How to Write a HARO Pitch to Get Backlinks for Your Website


A microphone in an interviewer's studio.

HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out, is a platform that connects journalists and sources.

What is HARO?

HARO is a service that allows journalists to quickly find and connect with experts or individuals who can provide information for their stories. On the flip side, it provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses to gain media exposure by offering their expertise to journalists working on relevant topics.

How HARO Works:

Journalists Post Queries:

Journalists looking for sources for their stories submit queries to HARO. These queries outline the topic they are covering and the specific information or expertise they are seeking.

Sources Receive Queries:

Individuals who have signed up as sources on HARO receive daily emails containing a compilation of journalist queries related to their areas of expertise.

Sources Respond:

Interested sources can respond to relevant queries by providing information, insights, or quotes. They often include their contact details and any relevant links, such as a link to their website.

Journalists Review Responses:

Journalists review the responses they receive and may choose to contact sources for additional information or quotes.

Media Coverage:

If a journalist decides to include a source’s input in their story, it can lead to media coverage, citations, and potentially valuable backlinks to the source’s website.
HARO is widely used by journalists and businesses alike as a mutually beneficial platform to facilitate connections between those seeking information and those who can provide it. It’s a popular tool for public relations, link building, and establishing industry authority.

Ready To Get Started with HARO?

Getting started with HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is easy. Here are three simple steps to begin using HARO effectively:

Sign Up as a Source:

  • Visit the HARO website and sign up as a source.
  • Fill out your profile with accurate and relevant information about yourself, including your expertise, industry, and any credentials that showcase your knowledge.

Receive and Review Queries:

  • Once registered, you’ll start receiving daily emails with journalist queries related to your industry or expertise.
  • Regularly check these emails for opportunities that align with your knowledge and experience

Craft and Submit Responses:

  • When you find a relevant query, carefully read the journalist’s request and craft a personalized, concise response.
  • Address the journalist’s needs, provide valuable insights, and include any information they requested.
  • Submit your response through the HARO platform, following any specific instructions provided in the query.

By following these three steps, you’ll be on your way to effectively using HARO to connect with journalists, share your expertise, and potentially secure valuable backlinks for your website. Remember to be prompt, professional, and to tailor your responses to the specific needs outlined in each journalist’s query.

Ready to Make a Pitch?

Here are 12 tips for responding to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) queries effectively:

Quick Response Time:

  • Journalists often work on tight deadlines, so respond to queries as quickly as possible.
  • Set up email alerts or notifications to be among the first to see relevant queries.

Adhere to Journalist Guidelines:

  • Carefully read and follow any specific guidelines or requirements outlined by the journalist in the query.
  • Pay attention to word count, formatting preferences, and any specific information they request.
  • Following instructions demonstrates your professionalism and makes it easier for the journalist to include your input in their story.

Adhering to the journalist’s guidelines not only shows respect for their work but also increases the likelihood of your response being considered and integrated into their article. It’s an essential aspect of building a positive and productive relationship with journalists on HARO.

Keep Your Pitch Concise:

  • Journalists often receive numerous responses, so keep your pitch brief (150-300 words) and to the point.
  • Present your key points clearly and avoid unnecessary details that may dilute the impact of your message.
  • By respecting the journalist’s time and delivering a concise yet impactful response, you enhance the overall effectiveness of your HARO submissions.

Personalize Your Response:

  • Tailor your response to the journalist’s query, addressing their specific needs.
  • Personalization helps your pitch stand out and demonstrates your genuine interest in the topic.

Provide Unique Insights:

  • Offer unique insights or data that set your response apart from others.
  • Journalists are more likely to use your input if it adds significant value to their story.

Build Credibility:

  • Establish your credibility by briefly mentioning your qualifications and experience.
  • Highlight any relevant achievements or notable contributions in your field.
  • Your bio should be less than 50 words.

Craft an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line:

  • Create a subject line that is concise, compelling, and relevant to the query.
  • A catchy subject line increases the likelihood of your email being opened.

Be Concise and Clear:

  • Keep your response clear, concise, and focused on the key points.
  • Avoid unnecessary jargon and ensure your message is easy for the journalist to understand.

Provide Quotable Content:

  • Incorporate concise and impactful quotes in your response that the journalist can use directly in their article.
  • Craft these quotes to be insightful, memorable, and relevant to the journalist’s query.
  • Highlighting quotable content makes your response more attractive and simplifies the journalist’s task of incorporating your insights into their story.

By offering ready-to-use quotes, you not only save the journalist time but also increase the likelihood that your input will be featured prominently in their article, contributing to a stronger backlink for your website.

Promote Your Expertise, Not Just Your Website:

  • While including your website link is important, emphasize your expertise in the response.
  • Journalists are looking for valuable insights, so position yourself as a knowledgeable source.

Follow HARO Rules:

  • Don’t send attachments—they will be deleted.
  • No sales pitches.
  • Do not go off-topic.
  • If you don’t have the required expertise or appropriate background, don’t pitch.
  • Address the journalist by name if listed.

Express Gratitude:

  • Thank the journalist for the opportunity to contribute.
  • A polite and appreciative tone can contribute to building a positive relationship.

By incorporating these tips into your responses, you’ll increase your chances of successfully collaborating with journalists through HARO and earning valuable backlinks for your website.

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