Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Morgan Taylor, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Morgan is the owner of Jolly SEO. Him and his team specializes in earned media backlinks, particularly via HARO (Help a Reporter Out).

He is pulling hundreds backlinks a month using HARO, with an average DR 75+, which are sought after by many SEO agencies.

If you are struggling with HARO, please feel free to pick his brain.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s successes and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.

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Table of Contents

What’s the Haro secret? I’ve tried about 10 times and never got a response.

So, the secret in the context of our SEO world: Never ask for a backlink. Don’t offer money.

This is not a “pay to play” platform like many people think. Instead, the currency you’re paying with is legitimate expertise.

To back up your contribution, you need a profile worth quoting.

We require that all of our clients have a real live human C Suite/Founder to represent their company.

Pair that with an @domain.com email address, and you’re already at the front of the line.

We send 2,500+ pitches per month right now, so don’t stop at 10!!

If you’ve sent only ten pitches it’s way too early to give up.

The very first account I worked I sent 30 with nothing and right when I was about to stop, I started seeing links roll in.

Also, not every journalist will let you know a pitch was used, so be sure to Google yourself to double check!

The email response goes to this inbox. But that’s our outreach inbox… it’s just in their name, on their domain.

The client always retains access to this inbox, but ideally they never use that inbox — can get sloppy if we’re in each other’s way.

 

What’s HARO ? How does it work? Maybe I know but I don’t know is called HARO

It stands for ‘Help A Report Out’.

It’s a service that puts you in contact with reporters. It work really well if you make an article that gives a lot of value so the reporter can use it as a resource in their articles.

 

What is the cost per link on average?

You should never offer $.01 for a HARO mention.

This is a huge red flag to the journalist/marketer receiving your pitch. Not only will your pitch be deleted, but you’ll be on their shit / blacklist.

Now, if you’re asking what it costs us internally, that all depends on the quality you’re aiming for.

I’ve written several posts about how earlier this year Morgan & I decided to invest $40,000 annually into improving quality of wins.

And this was just to increase the percentage of DR 80+ & 90+ wins our team earns.

A one-site operation wouldn’t need to invest so much to incentivize their writer team, so don’t be too put off there.

 

How/ where was that 40k invested? In labor and writers? What kind of roi did it yield?

In QC of labor/writers, yep 🙂 We noticed a negative trend in our upper DR ranges, and re-worked our team pay to incentive high DR wins.

The DR 80-89 range adjustment was implemented in April, so you can see the effects kicking in by June.

We implemented another round targeting DR 90+ in May, which stopped the negative trend there, and slightly bumped it up.

In July, we’re implementing yet another round targeting DR 90+ – we hope to reclaim several percentage points there.

The net effect also reversed the trend of our average DR.

Our sales promise is average DR 74, and we realized in May we were trending around 72.

This month we are at DR 76. It’s all a negative ROI short-term.

However, it’s an LTV play. Our clients like our DR 50s-70s.

But–aside from the hyper niche relevant in those ranges–they’re not really here for them, right? They want those DR 80s and 90s.

When I say implemented those QC investments, they’re permanent, which is why I annualized the cost. They weren’t one-time cash infusions, but what I know it will cost us based on the number of wins x $X compensation increase over the course of the next year.

 

I presume this works well in some industries but not so well in others. Is that right? If so, what industries doesn’t it work for?

We currently don’t work with porn, casino, etc.

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That being said, it also depends on the brand name.

For example, we have an amazing CBD client whose name is much more neutral, and we’re writing as their COO.

By contrast, a really lovely client signed up with us, but their brand name was so heavily “cannabis” that we couldn’t get a single solid win for them, so we offered a full refund.

So, while you didn’t ask, I would say yes: industry matters. But also, brand name.

And finally, depth of content on the site.

If a journalist/marketer opens the link to your site and the home page is just “Buy Now” with 0 content to back your “authority”… why would they link to you from their high authority site?

What do you think the hardest industries are for HARO?

Content as well as DR of the site your pitching are certainly factors.

You need to consider it from the host publication/journalist POV as well.

Some publications are just hesitant to link to anything they consider even remotely sketchy, like Greg said, casino, adult entertainment etc.

That said, I’m always surprised what we can get accomplished, for example, placing a BBQ interest affiliate site in Business Insider!

What factors you consider to answer the query?

We train our team to consider their site niche, but *even moreso* to pay attention to the job title/role of the C Suite they’re representing.

CMOs double down on marketing queries, CEOs on sales/HR/biz, founders on entrepreneur/$$$, etc.

We’re extremely fortunate to have a very talented crew of 25 freelancers right now, as well as two amazing coaches Morgan and I have cultivated out of that crew.

Each person develops their own style over time.

But a few specific things we *always* advocate:

1) What not to pitch:

Avoid everything under DR 50 (b/c we’re a premium service). Avoid nofollows.

^Both of these are filtered out of our internal database by VAs.

Avoid anything political, especially for ghostwriters/client work!!

Avoid anything hyper-personal for ghostwriting/client work.

2) Pitch closer to the publication time, or right up against the deadline. Don’t get stuck in the middle.

3) Alternate your subject lines b/w “CEO weighing in on…” and something just totally snazzy.

4) Pay attention to the requirements — if you don’t qualify, don’t bother… you’re wasting everybody’s time.

I wrote a guide on this, if you’d like to consider:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-pr-seo-step-guide-earned-media-greg-heilers/

Is the paid version worth it or can still land links with the free one?

We’ve paid for ProfNet, Just Reach Out, Qwoted, Prowly, Agility PR, Haro Premium, and… probably a few others in there.

But we pull in close to 300 links per month right now (and growing) with just the good ol’ HARO freebie account.

My experience with HARO premium is that you cannot see the exact release times of queries so it puts you at a disadvantage oddly enough.

The only benefit is that you can keyword search but personally I think the free version is actually superior in terms of getting the pitch out quicker.

Whats your best tip for replying? I try to write short but high quality replies but my success is really hit and miss.

Here’s what I’d advocate:

1) Focus on ID’ing queries you’re qualified for.

2) Don’t be afraid to whip out quick pitches if you’re not convinced you’re a good fit, they can often be worth a shot!

3) For the queries you feel “This is me, I just know it.”… take the time to send those in-depth responses.

That being said, **never** send a wall of text.

You know the new style of Internet writing, right?

It’s 1-2 sentence “paragraphs.”

We teach our writers to craft “cut-and-pasteable” content.

Make every single sentence standalone quotable. Every paragraph standalone quotable.

And the whole pitch quotable in its entirety.

You need to make it easy for the journo’s eyes to hone in on a particular segment, highlight, drop into their G Doc, and move on.

If they see a wall of text, they’re going to sigh inwardly, roll their eyes, get bored, and maybe read it all.

Break it all up. Bold a standout sentence or two.

Answer their question with something valuable, but without writing a treatise they need to spend 30-minutes to dissect just to find that quotable nugget.

I actually wrote a guide on this 6 months ago:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-pr-seo-step-guide-earned-media-greg-heilers/

I love HARO and have had success with it in the past. One issue I’ve always had though is the time it takes to:
1. Get the HARO message
2. Soft through the relevant articles / pitches for my industry (health and tech mostly)
3. Send it to clients for their feedback / input / expert opinion
4. Edit the client responses
5. Send client responses to HARO writers
(This is often exacerbated by UK / USA time differences)
Can you recommend any ways to make this process much more efficient?

So, one thing that we absolutely love about running this service (as opposed to our shuttered Jolly *Content*) is that we don’t ever submit anything for client review or feedback.

Our clients fill out a 15-30-minute onboarding survey when they sign on. They’ve already reviewed past example wins.

They already know we *never* give specific financial, medical, or legal advice, e.g. stock picks, prescriptions, (I can’t even think of what fictitious legal advice to give), etc.

After that, they need to trust that we’re pro ghostwriters. I’ve ghostwritten for founders with $1B exits, the co-founder CMO of a $100M ARR SaaS, CEOs of $100M ARR companies… all the way through our prized up-and-coming affiliate solopreneur clientele.

We take our job seriously.

The very best we can do for a client on this front are these sales-process offerings (in this order):

1) “You will always have access to your ‘Sent’ box.”

2) “Check out these past wins of a similar client – does that seem reasonable?”

3) “We could bcc your biz email on the first 5 pitches.”

4) Last resort: “We can arrange a time to send you 3 draft pitches for your review — but you must *guarantee* your availability, because we are on media deadlines and will have already done the work.”

After that, if a client can’t respect that we can handle our own expertise, they’re never going to be a good fit for us.

The other low hanging fruit to attack is the time sorting queries. We absolutely respect this issue.

And to be honest, we asked our writers to sift through HARO newsletters themselves for a full year before one of our own writers was like, “MT & GH, why are 15 of us all sifting through this 3x daily independently… there is a better way.”

We now have two VAs who take turns sorting out HARO queries 3x daily.

Within 45 minutes they’ll have filtered out all the <DR 50, known habitual nofollows & no links, etc. (These are just are specific metrics due to being a service provider… you could set a lower bar if it’s for you, or depending on your service’s offer.)

I don’t know that they’d ever be able to make qualitative judgments in terms of which query is optimal to pitch or prioritizing them for you… but, if you give them hard metrics to work with, a trainable VA can save you/your team a lot of work.

These VAs cost $7/hour, so perhaps worth considering?

What if I can back up the specific advice with case studies or scientific data? If something is so generally available why wouid any reporter be interested in my pitch?

Regarding point one it all depends on what yourself or your clients are comfortable with.

Of course specific data is going to be a huge plus, and will almost certainly increase placement conversions.

Just in mine and Greg’s experience, many people, particularly, lawyers, doctors, etc are wary of someone writing HARO pitches on their behalf.

We play it extra safe by avoiding any claim that could ever backfire if it turns out to be incorrect, especially a reputation could be on the line.

As far as information being generally available, I think you just need to see it from the journalist’s perspective.

Of course they can research commonly accepted knowledge, but if you’re phrasing it as a quote from an industry authority, who you recently “interviewed”, it makes for better content. As a bonus, it also potentially saves them the time of dragging up the information themselves!

I hope I’ve helped clarify, and while some of this is speculation, we know it works on our end for link building.

I’m certain there are some other nuances that only a career journalist could elaborate on!

I just remembered this post I made as well, since at the time I was pondering the benefit for the publication side of the HARO equation and this is what my research turned up: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/morgan-taylor-030712147_roundup-blog-haro-activity-6687218951799275520-pHHJ

Do you earn backlinks to one particular site or do you do different niches? What are the easiest niches to earn backlinks and what are the hardest ones?

We have 50+ clients.
Easiest: digital marketers, finance, tech.
Hardest: CBD (we don’t even touch porn & casino).

What should one do to get picked as a source? What are the top 3 things that journalists are looking for when they submit their requests?

I think I answered this above, and I also linked out to a step-by-step guide I wrote on this. Let me know if I failed you here, though!

What’s your success rate for HARO? How many of the replies are going nowhere?

I run the data behind our team. Here’s our data for the past year:

Because we only get paid for wins, and we run a business with serious COGS, we were seriously counting our pennies November-January.

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“Wow, look at our win rate 2x!!!!!”

What we didn’t realize was that our overall pitch count was plummeting.

Due to the delay of editorial link building (wins take ~3 weeks on avg to be published after pitching), we were seeing wins roll in from the month prior, and not realizing we were heading off a cliff.

We saved a lot of money on pitches Nov-Jan. And we lost a *shit ton* of revenue in February & March.

Moral of the story: Never stop pitching!! February->present our pitch count has been in hockey stick growth mode.

Here’s my answer in video format: https://youtu.be/W0_X0A7gzlo

What are common mistakes that you see people making when using the platform?

The #1 mistake is asking for a backlink.

While 90%+ of the HARO journos/marketers surely know a lot of us are in this as an SEO play, it’s just too damn blatant.

Likewise, don’t ever offer to “pay to play.”
Finally, pitching queries which are irrelevant to your site/authority figure.

Or, sending totally useless “pitches” which are really just thinly veiled backlink begging.

Here is a brief explanation in video format: https://youtu.be/yGXryYHGC_k

Another big one is trying to set up a pitch by telling a journalist that you have a great source in mind, or that you’d be an ideal source, rather than just making the pitch.

Also trying to slip in self promotional messages.

Just get right to the point, submit your pitch on the first message, keep it relevant, and you’ll have excellent luck.

How many Haro queries do you answer per client per month?

Our success rate for that client is a direct factor, and I answered that partly in question above.

We aim for 10-15x their monthly link order.

What is your best advice when approaching HARO? For example, how do you write effective pitches to earn media coverages?

Can I refer you to a step-by-step guide I wrote to answer this question?
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-pr-seo-step-guide-earned-media-greg-heilers/

I think one thing I’d always emphasize it to look over your pitch to see if there is a sentence or phrase that a journalist can easily use as a “soundbite” for their article. At the end of the day they want just 1 or 2 sentences they can use to back up their point.

Let’s say I want to launch a linkbuiding digital PR campiagn using HARO or other services, how can I determine a budget that can have an impact?

Like a lot of advertising, SEO, marketing, etc., there are just *so many* factors that go into ROI.

So many in fact that, to be quite honest, we don’t offer any ROI guarantee to our clients. Why?

We operated a content agency for 2 years. And time and time again we encountered clientele who *loved* our service, put our content up on their site or as guest posts, and then cancelled on us.

Why? It wasn’t ROI positive, they said.

And why was that? Well, they had no CRO. Their offer wasn’t solid. Their sales team didn’t follow through.

Their interlinking was off. The site they guest posted on had no traffic. They never promoted the content, etc.

So, for the purposes of Morgan & I’s service, we only work with clientele who are rock solid certain of the ROI they’ll get out of these wins.

And if you’re going to launch a Digital PR x SEO campaign, I highly recommend you get a very firm grasp of GSC/GA first, know your CRO, and be able to calculate what higher rankings & more traffic will do for you.

I answered this Q in a recent interview here: https://youtu.be/0kYOQzU5BaM

We try to “keep it real” when speaking with potential clients to make sure this will be a good fit for them.

How much do you charge for HARO links?

We have somewhat of a UVP here. We have a flat rate fee of $425 (today)… going up to $475 in August.

What we guarantee with that is you *only pay for live links*. We don’t charge a retainer and say, “We’ll do our best!”

And we average DR 75, as Steven pointed out in the OP.

Our guarantee is billable wins are DR 50+ & dofollow.

Anything under DR 50, nofollow, or no link is 100% on the house.

I explained our UVP more in this 2:45 video: https://youtu.be/ND3cwWTzdZY

DR 50 sounds offputting when I write it so many times… of course we focus on the higher DR and brand name pubs that our clientele love us for.

So, we’re highly motivated to get those — selfishly, it increases the LTV of each client, right?

This week, we have had wins in Insider, Reader’s Digest, Business.com, and several others. You can also see my note above about how much we’ve re-invested in ensuring our clients get as much value out of our service as possible.

We’re doubling down on that this month to boost DR 90+ higher in the future.

Here are our placements by DR:

 

Do you track the ratio of mentions (not clickable), follow and no-follow? If so do you have rough numbers as to how this pans out over time?

We do and we don’t…

You might’ve read my other reply above by now, but we have evolved into having a team of VAs that sorts out all mentions (no links), no follows, and sub DR 50.

So, at this point, our writers rarely earn one of those… they just aren’t billable to our clientele, and we don’t give the writers their “performance-based” portion of their pay for those… so it’s really demoralizing for them to see one of those live.

But that doesn’t stop a few intrepid HARO “journalists” (mid- and low-tier marketers) from pulling a bait-n-switch (as we call it) where they say they’re publishing on one platform, but the article really goes live on another.

Or, replying to a pitch with, “Thanks so much for your contribution! I have two tiers to be included:

I’ll include your comment for free.

I’ll include your comment + a backlink for $150!”

We *NEVER* pay for our wins. It’s just not this service.

We do have a traditional guest post / skyscraper style link building service Morgan runs, but we draw the line on separating these two.

So… back to your real Q haha, sorry. At first, it was kinda high. But now, it’s very, very, very low—how’s that for data?

Right now we have 14 non-billable wins out of 202 for July (to date).

Here’s how our DR has varied over time…

A few factors push these ranges back and forth, but definitely creating tiered incentives for our writer team has effectively reclaimed DR 80-89.

We’re doubling down on DR 90+ right now, and will see that trending positively in August forward:

How do you best train someone to be able to handle HARO outreach? Or is it just a case of finding the people who have the knack for it?

Yes, sourcing quality writers is *HUGE*. And yes, icing on the cake is if they have previous HARO/PR experience.

But even for the newbies, this works well:

From there, we vet with a Google Form app that requests samples.

If samples look good, they’ll move on to a paid trial. In the early days, we had those paid trials involve actual HARO open queries so we could re-purpose them.

Today, we just use the same set for each writer pool, and it makes evaluating a lot more standardized. Though, I’ve read trial pitches to the same query about 150 times in the past few months, so about due for a switcheroo.

If a writer passes that paid trial (and set a deadline of 2-3 days, as that’s what doing this in practice really is, right?!), then we’ll set them up with their first baby account.

We also have a series of 10-15 Loom videos introducing various aspects of their writing work, and our team workflow, payroll, etc.

And then they’re assigned their first coach, our trainer. He’s a prominent content marketer who runs his own well-respected FB group.

We’re super fortunate to have him on the team.

For these coaches, they have to come from within, since this is such a niche service.

I also answered this in a recent interview: https://youtu.be/catNHzgGCfo

But hey, even with all of that, we literally lose 50% of the writers we admit to our team.

And that says that something is quite broken with our system too, right?

I could make excuses like Covid-19 f’s with everybody’s schedule on a rolling basis right now… and to be sure, at least three of our recent departures were a direct result of that.

But something still needs to be tweaked so we better communicate our expectations *and* the reality of the gig, before we invest all the time and energy into evaluating paid trials, and dozens of coaching hours.

Are you providing any HARO based service for the mere mortals

It’s what we do! Have you been pitching yourself for some time?

(1) Do you prefer using @company.com e-mail address or generic Gmail e-mail works well? (2) What’s the best place to source writer/content for HARO response, if you don’t know much about the niche?

1. Absolutely agree that the @company email is a must. Generic can work but always worth the time to set up G-suites!
2. The best way I’ve found to tackle this is to use Google and search for very reputable sources to find tips. The key here is also not choosing the most obvious or easily searched information. So say you’re looking up information on pitch for best wine brands, don’t pick something at the top of every review list.
Hope this helps!

Could you please elaborate on the second point? Journalist wants your input on ‘picking the best wine’ topic. The writer is, obviously, not an expert, so his/her job is basically to google the question and sum up all those articles from top10 into 2-3 paragraphs. Am I right? How does the writer handle questions like “what are the German wine market perspectives” or something that requires a complex knowledge of the topic? In other words – are your writers tight to the specific niches or anyone can write for any topic?

Absolutely!

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We always ask our team what their strong points are and assign accounts accordingly, so that they will have some background in the area, but that is just the ideal scenario.

I wouldn’t expect to hire an expert in every single possible niche, so the key is teaching your team (or yourself) how to conduct the right type of research.

This may take several minutes or more of Google searching to find right types of sources, for example, this is one I found on the German wine market: https://www.researchgate.net/…/329137830_The_German…

Again, avoid any information from a site that appears spammy!

Then, take that information and trim it down into a couple key points/sentences that the journalist can use in their article (in your own words of course).

This is going off topic slightly now, but I would avoid pitches in a long paragraph format since bullet points, or one to two sentence quotable answers, are more likely to get recognition!

Does this mean you dont bother getting links from sites like Forbes or Entrepreneur as they are no-follow links?

Most of our clients prefer to avoid nofollow links, so we have our sorting team filter out queries from sites like Forbes, before adding them to our writing team’s CRM.

I know Greg went into this in more detail, but the short answer is no we don’t bother, unless we are asked to target high PR value publications with nofollow links.

Does this make sense?

What if no follow links can generate targeted traffic to your site? I still think it is worth it.

We think it’s worth a lot, but we are service providers.

At the end of the day, it’s about providing what our clientele want. I’d love to make money off of the accidental Forbes, Inc, etc. wins we land, but it would dilute our positioning.

If I were building links for myself or internally, I’d def still target those.

(1) What are the biggest failures of HARO? (2) What are the biggest improvements you think could be made?

This is definitely something to consider, especially as HARO is getting more popular with SEOs and content writers looking to improve their posts.

1. Probably the biggest failure with HARO is the lack of vetting on the part of sources (and journalists).

You get a lot of sources that have no idea what they’re doing, which creates a noisy, unappealing environment for journalists. But on the flip side, there are many “journalists” who play the bait and switch game by misrepresenting the publication they work for, or worse, trying to bully sources for with the promise of a link.

2. The biggest improvements I’d make are:

A: Switch from the clunky email newsletter system to something that can communicate in something close to real time. This would speed things up for journalists, but also have the potential to alert sources more quickly if their pitch is used.

B: Vet sources/journalists and create categories that will allow each party to understand what they will get. For example, if a journalist knows they won’t give links, let them represent the query as a PR opportunity, so that SEO minded writers won’t waste their time and those with PR goals can get what they need more easily.

A quick signup survey would eliminate a lot of the frustration we see on HARO.

Any tips for UK business? I’m in the finance niche, so C-level’s expertise doesn’t fit most of the finance-related requests from HARO. Is general entrepreneurship/lifestyle advice my only option?

Not necessarily.

We’ve had success representing the CEO of a finance niche site, getting him on relevant publications besides general business/entrepreneurship.

Even if you don’t have the perfect finance credentials to boast, I’ve seen journalists pick up plenty of quotes from the “CEO of a finance/lending site” or you can always mention you have “X years of experience in the finance industry”.

Just make sure to play it safe and don’t claim credentials you don’t have.

As far as UK sites, go, I don’t see any particular issue, especially considering it is English language.

Although .uk sites are not something you’ll come by regularly on HARO. Again, just be aware that finance/lending in the UK vs USA can be quite different.

Hope this helps!

How do you manage link volume? You charge 425 per link with a 2k/month minimum. Client says they have the budget for 5 links per month. What happens if you get them 15 links in one month? Are you expecting them to pay 3x their budget that month? I think you said you roll over extra links to the following month, but I am not sure how happy a client would be when they “owe” you 2 months of budget and you are doing nothing in those 2 months – due to having so much success in the 15 link month.

While 5 links a month is the minimum, we always set a maximum number of placements per month as well so that the volume does not get out of hand.

We have enough control of our service to the point where if a client says they want to set the maximum at 10 links per month, we will not be going over or under that amount significantly.

Certainly nowhere close to hitting 3x the maximum links per month.

To add to that, Steve, you are right that we roll over anything that goes over.

We don’t charge any upfront $Xk/month retainer, and then “try” to get wins. We do our work first, and only bill clients for what is live — and, cap it at what they asked for in a given month.

As I wrote, we’re pretty darn good at estimating how many pitches that’d take, and typically only roll over 1-2 links/mo per client.

That being said, in the rare event you described (10+ links over demand):

Why do you wonder “how happy a client would be when they “owe” you 2 months of budget and you are doing nothing in those 2 months”?

The work is done, and we’ve paid our writers for it.

We’re sitting in the red for those two months; the client needs to follow through on what they committed to financially and contractually.

Shouldn’t they be happy they are getting a 2-month headstart on link juice in the meantime?

We put absolutely zero pressure on them to pay us until the agreed upon date.

And let’s not forget, as many clients do, the client can always agree to double up on their monthly link order… and we continue pitching hard.

One thing we didn’t mention is we ask for a 3-month minimum. Most of our clients are with us for 6, 12, 18+ months.

So, no client will ever sign up for us expecting just 5 links.

No offense intended to those sites, but we simply can’t work with clients who have such a small link appetite.

So, perhaps that addresses your question better? A client absolutely *should* expect to pay for 15 links when they sign up with us

I think your question is excellent, as it really touches on the importance of framing expectations during the sales process.

We’ve been having some good success with HARO but some of the media publications have mentioned us, their SEO agency, in articles that really have nothing to do with SEO.

Are you setting up separate HARO accounts for each client?

Yes, we don’t write PR. We ghostwrite as our execs.

Definitely set up a FirstLast@CompanyName.com email address for a C Suite at each company you need to earn wins for.

I think it is absolutely essential to set up a unique HARO account and email for every single website we pitch for.

Not only will it drastically increase your success rate, since journalists prefer to hear directly from the source, but will also avoid the problems you mentioned.

How do you acquire new clients?

Most of our clients are referrals to be honest, but the second most helpful method is LinkedIn because you can find leads who may be utilizing similar methods of link acquisition.

Perhaps they are struggling with it and need more help.

What platforms do you find clients on? Do you use Facebook ads?

Again, many of our clients are referrals that take time to generate, but I’d choose LinkedIn over Facebook Ads.

Facebook is best to try and provide value to a group and network, but honestly, most of what we got via FB ads was unqualified.

How do you explain the value of thought leadership ghostwriting to potential clients?

While I’d say 90% of our clients come to us for pure SEO benefits, there is always the added thought leadership or “industry authority” aspect.

I like to use the term “social proof” to describe the PR benefits, particularly of HARO style links.

Once the placement is up, it is something they can reference indefinitely, or even put up on their site.

For instance, you can always explain that “As Seen in Huffington Post” will be a great example of social proof for a business.

I know our ghostwriting is not in the full guest contributor style, but I hope this is helpful!

 

 

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