Nothing can replace good publicity.
Although we are prepared to accept almost any kind of marketing exposure, most of the bloggers still prefer links and social mentions provided by large news websites. Organizations such as Time Magazine and Mashable are just a few names that can propel your website to that new height.
This might look strange and you might be wondering: “Why would I bother with large news companies if I am able to get a link from the biggest websites within my niche?”
Although links and social mentions from your own industry are good in terms of relevancy, these websites have smaller audience in comparison. On the other hand, news organizations are able to reach much more people increasing your exposure.
Also, on average, they are much stronger in terms of SEO stats.
To sum it up, pitching websites within your industry is better if you are trying to sell industry related products or services while pitching news websites is excellent for those who wish to reach huge masses and while boosting their SEO.
What is HARO?
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a website that connects journalists and content writers.
Basically, all these guys working for big media outlets constantly need to prepare new stories and share them with their audience. In most of the cases, they do not have adequate knowledge concerning a topic.
Now, given that all these news companies are authoritative, professional organizations, they will never make a mistake sharing uncorroborated story or bad information.
In order to save time and get the most relevant facts from the experts in the field, they turn to HARO.
The majority of these content writers are in fact representing certain websites. In that regard, they are not charity organizations nor do they do it because they like to write. Instead, they are trying to get some additional exposure through some of the biggest news outlets.
All you have to do is create an account in Help A Reporter Out and you are ready to go.
You can choose between various topics so you can easily find just the right stories for your website. Whenever a journalist within your niche is looking for a new piece, you will be notified via email. This way, you are able to save a lot of time.
HARO is quite an efficient way to promote your content and website given that most of the process is done by the platform itself.
How to pitch journalists successfully with HARO
The entire process is automated and allows you to get amazing publicity. Due to this fact, you should expect that there will be a lot of contenders for that one spot.
Anyway, there are certain things you need to know before you start pitching.
Let’s check them out.
Make sure that the topic is right
A lot of top-tier news websites are using HARO. At the beginning of this article, I mentioned a couple of them. People who are new to blogging or this platform think that any publicity is good publicity.
This is not the case.
You need to pick your battles carefully and only pitch in case you have extensive knowledge of the topic. In the end, there is no point in getting a mention from a big news company if it will not provide relevant traffic.
Also, it can diminish your reputation affecting all future contacts.
There is a low demand for certain industries. Journalists are not covering some topics and that’s that. But, that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard trying to get any kind of exposure.
Remember, with HARO you need to be patient and wait for the right chance.
Your name is your currency
Like with anything else in marketing, your name and brand play the vital role.
Help A Reporter Out is an elite club. Journalists do not benefit from articles written by some random people. They need the good stuff as they have tons of readers visiting their websites regularly.
If you are a new to the game, make sure that HARO is not your first stop.
First, build a name within your own industry and get some small victories under your belt. Then, when you are finally ready, you can show your portfolio to high profile journalists and get easy exposure on the biggest media websites.
Make sure to include all your relevant previous work in your pitch as it is crucial in persuading the person on the other end.
As you can presume, news websites have tight deadlines as they need to provide fresh content all the time. These deadlines can work to your advantage or disadvantage.
Requests that give you short time to respond are real jewel.
There is much less competition but this also means that you have to rush your pitch. Anyway, make sure that you send the right message to the journalists. Otherwise, you might come off as unprofessional and sloppy.
Be quick to respond
Although some industries rarely get a chance to be featured on news websites, it is still important for you to respond as soon as you get such a request.
When a journalist starts checking their inbox, it is much better to be on top of that list. It will make your message more memorable and if your credentials good enough, they might even skip reading the rest of the pitches and go with you.
Your message has to be short and unique
The previous step exponentially increases your chances of being picked. However, you still need to attract enough attention so that a person chooses you in the end.
When it comes to journalists and editors, most of them have a lot on their plate. They do not have time to read novels.
If you make a lengthy message you are not increasing your odds; in fact, you are only frustrating person on the other end. Unlike some other types of messages where you have to create an emotional bond or to invoke good feelings, this type of pitch is based on efficiency.
When it comes to uniqueness, your message needs to provoke curiosity. In that regard, it is very similar to articles where you have to capture reader’s attention instantly otherwise, they will not be willing to read the entire post.
Anyway, it is good to be unique but make sure to make it quick.
If you have extensive internet experience, it will be really easy for you to use HARO. It is based on sound principles where you have to provide the best solution to a person in order to get a job.
Most people think that this tool is great for small websites. There are a lot of guys who are just starting their first project dreaming of getting such an exposure.
But, this is completely wrong!
Help A Reporter Out is an advanced tool. Unless you have built reputation as an expert, do not waste your time on it.
Yes, you might get some article posted but it will take you a lot of time. Instead, focus your efforts within your own niche. HARO will still be there, waiting for you.
What is your experience with HARO? Share it in comment section!