Forums are everywhere on the internet these days. Chances are good that you belong to a few yourself; some of them probably in your own niche market.
Using forums to generate traffic is easy to do, and it’s a very effective marketing strategy.
Here are 10 tips to help you drive traffic straight to your blog or website.
1. Your Forum Profile
Start with your forum profile, and always include your links wherever you can. Readers like to know who they are talking to, and many of them do check out profiles. Add a current photo of yourself. Readers want to know what you do besides writing or working on the internet.
Share your hobbies in a friendly way. Some forums will let you use an avatar. If you use your profile picture as your personal avatar, people will be able to find your posts much quicker. Some forums don’t allow avatars. In that case, be sure you choose a user name that is unforgettable.
2. Link Back to Your Website
Just as some forums allow avatars and some don’t, the same is true for signatures. If your forum allows it, add a link back to your website or blog somewhere within your signature. Place your links wherever you can; it helps to take advantage of every free opportunity you get.
3. Use Minimum Self Promotion
However, adding too many links is a big turn-off. Readers do not want to see you self promote yourself everywhere they look. Add your links in other creative ways.
4. Become Active in Forum Discussions
You want people to talk to you, to see your links and click on them. You won’t get this unless you talk to them. Post once a day for maximum exposure. You want to keep your name and posts ‘out there’ for others to find. When you post more often, you get more traffic to visit your pages.
5. Browse Through Old Threads Before Posting
You may find answers to a question, or comments related to your inquiries, have already been discussed. Jump in on this thread, even if it is old and relegated to the back pages.
Whenever someone revives and old thread, all posters who are still active will get a notice that there are new posts in the thread. A once popular thread can find new life, and you may find traffic increasing on your blog.
6. Start a New Thread
Starting new threads is a great way to get your name, image, and message out there for all to see. Keep your posts relevant to your services or business (especially on niche sites), but keep them brief. The time for longer posts comes after you establish yourself as a well-respected and contributing forum member.
7. Keep Your Posts Short
Unless you are specifically answering questions, don’t write long walls of text. Most forum readers skim over long posts. Keep most of your posts to three sentences or less. Remember, quality over quantity is what draws and catches the readers’ attention.
8. Informational Posts Are Well Received
People usually find forums while searching for an answer to a current problem. Therefore, informational posts are often better received than preachy posts. If readers ask you questions, answer them as soon as possible, and always keep the discussion friendly.
9. Keep Your Posts Positive and Uplifting
Check out those threads where no one seems to be responding. Chances are you will see the original poster was being an arrogant jerk or an otherwise nasty, negative poster.
Engaging in this kind of thread is a good way to get kicked off the board. Don’t be negative, especially when you encounter these posters: always ready for a fight, they are just hoping you respond in kind.
10. Add Your Link to Blog Feeds
Most forums offer blog feeds. Readers subscribed to various feeds can easily see whenever you have new posts on your blog. Adding your link to blog feeds is just another way to make use of free market strategies.
Use these 10 tips persistently over time, and you will be amazed at the amount of free traffic which you will generate from forums to your blog.