as indicated by the arrow above.
This will bring you to a new page. Confirm that your details are correct and that the box "source" is checked. It should be checked if you chose this option when setting up the account. If not, check it now.
About halfway down the page, you will see "Haro Preferences". Here, you only need to ensure that "Master HARO" is checked.
Even if you see your category, for example, "Lifestyle and Fitness", it will be included in the master list. If you check that as well, you will just get duplicates. So there is no need to check anything else other than Master. You will get all categories in one email.
Why do this?
Because in some cases, there may be an overlap. For example, there could be a query that you could answer that's related to your Lifestyle and Fitness blog but is located in the Business and Finance section. So just click Master HARO to ensure you have maximized your opportunities.
Once that is done, click on "Save & Update" at the bottom.
Congratulations - your account is all set up and you should start receiving emails with all the queries usually the same day or the next.
Step 3. Start Answering Queries
Now that your account is set up, you will start to get emails. Haro sends out emails 3x a day, Monday through Friday. So expect to receive quite a few emails each day.
When you get emails from HARO, the first step is to look in the most obvious category that relates to your business and relevant queries.
Here is what a typical pitch looks like:
If you have a woodworking blog or a blog related to the outdoors and you know a little something about jigsaws - then this would be a great query to send your pitch.
You can see that they will link directly to either Linkedin or your website. If they use your answer - you'll get a backlink!
Tips For Sending Your HARO Pitches
Remember that there will be many others responding to each query. So it's important to stand out from the rest.
Here are some tips to get the most out of HARO.
Use the person's name - If you see a name in the query, personalize your response by saying "Hey Harry" or whatever their name is. People's favorite word is their own name - so use it!
Craft a good subject line - Don't just say, here's your answer or something generic like that. Try to include the question in the subject line. The key is to have your email stand out. Remember you are dealing with a real person!
Ensure your social media accounts are set up - Often, you will be asked to provide a Linkedin profile, so make sure to set one up. You should also have Twitter and Facebook accounts for your business that you can use in your signature.
End your pitch with all your relevant info - You will usually be asked to provide your name, title, social media, and sometimes a headshot. It's a good idea to include all this info at the end. This makes it easy for the author to get your info and they might even include links to your socials along with your website. That means more links!
Here is a good format to follow:
- Your Name
- Founder of "your company or website name"
- Site URL: "enter your homepage URL"
- Twitter - link to your Twitter account
- Facebook - link to your Facebook account
- Linkedin - link to your Linkedin account
- Headshot - optional, but if you have one include a link to the image, do not attach images in your response.
Get a headshot - Sometimes you will be asked to provide a headshot. If your pitch gets published, your headshot will be included in the article. Keep this in mind. Not all queries require a headshot, but your chances of getting more publications improve if you have one.
Read the query carefully - Some queries may have more than one question. Ensure that you answer ALL questions. To make it easy for the writer, create subheadings within your response and include the questions followed by your answer.
Opening sentence - Introduce yourself and let the reader know why you are qualified to answer their question. If you skip this step, your pitch will likely be ignored and sent to the bin.
Crafting your answer - Remember, you need to provide an answer based on your personal experience. The reporter can get general information online, he or she doesn't need you for that. So be original and give your own two cents about what you think about the topic.
Connect with the reporter - You are dealing with a real person, so don't provide a robotic response. Include things like "feel free to reach out for anything else" or, "have a great weekend" or anything that makes it sound friendly and not stuffy.
Stay within the required word count - Some pitches are expected to be within a certain word count, like anywhere from 100 to 300 words. Some even less. Make sure that you stay within these limits or your pitch could be ignored.
Check everything before you send - Check your grammar and spelling. Make sure your response is the best you can do. Don't include fluff. Make sure your answer is succinct, personalized and to the point. Once you're confident - hit send!
Pros and Cons of Haro Link Building
1. It's free: HARO link building is a very cost-effective way to build links since you don’t need to pay for any services or software in order to use it.
2. Endless resource of links: As long as HARO stays in business, you'll have an opportunity to score links each and every day. Except for weekends and holidays of course.
3. Exposure & Visibility: If a reporter posts your pitch, they are often seen by hundreds or even thousands of people who can then visit your website and learn more about what you do.
4. Quality Links: Since these links come from trusted sources news outlets and major publications, the quality of these links is often quite high which helps boost SEO rankings over time.
5. Networking Potential: Finally, HARO provides an excellent opportunity to connect with other professionals in your niche (or related niches) so that you can increase visibility and reach potential customers as well as further develop relationships with other professionals in the industry.
1. Low Response Rate: Many queries go unanswered, so the success rate is pretty low.
2. Time-Consuming: It can be time-consuming to search through all of the postings and respond with well-thought-out pitches that have a chance of being accepted.
3. Competition: There is often competition from other professionals in your niche who are also trying to build links via HARO, which makes it more difficult to stand out and get noticed by reporters.
4. No Guarantees: Since there is no guarantee that any given pitch will be accepted or used, it can take some trial and error before success is achieved.
5. Quality of links Varies: While there are many high authority sites that use HARO like Forbes, Yahoo, and other publications, not all are high authority. You may get a link from a source that is of lower quality.
6. Some sites aren't displayed - Some reporters will tell you where your response will be published, while others not. So sometimes you'll be in the dark as to who you are responding to
7. You won't know it's published - If you do get your response published, some reporters will not tell you. The only way for you to find out is to check a tool like Ahrefs to see if you got the backlink or not.
8. Not all links are dofollow - If your response gets published, most of the time it will be a do-follow link. However, sometimes it could be marked as no-follow.
Haro is a great place to get links. It's free, it provides exposure and networking potential, and can give you high-quality links.
However, it can also be time-consuming and has a low response rate which makes it difficult to get your responses accepted. On top of that, the quality of the links can vary greatly so you may not always get high quality.
If you want the best chance to succeed in scoring high quality links from sites like The New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post and more, check out the Haro Masterclass.
Even though it can be difficult (easier if you get the masterclass!) Haro is still a great way to get links and should not be overlooked. Just make sure that you take the time to craft quality pitches for the best chance of getting published.
There are courses that teach advanced strategies with HARO like Authority Hacker Pro, and Affiliate Lab, but the best training I have seen so far is from Chris Panteli, the co-owner of Linkifi that runs the Haro Masterclass.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does HARO stand for?
Haro stands for Help a Reporter Out.
Is HARO good for link building?
Yes, HARO is good for link building. You can get many high-quality links built to your site. Many of these links are high quality and will help your website to rank in Google.
Is link building worth it?
Link building is worth it because it is a ranking factor in Google. It's not the only ranking factor but Google does place a good portion of emphasis on how many high-quality links a site has in order to rank it in the SERPS.
Is HARO link building free?
Yes, Haro link building is free. There is a paid option, but you don't need it. The free option is perfectly fine.
Is HARO good for SEO?
Yes, Haro is good for SEO. This is because with HARO if your pitch gets accepted you will get a backlink. And backlinks help with your SEO.
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