How to Use HARO to Get Quality Backlinks to Your Blog

If you’re on the hunt for an easy way to get quality backlinks to your blog, look no further, my friend! In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using HARO to get backlinks from high-quality sources.

But first…what the heck are backlinks and why do we need to worry about them anyway?

Here’s a quick lesson!




If we want more eyes on our websites, we need our sites to be optimized. Although there are a bunch of important little things that we can do to optimize our sites, the two big ones fall into these categories:

– On-site optimization (making sure that Google and our readers know what the heck our blog is about).

– Off-site optimization (making sure the things that happen off our site that will impact our search engine ranking in a positive way).

Links that lead back to your blog fall into that second category. They are essentially links on other people’s websites that lead back to your website, telling readers and Google that your site is worth visiting.

We call them backlinks.


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A simple example of how this works:

A healthy-living mommy blogger puts together a list of her favorite websites for healthy, kid-friendly recipes. Your recipe blog makes it onto that list. That backlink from her site tells Google that YOUR site is worth visiting for kid-friendly recipes!

This gives you more authority in the eyes of search engines, and more authority in the eyes of the people that read that mommy blog.

The more quality backlinks you get, the more authority you get.

And more authority leads to more blog readers. Booyah! That’s what we all want for our blogs, baby!

Now that we know we definitely WANT quality backlinks pointing back to our blogs, we can talk about a simple way to get them: using HARO.




Also known as ‘Help a Reporter Out’, HARO is a free email subscription service that connects sources of news and information with reporters that are curating content for their platforms.

In other words, the HARO platform is connecting YOU with the journalists that want to publish your knowledge in front of their audience.

And the beauty part?

If that reporter publishes your content on their site, you will usually get a quality backlink back to your blog!





Now we know that we want backlinks FOR SURE. We know that using HARO to get backlinks is possible. But how?

Here’s how it works.

Reporters sign up for HARO. They create queries to collect news, knowledge, experiences, or information from people in different areas/niches. Those people are considered the ‘news source’ that helps the reporter out with the content/facts they’re writing or gathering.

On the flip side, the news source (that’s YOU) can also sign up for HARO. When you do this, you’ll receive daily emails of those queries that the reporter has submitted. Your job will be to scroll through these queries and find one that makes sense for your backlink strategy.

We’ll get into that in detail and show screenshots of everything below, so just hang in there with me!

Remember, the reporter submitted these queries searching for people like you, that have stories and knowledge to share with their audience. They also left a contact email where you can reach them and pitch your response to their query.

When you pitch your response to their query and get approved by that reporter, your response is published in their publication with a link back to your blog.

And just like that, BOOM. Quality backlink.

It can be a little overwhelming at first, so let’s dig a little deeper into the whole process. It will all make sense by the end of this article, I promise!




You can sign up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) right here.

Remember, you are the news/info source that is helping the reporter out! So, when you sign up, make sure you’re signing up as a SOURCE, not a reporter. If you follow the link above, it’ll take you right to the signup page for news sources, so you’ll be set!

Just scroll down a bit and hit the subscribe button. Looks like this:

You are subscribing to the HARO email list.
By doing this, you’ll be receiving (3) daily emails from HARO that list all the reporter queries that have been submitted in every niche.

Some of the popular categories:

Biotech + Healthcare

Business + Finance


Entertainment + Media


Just in case you’re skimming, let me repeat the above:

If you sign up for HARO, you will be receiving (3) separate emails every single day from them. It seems like a lot when you’re trying to keep your tired little blogging head above water, I know.

But these are emails that you WANT to get… Believe me. And you don’t need to read or respond to every single one, so don’t worry.

Recap of the Signup Process:

1. Hit that link above to subscribe to HARO.

2. Choose the free subscription option!

3. Fill out your info and confess that you’re not a robot. Then hit the sign up button!



You signed up – woohoo!

Now what?

Check your email and hit that confirmation link in the email to set up your account.

After hitting that link, you’ll see a page that looks something like this:



You just need to fill out the HARO profile page with your information and choose which category of email queries you want to receive.

After you’re set up, you will begin receiving your reporter query emails DAILY. They’ll look something like this:



You’ll just scroll through the categories where you have experience and read the queries to see if there is something you can answer or help with.

But, don’t overthink it!

These reporters are not usually looking for full-length essays, they are often looking for brief but helpful content from a variety of people.

Here’s an example of one of the queries you could potentially respond to. If I met the requirements and it made sense to contribute to this piece, I could respond to their email address and pitch my story.



The important thing to remember: YOU are the expert that’s helping the reporter out by answering questions or sharing your experiences.




Here’s the part where many bloggers choke: pitching a response to a reporter’s query…but that isn’t going to be YOU. You got this!

Just read on.

Reporters on HARO are looking for experts that can contribute quality information and experience to their articles.

If we keep this in mind, we’ll be able to formulate solid pitches that get accepted! Here are some tips:

1. Always make sure you follow instructions.

Sometimes, the HARO reporter wants a few brief sentences. Sometimes they want 5 specific tips on subject XYZ. And sometimes, they want something else.

Follow instructions carefully. Give them exactly what they’re asking for. And be sure to mention why you’re qualified to share this information or advice.

2. Always use spell check.

Pretty self-explanatory, right? You’re pitching your response to professional journalists and reporters.

Double check your spelling and grammar.

3. Always use their name.

The reporter’s name will be listed in the query. Use their name when you send your response.

Pro tip:

Try to make sure you’re one of the first people to respond to a query! The HARO emails are sent out Monday through Friday at 5:30AM, 12:30PM, and 5:30PM. Stay close to your inbox and be prepared to scroll and respond right away. Having an email template that you modify for each query is a good idea!




When your HARO reporter publishes that piece of content, they will usually include a link back to your blog (helloooooo backlinks).

Just make sure that the backlink is exclusively stated as part of the deal! Some of these articles are done anonymously for various reasons, and in those cases, you probably wouldn’t be getting a backlink (pssst: don’t apply for those ones).

The reporter will sometimes send you an email with the link to the published article, if you were included. If this happens, thank them, and then share that baby to the ends of the earth, just like you do your other content!

Unfortunately, they won’t always tell you that they’ve included you in their article. It’s annoying, but thankfully, you can set up your own Google Alerts to receive an email anytime someone mentions your website URL online.

It’s easy to do! You’ll just sign into Google Alerts. Set up an alert for your exact website URL. And then, every time someone mentions that URL, you’ll get a notification.

Alternatively, you can also check your referral traffic in Google Analytics to see when your traffic is coming from a new place.




Let’s wrap this baby up like a rolled taco and make sure you’ve got all the fixin’s! Here are the main points for all my speedy scrollers out there:

– Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free subscription platform that connects reporters to news sources like YOU.

– After signing up for HARO, you’ll get daily emails with reporter queries that are looking for info from sources like YOU.

– You can send a personalized response to these reporters and get featured in their publications – details found above!

– Using HARO to get backlinks for your blog is definitely something you should incorporate into your off-page optimization strategy.

– It can take some time and patience, but it’s a pretty straight forward and free way to get quality backlinks!

HARO is just one of many ways that you can get quality backlinks back to your site. I highly recommend diving into a few different backlink strategies so that you can gain authority quicker (more authority means more chances of landing on page one of Google).

For today, just jump into HARO and get that backlink game started! And for more tips on optimization, I highly recommend this Backlinks e-book and this on-page SEO e-book!

Be sure to pin this article for later!


Other must-read articles:

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

How to Write Engaging Blog Posts Your Audience Will Love

9 Easy Ways to Make Money From Home

18 thoughts on “How to Use HARO to Get Quality Backlinks to Your Blog”

  1. Once again you’ve collected a great resource and provided a clean, easy and step-by-step method on how to access and use. Thank you for the recommendation to HARO. This is why you’re the best!!! Great job being an authority on all things blogging. Keep up the amazing work, Cate!

  2. Thank you for this. I have heard so many people talk about this site but never really knew how to get started. I even tried starting and turned out I almost signed up for it wrong. I will for sure be using your post to help me

  3. Thanks for providing such an informative post. This post is really very helpful. It provides many new knowledge and tips regarding “SEO THAT WILL GET YOU TO THE TOP”

    Thanks again!

  4. Oh Rachel, I appreciate this comment so so much! Sometimes you put your heart into a blog post and wonder if it’s truly going to help anyone … and I’m so happy to see this post actually helping people! Thanks for much for reading and taking the time to comment.

  5. Thank you Cate! I have been struggling with the concept of backlinks. I never even heard of HARO. You explained it very well and seems so easy to use. I’m going to give it a try.

  6. HARO is the best, I have grown a lot thanks to their platform. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate you so so much!

  7. HARO is awesome! I hope you are able to get some writing assignments and build some great backlinks through HARO!

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