Guest posting is one of the most important first steps you can take to get your blog noticed. Not only will you boost your visibility but you’ll get an opportunity to hone your writing and pitching skills, two pivotal components in the business of blogging. While finding blogs to guest-post on can be tricky, there is one resource every travel writer and blogger should be keeping an eye on: HARO.
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. Every day, HARO sends out emails with lists of articles reporters need assistance with. These are listed by genre, with topics such as science, finance, and travel. If you’re looking to get yourself noticed, HARO is a good place to start.
The trouble is, these emails are sent to thousands and thousands of writers. Competing for attention can be tricky, and there is no guarantee your content will be chosen. There are, however, a few things you can do to increase those odds. Here are a few tips to help you get results with HARO:
- Read their request carefully – Before you even begin, read their request again. And then a third time. Make sure you completely understand what they are looking for. If you end up wasting their time, it’s not something they will forget. Start things off on the right foot by following their instructions carefully.
- Reply promptly – If you end up waiting until the deadline to submit, chances are the reporter will already have found what they are looking for. Beat the crowd by replying quickly. This will give you a leg up, as you’ll likely beat your competition to the punch.
- Use a professional email address – If you want to be viewed as a professional, you need to have a professional email address. Having a dedicated professional email address shows that you are a serious blogger or writer and that you treat your work professionally. While firstname.lastname@example.org is acceptable, email@example.com is MUCH better. Personalized email addresses cost only a few bucks a month (and they usually come with additional cloud storage, too). It’s a necessary investment if you want to be a professional, and it’s the first thing the reporter will notice.
- Reply with the proper subject line – This should be obvious, but I’ll include it to be thorough. When you are replying to a HARO email, make sure you choose a subject line that makes it clear what you are replying about. The easiest way to do this is to just make your subject line the same as the title of the article in question. That way, the reporter will know precisely what you’re emailing about, as they may have multiple projects going at once. Making their life easier increases your chances of being successful.
- Include a short introduction – Before you dive into your pitch, take a moment to introduce yourself. It doesn’t need to be excessive, but it does need to illustrate who you are. Be sure to mention your niche and include a link to your website. Here is a basic example:
My name is Matt and I operate the budget travel blog Nomadic Matt.
- Highlight your expertise – After your introduction, jump right in to establishing your expertise. This is the heart of your pitch, so make it count. Highlight WHY they should pick you by clearing demonstrating your knowledge of the subject.
My name is Matt and I operate the budget travel blog Nomadic Matt. I’ve been a budget traveler for over a decade and run one of the largest travel blogs on the internet. After traveling to almost 100 countries, I am well versed in the art of saving money on the road so I’d be happy to share a few budget travel tips for your article.
Or if you’ve been featured some place, include that too.
My name is Matt and I operate the budget travel blog Nomadic Matt, with over 1.5 million visits per month. After traveling to almost 100 countries, I am well versed in the art of saving money on the road so I’d be happy to share a few budget travel tips for your article. I’ve been featured on CNN, AP, WSJ, and NYT talking about this subject before.
I know it seems like bragging, but the point here is to establish your credibility and expertise. You have to convince the reporter that YOU are the one who can provide the best help.
- Include sufficient content – If they are looking for tips but don’t give a specific number, include 5-8 separate tips. If they are looking for a short testimonial or review, include a few different versions for their choosing. Make their life easy by giving them options. It will be more work for you, but the payoff is worth it. Even if you don’t get chosen, you’ve just had a short exercise in writing – and that is always a plus! That being said, don’t go overboard. If they have to read a novel, they aren’t going to be happy. Try to walk that fine line of providing value without being excessive. If you aren’t sure, reread their request to see if there are any specific instructions.
If you want to go above and beyond, provide links to your blog with other helpful information. Make sure the links are relevant and not a waste of their time. Mention their content and the additional value they might add.
- Conclude with an invitation – Just as you started with an introduction, you’ll want to end with a conclusion. Thank them for their time and point out that you are more than happy to add additional information or answer any questions they may have. Subtly reference your expertise again, if it seems appropriate.
As a professional blogger and budget traveler, I always love to talk travel. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Also, mention that if they have any questions for future articles you’d be happy to assist. There is a chance they may save your contact information and reach out in the future. And you’ll want to do the same: save their contact information, too. After all, knowing the right people is half the battle!
While I can’t guarantee that these tips will generate results, I CAN guarantee that they will help. So, be sure to apply these tips next time you respond to a HARO request and share your results in the Facebook group!