Forum advertising is a superbly effective, yet easy, way to promote your Web site. Forums abound on the Internet and are usually age and gender specific to make it easy for you to select and locate your target market. The only drawback is that since you need to post a different and relevant comment for each forum you choose and possess the patience to continually monitor and post, this can be somewhat time consuming. However, forum posting is the best alternative to paid advertising. Not only is it free but it gives you the distinct advantage of handpicking the location for your advertisements.
Marking and Choosing the Right Forums
The first order of the day, of course, is to make a list of forums in which you should post. The most important factor in choosing a forum is its relevance to the product or service you are promoting. No need to go to every forum to check out it’s content, though, because you can do a simple search through Google or Yahoo using the keywords forum and your product or service – repeat with different key words for better results. Once you have done this you can filter the list for only the forums that are catering to your target age group, gender, or industry. Another idea to explore would be to go through information you find in relevant forums and start one of your own. By starting your own forum you create a more controlled atmosphere for your market -allowing you to delete posts from advertisers who have products that compete with yours.
Becoming Part of the Forum
Once you have chosen a forum you will need to create a profile and be a part of the forum. Joining discussions, creating your own topics, and commenting on another person’s topics are the activities you will look forward to in forum advertising, but your profile is one of the most
important things you will need to focus on. You need to put in as much detail as you can to make sure that they will relate you to your product or service. Normally a space is provided for your URL or Home page so be sure to make good use of this. Ideally you should not complete your profile until you have established yourself in the forum. Try to post at least 20 to 25 relevant and quality posts before you begin to buff up your profile. When you post something in a forum, you are allowed an affiliate link and it is the affiliate link you incorporate in the resource box that will act as your advertisement.
Quality Posts Gets Quality Traffic
Posting a reply like “good idea” for the mere purpose of being able to get your link into the forum will get you nowhere. What you need to do is to make sure that your posts will be noticed; that they really serve a purpose and that the information you post is helpful and relevant. You should try to gain a following so that people in the forum will look forward to your posts. It is only when people start to notice that you are a person who only posts content with substance that they will take interest in what you represent, in your product or service, and in your company overall.
If they see that you are knowledgeable in a specific niche then they will relate that to your being an expert in your field. Of course, the more you post the more exposure you are giving your Web site. Every time your post is read, your resource box with your URL gets noticed. By participating in discussions you are not only able to share your ideas and, of course, ultimately advertise, but you also get to know about other poster’s ideas and benchmark yourself against your competition.
Keep in mind that these are but a few of the many ways to promote your Web site with little or no cost, and I’m sure that with a little creativity you’ll be able to find many others. For more ideas I recommend reading a book called “301 Do-It-Yourself Marketing Ideas: From America’s Most Innovative Small Companies” and welcome any comments, concerns, and questions you may have.