Digital Marketing

How To Use HARO For Link Building And PR

With the right techniques, HARO can help you build connections and brand awareness for your PR efforts, no matter your industry.

The HARO platform, owned by PR/communications giant Cision, connects journalists seeking information with relevant sources willing to provide that information.

Journalists come from different platforms, from The New York Times to Forbes to niche bloggers.

HARO Stories can tackle anything from real-time news stories to blogs looking for quotes on specific topics like SEO.

HARO is a great tool because it benefits both parties; Reporters get their source, respondents get a link.

Unfortunately, the HARO system has become oversaturated over the years, which means that receiving a response to an answer to an inquiry is more difficult than it used to be.

But when used properly, HARO offers a valuable system for gaining connections and building valuable business relationships, even if competition increases.

I know this platform from both sides, as a link/brand building tool for personal clients and businesses – and as a journalist looking for information for articles I’ve worked on in multiple sectors.

This article offers some unique insights from both sides of the platform.

The following tips can help you achieve successful link building and brand awareness results with HARO.

How to filter HARO results

If you subscribe to the HARO main list, you will be bombarded with hundreds of inquiries per day, which can be difficult to sift through.

At the very least, I’d recommend you set up a filter in Gmail for all incoming HARO emails, set them to read, and direct them to a specific label.

You can also try setting up a more detailed filter in Google Mail by filtering any emails with a address and any related keywords, and automatically sending them to a named inbox.

Both strategies will ensure that you are not overwhelmed with daily emails, which helps keep productivity high, and the latter will help you filter emails by specific keywords.

Additionally, HARO offers the option to upgrade to a paid plan where it will only email you inquiries that match the specific keywords you want to respond to.

In general, you should only respond to inquiries that meet the following criteria:

  • You are eligible to answer it.
  • they relevant for your industry.
  • You have Read the instructions carefully.
  • You are capable of it Unique value addition for them.

You will increase your chances of getting published by answering the right inquiries.

Now, let’s talk about creating the perfect presentation.


Start with the correct subject line

First, to receive a response to your HARO reply, you need to create an appropriate subject line that won’t get squashed.

Keep things simple by using parentheses to stay between other subject lines and to establish instant credibility:

[HARO Response] Job Title/Experience + Strong Adjective + Subject of Frequently Asked Question

For example, let’s say I was responding to a query looking for a quote for productivity tips for entrepreneurs. I’ll write a line to reply like this: “[HARO Repsonse] CEO/Author Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs.”

You can also try subject lines to help you get noticed, such as “Time management tips you won’t get from anyone else.”

Keep testing to see which one usually has the highest conversion.

Leadership with experience and credentials

Next, start your response with some background information.

Responses should open with a one to two sentence paragraph that brags about your credentials to help you choose. Reporters love reliable sources, so don’t be afraid to show off — just don’t be spammy or spammy.

Follow these guidelines to help craft the perfect introduction:

  • your list Name and current job title.
  • Mention any posts You have been featured in.
  • Link to any business or websites you operate.
  • List any credentials Help you stand out.

For example, your response could start like this:

Hello (query author),

I hope that everyone is okay.

Ron Liebak here, author of “365 to Vision: A Modern Writer’s Guide” and CEO/Founder of ContentMender. My articles have been featured in many important publications globally, from Forbes to Search Engine Journal to Cycle World…”

After the introduction, you will provide an answer that must meet the requirements of the query.

Learn how to format your response

The key to creating the perfect response is giving journalists exactly what they want. These requirements include:

  • short reply (1 paragraph, 2-3 sentences).
  • Good quote (actionable information).
  • Correct grammar (Check spelling and use correct punctuation).
  • Brief writing (No fluff, or BS, at all).
  • Easy to clear reply [spaced nicely, easy to follow, incorporates bullets (optional)].

Get the format right, and then you can create the perfect template to use in your presentations and streamline your responses.

Provide a unique angle

Adding value is key to getting a quote or response included in the story.

However, you don’t do much to help yourself stand out by adding mundane or recycled information.

Here are some presentations you can try to include your answer in a reporter’s story:

  • Tell personal anecdotes that relate to your business or job title.
  • Cite original research You or your work is complete.
  • Add a moot point It goes against the grain.

You can take dozens of angles, but in the end, providing an original response helps ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Also, if the journalist’s name is on the HARO application, go ahead and add some personal notes.

This shows that you have made an effort to respond, which will show through in the noise.

Read and follow the show rules carefully

This goes without saying, but be sure to respond directly to the terms and conditions of the query.

Oftentimes, when people use templates or try to game the system, they end up hurting themselves.

And if a name or post is included in a HARO request, please use it. Again, the more personal it seems, the more attractive it is.

Read the HARO requirements

This last point is necessary because many people skip these points and end up spoiling their responses by violating one of the HARO rules.

Keep the following in mind when responding to a HARO inquiry:

  • No trade off (Link exchanges or pay for a link).
  • There are no styled products.
  • Connect all photos (The HARO system cannot display images).
  • No files attached (HARO will mark your reply as spam).

Although HARO is an effective link building system, I have some additional tips to help you unlock greater benefits with this style of PR link building.

5 tips for using HARO more effectively

1. Respond to emails quickly

to me HarrowHARO’s infrastructure reaches approximately 75,000 journalists and more than 1 million sources.

With this much competition from fellow link builders and entrepreneurs, you need to answer inquiries quickly and effectively.

While creating a template can help with formatting, I recommend just building a template for your intro and then practicing quick responses to HARO queries.

Responding to requests on the same day can greatly increase your odds of being mentioned in an online publication.

2. Choose quality over quantity

HARO sends out three emails a day with seemingly endless inquiries. Trying to respond as quickly as possible to hundreds of inquiries will ensure that you will not receive a single response.

Instead, focus on a few each day, taking the time to think and adding a valuable response.

It may seem like an inefficient use of your time, but I guarantee that you will achieve a higher conversion rate with this strategy.

3. Build rapport with journalists

The best link building strategies are the ones that build productive relationships for your business or brand.

Just because you posted in one article doesn’t mean you should end the relationship there.

Consider the following strategies to become a frequent source in blogger or journalist articles:

  • Share and promote posted contenttag the journalist directly.
  • Send a follow-up email Transfer your interest to future articles if sources are needed.
  • Request to speak with the reporter Or blog directly using their personal email.

I used HARO to sign up new clients and build relationships that led to future business opportunities by staying in touch with journalists and bloggers.

4. Track communications

Simplify your HARO link building strategy by collecting contact information for all the sources from which you get links to a contact at a later date.

Create a spreadsheet and keep track of stories and contact information on the HARO Reporter List.

You can also consult your spreadsheet with your link building software to see which backlinks drive the most traffic and which sources are valuable to use again in the future.

5. Contacting people outside of HARO

Finally, if you want to improve your conversion rate with PR link building, consider contacting reporters outside of HARO.

Too many reporters get bombarded with responses in the HARO system, so it’s easy to tag them by emailing them directly.

Use the site operator’s search on the website of the business they’re writing for to reveal their email address. This strategy isn’t guaranteed to work, but it can be a way to stand out.


HARO is a valuable link building tool that can be difficult for beginners to master.

Although conversion rates are usually low, these backlinks are often a valuable source of traffic and link equity to websites, which helps them expand their business in the long run.

Use HARO and other strategies to promote your brand and take your business to the next level.

More resources:

  • 3 main types of link building metrics and how to use them successfully
  • Interactive digital PR: what it is and how to use it to build connections
  • Link Building Guide: How to get and gain links that boost your SEO

Featured image: VideoFlow / Shutterstock

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