If you’re only using HARO, you’re missing a trick. There are plenty of similar expert source websites (HARO alternatives) that connect journalists with sources. Let’s take a look:

What is an expert source website?

Expert source websites and services connect journalists with expert sources. Say the Daily Mail is writing an article about dog poop, but the journalist doesn’t know much about the topic. They’ll want to ask an expert. So they’ll log into the service, post their query, and wait for an expert to get in touch.

Why use an expert source website?

If you’re a website owner, you’ll know all about how important backlink building is for creating domain authority. Put simply, the more people who link to your website, the more authoritative Google thinks you are, and the higher they’ll rank your pages. Getting those backlinks is essential – and that’s where an expert source website can be useful!

Let’s go back to our example of the journalist needing an expert source for an article about dog poop. If you’re a dog poo bag designer, you could answer – the journalist will quote you, and give you a backlink. A backlink from such a high authority website as the Daily Mail is great for your Authority and therefore your SEO.

6 great expert source websites (HARO alternatives)

1. HARO

As one of the original services connecting reporters and sources, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is still a favourite. Emails come in three times a day and lots of people use the service, including some big names. It’s entirely free to respond! But they can be hard to search through, and only about 1 in 15 pitches are accepted. Having said that, our response rate is nearer 1 in 10, so having a qualified vet to answer your HAROs definitely helps! The number of pet queries varies, from a couple of times a week to several in a day.

2. Qwoted

Qwoted has a great search function and a nice Ux, but the free plan only allows you two pitches per month. It’s got some good info about who else pitched, and upgrading to their paid plan can help with pitch planning, too. There are pet queries on there most days.

3. PitchRate

PitchRate is very similar to HARO, but appears to be used by a lot fewer people. Although there were 55 active requests at time of writing, there weren’t any pet requests. I’m yet to see a pet request on there, so probably one to avoid unless you can be creative with what you respond to!

4. SourceBottle

SourceBottle contains a searchable database as well as an email digest. It offers results from several countries, but most reporters and news outlets appear to be Australian. If that doesn’t matter for your business, it’s a great option – pricing starts from FREE and there’s no limit to how many pitches you can send.

5. OnePitch

OnePitch works more like HARO in reverse – you put your pitch on the system, and then it tells you which journalists to contact. It’s more relevant to PR than just linkbuilding, but it can be a powerful tool either way.

6. JustReachOut

At $79/month for the cheapest plan, JustReachOut is one of the more expensive services we’ve reviewed. But it does do a lot more than HARO – while the Journalist Pitch Request section is similar, their other tools help your money go further. Their broken link finder in particular is amazing!

How to win backlinks from expert source websites

When you get your email or search results with your list of reporters needing an expert source, you’ll notice one thing straight away. Most journalists will put stipulations, such as you have to have had dogs for 20 years or more, or you have to live in a certain geographic location, or you have to be a qualified vet. It makes sense – they want to quote experts, not wannabes. If you want to win the backlink, you need to meet these conditions and provide a great, quotable response that the reporter can use.

That’s where our Media Enquiry Response Service comes in – we provide vets to write your responses, giving the journalist the expert they require and helping you win the backlink in return. Everybody wins!

Conclusion

Expert source websites like HARO and HARO alternatives are a great way to build your backlinks and outreach for your website. Our favourite alternative is Qwoted, as it’s free and regularly posts pet content. Backlink building is a great way to improve your SEO, but you should be aware that many of the reporters using these services only want to hear from qualified vets. If that’s the case, our media enquiry response service may help!

Joanna Woodnutt

Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS is a qualified vet, freelance writer, and editor at The Veterinary Content Company. She lives in the Channel Islands with her husband and daughter, as well as their naughty but loveable terrier, Pixie.

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