ShoutMeLoud

How To Use Online Forums To Promote Your Website

Forums can be a great tool for promoting your website’s link to a niche group of interested people.

However, most people do not do it right.

With a focus on promoting links, most webmasters simply spam forums and never contribute anything useful or worthwhile. Not only will this not get anyone to click, you will likely end up getting banned from the forum and your links will be removed.

Quality vs. Quantity

Whenever you are logging into a forum, remind yourself of the magic mantra:

Give more; take less.

Remember to contribute more in value than you are getting from placing a link there. This builds a great deal of trust with the members of the forum, making them more likely to check out your site.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the member who appears the most selfless is the one who will get the most benefit. This is because you are giving a lot of value to other members, and you are giving a signal to the moderators of the forum that you are not there to spam.

Because of that, an occasional link to your website inside of a relevant discussion will not only be condoned, but you will also be thanked for providing such “valuable” information.

  • Read: Why I Joined Internet Marketing Forums And Why You Should Too

PM With Influentials

Seek out those members who appear to be influencers in your niche. These are the members who can help you make a leap to the next level.

Make it a point to contribute to all discussions that they contribute to, PM them with your point of view and questions, and get to know the individual on a personal level.

After a few value-filled messages, you can request for a backlink or a review of your website. They’ll likely accept and be happy to help.

Flame Bait

One of the most popular ways of inserting a link is within a forum signature.

Everyone knows that this can bring in traffic, but why aren’t a lot of people clicking? It is because we have not provoked them enough to get curious and check us out.

The best way to fix this is through flame baiting.

Here’s the technique: Every niche has its own controversial topics that can invoke heated discussions and passionate debaters. Periodically start a topic on one of these controversial topics and let the flame grow.

So many people debating back and forth will get curious onlookers to click on your link and check out your site.

5 Secrets to Promote Your Site Via Forum

1. Finding a good Forum

Not all forums are created equal.  Some are small highly targeted affairs while others are large forums with very broad topics.  Some forums are pro-business and welcome a little self-promotion (Warrior Forums is a good example) while other forums are communistic affairs that boot anyone who even breaths about their business online.

You will be making a serious commitment to any forum you plan to use for promotion, so shop like you would for a long term girlfriend/boyfriend.  Each forum develops a personality of its own so you and the forum better match up in style, interests, and approach to life.  If there is not a good match you will be frustrated and the promotion will fail.

Search “niche +forum” to identify possible candidates to join.

2. Make your profile shine

Choose an appropriate non-offensive but memorable user name and fill out your profile with some reasonable detail.  Do not include AIM and Yahoo profile links – only spammers do that.  Do include a link to your main website if there is a spot for it.  Look around at how much detail some of the forum thought leaders put in for a guide.

3. Use Your Signature

If the forum allows signatures definitely put an anchored link into your signature.  Be sure you understand the forum policies on signatures first though so you do not make enemies with the management.  If in doubt, ask first by private message.

4. Start and Respond to Topics

Regularly visit the forum, starting good topics and making intelligent comments.  Where it fits well into the conversation drop in the occasional anchored link to your blog, but make sure you are not offensive or off topic.

Don’t always link to your stuff, link to other interesting resources too.  Score big points by posting appropriate links to the blogs of the forum thought leaders and up and coming members.  Others might even reciprocate (but NEVER ask them too).

If you blog, occasionally you can write a killer post with a little controversy.  Post a summary and link to the forum as a new thread, asking others what they think.  Say something like “If I got this wrong please let me know“.  Participate in the resulting discussion, but not too much since your comments can end the discussion if everyone thinks you have your answer now.  This technique can be very effective to bring in traffic to your blog posts.

5. Be Engaging to Engage Others

Forget using a forum to promote yourself unless you are prepared to come to the forum regularly and contribute.  As a regular poster you will develop trust and make friends who will engage with you in your business, blog or websites.  As a rare poster you will be considered a lousy drive-by spammer worthy only of being banned.

Also read:

These are just a few ways to promote your website via forums. But these simple techniques are sure to get you valuable visitors.

Do you have any tips to share on promoting via forums? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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