HARO Link Building Case Study: How I Built 33 Links In 6 Hours

Today I’m going to show you how I built 33 high quality backlinks in under 6 hours with HARO. 

That’s 1 new backlink every 10 minutes.

And I didn’t buy any links or use ‘black-hat’ tactics.

How did I build links so fast? Using the 10 Minute Backlink Formula.

In this case study, I’m going to show you how to do it too (step-by-step).

How I Used The 10 Minute Backlink Formula to Build Powerful Links

Using ‘The 10 Minute Backlink Formula’, I was able to build dozens of high quality, relevant backlinks for both my SEO agency & clients websites:

I even landed links on competitors websites…

More importantly, my sites ‘authority’ increased which improved ranking positions on Google.

Using the ’10 Minute Backlink Formula’ made it possible to consistently earn links on powerful websites…

This will work for you too…even if you don’t have experience building backlinks.

Simply follow the steps in this case study and you’re set.

Let’s dive in.

The 3-Step Formula To Building Backlinks In 10 Minutes

There are 3 essential steps to achieving 10 minute backlinks.

Step 1: Create a free HARO account
Step 2: Find relevant link opportunities
Step 3: Craft your perfect pitch using the proven template (listed below)

Here’s why this technique works so well:

Most people who try building links with HARO fail.

That’s because they don’t follow the ‘unwritten’ rules on HARO.

And that’s where the ‘10 Minute Backlink Formula‘ comes in.

It helps you put together watertight pitches so you’ll have a lot more success earning HARO links.

Step #1 Create Your Free HARO Account

First things first, you need to sign-up as a source on HARO (takes less than 5 mins).

It’s worth noting that HARO also offers a paid service but I’ve personally always used the free version and have had no problems scoring amazing links.

Once you’ve signed up to HARO, you’ll start receiving 3 emails per day with link opportunities.

Create A HARO Filter

You’ll be receiving a tonne of emails from HARO so I highly recommend you setup a filter to send any incoming HARO emails into their own inbox folder. Otherwise, you’re main inbox will get overwhelmed with HARO requests.

Step #2 Find Your Link Opportunities

Whenever a HARO email comes through, you’ll notice a couple of things:

  • link opportunities are organised by categories.
  • there’s A LOT of opportunities to sort through.

To make it easy…

Focus on ONE Category

This will save you time and makes it way easier to find relevant link opportunities.

  1. Log into your HARO account.
  2. Scroll down to the ‘HARO Preferences’ section

3. Choose ONE category that best fits your industry/niche.


For example: I run a digital marketing agency and the best HARO category for me is ‘Business & Finance’ because it is the most relevant category out of all the categories available. 

Once you’ve identified your ‘best’ category, HARO emails landing in your inbox will become easier to process and find great link opportunities. Don’t worry if there aren’t any suitable requests right away, you’ll be receiving a lot of HARO emails and some fantastic opportunities will pop-up.

For example: This single HARO email below has 4 potential links for my marketing agency.

Step #3 Crafting a successful Pitch

This is the part where most people fall down with HARO.

And where the ’10 Minute Backlink Formula’ will help you land dozens of links.

Here’s what to do:

  1. After you’ve spotted a good link opportunity. Read the reporter’s request carefully and make sure you understand exactly what they’re looking for. This is important because it will help you write the correct response and keep you from going off-topic.

Pro tip: Avoid any requests where the reporter’s questions are either:

a) Not specific enough to be answered quickly.
b) The reporter has asked you to answer more than 2 questions.

HARO requests that violate the above 2 principles can easily cost you 40-60 minutes of your time which isn’t worth it considering there’s a chance your pitch won’t be accepted.

2. Keep your response short (200-300 words) and get straight to the point. 

Writing the 200-300 word pitch is the easy part.

Now it’s about how you structure your pitch that matters…

You have to understand reporters are working to strict publishing deadlines and need to find responses quickly.

So, the easier you make it for them, the better your chances of landing a link.

Here’s what you need to know:

Focus on quality over quantity.

When I first started using HARO, I went crazy.

I was responding to as many reporter requests as I could.

And while I did score a couple of backlinks here and there, the majority of my responses were NOT successful.

I was wasting a lot of time answering responses without getting any links.

That’s when I decided to change things up…

Instead of answering as many requests as I could, I shifted my strategy to answering 1 HARO request each day. By answering 1 request, I was able to spend more time crafting better quality responses.

And I guarantee if you do the same, you’ll earn more links and save a lot of wasted hours.

Double Check The Reporter’s Instructions

Every HARO opportunity comes with a specific set of requirements you’ll need to follow. They’re not difficult but following them is critical.

I recommend spending a few extra minutes understanding exactly what the reporter wants and double-check your pitch answers their instructions.

Going off on a sidetrack is easier than you might think and it will result in a failed pitch.

Answer Reporter Requests Quickly

When it comes to earning backlinks with HARO, a major success factor is your ability to respond to reporter requests quickly. 

As I mentioned earlier, reporters are busy people and work on strict publishing deadlines, they need expert opinions quickly.

If you wait too long to answer a request, you’ll miss out.

So try to respond to HARO requests within the first 3-6 hours of it hitting your inbox, any later and you’ll find pitches rarely get chosen.

Include Success Triggers

Reporters will favour HARO responses that are:

  1. Easy to read and understand.
  2. Include all the necessary information.
  3. Are short (maximum 200 words long) and get straight to the point.
  4. Include a link to your headshot (Make sure you use Gravatar for this).
  5. Include a short (1-2 sentence) bio about yourself.
  6. Have a link to your website.
  7. Position your response at the top of your email.

Here’s an example of a successful HARO pitch I sent:

This pitch took me less than 10 minutes to write and I scored a backlink from a website with an Ahrefs DR score of 90.

Here’s a proven email pitch template you can use to land successful link placements with HARO:

Hi [Insert Reporters Name]

Great idea for a post! [one sentence on why you think their article is a great topic choice]

Here is my response:

[Insert your pitch, maximum 200 words & straight to the point]

Link to my headshot: [Insert link to your Gravatar account]

Bio: [Insert a short, 1-2 sentence bio and include a link to your website]

Hope you like my response.


[Insert Your Name/Signature]

Avoid ‘Anonymous’ Requests

I avoid all HARO requests labelled as ‘Anonymous’.

Most ‘anonymous’ requests come from low-quality blogs and the time spent crafting a pitch isn’t worth the return on investment.

So, make sure you prioritise requests that include their brand over ‘Anonymous’.

Your Turn

That’s how you use the ‘10 Minute Backlink Formula’ to build backlinks in 10 minutes using HARO. 

You don’t have to spend hours writing guestposts or sending outreach emails.

You can now use this technique right away build links fast as part of your SEO strategy.

If you got some value from this post, I’d appreciate a share or let me know in the comments below.

35 Responses

  1. Thanks Jonathan! I hadn’t heard of Haro before you posted the link in the Backlinko Mastermind Community. I am super excited to give it try!

    Keep putting out the awesome content!

    Thank you!

      1. Nice post. We do this as a service for clients. We also find reporters love a good stat. So if you’re only done 1-2 pitches a day, take a look at the journalists last few articles to see if they use stats. If so, put one in, it heightens your chances of your pitch being used.

  2. Solid advice Jonathan! I recently joined HARO, and I probably checked off too many interests, as I’m getting 6-8 e-mails from them each day, which is frankly a little overwhelming. I’ll try and narrow down my interests and follow your advice to see if that yields better results. Thanks!

  3. One of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time on the subject of backlinks. The idea is instantly do-able, and that’s what’s so useful. You’ve inspired a person like me who’d given up on backlinks totally.

    1. Hi Umer,

      Good question! Sometimes the journalist will email you and let you know the good news but other times they won’t so you will have to check it yourself. For checking backlinks I recommend either Google Search Console (free) or Ahrefs (paid).

  4. Really wonderful content on HARO. I have been doing HARO for a few months back. And reading this blog I found what I was mistaking. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Hey Jonathan,

    This is a great breakdown of HARO Linkbuilding, and thank you so much for sharing with us! Many people try to make it complicated but you’ve made it so simple!

  6. The issue I’m seeing with Haro just now is that we are receiving a lot of responses for reciprocal backlinks, and I don’t like reciprocal links.

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