One of the most suggested means of getting traffic to a site is to get involved in forum discussions (or bulletin boards as they are also called) on your topic of choice. You can find highly targeted forums that are organized and structured around just about any niche or industry you can think of, such as Internet marketing, web design, and search engine optimization. You'll also find that forum users are generally pretty Internet savvy and are open to making online purchases.
Forums are places where people with similar interests can meet, exchange information and chat online. To become a member of an Internet forum you usually have to sign up on a membership site. This doesn't involve any money. Sites want to keep up how many members they have.
According to Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips), author of Forum Marketing SuperTips, there are 4 major reasons why people use forums:
- They can get advice: for example âˆ' troubleshooting products, hardware or software; to get their site reviewed; to ask for opinions about a product before purchasing; or about a business opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join.
- They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
- They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint ventures
- Site promotion
Once you join and become a forum member, you can access the forum by creating a username and password. When you log in, you have access to all the different topics and threads (each conversation started by forum members).
The sites include other perks and ways to join in but the forum is where most people go to congregate and talk. You can use these forums to not only promote your website but also get a little extra traffic that can add up to big benefits for your business.
Not just any forum will do. You want to find forums that pertain to your target market. For instance, if you sell lighting fixtures, you'll want to look for DIY (do-it-yourself) forums for a start. Also, look into forums for contractors and builders. They certainly use lighting fixtures in their line of work.
In these forums, half of the work is done for you. You are already accessing your target market, but the rest is up to you. That is why conducting yourself well on these forums is important and makes this type of website promotion one of the most profitable. Forum marketing is a type of "self promotion" as well as site promotion.
Your goal should be to be seen as an expert in your field, not to get traffic to your site. If your reason is purely to drive traffic to your site, you probably won't be terribly successful and people will definitely know what you are up to.
Using the Forum
Participating in forums can provide valuable insight to business owners. Not only for sales, but for some good perspectives from others in your industry as well as potential clients. Before you jump into talking about your business, think about what would build your trust and what would break it down. It's pretty obvious to say that spammers would tick you off, but people who participate and also help others, would inspire your trust.
The same social media rules of engagement apply to forums and forum marketing. Interact with people in the forum. There is a wealth of knowledge there. You can offer expert advice and get help yourself. Their advice to you can help you implement changes that benefit your business.
Use your signature line to promote your website. Include a link here along with your name. The more you post in existing threads and your own, people whose trust you gain will begin to click on that link and check out your website. Even if you don't include a signature with your posts, you can still make a name for yourself and, in the long term, this will prove to be a far more profitable approach.
Internet forums that cater to your target market have a two-fold benefit. First, they help you get in touch with the type of person you seek for your business and second, you can establish yourself as an expert and use your signature line to promote your website.
I just came across an ebook that I've found to be very helpful and expect you will too. Every day across countless thousands of forums on the Net, people are asking questions. Those who can answer them have a great opportunity to build their authority and their business.
Forum Marketing SuperTips, by Harvey Segal (Mr SuperTips) is neatly set out, easy to follow, written without the hype that drives me insane, and not littered with annoying links. In his book you'll find out:
- how to find exactly what forum visitors are looking for
- how to quickly create a resource that will answer their questions
- how to make superior postings to get people to visit your resource - with no hype and no ads and no affiliate links
- how you will profit handsomely from these visits
It's packed with solid tips on "How to Post at Forums - for Profit" And the cost of this collection of gems ?
Of course, you know there are going to be opportunities intertwined to sell you paid ebooks or programs, but whether you partake in any of those or not, you should have this ebook in your arsenal of Internet marketing strategies.
What success have you had with forum marketing? LinkedIn and Yahoo! have their q&a discussions, too. Have you looked into offering your smarts on those groups? What other discussions or forums have you used? Leave your comments below.
To Your Success,
bulletin boards as they are also called.
1) They can get advice: for example âˆ' to get their site reviewed, to ask
for opinions about a product before purchasing or about a business
opportunity or affiliate program they plan to join
· 2) They can discover new products, ideas, tips, tools
3) They can make contact with others, and possibly set up joint
this book will concentrate on the 4th reason
· 4) Site promotion
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