How to Respond to a Writer Request Like a Thought Leader 

Responding to a Help A B2B Writer request is a great way to build your personal brand, increase credibility, and strengthen your SEO efforts. More backlinks and exposure can also lead to more revenue for your business. 

Yet to get results, you need to nail your responses to writer requests. Poor, half-thought-out answers that only address part of the question result in time wasted and no exposure. 

This guide is built to change that. Here’s what you’ll learn:

Why respond to writer requests?

You might be wondering if taking the time to respond to writer requests is worth it. The short answer is yes. Here’s why.

Get links

Links are gold in the online world. They add brand credibility and help your content rank higher in search engine results. Responding to writer requests is a cost-effective way to win credible links that point back to you. 

Getting links back to your company website, personal site, or LinkedIn profile not only helps strengthen your SEO efforts, but saves you money in the long run. 

Building backlinks to your content tends to bring in organic traffic over time. Build enough backlinks and you won’t have to spend as much money on paid traffic options. 

Ashley Cummings secured a link on a DR 95 website by contributing a quote through HaB2BW.

Improve credibility 

The currency of online credibility can be boiled down to a few things, including:

  • How well-known you or your product/service are
  • Whether reputable sites point back to you

While links can be expensive to pay for, responding to writer requests can be a way to win consistent backlinks organically while improving credibility. 

Fill your social media queue 

Maybe your business doesn’t publish much content. You can still respond to writer requests to gain credibility on your social channels without investing hours into content production. Respond to a request, get the shoutout, share the work once it’s published, and get a kickback from that.  

How to find writer requests

If you’re new around here, Help a B2B Writer (HaB2BW) is a free tool for B2B marketers and writers. It’s a way to ensure you’re receiving requests from niche-specific content writers who are looking to feature your expertise in the B2B space. 

HaB2BW is used and trusted by:

  • Founders and CEOs
  • Marketing directors
  • Content marketers and strategists
  • Freelance writers
  • PR folks

6 tips to make sure your quote gets included

Responding to a request is one thing. Optimizing your request so you increase your chances of being featured (and winning that link!) is another. 

Here’s what you need to pay attention to when responding to a source request. 

  1. Read the request properly
  2. Only respond if you can demonstrate expertise
  3. Give the quote in the email
  4. Don’t be too self-promotional
  5. Give screenshots and unique examples
  6. Share your preference on credit 

1. Read the request properly

Common sense, right? Except not reading requests properly happens all the time. Even more so when you’re in a hurry.  

We’ve lost count of how many people have responded to requests with irrelevant information even when the requests specifically state what type of quote was needed. Writers are often under strict writing guidelines when working with clients; some editors only accept quotes from specific types of experts. 

If that’s the case, the writer will explain it in their request. Avoid responding to it if you fit the “can’t include” criteria. It’s a total waste of your and the writer’s time. Save your insights for a request from a writer who can actually include your response. 

2. Only respond if you can demonstrate expertise

If you maybe know a bit about finance and have hypothetical advice to give, it’s better to avoid it and focus on areas where you can demonstrate expertise. 

Over time, writers build impressions about sources. If they know you’re the type of person to respond to anything and everything, they see you as less credible. The result? They’re less likely to include your quote in the future.

In short: Only respond to requests you know you’re an expert in and can answer thoroughly. Your reputation will thank you, and your chances of being featured will increase. 

3. Give the quote in the email

The fewer steps between you (the source) and the requester (the writer), the higher your chances of being featured.  

No need to say, “My co-founder can speak on this! Here’s his email address if you’re interested,” and then wait for a response. This takes too long. By the time you’ve tried to connect your co-founder to the requester, they’ve already featured someone else who included the quote in their response. 

If your co-founder can speak on the request, forward the request email to your colleague and have them respond directly to the writer.

The fewer steps to give writers what they need, the better. 

4. Don’t be too self-promotional

Nobody likes a used car salesman. That’s exactly what you sound like when you’re too self-promotional in your response. Writers see through requests where the source doesn’t actually want to help make their piece better; they just want a shoutout.

Avoid doing things like: 

  • Mentioning your product/service features (unless specifically asked)
  • Responding to requests you don’t know anything about 
  • Spending too much email space hyping up your brand/service instead of being concise
  • Mentioning irrelevant side businesses in hopes it’s included in the quote

Remember: If your response is used, you still get a mention or link to your company as credit. No need to go overboard with the self promo.

5. Give screenshots and unique data if you can

Screenshots and unique data are for writers what catnip is to cats. We love it. Not only does it save time, it helps writers illustrate points with enriching add-ons, like relevant data and visuals. 

“When you send a quote to a writer, your odds of being featured increase if you answer all their questions (increases the odds of at least one of your quotes being used); answer their questions thoroughly (no one-sentence replies–offer background and details); and provide examples (if you have screenshots, stats, or other data, even better!).”

Saphia Lanier, freelance writer

Say you’re responding to a retail marketing tip request. Getting specific and providing unique data can look like: “This is the strategy that worked for us. After implementing it, we saw X% increase in foot traffic.” Extra points if you include screenshots illustrating your results.

Pro tip: Never include responses as email attachments. Writers are wary of opening these; viruses can be buried in them. Instead, send a link or paste content in the email to be safe.

6. Share your preference on credit

Do you want a link to your LinkedIn profile? Your company website? Your personal brand site? Your Twitter account? 

Sharing your preference as to how you want to be given credit helps. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that a writer’s hands are often tied with what they can and cannot do. Their editor gets the final say on how the writing is arranged–including which links get cut out. 

When responding to writer requests, give your preference, but accept that sometimes the writer won’t be able to accommodate them.

Get started responding to Help a B2B Writer requests

You’re armed with all the know-how you need to get out there and start scoring valuable backlinks by becoming a source to B2B writer requests.

Now it’s only a matter of investing the time to respond to relevant requests. Do this enough times and watch your credibility grow as your backlink profile gets stronger. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a single penny to effectively leverage writer requests to meet your goals. 

Ready? Register as a source for free below.