online business Online discussion forums are a form of social networking that still works well today.  If you use them correctly your online business can benefit greatly. These forum marketing tips will show you ways to do that without creating any problems for yourself.

Once you start searching you will find that there are numerous online discussion forums that relate to virtually anything online today. Check out Big-Boards.com if you are not sure where to find one relating to the theme of your business.

When you have found a few forums the first thing you want to do is register and set up your profile. As your profile can be spidered by the search engines, you should add your website address and keyword phrases.

Then locate the forum rules and be sure to read them.  These sometimes vary from forum to forum.

Most online discussion forums will let you create a signature file and this is a great way to generate free traffic to your website. It is also a way to build up keyword relevancy by hyperlinking your keyword phrases back to your blog or website. To create an effective signature file do not try to promote too many things at one time.

Online discussion forums can benefit your online business in three different ways:

1. As they are a great learning source use them to educate yourself. Due to the fact that online forums offer free information they are a valuable resource to your online business at a price you can afford. It is a good idea to start off by reading the existing threads that interest you.

2. Once you become comfortable in how the forum is working you can start posting questions that you want answers to. Provided your question is sincere you will find members eager to help you. Do not ever make the mistake of posting a question with the ulterior motive of leading people to your signature file where you are promoting something.

3. As you gain knowledge you can also join in the discussions by answering questions yourself. This is a great way to enhance your credibility and brand yourself as an expert over a period of time.

Two very important points you need to remember:

1. Do not include your website address in the body of the post itself; and

2. Do not include addresses for any product you are promoting, such as affiliate products, in the body of the post either.

This is why you are allowed to set up a signature file, so let it do all your promoting for you and you will never run the risk of being banned from the forum or creating bad will with other members.

Be sure to provide useful information when you post. Other members will appreciate this, as opposed to people who make useless posts with the intent of promoting themselves in their signature file.

As social networking is all about building relationships, the online discussion forums are still a great way to do this. By following these forum marketing tips you can build your online business in a free and easy way.

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