Updated 10 August 2023: There are many techniques that SEO professionals use to obtain good quality backlinks for client websites. Some seem to be regularly mentioned across SEO articles online yet, in my 12+ years’ experience, offer little to no return on investment in time and effort (yes I’m looking at you Broken Link Building technique). Other techniques get far fewer mentions but are worth the time and effort for the occasional gem of a backlink. One such technique is to sign up to “Help-a-Reporter-Out” (HARO) at helpareporter.com. You could get a journalist contact, online exposure and a backlink. What’s not to like?
The only slight downside of HARO is the fact that it’s US-centric so many requests are looking for US-based businesses. If, like us here at Ditto Digital, you are a UK-based business then some HARO alternatives or a UK equivalent to HARO should also be in your mix for this technique. But first a quick overview of the original helpareporter.com.
HARO connects journalists and bloggers with reputable sources of data, opinions, expertise and other relevant information so that professional writers can meet publication deadlines and businesses can get media and online exposure. When you sign up to HARO (and best of all it’s totally free) you will be emailed daily updates of journalists requests for information for each category you select. It has a simple process for pitching with each request describing what is expected in the pitch. A great tool if you can find topics related to your expertise or industry. Just be prepared to trawl through multiple requests looking for ones that are relevant.
The system can sometimes generate way more requests (via email) than you can possibly look through in a day so it can be daunting. Try and narrow down what exactly it is that you would like to offer a quote for. Are you a particular expert in your industry, have you conducted some unique research – or even just collated relevant research from other sources? It could be that you have experience in something quite unusual or simply that you have many years experience. Through trial and error you can find your niche topics and then look out for requests for information/quotes on those niche topics.
Once you have got a good process going that works for you (maybe checking HARO requests on particular days of the week) then try and make it part of your workflow so you never miss an opportunity. Even just one backlink and one mention of your company name in a reputable publication will be worth all the effort.
Launched in 2015, journorequests.com will email a list of opportunities to contribute to articles on a daily basis (and it’s free to subscribe). Opportunities mostly come from UK publications. As a alternative you can simply check the #journorequest, #journorequests and #PRRequests hashtags on Twitter (now X) for the latest journalist requests. https://www.mediamatchmaker.uk/
This is the sister company of JournoRequests to help connect UK and Ireland-based entrepreneurs & businesses to journalists who are looking for help with stories, articles and expert comments. It’s free to subscribe but there are also paid options see https://www.mediamatchmaker.uk/.
Qwoted is a network connecting worldwide media with brands, experts and small businesses. Our personal experience of using Qwoted here at Ditto Digital has always been very positive and we have secured some great brand mentions and backlinks for clients and ourselves! Requests tend to be more suitable for businesses not in the home, health, lifestyle, beauty industries so is a good alternative to JournoRequests if you don’t find good matches there. Preferences can be set up easily in Qwoted so you don’t receive excessive email notifications.
Featured.com (previously Terkel.io)
Featured is another network connecting worldwide subject-matter experts with digital publishers. Publishers tend to be digital-only platforms rather than newspapers or magazines and requests on Featured are in a Q&A format. Our personal experience of using Featured (which changed it’s name from Terkel in 2023) has always been very positive and we have secured great brand mentions and backlinks. It’s free to use for a limited number of answers per month or there are paid subscriptions that allow more monthly answers to be supplied to publishers. It has an easy to use interface online if you want to check in regularly rather than receive email notifications.
Another place to receive UK-centric media requests from Journalists, bloggers and broadcasters straight to your inbox but there is a monthly fee. You can reply directly to any relevant requests for a chance to get your business in the media. Journolink.com also has a press release distribution service (again for a fee) – but note that any links in your press release will be “nofollow” so they may raise your business profile or even generate referral traffic but will not add any SEO value i.e. not contribute to improving the organic rankings of your website.
Editorielle.com is a new one for us but has press opportunities from Editors, Journalists and Bloggers in the UK so definitely worth a shot… However, there is now free option – unlike with so many other similar platforms – so it depends on your business and target publications whether this is worth the monthly cost (current £5.99 / month as of August 2023)
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Some of the above sources have fairly tight deadlines and require very specific input, data or quotes. But if your business meets the criteria it’s definitely worth the effort to contribute.