Let’s talk about HARO.
You know when you find an online tool that’s just so good you can’t believe EVERYONE isn’t already using it?
That’s how I felt about Help a Reporter Out the first time I heard about it.
Q: What is HARO?
HARO is short for Help a Reporter Out. If you’re a blogger looking to get their name and link online for free, it is THE BOMB. It’s like someone out there thought “how can we make it really stupidly easy for bloggers to get their writing onto high authority sites like Entrepreneur?” and then just made it happen.
The gist of HARO is this:
Reporters pay to use the service, and bloggers/experts get to use it for free. Reporters put out “wanted ads” for the types of content they’re sourcing for their upcoming articles, and bloggers/experts reply with their thoughts.
I’m a reporter working for The New York Times. I want real stories from moms who work from home and make six figures through their online business. I send a wanted ad into Help a Reporter Out, and Help a Reporter Out emails it directly to their pool of bloggers + experts. I pick out the responses I like, I use them in my article, and I link back to the bloggers/experts in return for their participation.
HARO can be a little confusing at first. If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of becoming a Help a Reporter Out regular, continue reading below.
Registering with HARO
First, visit the homepage of HARO.
Click on the option that says I’m a Source.
On the next page, read through the little “How it Works” section, and then click on the button that says SUBSCRIBE NOW:
Choose the free option by clicking the left most Sign Up button.
Fill out your personal information, and hit SUBMIT!
Now you’re an official HARO source – yaaaass!!
Q: How do I pitch a story?
As a HARO source, you now have the opportunity to pitch your stories and expertise to writers from publications like The New York Times, Cosmo, and other high traffic, high authority blogs.
Now comes the fun part: submitting your pitch.
HARO sends out automated emails at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET.
Here’s an example of what one of their emails looks like:
As you can see from this example, the types of requests reporters put out totally vary.
When you receive an email, you can scroll through the current calls for pitches.
I recommend only responding to queries that a) benefit your business, b) you can answer with honest and RELEVANT information, and c) you are comfortable attaching your business name to.
All queries will come with the following information: Name of author, category of publication, a reply email address, the media outlet, deadline, and story query.
To respond to a query, just click on the email address that is included with the query – every email ends in @helpareporter.net.
Q: How do I subscribe to a list?
When you first join HARO as a source, you will automatically be subscribed to the “Master HARO” list. This is – exactly as it sounds – a master list of all queries currently available to answer.
Because HARO works with journalists in pretty much every field and genre of writing, I recommend going into your account preferences and subscribing to the lists that are directly related to your blog or biz niche.
To do this, click on the ‘My HARO’ link on the upper right hand corner of your HARO profile after you sign up. From there, scroll down to this section:
From this screenshot, you can see I’m subscribed to Business and Finance (LOTS of blogging and social media inquiries), Lifestyle and Fitness, and Entertainment and Media.
I get three emails three times a day, one for each list I’m subscribed to.
That’s it: you now know all you need to get started with HARO.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, they have a few #sickening success stories that demonstrate how entrepreneurs can leverage HARO for their biz.
I’ve been consistently surprised with the small amount of bloggers + biz owners who are not yet aware of Help a Reporter Out. It kind of feels like it’s the secret sauce a lot of people are keeping to themselves.
PS: If you wanna start tracking your Help a Reporter Out submissions – so you know what’s going where and when – download my free SUBMISSIONS TRACKER 😎