6 Tips to Land Your HARO Pitch like a Pro
Although HARO is a fantastic way to land more mentions in major press and hone in on some SEO, you’ll need a pitch that stands out, leaves the other experts clamoring for attention in the dust, and lands you a spot in high-authority publications. After all, it’s not about what you sell but the stories you tell.
Are you hearing nothing but crickets in response to your HARO pitches? Scroll down to tap into the insider advice we’ve packed into six actionable tips and tricks to help you land your HARO pitch. Also, squeeze some high-quality backlink juice and position yourself as an industry thought leader before you can say “free press”!
Quick Recap: What Is HARO and How Does It Work?
HARO is a free online outreach service that connects journalists looking for subject matter expertise with their expert sources. Brands looking to connect with top-tier media outlets for the opportunity to showcase their prowess, position themselves as thought leaders and land valuable media coverage.
Why Is Leveraging HARO Services Important?
Help a Reporter Out, or HARO for short is your one-stop shop. HARO services can help you score strong, relevant, high-quality backlinks to sprinkle on top of your SEO strategy, earn valuable media coverage and get unmatched social proof of your reputation and authority.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) service offers a unique opportunity to score premium press features, share your prowess with the world and boost your authority and website traffic by setting yourself as a reputable, go-to industry expert.
However, getting the chance to do so is not exactly a walk in the park.
Securing More Press Mentions: How to Land a Successful HARO Pitch as an Expert Source
The fact that HARO offers a free business opportunity to earn top-notch media coverage means hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of PR professionals, content marketers, and aspiring thought leaders respond to a single query in hopes premium publications will quote them.
If you think driving traffic to your website is hard, wait until you start tackling your HARO pitches and fighting for your chance to get featured in the press. As daunting as it may sound, there’s no need to get discouraged — although complex, with the array of tips, tricks, and tools we’ve prepared in your arsenal, you’ll be able to improve your HARO pitch conversion rate in no time.
Let’s take a deep dive into how you can gain a competitive edge and cut through all the cut-throat HARO noise with a perfect pitch:
- Choose Wisely: Stay on Top of Relevant Queries
If you’re using HARO services but aren’t subscribed to receive alerts from report queries related to your niche, you better get on it! Otherwise, your inbox will get overflown with queries in irrelevant categories your audience won’t be eager to read, which makes it more challenging to be seen as a credible source on the subject.
The bottom line is you’re trying to get links back off HARO for SEO, targeted audiences, and showcasing industry expertise, which means you want them to be as focused and relevant as possible. More is not necessarily merrier when it comes to landing HARO pitches. Your goal is to reach prospective audiences in your niche demographic and be qualified to answer, as the more expertise you have on a subject, the more likely you are to get a link back.
So, make sure you only choose industry-relevant categories and topics that make sense when signing up for HARO daily email alerts. Stay on top of them as they come out, and get your hands dirty, pitching only to relevant and custom-picked publications with high domain authority to hit the mark!
Bonus tip? Consider using paid HARO models as they allow you to set up more profiles, schedule alerts for unlimited keywords, and get a head start by seeing specific requests before other users and having priority access to journalist requests.
- Shift Into High Gear – Time Is of the Essence
On the HARO platform, if you snooze – you lose. It’s the early birds that get the worm. More often than not, HARO opportunities disappear in the blink of an eye. Reporters are busy people – they’re usually very tight on deadlines and receive hundreds of quick responses for each query from diverse expert sources that you need to beat to the punch if you want to land a pitch.
Even if the deadline is a few days out, your chances of being cited shrink with every passing hour. So, the sooner you have a reporter’s ear with your pitch in their overcrowded inbox, the better, as they’re not going to wait around for any laggers.
- Be a Sight for Sore Eyes
It’s not rocket science – having to sift through pages and pages filled with fluff and casual banter or proofread and edit poorly written pitches is a deal-breaker as they’re on the hunt for quotable, compelling soundbites they can quickly insert into articles and move on with as little hassle as possible especially if they’re on a tight deadline.
With zero time to waste, you need to hit reporters with a relevant, actionable, readable answer that gets straight to the point right from the start rather than waffling on and risking getting lost in the noise. Contrary to what your instincts might tell you, many “compelling” subject lines have gotten lost in the black hole of HARO reporters’ inboxes – grab their attention with a simple direct subject line directly addressing their query.
Don’t rewrite “War and Peace” — keep your pitches short, sweet, and fleshed out. Briefly introduce yourself as an expert on the subject matter and jump straight to the point with a well-formatted, bulleted, grammatically correct pitch that’s easy to skim over to ensure that you have an effective response that steals the show every time.
- Stand Out With a Unique & Irresistible Pitch
Journalists are research maestros, so providing them with copy-paste information they can easily Google on their own will do nothing but waste the time they can’t afford to lose.
Craft compelling, original, concise, and witty pitches – make them an offer they can’t refuse with expertise and insights they can’t find anywhere else! Exclusivity and uniqueness go hand-in-hand – offer a unique angle on a subject in a sea of mediocrity and focus on your competitive edge to land more HARO pitches. Make them an offer they can’t resist!
Though you might be tempted to respond to as many journalist queries as possible with template-based generic pitches, the more, the merrier is not the ideal motto for landing your HARO pitches – prioritizing quality over quantity ultimately wins the HARO race!
The best pitches don’t come from a place of self-promotion – a genuine desire to share your expertise with the world will shine through a well-thought-out, original answer based on your personal experience and prowess.
- Amp Up Your Online Presence
Your online presence, or lack of one, could be a stumbling stone when trying to land a HARO pitch because, guess what – reporters are not gullible. Journalists seek valuable subject expertise and will often do a back-check and Google the sources before they respond to their pitch, so make sure you give them something worth looking at. Build a robust online presence that highlights your expertise and best features to boost your pitches’ success rate.
You should have a clear, seamless website that speaks volumes about your authority and paints you in the light of a prospective industry thought leader, underlining your undisputed expertise – your articles, publications you were featured in, events you’ve spoken at, awards you’ve received, etc. It should also feature reviews and testimonials that speak for themselves, as nothing tells the story of your credibility better than a satisfied client or customer!
- Don’t Give Up
Be persistent, as HARO is kind of a numbers game. The cold truth is you’re probably not gonna lend every pitch, and not every outreach effort will generate results, but the more targeted and unique pitches you send, the more likely you are to land a link back. So, you need to be an eager beaver! Don’t get discouraged if you fail on your first few tries – simply take a step back, re-assess your strategy and tweak your pitches accordingly.
If the organic traffic is satisfactory, it’s relevant to your industry, and you think you’re qualified to answer, go for it, and don’t stop! However, pay close attention to the “ask” before responding, as you can burn a lot of cycles chasing after nothing but volume, so don’t waste your time trying to respond to everything that could only potentially be a good fit.
Checkmate: Power-Pitch Your Way to the HARO Top
HARO is a powerful, invaluable tool you can leverage to provide valuable expertise to those who need it and, in turn, earn your brand the exposure it needs, boost your SEO, and position yourself as a sough-out industry authority.
Responding to queries in a relevant, informative, and unique way could land your pro insights in top media outlets such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Business News Daily with authority and SEO-boosting high-authority links back to your website.
Go fast and furious on ‘em – take your pitch to the next level armed with these pro tips!