Good content is expensive. Even more so if you want it written by subject matter experts.
But there’s a way to substantially lower your costs.
How much lower? Do you like the sound of free?
I’m talking about 100% free content from subject matter experts.
Okay, so there’s a teensy bit more to it than that, but I’m gonna share with you what I’ve been doing for several months now.
But the real gem here isn’t the free awesome content, it’s what you can do with it afterwards.
The Basics of HARO Content Marketing
So, if you’ve been here before then you’re already familiar with using HARO to get wicked awesome backlinks to your site.
We’re not talking about that today.
Instead, I’m talking about using HARO as a journalist.
This way, you can leverage subject matter experts to basically give you almost everything you need for an epic piece of content.
It’s free to join HARO as a journalist, so all this ends up costing you is time.
But I won’t lie to you – it can take a considerable amount of time. Here’s what this process looks like:
- Come up with an article idea
- Write up your HARO request
- Sort through all the responses that come in
- Compile the responses into an article
- Format and add an introduction and summary paragraph
- Post live on your site
Just to give you an idea of what kind of time this will cost you – I’m averaging around 150 responses for the HARO requests that I send out.
And not everyone who responds meets the criteria, so that’s just wasted time reading through those and eliminating them. Stop responding to things you don’t meet the requirements for, people!
Copying and pasting into WordPress and formatting everything takes a bit of time – but how long depends on the number of expert quotes you want in the article and the overall length of your article.
Writing the intro and summary paragraphs take a smaller bit of time, but that, too, really depends on you in terms of how long it takes.
But at the end of the day, you should have an awesome piece of content with subject matter experts quoted in it.
I’ve been doing this for one of my sites as well as for a few clients, so I can tell you that it takes me a good 4-8 hours to go through responses and get an article ready to publish. Now, I’m likely a bit more of a perfectionist than most people, so it may well take you less time.
I’m not trying to discourage you here, but I do want to be realistic about the time this takes. If you do this, then I think you’ll find the time spent is 100% worth it.
Note: HARO does have some requirements for journalists:
A website must be fully launched one month prior to submitting a query for it, and the site must have an Alexa ranking of 1 million or less. To determine the Alexa ranking of your website, please visit http://www.alexa.com and enter your website in the “Browse Top Sites” search box at the bottom of the screen. Your website will be judged based on the overall Alexa traffic global rank, not the traffic rank in the U.S.
Making The Most Of HARO Content Marketing
You’ve got this shiny new article on your site with these subject matter experts quoted in, right?
So, the first thing you’re going to do is reach out to every single person you included to share the live link with them. And you’re going to ask them to link back and/or share via their social channels.
Don’t be a dick and demand a link (or charge for it) like some asshats are doing. Usually I say something like:
I’d appreciate it if you can share this link with your audience on your social channels, in your email newsletter, an upcoming blog post or press page.
Then I also give them links to where I’ve shared it on my relevant social channels, in case they just want to retweet, reshare, etc.
In my experience, you always end up with a few links and several social shares just by asking nicely like this. And I always get a nice traffic boost when they share the link on their social channels.
But, here’s where it gets really interesting.
Since you’ve got this awesome piece of content, you can then do some high level link building with it.
I’m talking about skyscraper style link building (I usually just refer to all the various skyscraper methods as simply ‘skyscraper’ cause fuck that).
I feel like this is the ultimate leveling up here.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in a niche where people don’t ask for money for links, then you might be able to accomplish all of this at no cost other than your time.
Pretty epic stuff, eh?
And if you’re doing this on the regular, then you’ve got yourself a well-oiled content marketing machine. With much better content than your competition.
I can’t believe no one else is talking about doing this. Sure, it takes a lot of effort, but the potential payoff here is massive.
It’s likely too late in the year for you to do this and see any real benefit before the holiday shopping season really kicks in, but if you start now I bet you’ll smoke the competition next holiday shopping season.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, and (currently) Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.
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