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HARO Pitch: 10 Tips To Write Successful Pitches

Boni Satani

March 22, 2022
HARO Pitches - Top 10 Tips

HARO is a platform used by journalists and reporters that require expert quotes and tips from various subject matter experts for their upcoming articles.

Also, the people who are looking to increase their brand visibility can get in touch with these journalists and bloggers through this HARO platform.

HARO platform gives you free access to its basic support and database. Journalists from huge media outlets such as Forbes, Bustle, Yahoo, New York Times, American Express, and many more use this platform effectively. 

However, if you wish to reap additional benefits from this platform, you will have to opt for its paid plans.

HARO is one of the great link-building techniques these days. In order to obtain high-quality backlinks and succeed in it, you must ensure that your HARO pitches are well written. 

10 Tips To Write The Best HARO Pitches

Though HARO is an excellent resource, it comes with its own challenges. Your pitch needs to be chosen over hundreds of other sources pitching for the same query.

Now the question arises, how can your pitch stand out from the rest? Well, to make your pitch different from the rest, you should know the tactics to write the best HARO pitch.

Below, we have listed the top 10 tips that will help you write the best HARO pitches that get selected.

1. Lead With Your Expertise

Each HARO query requires specific qualification criteria that have to be met compulsorily. The journalist would not know who you are and how you are perfectly qualified to answer a particular HARO query. So, it’s best to always lead with your expertise here.

Example:

Hi [Journalist’s Name]

I am [Your Name], the [Your Qualification] at [Your Company’s Name].

Just a single line introduction is enough here. You need not write 2-3 lines or a paragraph about your expertise. When you lead with your expertise, the journalist will want to read the pitch further if you will match the qualification criteria.

2. Make Your Pitches Bold And Direct

The journalists are usually tight on their deadlines and run in a hurry to complete their articles on time. They usually require expert quotes that are pretty direct and to-the-point as they can directly be included in their article without having much to rephrase.

Avoid adding additional fluff in your HARO pitch. The journalist will not have ample time to read each and every word of your pitch if it is lengthy. But if it is direct, short, and relevant, the journalist would surely want to include your pitch in their upcoming article.

If you want the journalist to accept your HARO pitch, spoon-feed them a complete expert pitch that they can directly use. Make sure your pitch is crisp, brief and free from non-relevant data. Don’t write too lengthy pitches unless the journalist specifically asks for it.

3. Add Attractive Subject Line

Don’t lose the journalist here after all the efforts you have put in writing a perfect HARO pitch. This is the step where the majority of the pitches get rejected even before they are read.

This step is really critical as you will want the journalist to open your pitch and read it in the first place. But without a catchy subject line, how will that be possible? It wouldn’t be, right?!

Write such subject lines that grab the reader’s attention in the first place. If you are unsure of what subject lines to use, you can keep your subject line aligned with the topic of the query that you are pitching, or you can even keep it as such.

Example:

  • Query –  Better ways to make employees feel appreciated

         Subject Line –  Better Ways to Make Employees Feel Appreciated

  • Query – Calling all designers! Commentary needed on trending “small bedroom” decor!

         Subject Line – Interior Designer on Small Bedroom Decor

4. Research About The Journalist

You could get an overview of what type of pitches a particular journalist usually picks by reading some of their previously published articles. Some journalists would prefer serious tones in their pitch, while some would prefer a bit of humor. You never know! There is always no harm in doing a little extra research.

Tailor your HARO pitch not just to the topic but also to the journalist. When you research a bit about the journalist and the writing they prefer, you could write your HARO pitch accordingly. This increases the chances of your pitch getting approved over the other pitches as it makes the journalist’s work easier.

When the journalist sees that you have written your pitch in a similar pattern to theirs, it quickly grabs their attention as this makes your pitch unique and different from the rest of the pitches that they might have received.

5. Insert A Unique And Fresh Perspective

A journalist might be receiving hundreds or thousands of HARO pitches every day, and there are high chances that the majority of the pitches will cover similar points.

If you want your pitch to be selected, you need to provide a unique piece of content to the journalist. The more unique your content, the higher are the chances of your pitch getting selected.

If the points you cover in your pitch are common, the chances of your pitch getting cited are relatively low, whereas if you provide fresh and unique insights to the journalist (which other people wouldn’t have), your pitch might get selected.

The journalists are often looking for something new and unique to add in their article. Make sure that your content is unique and plagiarism-free. Never copy-paste content directly from the search engines for your HARO pitches, as this content is readily available for everyone.

6. Talk A Bit About Your Industry When Possible

Did you know that 57% of all HARO queries had 10K+ Organic Traffic?

Adding some fun facts or news about your industry or niche in your pitch could do wonders as this portrays you as an expert in your field. But make sure that this does not exceed the boundaries of your topic. Carry out this step only if it aligns with the HARO query you pitch. Else, you can skip it.

When the journalists feel that you’re an expert in your industry, they think that your pitch can add value to their readers and hence, they will surely want to include your pitch in their upcoming article. You could also provide authority links in your pitch to add weightage to your points.  

7. Promote Your Already Published Citations

It  is okay to brag sometimes! If you have been interviewed or featured in well-known and reputed publications, you can mention it. This increases the journalist’s trust in you and your pitch, and they will want to cite you in their upcoming article.

You don’t have to add the links to all the articles that have been published. Just mentioning the publication name will do. This is because the journalists will not have that much time to check out the articles you have been cited in.

Once you have gained the journalist’s trust, they could even come back to you for other expert quotes on their other upcoming articles. 

Example:

I’ve been interviewed and featured on [Namedrop],[Namedrop],  and  [Namedrop], and I would love to share my expert insight for your upcoming article.

8. Send Your Pitch As Early As Possible

As we have already seen that the journalists usually run short on time as they have tight deadlines, it is advisable to send your HARO pitch as early as possible. We recommend you send them within 12 hours of you receiving the email.

Avoid sending a pitch after its deadline has passed. The earlier you send in your pitch, the sooner it will reach the journalist. Needless to say, this again increases the chances of your pitch getting selected over the other pitches. 

HARO emails are usually sent at 5:45 am, 12:45 pm, and 5:45 pm [EST] on Weekdays [Mon-Fri]. However, as the list of sources is extremely large, the time you will receive your email would be staggered slightly [either a bit earlier or later].

9. Keep Them Wanting For More

Just as experienced authors write their articles in such a manner that it keeps the readers wanting more of it, this works well with HARO pitches too. Write your pitches in such a manner that makes the journalist want to revert back to know more of them.

Add personal stories in your pitch, but only if they are relevant to the topic of the query. If your story is really interesting, the journalist might surely want to know the end of it and will contact you for the same. You can create a thrill in your story by leaving it on a cliffhanger.

If you are looking for an expert to write best HARO pitches for you, we are here at your service!

10. It’s Good To Follow-Up Sometimes

Send the journalist a thank you email when your HARO pitch does get published (and it will if you follow the tips mentioned in this article). Mention that you appreciate being cited in their article and will be available if they need you for their next piece. This helps build relations with the journalist and leads to increased media coverage. 

When your HARO pitch does not get published, the journalist might have missed your pitch or didn’t find it worth mentioning in their article. If you send a follow-up email to the journalist, there are chances that your missed pitch might come to notice by the journalist.

This does not work well with very big and reputed publications, but for certain medium-sized publications, this does work (only if they have missed your pitch by accident). But don’t fill up the journalist’s inbox with tons of follow-up emails.

How To Select Relevant Pitches 

HARO usually prefers quality over quantity. For the journalists to accept your pitch as an authority on a particular subject matter, only respond to queries under your expertise and business industry. If you keep pitching the queries that are not relevant to your expertise, the journalists will not consider your HARO pitch, and you might end up wasting your time and the journalist’s. 

For instance, if you are a Marketing Manager, your expert opinion would be of no value where the expertise of an HR Manager is required. 

Final Thoughts

Obtaining backlinks from irrelevant websites won’t be of much help to your business. Instead, focus on building relations with the journalists and pitching to only those HARO queries where your expertise can genuinely help the journalist’s readers.

Now that you have read all the amazing tips to write the best HARO pitches, don’t waste your time and get started!

Boni Satani

Boni Satani is the head of marketing at Zestard Technologies Pvt. Ltd. With over 10+ years of experience in SEO, Boni has helped many national and international businesses increase their online visibility and reap high ROI. He frequently blogs for the Search Engine Journal and YourStory. You can find Boni on Twitter and Linkedin.

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