A forum is basically a virtual meeting place for various individuals with similar likes, interests, mindsets and beliefs. They gather there to do a variety of useful things such as share knowledge and information, assist others with problems, discuss issues and form ties and bonds with one another either for social or business reasons.
Topics are usually discussed in something called threads and contributing input to a thread is known as posting. Forum marketing therefore involves driving traffic to your or your merchant’s website/blog by providing valuable and relevant input to the various forum members (people who register to the forum) or simply visitors (unregistered members) by posting to the various threads.
Why Bother With Forum Marketing?
Forums are great places to receive insights into the market you are interested in entering or promoting. You will be at a better position to understand real problems people face, pick up trends and sub-niches of niches you are in and discover current hot topics that are being discussed.
In addition, most forums have a system at the bottom/top of page one to track the number of registered members and visitors to their forums. This will give you a rough idea of the market size and the potential volume of targeted traffic you can drive to your or your merchant’s website.
And most importantly, forum marketing is another great source of traffic. When forum members and visitors believe in the sincerity you put in your posts, they will click on your signature links (similar to bio box for article marketing) found at the bottom of the posts.
How to do Forum Marketing?
Now that you are better aware about forums and forum marketing, let’s get into how you begin doing forum marketing.
Search for Forums:
Before you can start on forum marketing, you have to first find relevant forums that are related to your business niche. Go to a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing and search for forums related to the themes of your website.
Register for Forums:
Once you have found the forums you are interested in, register an account there. However, do ensure that you check out the terms/rules of the forum carefully (usually found as a thread on its own known as “Sticky”) to find out what is allowed and what is prohibited.
Create your ‘Signature’ File:
A signature file is a short piece of text that appears after every post you make on the forums. The signature can also include links to any websites you have. Please check with the terms of the forums if they allow signatures / affiliate links in signatures. For example, some forums do not allow affiliate links in signatures, but are alright with links to your own website or blog.
Carefully Post On Threads
When you first register for a forum, do not immediately start posting on threads. You should peruse through the various threads, posts and discussions instead to get a feel of how things are run in the forum.
When you are familiar with how things work on the forum, then you can begin by replying to queries raised in certain topics or threads first. However, do ensure that your answers are written in a modest and helpful tone. Once you have build your credibility in the forum, then begin attention grabbing threads of your own to encourage discussion.
And there you have it, the bare essentials of forums and how you can do forum marketing. Forum marketing, if done right, can be another simple yet effective way of generating traffic to your website.