Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receive an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way. Each week, we’re featuring a comprehensive look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software.

Background on HARO

Founded in 2008, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a guest blogging/reporting site that allows people to contribute on their topic of expertise. Guest blogs and features allow you to gain authority and links by contributing to popular blogs. You can also acquire new connections and gain traffic by posting on other authorities’ websites as an expert in your field. Every day, more than 30,000 bloggers and reporters come to the site and make use of it to tell their stories.

Best of all, you can start free of charge! Paid members, however, get many more perks than free members. Free members get PR opportunities directly to their inbox. for paying members, you can choose from three packages: Standard, Advanced, and Premium.

Overall, in addition to the free account capabilities, the paid packages get email support, opportunity search capabilities, alert filtering, text alerts, and profile building. Key differences reside in frequency of alerts (from one to an unlimited amount of alerts and profiles, depending on the package level) and early alerts (the Standard package does not have this).

There are two ways you can make use of HARO:

Source: Become a source so that media journalists can contact you for opportunities. You get sent alerts and journalists decide whether or not to use you.

Reporter: As a reporter, you are free to tap the experts at HARO. Submit queries (descriptions of your journalism piece or project) and choose from more than 250,000 sources that will respond to your queries in an instant.

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to sign up for HARO as both a reporter and a source for free.

Signing Up For HARO

Sign Up For Free Source Account

Step 1. Start at

Step 2. Enter in your First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Number, and Password to the best of your ability. Click “Submit” to continue.

Step 3. On the next page, you’ll be prompted to check your email and click a confirmation link to get started editing your account.

Step 4. At this point, you’ll be subscribed to the Master HARO list, receiving PR alerts that you may want to respond to (you can unsubscribe at any time by going to your account settings in ‘My HARO’).

Step 5. You can also update your free account to any paid package aforementioned above.

Once you start getting PR alerts in your inbox, you’ll be able to respond to them by submitting pitches to the specific reporter.

The easiest way to do this is go to “My Pitches,” and then click “Submit a New Pitch.”

Step 6. Once you enter in the Reporter’s Email, Subject, and your Pitch, hit “Submit” to complete the pitch process.

Congratulations on completing your first pitch! We hope you are selected!

Sign Up as a Reporter:

Step 1. Click “Reporters” on the navigation bar. Then click “Submit a Query” to continue.

Step 2. As a reporter, it’s your duty to provide as little or as much detail as possible to receive the best possible candidate for your project. Enter the Media Outlet, Summary of the project, Query, and Requirements. Try to be as specific as possible in your summaries (for more specifics on queries, see our “Best Practices” at the bottom of the post).

You’ll also be asked to select the Primary and Secondary Categories for your query, in addition to the Due Date. Select these to the best of your ability.

Once complete, click “Submit Query” to complete the process.

Best Practices for HARO

  • You may want to check out the guidelines for reporter queries here before you get started.

  • Contact HARO for assistance and/or feedback on the service.

  • You can choose to be listed anonymously as a reporter. Please be aware, however, that this lowers the value of your query to high quality sources.

  • When pitching to a reporter, highlight your expertise.

  • As sources, be wary of anonymous queries.

  • Always follow up in a timely manner. Reporters are working within deadlines; if you don’t respond quickly, the opportunity may pass you by.

  • All HARO users must start free before upgrading to a paid plan.

UpCity members, please follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Become an Authority > Ongoing Authority Development > Blog 301: Advanced Blog Writing.