Here we discuss tips on the best ways to use Internet forums to promote your website. Plus how to create a good reputation for yourself, build credibility for your business as well as avoiding getting penalized for spamming.

Many people, when they first get their website wonder how they can promote it without spending a lot of money. A popular, tried and tested free method of promoting a website is to join a few Internet forums and contribute to the conversations that forum members participate in.

Are you wondering what an Internet Forum is?

In a nutshell, an Internet forum is a membership website that supports user generated content. This means that anybody who joins the site, by filling in a quick online form, will be able to read and respond to the messages that are posted on the forum website. Then if you want to post a response to a message you can click a “Post Reply” button and enter your response in the new screen that will appear at the bottom of the message. To check your message just click the “Preview” button and when you are satisfied with your effort click the “Submit” button and your message will now appear at the bottom of the page.

The conversation grows longer and can extend over several pages as people read the previous comments and respond to them. “Thread” is the term given to each conversation. By clicking the “New Topic” button in the relevant section of the forum any member can begin a new thread.

There are sure to be a lot of forums that deal with your niche market no matter what area of business you are in. It goes without saying that it makes sense to build a name for yourself on the forum that is relevant to your line of business. For example, if your website sells tennis gear you would want to join some forums dedicated to discussing everything to do with tennis. Also, you might also want to participate in some forums dedicated to Internet marketing so as to pick up some useful tips on promoting your website. You can find forums by simply doing a search on Google or some other search engine. So, if you sell tennis gear a search for “tennis forum” should yield some relevant forums.

Are you now wondering how you can promote your website on a forum?

Once you have found a suitable forum to join, imagine that you are entering the forum more like a guest at a dinner party than a bull in a china shop.

Bear in mind that somebody has set up this community and other people go there every day to share information. The last thing they want to see is spam on their forum. So the first thing to do is read and adhere to the forum rules.

Be prepared to have you post removed If you post a comment that is nothing more than an advertisement for your website. Also there is a good chance that you could be penalized or banned from the forum because you have not only been bad mannered but you have also broken the forum rules against blatant spamming.

Making use of the signature file is the way to get links to your website from forum posts. Set up a signature by clicking on the “User Control Panel” inside the forum. Your signature file should contain a brief sentence or two about who you are or the services you offer plus a link back to your website.

Many forums allow you to add an avatar, a small picture or photo, which will appear on each of your posts. You should use a real photo of yourself to show that you are a real, friendly, human being! Also, it is a good idea to use your real name to show that you are a real person behind the real business. The biggest marketing assets on a forum are your authenticity and credibility.

You are now ready to post your first comment. It will be sufficient to provide a brief introduction to who you are, where you’re from, what you do and what you hope to contribute to the forum. Never post any links in your comments, rather let your signature do the work.

Whilst you may have a lot to contribute, it is not advisable to start posting the minute you join. The last thing you want is to appear like a big head that knows it all and has nothing to learn. Start off slowly by contributing to some ongoing conversations and ask sensible questions, provided that they have not been asked hundreds of times already (you can check this by using the search box provided on the forum).

Once you have built up some familiarity on the forum then you can begin to offer more in the way of content and initiate some conversations of your own. Be generous in giving out information, keep your focus on what other people want and provide tips, useful website addresses and so on. Your aim is to build up a name for yourself as an expert in your field by helping other people solve their problems.

Every time you make a post in the forum your signature file will be quietly pointing people back to your website. As your reputation grows, so more people will be interested to find out more about you. So, in a nutshell, when it comes to forum marketing, as with so many other things, if you want to get something you first have to give something away.

Related Posts:

Tagged with:

Filed under: forum marketing

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!