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.
Benefits of Using HARO
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.
There are a few challenges with source submissions to HARO. These include:
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
Was invited to be a podcast guest - Result: Picked up customers. Here is an unsolicited quote posted by a new user in our Vaetas Connect Intercom system:
“Oh, you may be interested in knowing I heard about you while listening to a Justin Honnaman podcast. I've known him for a while now and a social media post about his podcast caught my attention. I headed to iTunes to see what he was up to - scrolled the topics - saw something about "Cold Calling" and video...clicked...and there you were. I've already shared your site with two other folks. Just saw it yesterday. Just thought you'd like to know.”
Invited to submit full articles, book contribution and expanded submission for print
Had my submission published and the editor asked me to write additional articles for the publication. (View)
Had my bio, picture and website link added to their blog as a contributor. (View)
- Asked to expand my submission and have it included in a book as a success story case study including a link to our website.
- A reporter requested me to expand on my submission beyond the request and is including it in her AARP magazine submission.
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
Start visualizing yourself as the reporter on a tight deadline. Think of her as already having written a good initial draft. Now she’s looking to add value from subject matter experts to make the piece even more unique to her readers. Providing unique or uncommon content that generates an “aha” moment is essential.
Think about your competition
Anticipate that the reporters are receiving several submissions and probably the majority are saying the same thing differently. There is also a good amount of recycled information that already appears on several other websites. Consider this and determine a submission based on your experience as follows:
Thinking like this helps to get to the point; which in turn, helps to work within the required turnaround time.
Suggested work habits
Schedule time at the beginning of your day, mid-day and late afternoon to review the HARO emails. You’ll have to adjust this for your time zone. Then:
Dealing with the HARO notification challenges
As the follow up on your submissions being published can be “hit or miss,” do the following:
When your submissions get published
While this is common sense for branding, it’s good to be organized. Also, reporters will be happy that you’re sharing their content.
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
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.