I actually enjoy participating on forum sites. I have been an active member of a few sites for some time now, and I would say that I have been good at determining if a post is spammy or if a link is inserted in “good faith”. I really don’t mind seeing posts to promote a site for as long as it’s related to the topic. But some would. And not everyone can forgive you if you ever try to promote your site blatantly.
If I tell you that most sites would require you to have at least contributed 50 posts to the community, would you still want to think of increasing traffic through forum sites? Most bloggers who learned about it immediately dismissed forum marketing and turn, instead, to other strategies. There’s really nothing wrong about that. However, if you would just understand how to leverage on forums, you’ll discover more benefits other than gaining traffic.
Forum Marketing Benefits
- Questions that actual people within your niche needs to be answered. You can use those questions as topics on your blog.
- Popular keywords
- Industry trend – you’ll immediately learn what’s new within the industry.
- Links to other blogs. It works both ways – either you or they link to you. Since you have already established relationship with them, link building comes naturally, which is what search engines really look for.
- Relationship with other business owners within your niche, who could possibly open good opportunities.
- And of course, traffic. The forum members are not the only people who will visit your blog. If you can find a forum site that is indexed by Google, you posts on the community site will remain forever on search results, which will then be discovered by anyone interested.
How Can You Make Forums Work For You?
Promote or Brand
Although inserting a link to your blog is a good way to increase traffic (if it is allowed), simply answering questions can also lead to good results. By providing valuable information, you are branding yourself as an authority within the niche.
Create a signature instead, but do not insert it when you are just starting to know the members around. Read the Forum rules to know when it is allowed to insert your signature.
Focus on Giving Value
To establish your reputation quickly, grab every opportunity to answer questions. Make sure that when you answer, you are providing substantial information. Keep your answers simple but valuable. Avoid writing a lengthy answer, or most of them will ignore your post.
Be in Control
It is easy to get caught up on forum sites. Do not spend too much time on them. You have other things to do to achieve success in blogging, and forum marketing is just one of them.
I usually keep it to 5 posts in a day – whether to answer or start a thread.
Choose Your Community
Do not spend a lot of time on forum sites that has very few members or sites with thousands of members. It is not easy to be heard if there’s just too much noise. Choose a forum site with moderate number of active members. It can produce better outcome.
Use a Good Signature
A signature that links to your sales page is not a good idea. In fact, it destroys your reputation. Link to your blog, instead. It is more appropriate.
In addition, do not fill your single post with more than 2 links. It is really not necessary and it looks spammy.
Paid Forums Pay
Some bloggers avoid paid forums. The thing is; most of those paid forums are indexed by Google.