How One Startup Increased Website Traffic by 21% Using a Free Tool

Yep. You read that right.

courtney ruth
The Littlest Startup


Help a Report Out (HARO) is a FREE online service for journalists to receive helpful feedback from the public.

KOYA, a startup delivering magical moments, steadily increased website traffic by 21% through one successful HARO pitch.

Have I piqued your interest? Great. Let’s walk through how to get free publicity for your startup.

The Littlest Startup

Let me be frank. At first, HARO can feel a bit daunting. Queries (journalists looking for sources) arrive in your inbox three times a day by the dozens.

When it comes to pitching, less can be more.

Make a habit of quickly scanning through each query to see if there is a good fit for your startup.

Once you find something interesting, read up on the publication and the journalist. If it still feels like it could be a good fit, spend some time crafting your pitch.

HARO Checklist:

  • Be Personable and Helpful

Start with a brief, yet friendly introduction. Your pitch should feel as though it is adding value.

  • Make it easy for the journalist to skim

If your pitch is longer, use bullet points or a brief recap at the end.

  • Double-check the query

Make sure you give the journalist what they ask for and you meet their qualifications.

  • Email Signature

If you haven’t already, make a simple email signature. This will make it easier for writers to find the sourcing details that they need.

  • Make sure your subject line is attention-grabbing

Your subject line is the first (and maybe only) thing the journalist will read. Make it count.

  • Create a Document to help you craft pitches quicker.

While the pitch should be personal and unique to the journalist//publication, it is helpful to keep a running document of previous pitches to speed up the process.

Aim to add value and make the journalist’s job easier.

You’ve sent your pitch. Now what?

  • Create a Google Alert for your company name to be notified of any mentions.
  • Use Ahrefs’ FREE backlink checker to find recent backlinks.
  • Wait patiently. Don’t follow up. Seriously.
  • If you were used as a source, be sure to share the piece (tagging both the publication and writer).
  • Thank the journalist for including you.

If you found this to be helpful, you can find me on Twitter or read more over at The Littlest Startup. I am happy to answer your questions.



courtney ruth
The Littlest Startup

Co-founder of KOYA Innovations. Samba admirer. Prosecco lover. Adventure enthusiast. On a mission to make Thursdays everyone's favorite day of the week!