HARO (now Connectively) Link Building: How To Land Great Backlinks In 5 Steps

By Dmytro Spilka

Apr 17, 2024

HARO (now Connectively)

Note: HARO has permanently rebranded into Connectively

Link building is becoming increasingly important for SEO success in 2024. After 79% of marketing experts ranked link building as their number one SEO strategy, more businesses than ever before are looking for new ways to build up their backlinking game.

While internal linking has skyrocketed in recent years, 94% of online content does not receive any external links.

Stick with us as we reveal the benefits of HARO (now Connectively) link building for external SEO and teach you how to optimise HARO for backlinking success in five simple steps.

What are External Links?

External links, otherwise known as backlinks, drive engagement from all angles. If your business is linked out to in a competitor blog or within a top-tier publication, you’ll quickly open up your website to more potential traffic and establish yourself as a key player within your niche.

The question is, how do you acquire external links? From competitor link partnerships to guest posting strategies, there are a number of ways to obtain an external link in 2024. However, one external link-building strategy often forgotten is HARO link building.

Not only is HARO (Help A Reporter Out) becoming a popular tool used by marketers all across the globe, but HARO link building is a great organic SEO strategy to adopt if you want to improve your external linking in 2024.

What is HARO Link Building?

Help A Reporter Out, otherwise known as HARO is a platform used for connecting journalists with sources that can provide publications with expert insights on a range of relevant topics.

Despite the platform being created as a resource for the journalism industry, in recent years, HARO has also been used by business owners, entrepreneurs and PR experts to gain exposure as a thought leader within their industry.

Put simply, HARO allows journalists to post requests for expert comments and industry insights to help improve their upcoming articles. The platform is used by top-tier publications across the globe and offers any expert the chance to be featured in an article that has a high traffic potential.

Better still, journalists who use HARO sources for expert opinion will often also provide a link to the source. This may be the expert’s website, social accounts or any other backlink that references their comment.

Therefore, if a business markets itself on HARO as an expert voice within its niche, it gains the opportunity to appear organically within a high-authority publication followed by an external link that guides potential leads to its services.

This external linking from high-authority publications is the catalyst that has driven SEO experts to start using HARO as a link building strategy.

How To Become A HARO Source

It’s very easy to become a source on HARO. If your knowledge of your industry niche is up to scratch and you believe you can offer powerful responses to journalists’ requests, you simply have to register as a source on HARO to be given access to comment requests.

Once you have registered as a source, it’s time to start using HARO link-building to aid your SEO efforts.

There are two ways to engage with requests on HARO, via email directly from the platform or using HARO’s pitching platform, Connectively.

  • Using HARO: When you register as a source on HARO, you typically receive 3 HARO emails a day from Monday to Friday. These are often specific requests from journalists that are relevant to your profile experience. While this is the traditional format of the platform, relying on email requests can make it easy to miss opportunities, especially if you’re not constantly checking your inbox.
  • Using Connectively: Connectively is a pitching platform optimised for HARO’s request database. Instead of waiting for email notifications, you can log into Connectively to see journalist requests as they go live. Using Connectively, you can pitch instantly and then track your success within the app, saving you from accessing HARO directly for your HARO link building.

For those of you wanting to engage in link building on HARO without pitching directly to requests, a number of SEO agencies now offer businesses the chance to buy links acquired by HARO. However, these services are priced by link. So depending on the authority of the website your business goes live on, you could be looking at costs of up to £700 per link.

Can HARO Link Building Aid Your SEO Efforts?

HARO link building is a proven SEO strategy known for enhancing engagement, driving site traffic and generating SEO leads.

Aside from the fact that it produces links from top-tier, authoritative domains, there are plenty of other reasons to invest in HARO link-building in 2024.

  • Building Brand Awareness: If you’re linked out to as an expert within a number of top-tier publications, your demographic is going to start to recognise your brand as a key voice within the industry. The more HARO links you can acquire, the more awareness you’ll spread of your services.
  • Improving E-E-A-T: While E-E-A-T is not an official Google ranking factor, search engines are twice as likely to send you up the SERPS if you can prove that your brand has experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Being mentioned within a number of high-authority publications ticks all four boxes.
  • Competitor-Free Opportunities: When you acquire a HARO link, it’s likely that your competitors will struggle to replicate it. While they may also improve their link building on HARO, each journalist request will likely choose one expert over another, meaning that if you score the link, the placement on that website is yours only.

However, if you want to build up your SEO success using HARO link building, it’s essential that your pitching strategy is perfect. Journalists are bombarded with hundreds of pitches a day, so it’s crucial that your pitch stands out.

With this in mind, let’s explore how to optimise your HARO link building strategy for SEO victory in 2024.

5 Ways To Optimise HARO For Link Building

HARO link building can be a great SEO aid when done correctly. With more competition for external links on the platform than ever before, we’re here to show you how to optimise your strategy for success.

There are plenty of ways to optimise the HARO platform for link building. This includes setting up author pages for your experts, writing actionable pitches and hunting for the perfect journalist request.

Without further ado, here are five ways to improve your HARO link building strategy.

1. Set Up An Author Page

One of the first things to do after registering for HARO is to set up an author page. When you sign up for a free account, the platform itself gives you a chance to onboard your information and make the most out of your profile.

Once you’ve set up your account with the basics, head straight over to your dashboard, where you’ll find your editable personal information.

Here you want to add elements that help advertise you as a source. These need to show potential journalists that you are trustworthy, authoritative and, of course, an expert in your field.

When setting up the perfect author page, here is what to include:

  • Photos: This puts a face to the source and sets you apart from potential bots operating on the platform.
  • Bio: This is quite possibly the most important element to include. Your bio sells you as an expert. It should be concise but highlight all of the qualifications and skills that prove why your comment would be an asset to a journalist.
  • Links To Backup Your Claims: Underneath your bio should be proof of your qualifications and expertise. These can be links to your business, previous guest posts/comments or a link to your CV of experience.
  • LinkedIn & Socials: If you are already a key thought leader on other platforms such as Linkedin or TikTok, for example, make sure that these channels are also linked out to within your bio as they demonstrate your current following and authority within your industry.

It’s important to update your bio frequently with new links to recent mentions in the media and any other relevant content as the industry moves forward.

2. Hunt For Relevant Requests

If you’re looking to link build with HARO, one of the first things to consider is request relevancy. If you end up pitching to requests that are not relevant to your expertise you waste both your time and the journalist’s time.

There are a few ways to hunt for relevant requests with ease.

The first option is to scan through the daily emails you receive from HARO to hunt for specific keywords that relate to your industry. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, make sure you’re looking out for topics on SEO, social media marketing, PR and so on.

If you are unsure whether you’re qualified to speak on a topic, why not do some further topic research?


(Image Source: Semrush)

Using a topic research tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs, you can enter your main umbrella category and discover all the relevant topics open for you to share your comments on for HARO link building.

It’s also important to do some research into the publication you’re responding to. There’s no point trying to acquire a link from a website with a poor traffic score and a low domain authority.

Use a DA and DR checker such as Ahrefs to scan the publication you’re pitching to and ensure that the site will drive engagement for your business. The key here is to take note of the website’s demographic and compare the data to your own target audience. Will potential consumers read this publication? Are you targeting the right industry? These are crucial questions to ask as you perform a site assessment.

3. Write Actionable Pitches

Your pitch is your selling point, so make sure you get it right. Successful HARO pitches get straight to the point and quickly demonstrate the level of insight an expert has.

These are the dos and don’ts to consider when writing your HARO pitch.

  • Don’t Write More Than 200 Words: When answering a request, keep your pitch short and precise so that a journalist can quickly scan through your content.
  • Do Write Actionable Points: Journalists are looking for insightful quotes that get to the point. Give them stats, short sentences and actionable strategies that relate to the request. Leave the generic fluff at home.
  • Don’t Use Filler Content: Remember, this is a pitch, not a blog post. Share only facts that a journalist can build upon themselves.
  • Do Write A Subject Line: Your subject line should be no longer than 70 words and include all the important information for the journalist. This is the title of the query, your name, job title and, if you have room, something to make you stand out.

Crafting the perfect pitch takes time, so we suggest that you create templates based on the types of industry requests you’re aiming to target when building links on HARO.

4. Respond Quickly

Your response time could be the difference between you securing and losing a link on HARO. Most journalist requests are answered and secured within a day of posting, so it’s important to get in there quickly if you want to be in with a chance.

Responding quickly means that your pitch will land right at the top of your target publication’s enquiry feed. The journalist is twice as likely to choose from the top five answers in comparison to insight responses at the bottom of the list.

5. Explore HARO Link Building Alternatives

While HARO link building is a great addition to your SEO strategy, it has become increasingly competitive. With this in mind, we’ve listed some great HARO alternatives that also connect experts with journalists for link building opportunities.


Features is a pitching platform based in the US. Working in the same way as HARO link building, registered users on featured can set up a detailed profile ready to be spotted by journalists hunting for comments.

Featured is completely platform-based, so you are able to view and reply to requests all in one space. These pitches are then sent directly to the journalists from the platform.


(Image Source: Featured)

Better still, Featured also operates under an algorithm that pushes your profile to the top of a journalist’s feed as more of your pitches get published. As you gain more exposure within publications, the platform offers you more qualified opportunities on high-authority websites.


Journalists love Twitter. If you want to get a comment published on a high authority site, it could be time to turn to #journorequests on Twitter.


(Image Source: X)

As you search for the hashtag on X (formally Twitter), you’ll find journalists posting requests for comments daily, with much less competition than requests received on HARO.


Qwoted is also a great pitching platform for businesses looking to gain more exposure. If you’re familiar with HARO link building, this alternative will be easy to engage with.


(Image Source: Qwoted)

Not only is it used by some of the most authoritative publications on the market, such as HuffPost and Business Insider, but Qwoted also allows the journalist to reach out directly to a source for comment.

Wrapping Up

As we step into 2024, HARO link building could aid you in transforming your SEO strategy for the year ahead.

Marketing in the digital age is all about brand awareness. With so many competitors surrounding you, the only way to end up on top is to establish yourself as a key player within your industry. This includes gaining exposure on top-tier publications, posting cross-channel content and staying in touch with your audience and their trends.

HARO link building is the first step towards becoming a thought leader within your niche. Those who grab these link opportunities with both hands will remain victorious going forward.

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