Haro Link Building Guide: Getting Strong Backlinks

HARO is a platform where you provide insights to reporters, and in exchange, you get backlinks from the likes of Forbes and Fox News. This guide will show you how to use HARO to build powerful backlinks.

What is HARO Link Building?

HARO is a website where you can "help a reporter out" by giving them helpful content. A reporter may be looking for an expert or someone who can provide valuable insight to add to their article on a topic. There are a lot of opportunities with HARO to get white hat links from high authority media outlets.

Haro Success Guide

Finding success with HARO link building is a breeze with the right strategy. Using the platform, you can bring more traffic to your domain, increase SEO, and land strong white hat links. You will learn how to build links with HARO like a pro using our success guide.

1. Respond Quickly

Many people respond to each query; a fast response is crucial to getting picked out of the sea of responses reporters get. If you react quickly, you are significantly more likely to get chosen. Waiting a day can result in competing with 75+ people, and reporters usually look at the ones delivered first as they are on a time crunch.

Who gets the link is often a matter of who pitches first. Make sure you have a clear strategy with your outreach for how you will quickly respond to queries and what your pitch will be like.

2. Check Emails Regularly

The emails arrive in your inbox thrice daily, at around 5:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 5:30 pm (EST). Being one of the first to see these emails is essential, so watch your inbox when big releases are coming and be ready to write your HARO pitch to reporters.

Each HARO query will be unique, so your approach to each one will differ. Here's an of business queries on the platform:

Build great business and finance links through outreach pitches to the media.

Remember, the point of the platform is to help reporters; write emails with the mindset of being as helpful as possible.

3. Respond to Relevant Topics

Save your time by only responding to topics relevant to your business. You can easily see which topics in the daily HARO emails are relevant and then selectively pitch to those.

Trying to respond to all the topics is a waste of time; remember, it's better to write a relevant response that's sure to get picked than to write ten bad pitches.

Respond only to relevant queries to get the best results on your time.

4. Only Pitch to High Authority Sites

Make your effort into making high-quality pitches count by only doing HARO pitches to requests from high domain authority sites. Helping the media is a fantastic way to get in touch with the top journalists and get valuable media coverage that will convert into excellent links for your site.

Remember, HARO is for getting high-quality links, not a bunch of low-quality ones, so primarily aim for high-quality links. Tailor HARO outreach and pitches to primarily authoritative businesses.

5. Make It Short and to the Point

Reporters are busy and have many deadlines and projects they must keep up with at once. They want the insight they need in as little time as possible. Make getting the insight they desire easy by sending them a short response that's to the point and saves them time.

Effective HARO outreach requires concise and insightful pitches. Keeping your pitch short will help the journalist and yourself.

6. Avoid Filler Content

Including unhelpful content in your email removes the spotlight from your helpful content. Filler content may also encourage the reporter to leave your email and look for a helpful insight they can easily copy and paste from another responder.

Your mission is not to write a blog article; you only have 200 words to show your expertise and provide insight.

Reporters want high-quality insights without having to sift through a lengthy email. Only include content in your responses that the receiver will find helpful.

HARO Pitch Tips

No Response? No Problem

Many of your most successful pitches won't get a response. According to Olivia Perez at The Sow Collective, many of her pitches don't get responses but still get posted. She recommends setting up Google Alerts to get notified whenever the media mentions you, your website, or other specific keywords. It's essential to keep track of your progress to know when a post goes up with your insight.

Writing Your Subject Line

Writing a subject line for your pitch email can be tricky. Remember that reporters will receive many pitches daily, so ensure you can capture their attention and show them precisely what you plan to write about. It's best to get straight to the point and include the media outlet's name and a few keywords to summarize the text. Use this template for your subject lines:

Topic Summary - Name of Outlet - HARO

Here's an example of the template in action:

Life Hacks for Productivity - LifeHacker - HARO

Many over-the-top or subject lines meant to stand out will get lost or ignored by reporters. They are looking for someone who knows what they're doing and can get to the point. It's best to remember not to sweat it! Whether you're a beginner or an experienced writer, there will always be another opportunity, and with practice, you'll master it in no time!

Make It Easy to Read

Formatting your pitch so that it's easy to read will help you in the long run. When reporters are quickly scanning through pitches looking for a good one, you'll want them to be able to gather everything in a glance. Keep it short and sweet. Doing this will increase your chances of hearing back and getting posted.

Celebrate Quick

Setting up Google Alerts has a dual purpose: helping you leverage your press wins. Celebrating afterward when you get in a big media post and brag about it. The people seeing you are working with these big names will:

  1. Respect you more. Working with famous businesses looks good for your image.
  2. Desire to work with you.
  3. Trust you more. Being seemingly backed or associated with authoritative media brands makes you look like they have vetted you.

Celebrate your wins on social media or any other place that seems appropriate! Celebrating getting quality backlinks from top sites will make more sure to come.

What Reporters Want in Your HARO Response

Reporters have many options when they send out a request. Giving them what they want is crucial to getting picked. Out of a hundred responses, the reporter will be inclined to choose the one that best meets their needs.

A little luck is needed because comparing many emails and finding the best one is tricky. As such, they are likely to pick one of the best ones. The top five responses are the only ones with much chance of getting selected.

Aim for a response that meets the journalist's needs to get picked.

Media Ready Quotes

When sending a HARO response, it's important to remember they want short, crisp quotes to scatter throughout the article.

Remember you are not writing the entire article; keep it short and insightful. Your pitch should be 2-3 paragraphs maximum.

Imagine a single sentence being quoted supporting a commentary or article; that is likely how your text will look. So focus on making each sentence solid and compelling.

Genuine Experience

After learning about and being involved in an industry for a long time or doing something yourself, you gain experience and expertise. They may be looking for someone who has experience running a blog. They may also want you to be knowledgeable in the area, even though saying the insight doesn't necessarily mean you are an expert.

For example, in response to a query asking for productivity tips, your insight may be, "Keep your phone on silent and in another room; this will help you stay focused and get more done." Knowing this doesn't take being a productivity expert, but they likely still want someone they can say is an expert on productivity with the quote. Going for queries that don't match your qualifications or experience doesn't work well; as you can see, even if you have a good insight, they may not want to post it if you aren't an expert.

Avoid lying or misleading reporters regarding your experience. If you are caught in the lie, they won't publish any false information, and you will get blacklisted from future articles. Though seemingly unlikely, lying to one reporter may block you from opportunities with many other reporters if they have a blacklist network to avoid liars and trolls.

Introduce your expertise early on when pitching. For example:

Hello [Reporter's Name],

I'm [Your Name], the [Your Qualification] at [Your Company's Name].

Reporters often scan responses for experience before looking at the other parts of the email. If they see you lack the desired experience or credentials, they'll look at someone else's response. Remember, your expertise doesn't need to be more than a sentence long.

Make it easy for reporters to see you've got the background they are looking for.

A Unique Statement

Journalists don't want the answer from Google. Hundreds of people search for the answer on Google and then send their search results as a response. A search result is not an insight. If they wanted a Google search to get the insight, they would have done so and not released a query.

Your statement needs to stand out from the crowd. Here's an example of what unique information looks like:

Here's my productivity tip for how to be more productive at work:

(feel free to edit if it's too long etc.)

Productivity can be increased by putting an additional computer monitor vertically.

Not many people would think of placing a monitor vertically when they think of how they can be more productive at work. The writer including unique information in their article gives people a reason to view their content instead of a Google search to solve their problems.

Consider following up your unique statement with an explanation behind it:

Throughout my working day, I write a ton of emails and articles. Standing a monitor vertically as I write helps me gain a good overview. It enables me to edit several parts of the blog post simultaneously and see the entire thing before pressing "publish" or "send." Simply put, I don't have to scroll nearly as far to view everything.

You Having Fun

Remember, people who read articles aren't only looking for information. Many who read the news do so as a daily habit, not in a search for specific information. Most people are dissatisfied with their lives and will undoubtedly be glad to get a chuckle or be intrigued by your statement.

An insight that invokes emotion in the reader is more likely to get picked than a dry insight. Have fun while righting your insights, and be helpful. Below are two example insights that communicate the same information, but one is more likely to get picked because it's fun:

Query: Looking for dog care tips.

Insight 1: Spend time playing with your dog.

Insight 2: Have fun playing with your dog!

The first tip you are likely to have completely disregarded and not cared about feels like a chore to implement and has probably made your reading experience worse. The second tip is similar but has a different play on emotions and is thus more effective.

Having fun while you write insights can make a big difference in how your insight comes off to the journalist and reader!

Of course, the journalist could go through the effort to make your insight more attractive themselves, but since they have hundreds of options, it's best to do the work of creating a fun insight for them.

Common HARO Mistakes People Make

What hurts people with HARO is not what they know to do but rather what they don't know to do. Using the platform properly requires understanding both the techniques you should use and the mistakes you should avoid.

Not Sounding Credible

Make sure you sound credible. In many cases, the best representative is the CEO or manager of your organization.

Tips for being credible:

  • Make sure you send emails with a business email account using the domain of the site you represent.
  • Represent a high-quality website or business.
  • Have a good background in the industry.
  • Gave a presence on social media.

Sending Bad Emails

Every query usually gets around 100 responses; sending a subpar pitch won't stand out. Avoid common answers and make an effort to stand out.

Think of what the ideal response for the journalist is. They likely want a pitch that gets them the help they need in the easiest way possible.

They will look at another email if you expect them to work for your help. Do the work for journalists upfront and make it easy for them to pick you.

Doing HARO Without Doing the Groundwork

Remember that HARO thrives on speed. You aren't going to want to have to touch up your website or background when that perfect query comes up. Make sure to do the groundwork beforehand.

  • Make sure your website that wishes to obtain high-quality backlinks from HARO looks fantastic.
  • Make the information about you professional and gives them a good impression.
  • Before sending any HARO pitches, you should have a few pages in mind and set up to which you would like them to link.

Doing the groundwork first will save you time. You will also avoid the headaches not doing the groundwork can cause; many miss out on incredible opportunities because they don't do the groundwork before being exposed to it.

The Pros and Cons of HARO

The pros and cons of HARO make it clear only people who are serious about getting strong links and ready to put in the work will be able to leverage the platform effectively.

Key Reasons to Use HARO

There are excellent reasons to include HARO in your link-building arsenal. Depending on your needs, it may be your toolbox's most substantial link-building strategy.

  1. HARO connects journalists with you; it's a great chance to network with the media.
  2. Many of the platform's journalists work for authoritative media sites.
  3. Many people are using HARO wrong; they send bad pitches to journalists and haven't formed a good strategy, giving you an upper hand.
  4. The HARO links you get will bring you lots of referral traffic and improve your SEO.

A HARO link counts a lot, so make your efforts count to get those links!

The Drawbacks of HARO

As with any link-building technique, HARO link building has its drawbacks.

  1. The platform isn't good for getting tons of low-quality links.
  2. To get those fantastic backlinks, you must earn them through your hard work.
  3. You must respond quickly to requests if you want your pitch to be chosen.
  4. Not everyone on the platform is a top-tier journalist; some represent low-domain authority sites.

The platform isn't great for getting links that don't count for much, and it will take grit to get the most out of the tool. Those who want to maximize their link-building efforts will meet these challenges with skillful work.

Haro Link Building FAQ

Is HARO Link Building Effective?

HARO link building is effective for getting game-changing links with the right strategy. HARO link building may be the perfect addition to your SEO strategy to bring you to the next level. Make sure to research how to use the platform thoroughly and give yourself time to practice and learn the skill of winning with HARO.

Zestard studied 2,500 HARO queries and found that 74% of published queries have a domain rating of 70 or higher. Using HARO, you can get those high authority backlinks you crave and turn your site from a low authority website into a powerful force in the search results.

What Businesses Use HARO?

Many businesses use HARO. Fox News, NBC, The New York Times, and more use it on the reporter side. These news networks benefit from the insights provided by responders, saving them time and improving the quality of their content.

On the responder side, small and large businesses build links with the platform. They benefit from the quality of the links and the chance to get loads of referral traffic from popular media sites. They also want to improve their SEO to get better results on Google by getting more links.

What Is the Best Haro Link Building Service?

HARO link building is effective for getting quality links but takes work. If you can afford it, why not have someone else do it while you work on other business areas? That's where HARO link-building services come in.

  • HARO SEO is a HARO link-building service that specializes in HARO link building. They offer competitive prices and a well-thought-out approach to HARO link building designed to improve your reputation.
  • There's also another HARO link-building service called HARO SEO which has worked with big names in the link-building scene like Backlinko.

A HARO link-building service can save you hours each week, the price can be worth it if you generate more per hour by saving those hours, or it makes sense considering your financial situation.

Remember that picking an exemplary HARO link-building service is crucial for getting the results you desire and is a big part of the greater picture of how to choose an SEO company, so make sure to be clear about the kind of links you want and your goals, and ask if they can meet your needs.

Can HARO Help My SEO?

HARO is excellent for SEO. Using HARO helps you build links that bring you traffic and increase your domain rating, which improves SEO.

The platform's key is link building; it's effective at getting top links from journalists. There's nothing like getting a backlink from Forbes; these links can be a game changer for your reputation (people seeing your work with these big names looks good) and helps with your domain's authority and SEO.

Reputation is becoming a significant ranking factor on Google, so there are additional SEO benefits besides the increase in domain authority from helping a reporter out.

Is HARO good for backlinks?

HARO is brilliant for backlinks. HARO links tend to be on the higher side of authority, making them count for more. Link building with the help of a reporter is effective and can lead to more organic traffic coming into your business's online site.

By contributing to journalism, you can get a solid link to your website, improving your SEO.


HARO links bring a new option for link building. You will find the platform helpful if you want to improve your site's SEO dramatically with quality links.

When you start, HARO can be a free service. The free version allows you to respond to HARO requests and receive HARO emails about opportunities from journalists, which should be enough for you for a while; the paid versions are for people who want to maximize the platform as much as possible.

Remember, there's a big difference between doing HARO right and wrong. Remember to implement the techniques discussed in this guide and continually improve your skills in helping the media!

If you're looking for link building help, check out our link building service page and contact us to chat.

Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
🕒 11 mins read
Last updated on
Sep 20, 2022

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Article by
Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
Ajay enjoys tinkering with new link building strategies, building teams and processes around it and in general, has enjoyed being a part of the industry for the past decade.

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