Improving Your HARO Repurposing Efforts

HARO logoI’m a big fan of HARO (Help A Reporter Out). I wrote a guide on it on here, and since then I’ve written a guide to repurposing HARO requests over on State of Digital. This is a follow-up to the latter – a quick, head-slappingly, can’t-believe-I-didn’t-think-of-it-sooner follow-up tip.

To be fair, the entirety of this blog post can be summed up in the following six words: record your efforts in a spreadsheet. There you go – you can go now. …Although if you want to keep my ‘average time on site’ stats nice n’ healthy in my Google Analytics, then do please feel free to read on.

The problem with HARO is that it’s very much fast-paced. You get three emails a day – which is overwhelming enough as it is – and then when you find a good potential request, you have a deadline, which is sometimes (although rarely) up to a week or so, although more often than not it’s only a day or two. If you’re answering it yourself (e.g. I do SEO and freelancing ones on behalf of this blog and my own business) then you need to think of something good to say within that timeframe, too. If your client has to answer it (e.g. I like the client to respond – s/he is the expert in their industry, after all – rather than ghost-writing it for them) then not only do they also have to think of something good to say, but they have to do it in time, which can sometimes be a real challenge. Finally you get something sendable, send it across, and that’s it. WHEW. And relax.

The problem with this? There’s very much a ‘send it and forget it’ mentality about the whole thing. Once it’s done it’s done. If it gets picked up then that’s great; if it doesn’t then never mind.

…Unless you want to repurpose it.

I’ve started to compile a spreadsheet on behalf of myself and my clients of HARO requests that I’ve answered, along with their status. It’s a useful go-to doc that I remind myself to revisit whenever I have 5 mins spare every 1-2 weeks, and it’s much more organised and quicker than randomly trying to find an email you sent to someone at some point, by which time you’ve probably forgotten when you sent it and what you were even talking about, all of which makes it all the more hard to find.

Here’s a snippet of mine:

HARO repurposing spreadsheet screenshot
Spreadsheets mug imageIt really is an easy, sensible, time-saving (in the long run) exercise that helps you to keep on top of your HARO repurposing efforts and therefore increase your chances that your content can be reused. Because hey – you put effort into creating that content, especially if it’s a few hundreds words, so if it didn’t get picked up, don’t let it go to waste.

If you have any tips about using HARO then I’m all ears – drop a comment below or tweet me: @steviephil. I’m obsessed with the tool and even have plans to do the most meta HARO of all: a HARO request asking people about what makes a good HARO request. …Head hurt yet? Mine sure does.

Stay tuned…

[Image credit – Jonathan Harford]


  • Emma Barnes

    April 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Spreadsheets are my favourite.
    Make it a table and you can filter it for certain statuses and suchlike.

  • Charles Okwechime

    August 24, 2016 at 5:09 am Reply

    Hi there
    Nice post but from an SEO/link building perspective, I don’t think HARO is as strong as it’s being claimed, an SEO person can get quality link using other methods than HARO. I think it’s too much work for a link or two on HARO.

    If you build a page with a high-value content, you will get links without helping any reporters.

    • Steve

      August 24, 2016 at 9:05 am Reply

      Hi Charles, thanks for commenting. That’s a really good point. I see HARO as part of a diverse strategy – so use HARO as well as the type of stuff you’re suggesting, not instead of. And hey, don’t knock it – I’ve gotten some very good, high DA links via HARO. 😉

  • Jayakrishnan J

    July 13, 2019 at 7:03 am Reply

    Hello Steve,
    Good post. Is there anything that you can do if your answer don’t get a response within one day. A haro query from a big website could generate hunderds of answers and is there anything you do to get your head above the wave of other responses.

    • Steve

      July 14, 2019 at 10:07 am Reply

      Good question, Jayakrishnan! I’d suggest making sure you keep it to the point, make sure it’s worded exactly how the query-sender wants it, and try to answer with an unusual tip or recommendation (so that you stand out from people all saying the same thing). Worst case scenario, if you keep track of your responses and know that they aren’t getting used, you could always repurpose them so that the content you’ve written doesn’t go to waste.

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