How to build links using HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO is a free service that connects reporters with potential sources for their articles. It can be a good way to get quality links to your website.

I’ve discussed before how important links are for any SEO campaign. If you’ve done any link building yet, I bet you’re discovering how hard it can be to get good links that help your website.

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a free service that connects you with reporters and bloggers looking for experts on particular topics. If you can speak knowledgeably about a topic, you might make a good source for them. You might even get a link to your website.

What makes these links so good?

  • They’re editorial links. Someone has evaluated yourself as worthy and links to you as a source in their article. That’s a good link in Google’s eyes.
  • Rather than searching for link opportunities, these opportunities get delivered to your inbox three times every workday.

What should you expect from HARO?

The first thing to remember is that HARO isn’t explicitly about link building. Some sites might cite you as a source but never link to you. For instance, the Wall Street Journal uses HARO for sources sometimes, but, as a rule, they never link to other websites. If you’re okay with that- this can still be a great way to get your name “out there.”

Second, not every pitch you respond to will result in a link (or even a mention of your brand). Some will evaporate as if you never contacted them.

Another thing to remember is that sometimes people take advantage of HARO for other gains. I’ve had HARO “journalists” sign me up for their email lists without my consent. Others have asked me for money to place a link on their website (against Google’s rules for link building so, please familiarize yourself with those rules before using this service).

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