What Is HARO?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service specifically dedicated to help bloggers find information for blog posts? As far as I know, this doesn’t currently exist, but luckily HARO or Help A Reporter Out does exist and in addition to helping reports out can help bloggers out in many ways. HARO is a free service designed to help reporters and journalists gather public feedback and seek out additional sources for their articles. It gives reporters an opportunity to present a more well-rounded story to readers with insights from multiple sources. While you may not consider yourself a reporter, you can still gain the same benefits from this free service.
The way HARO works is reporters submit their questions for their articles to HARO in the hopes that someone responses and can provide them with some insights on their topic. These questions then get emailed out to HARO members. Below is an example of a HARO email. It is free to sign up for a site.
Gathering Information for Blog Posts
One of the best features of HARO is that you can submit a question or article idea that you would like to gather information about. When submitting your own query to HARO, you will need to include the following information:
Summary – One sentence summary of what you are looking for
- Summary: What small business owners can learn from Tom’s Shoes
Category – ex: Education, Business, etc.
- Category: Business and Finance
Your email – This can either be one generated by HARO or your actual email
- Email: email@example.com
Media Outlet – This would be the name of your blog
- Media Outlet: National Federation of Independent Business
Deadline – Date when you need to receive responses
- Deadline: 5:00 PM EST – 3 March
Query- This is where you go into more detail about what you are looking for
“Tom’s innovative business model, One for One, which helps a person in need with every product purchased, has grown into global movement. What are the takeaways for small business in this success story?
I’m looking for a small business owner or consultant who can discuss how small business owners might utilize this global movement to grow their own business while making a difference.”
Get Your Blog Featured on a News Site or Other Relevant Blog
There are all types of sites that send queries to HARO on a daily basis, ranging from up-and-coming blogs to major news sites like U.S. News. Answering HARO requests is a great way to gain exposure to your site, especially answering a question and getting coverage on an authoritative site.
Once you stumble upon a request that you have covered on your blog, or personally have expertise in, reach out to see if they are still looking for responses prior to writing your whole response to their question.
Once you provide information to someone, don’t forget to ask them if they can let you know when their article goes live and if the information you provided will be included. Depending on the publication, it may also be worth asking if they can link back to your site within the article.
HARO for Content Ideas and Prospecting
Once you sign up for HARO, you will quickly start to build up a database of their emails in your inbox. While your initial reaction may be to delete them once you have read through them, I would recommend saving them, if you can. On a day when you are hitting a roadblock and can’t figure out what to write next, try browsing through these old emails, they may spark your next brilliant idea.
Another reason I would recommend saving the emails is to prospect for blog posts you are trying to promote. You can search through your emails with this query from:firstname.lastname@example.org “insert topic here” and see if there have been any reports who have covered that same topic. Even if it has been months since their request, they might cover that topic on a regular basis and could potentially feature your post in their next article.
After reading about how you can generate content ideas, prospect and gather information for your posts with HARO, there is no reason not to sign up! After all, it’s free! And if you are worried about their emails flooding your inbox on a daily basis, just create a separate folder for all of your HARO emails. Once you sign up, if you think of another way that bloggers can use HARO, please leave a comment below!