Internet marketers are incessantly looking for new ways to advertise their online businesses for free. Forum marketing is a good example of a free marketing technique that can yield several benefits for Internet businesses.
Let’s look at this in more detail.
An Internet forum is an interactive site on which users can post their own comments and opinions about various topics.
When you join a forum you will be able to read and respond to the messages that are posted on the site.
If you want to respond to a message, simply click the “Post Reply” button. A new screen will appear for you to type in your response. You can see how your message looks before you post it by clicking the “Preview” button. When you are satisfied you can submit it by clicking the “Submit” button and your message will appear at the bottom of the thread.
As forum participants read the comments and respond to them, the threads grow longer and can extend over several pages. Anyone can start a new thread by clicking a “New Topic” button.
Whatever area of business you’re in, there are certain to be a lot of forums that deal with your particular market. Locating a suitable forum is simply a matter of searching Google or one of the other search engines.
What is the best method of promoting your site on a forum?
After you’ve found an appropriate forum to join, don’t forget that you are a newcomer and you have yet to prove yourself, so step carefully. Someone has set up the forum and doesn’t want to see a newcomer spamming their forum.
There are not many active forums that will put up with spammers. If you insist on posting a comment that is simply an excuse to link back to your website, it will probably be deleted, and the administrator might decide to ban you from the forum.
A better method of building back links to your website from a forum is to set up the signature file via the “User Control Panel” inside the forum. A signature file should include a link back to your website with a few words about what it is that you offer.
On many forums you can add an avatar, a small image, that will appear each time you post a comment. It’s a good idea to use an actual photo of yourself so that people can put a face to your name and comments. Similarly, it’s a good idea to use your real name to let people know that you’re a real person running a real business.
So what should you talk about when you make your first post? A brief introduction about who you are, something about your background, and what you hope to learn from the forum will be adequate. Again, avoid posting links back to your website in your comments, simply let your signature do the promoting.
Even if you have a ton of experience to offer the forum, it is best to ease yourself into the forum quietly so as not to cause any offence to established members. The best method of easing yourself into a forum is to join in some ongoing topics. Posting pertinent questions about topics of interest to the forum members is another good strategy to adopt.
In a short while, after you have built up some familiarity with other posters on the forum, you can begin some topics of your own. Look carefully at what other people on the forum desire to learn about and think about how you can supply it.
Each time you add a comment, your signature file will be quietly pointing forum members back to your site. And as you begin to demonstrate your expertise, more people will want to check you out and will click through to your website via your signature file.
So, if you want to benefit from the potential of Internet forums, the best way to do that is to become an active and respected member of two or three forums that are dedicated to discussing topics related to your niche market. As with many things in life, you will get out of forums the equivalent of what you put into them.
Keywords: Internet forum
Summary: This article looks at the best way to use online forums to promote your Internet site.