There are thousands of forums, or message boards, on the internet today. The most common use for a forum is general conversation, social or business networking, learning new things from others, or exploring various specific niches with others that share similar interests. There is, however, another excellent use for forums.
You can use internet forums to promote your website. Below are some of the simple, and completely free, methods of marketing your website on forums.
Your Forum Profile
The first thing you should do when joining a forum is fill out the forum member profile completely. Of course, you do not have to include items such as gender or your birthday if you do not wish to disclose that. You should, however, include your interests, your business information, and your website address where allowed.
Your Forum Signature
After reading the forum terms of service and rules about forum signatures, you will know if you can include website links in it. As long as it is allowed, you should always include a forum signature on your posts.
Your forum signature should include your name or business name and clickable links that use keywords to entice people to click. A link that says “Free SEO Techniques” will be much more interesting than one that says “Click Here.”
Post Informative Threads or Topics
Once you have your forum signature in place, you should start to post interesting topics of conversations. Of course, you should search the forum first to make sure that the topic does not already exist. Nothing annoys a forum community more than a newbie coming on and creating topics that have already been done.
You should not post straight articles of information unless that is what the forum is about. Asking questions, requesting opinions about ideas, and sharing things you have learned are all good things to put in forum threads.
Answer Questions and Give Opinions
Besides starting interesting threads of your own, you should also answer questions and give opinions about other’s topics. Getting involved in conversations will help people recognize your name, your business name, and your expertise on a certain topic.
Be Active in General Chat Areas
Not only should you answer topical questions, it never hurts to be involved with general chat as well. This is the section where people talk about every day life, news stories, play games, and tell jokes. Making friends on forums related to your website or industry can increase your business network as well.
Do NOT SPAM!
Whatever you do on a forum, do not Spam it! Spam, on a forum, is defined as excessive mention of your business, posting multiple unnecessary posts just to show off your signature, or blatant advertising. In the first instance, it is okay to mention what you do in passing, but not okay to give an entire forum speech about how great your website is and how it can help someone with a question. While posting multiple posts is a great way to get business, you must be sure that those posts serve a purpose. If you make posts that say, “Yes, I agree with you,” and nothing more, you are spamming.
Marketing your online business on various forums is a great way to not only increase your traffic. It also creates recognition and trust of your brand and yourself. While forum marketing must be a regular occurrence for maximum results, it is very easy to do, and cost free.