HARO - The Media Can provide Authority Backlinks to Build Brand & Trust

How the Media Can Provide Authority Backlinks to Build your Brand and Website’s Trust Score

Newspaper Small Image


Building your personal brand helps to attract new customers because it communicates that you are an authority they can trust. Additionally, obtaining backlinks to your website from authority sites, raises your site’s trust score with Google.

This helps your content to rank higher organically, as well obtaining traffic directly from those authority sites linking directly to your website.

This article describes in detail one approach, that is not only free, but also notifies you three time per day by email of publishing opportunities.

In addition to contributing content for media topics, you can be asked to submit full-featured articles for publication. You can also be invited to be interviewed on podcasts, as well as contribute content for books being published.

To see the results, we generated for Vaetas, check out our Publications page.

The free service is, “Help a Reporter Out.” To be successful using this method it’s important to

 "Think of reporters as your customers and help them to provide the best experience for their audience."

TIP: It can also be the foundation for your own content marketing plan. If reporters are writing about topics within your niche, it indicates reader interest.


Help A Reporter Out, also referred to as HARO, is a service where reporters looking for content can post their queries which are emailed to sources based on category selection.

HARO offers you the opportunity to become a content source for real-time media opportunities that come straight from journalists on a worldwide basis.

They are usually on a deadline and seeking additional content to enrich their articles. If you’re an agency, you can even directly reply to a source request for your clients.

Reporters from Inc.com, Yahoo!, Reuters, Forbes and other publications use HARO.

Many requests are anonymous which usually represent an established publication, wishing to keep their article subject confidential; and avoid spam. 

While most of the requests are for written material, occasionally there is an additional opportunity to appear on podcasts; radio shows, TV appearances, and even contribute to books being published in the near future.

HARO Website Image

Benefits of Using HARO

  • Building trust with potential customers through earned media.
  • Roundup articles that publish your submissions in conjunction with experts and influencers.
  • Increases Google-branded search results.
  • Having your name, picture and business citation published on content blogs and authority sites.
  • Acquiring branded backlinks to your website.
  • Having these authority articles go viral which expands your digital footprint.
  • Attracting targeted traffic from these content blogs and authority sites.
  • Being asked by reporters to provide additional content for their publications.

How HARO Works for Sources

When you sign up for a free HARO account, you select the content categories that you wish to receive. For example, I signed up to become a source for the high tech and business categories. You can also select the general category that will send the entire daily query list organized by category.

HARO emails you three times per day - 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. The required response time varies for each reporter, from late that day to 24 hours.

Some that require more of a detailed response can provide several days to respond. HARO provides a unique email address for each reporter (@helpareporter.net).

As this is a quick response service, you can opt to invest in the proactive HARO subscription service. The paid version allows you to search their database and receive advanced alerts when new requests are initially posted.

Timely Response Required

If your submission is sent after the posted deadline, it is rejected and not forwarded. You will receive an email notification for late submissions.

Some Don’ts

  • Pitch your products or services in your reply unless the reporter specifically requests information about products being covered in the article.
  • Reply to requests with incomplete information or asking for an interview to discuss the topic. Only send complete answers and adhere to the content word count if stated.
  • Send email attachments. Instead, use a link to a file stored on Google Drive or Dropbox.
newsletter Graphic

HARO Challenges

There are a few challenges with source submissions to HARO. These include:

  • No acknowledgment of your submissions by reporters unless they use it.
  • No guarantee that you will be notified when your submissions are published (Most reporters are good at notifying you).
  • Queries do not always align with your expertise.
  • Having to quickly respond with targeted content worthy of publishing on authority sites.

Is HARO Worth your Time?

Like any other digital marketing effort, it requires some planning, attention to detail and effort. You also have to make reviewing HARO email queries part of your work day. When I realized this and stopped just firing off replies without much thought, I was published several times including:

Our HARO Accomplishment Highlights

Podcast Interview that lead to customers

Invited to submit full articles, book contribution and expanded submission for print

Visit our Publications page for a full list of our HARO publications.


The following are tips to help improve your chances of being published through your HARO submissions:

Develop the correct mindset

Think about your competition

Suggested work habits

Dealing with the HARO notification challenges

When your submissions get published


The strong benefits of using HARO are worth making it part of your work week. Scheduling time to respond and thinking through the request will help you to submit your best information.

Think of reporters as your customers and help them to provide the best experience for their audience. The results are that you can become that influencer in your niche with third-party validation.

Wishing you continued success,


V. Michael Santoro

Co-Founder, Vaetas, LLC

Contact Us

About Vaetas Connect

Vaetas Connect, our patented easy-to-use interactive video system, allows you to authentically connect with prospects and customers through personalized call-to-action videos. With our call-to-action technology, viewers can:

  • Email or call you directly from your videos.
  • Automatically be sent to any web page.
  • Download your digital files, such as brochures or agreements.
  • Schedule a consultation and have it sync with your Google calendar

The Vaetas Connect call-to-action videos play full-screen and no landing pages are required.