How to build relationships and links using the press request strategy Author Hanna Sobolewska Read bio Building relationship will build you links! The fact that building natural, quality backlinks is a sure way of ranking high in organic search results is no news. However, link building has become very tricky. It requires a lot of hard work and creativity. One strategy that remains proven is relationship building, which will guarantee you backlinks, increased brand awareness, more followers, promotion of your content to a wider audience, and most importantly, will offer you the opportunity to become an authority within your niche or industry. There are several relationship building strategies, however, this article will be focusing on one, and exploring the much undervalued press request strategy. Press Requests Journalists are influencers present in every niche and industry and they are the ones you should be reaching out to, to get editorial mentions on top-ranking websites and news outlets. However, since journalists have to come up with new content every day, they are often time too busy to personally conduct all the research necessary in order to write a compelling article– this is where press requests come in handy. Press request services offer journalists a platform to connect with valuable stories and opinions that can offer important insight towards their next article. These stories come from experts, industry leaders, and even ordinary people who might have had an experience with the topic in question. Press requests are used in a variety of ways and there are different platforms providing such services, and they form an exciting way of building relationships with journalists, at the same time scoring a quality backlink back to your website, in addition to other benefits of an editorial mention. Using the Press Request Strategy for Relationships and Link Building The most interesting thing about the press request strategy is that it is mutually beneficial. When you help journalists with their queries, many of them will give you a shoutout in the form of a mention in their article and possibly a link back to your website for the sake of authorship in the least. The following are important for the press request strategy: Sign up Register to one of the many websites offering press request services, for example, Help a Reporter out (HARO), which is free, and one of the most popular services. When registering, be sure to strictly state the niche you operate in. This way, you will be able to get queries related to your field of expertise and will be able to make contributions whenever a topic which you are most comfortable comes up. Once this is done, just confirm your email address and start receiving queries directly to your email inbox. Responding to Queries It must be noted that the perfect query in your field of expertise doesn’t pop-up every day. However, whenever it does, you want to be sure to give it your best shot. You want your response to be concise but powerful enough that it passes the valuable information across, while saving both your time and that of the journalist. Its best to use a template with an introduction that describes who you are and why you are the best person to help with such query and which also contains a conclusion that gives the journalist your best wishes with the proposed article. The conclusion should also advance your relationship building effort by informing that the journalist is free to contact you directly for future requests. With this template, you are then free to give your insight in the body and then sign off the email with your contact details, social media channels and other unique requests which different journalists might have, such as a head shot or short bio. No Follow-ups Ordinary outreach allows follow-ups, which are received neutrally or positively if not too frequent. However, in the case of press requests, a follow-up is a DEFINITE NO- NO! The truth is that some journalists will send you a short email upon publication, if your contribution has been used, others won’t. It’s worth conducting short research about the journalist and their affiliations, and check their various social media channels prior to sending in contributions. That’s most likely where they will share articles whenever the go live. Building Relationships and Links You should always be sincere and show a desire to help, rather than to build links or relationships alone. Remember that journalists are not compelled to use whatever contribution you submit in their articles or even give you any form of editorial mentions or link back to your website. With that said, many journalists will gladly request that you include your details with the address of the website you would like a link to if your contribution gets used. For relationship building, include your direct email address and other social media channels, so you can be contacted directly in the future for other queries. Bonus Benefits of the Press Request Strategy Links, relationship building and editorial mentions aren’t the only benefits of the press request strategy. It is also possible to benefit from this strategy in the following ways: Guest Post Opportunities This might seem far-fetched but it really does work when aiming to guest post the right way. A query on press request services actually gives you overall ideas of the type of content particular websites seek. This way, it is possible to contact them directly with an unique content idea which might be impossible to refuse. Perhaps, the websites already has guest post guidelines which you can also tap into by submitting your own guest post with a backlink to your website and further solidify a relationship with the platform. Content Ideas Since journalists are active players in every niche and industry, reading their content ideas might give you a clue on what your audience might want to see next. Additionally, it can also help you create content ideas that can be pitched to other platforms and influencers to further your link building activities for your website through guest posting and relationships that can help solidify your own voice, brand and authority.