In this post, I’ll share my top tips on how to pitch to journalists on Twitter.
Using Twitter for media outreach is an effective way to get powerful backlinks to your website, boost your rankings, and turbocharge your traffic.
It’s also an excellent (and more personalized) HARO link building alternative.
And the great thing is – Twitter media outreach is surprisingly easy.
I worked professionally as a freelance journalist for almost three years, published in global outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Daily Telegraph, and Deutsche Welle.
As an expert commentator, I’ve been cited in the Financial Times, Business Insider, CNN, Apartment Therapy, and Canada Today.
I’ve been active on Twitter since 2009, and I’ve secured countless opportunities from it.
Here I’ll walk you through my 8-step process for how to pitch to journalists on Twitter.
How to Pitch to Journalists on Twitter
#1. Prep your personal brand
Your preparations before you even start pitching will determine some of your success when learning how to pitch to journalists on Twitter.
To maximize your chances, it’s important to first create a strong personal brand using your Twitter profile.
Your Twitter profile needs to a) look credible, and b) contain a clear summary of what you do.
Start with the following:
- Use a clear, full face, professional headshot in your profile image
- Write a bio that clearly explains what you do / or what your business does
- Include a link to your website (the one you want a backlink for)
- Create a simple Twitter background that complements your brand
- Put up a relevant pinned tweet that showcases your expertise (bonus points if it’s a thread)
Here’s mine (not perfect yet as I don’t have a relevant header, but it works well enough)
#2. Build social proof
On Twitter, the best way to display social proof is by having a decent number of followers (as opposed to those you follow).
This will help you massively when pitching journalists on Twitter.
There’s no ideal number, but 1,000 followers is a good target for starters. Start by searching Twitter for relevant keywords in your niche, then following a bunch of people who interest you.
Chances are, if you’ve completed everything in step one, many of them will follow you back.
#3. Identify relevant journalists
The pitching process starts by learning how to find journalists on Twitter – preferably those writing about topics in your niche or related areas.
One way to find them is by typing keywords for your niche into Google, then filtering by ‘news’ to find relevant articles they’ve written previously.
Make note of the names of the journalists who wrote them, then find and follow them on Twitter.
Repeat this process until you’re following a decent number of journalists who are writing about relevant topics in your niche.
Again, if you’ve dialled in steps one and two, some of them will follow you back.
You could also create a Twitter list of journalists, which can help you to stay better organized.
OK, now we’ve done the prep work – it’s time to get down to the business of pitching to journalists on Twitter.
#4. Check the #JournoRequest hashtag
Most journalists use Twitter to publicize requests for sources for their articles. One of the most common ways they do this is by including the hashtag #JournoRequest.
You should check the #JournoRequest hashtag regularly. You can also do a Twitter search for it in conjunction with your main keyword.
For example, if your niche is about digital nomad lifestyle tips, you could search for “#JournoRequest + digital nomad”.
This search will produce all tweets from journalists who are using the hashtag to seek sources for stories about topics related to digital nomads.
You’ll want to sort the results by ‘Latest’ to make sure you’re seeing the most up-to-date source requests.
#5. Reach out by DM
If you see a source request that’s relevant to you, follow the journalist who posted it and then send them a DM. (Most will keep their DMs open, even if they don’t follow you back).
Be brief: state your expertise in a line, then tell them you’re happy to chat. It’s best to keep the tone light and casual.
Usually, they will either want to talk to you on the phone, or they’ll send you their questions directly via DM.
It’s easier to respond to their questions by email, so ask for their email address so you can send your response.
#6. Be clear and concise when responding
Write out your response clearly and in sufficient detail.
If the journalist has several questions, answer each one in a clearly separated paragraph. Often, the journalist will copy and paste your quotes directly from whatever you write in your response.
Once you’ve finished responding, close the email by inviting the journalist to reach out again if they have any further questions or need other clarification.
Include a short, niche-relevant one-sentence bio so the journalist can easily credit you within the article. For example, “Samantha North, marketing strategist and founder of Digital Émigré.”
Make sure you send your response promptly, as journalists usually work to strict deadlines.
#7. Be patient (and check Ahrefs!)
Once you hit send on the email, your work is (usually) done.
If the journalist comes back with any further questions, make sure you respond to them promptly. But if you’ve answered their original questions in sufficient detail, that will probably be enough.
Then it’s just a question of waiting.
If you’ve built some level of rapport with a journalist, they may let you know when the piece is published.
But others won’t, so it’s best to check by yourself to see if the piece has been published.
I normally check for new backlinks in Ahrefs/SEMrush. I also check the journalist’s Twitter feed, to see if they’ve shared the published article on their own timeline (most do).
#8. Share when it’s published
When the article gets published, I like to share it on my own Twitter feed with a little follow-up note.
I normally tag both the journalist and the publication in the tweet, saying something like: “Really enjoyed chatting to @Lindsay about digital nomads for this new piece on @BusinessInsider” > insert link.
Both of them will usually retweet this, giving me a nice bit of extra reach.
Learning how to pitch to journalists on Twitter is an essential, yet often overlooked skill for building powerful backlinks from top media outlets.
In this article, I’ve provided my 8-step process for how to pitch to journalists on Twitter – including first building a compelling Twitter personal brand, then leveraging it to track down journalists who are searching for expert sources in your niche.
Done correctly, Twitter media outreach is an excellent way to boost your domain rating and increasde traffic to your business website.
Bonus tip: You can also feature the logos from any media outlets that publish your comments on your website. This will improve social proof for your business.