If you have ever tried to do outreach to build backlinks, you know how frustrating the process can be.
You spend hours looking for the right people to reach out to, crafting your outreach emails and finally send them, already picturing yourself receiving a ton of quality backlinks in return.
That’s because in most cases, SEO outreach emails offer no value except for a weak “your readers may find my awesome article useful.”
If you want to build quality backlinks, you need to think beyond the backlink, ask yourself what’s in it for the person you reach out to and offer them something truly valuable.
That’s exactly what the journorequest hashtag helps you do.
What is the journorequest hashtag all about?
Every day, thousands of journalists and content writers look for sources for their upcoming articles.
Some of them will directly contact people they know or use HARO.
Some will simply post a tweet describing what they are looking for and use the #journorequest hashtag.
If you have something to share, that’s a great opportunity for you to be genuinely helpful and build backlinks in the process.
With journorequest, backlinks become a byproduct of how valuable the information you provide journalists is.
Why use #journorequest and not HARO?
Now you may wonder, why should I use #journorequest instead of HARO (a popular website journalists use to find sources) or other services?
The main advantage of journorequest is that you get answers from journalists much more easily because there is a lot less competition.
According to HARO’s home page, there are 800,000+ sources using the service. This is great if you are a journalist but also means that getting the attention of the journalists you contact will be much harder so your message is way less likely to be seen.
Having used both HARO and journorequest, I see a clear difference. While most of my HARO messages went unanswered, the majority of my journorequests messages were promptly answered.
This said, using #journorequest is not a magic bullet and there are a few drawbacks:
- It’s mostly used by journalists in the UK. This means you will mostly get mentions and backlinks from UK websites. That’s not a big problem if you have a global audience but is far from ideal if you are a local business based in Ohio.
- There are fewer journalists using journoquest than HARO so you may have a hard time finding relevant requests if you are in a less popular niche.
- There is quite a lot of spam and irrelevant requests you will have to filter out.
- Some journalists will expect you to do all the work. A journalist once asked me to not only provide a valuable answer for her article but also to link out to it before she links out to me.
Don’t let these drawbacks scare you though! Journorequest is still valuable and can help you get quality backlinks and mentions if you know how to use it.
How to use the #Journorequest hashtag
Find journorequests you want to answer
Using the #journorequest hashtag is pretty straightforward.
Create a Twitter account if you don’t already have one, then simply head to this page and look for requests you would like to answer.
These can be journorequests that are directly related to your niche or simply requests you feel qualified to answer.
For example, I regularly answer questions about marketing and copywriting even though my main website French Together is a language learning blog. This helps me build quality backlinks while offering valuable advice.
Once you have identified a journorequest you can answer, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have something unique to share? I don’t bother answering unless I know my answer is actually helpful and unique.
- Is the journalist going to mention me or my website and link to it? Journalists rarely mention backlinks but looking at articles they published in the past is a good way to see whether they regularly link out to other websites or not.
- Are the links in the articles they publish dofollow? More and more websites nofollow external backlinks which greatly reduces their value (in addition to being unfair to people who take the time to contribute.)
- Is it worth the effort? A journalist once asked me if I would be willing to take part in a video. This didn’t make sense for me at the time because it was to answer questions about a topic that wasn’t directly related to my niche and being interviewed on TV about it, while cool, wouldn’t really help me.
How to answer a journorequest
If you answered yes to all the questions above, you are now ready to answer your first journorequest.
I’m not a PR expert so I’m not going to share stealth ninja secrets you can use to make every journalist want to talk about you.
I’m simply going to share my experience answering journorequests and what I think make the process successful.
Here is the process I follow:
- Carefully read the tweet. This is essential to make sure you don’t forget something and actually follow the instructions (e.g: send an email not a DM)
- Give a short and clear answer. I always ask myself: what can I write that will make the person reading curious and eager to learn more? I could send longer messages of course but I prefer to start with a short summary and let the journalist tell me exactly what they would like more detail on.
- Let the journalist know you would be happy to give more details. Often, the journalist finds my message interesting and asks me to write about a particular aspect in more detail.
- Be patient. In my experience, weeks (or even months) can go by before an article is published. In some cases, the article never gets published or the journalist decides not to use my story (or not to link to me.) That’s part of the game.
How to find hidden journorequests
The journorequest hashtag is a great way to build backlinks but there are also a lot of journalists and bloggers who look for sources but don’t use the journorequest hashtag.
If you can find these tweets and be one of the first to answer them, you have even better chances of getting featured than with journorequest because there is less competition.
This is a more advanced opportunity and I recommend you to start by using the Journorequest hashtag first. You may find that it’s all you need to regularly get quality backlinks.
Once you have used Journorequest to the fullest, I highly recommend you to check out Detailed, Glen Allsopp’s new SEO website.
Glen is the person who discovered this “hidden journorequest” technique and I can’t imagine a better person to learn it from.
Have you had any success with the journorequest hashtag? Any tip you would like to share?