Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Forum Marketing Secrets: How To Post On Forums To Drive Traffic To Your Website

July 16, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts, Marketing

Group of peoplePosting on forums, discussion groups, message boards, ning networks, Yahoo groups, etc. is a smart, very economical way to market and get yourself known in your niche. But you have to approach your forum postings in the right way or it could backfire on you.

First and foremost, these groups are developed for sharing within a community and many were not created with the specific purpose of business promotion. They aren’t designed as a business advertising directory.

When signing up for a forum, be sure to read the rules for posting and promoting. Some forums don’t let you use your website address in your signature line while some encourage that. Many allow your business website to be in your profile so other posters who are interested in what you have to say can find the link back to your site there.

How to post on forums

Before you get active, complete your profile first. Make your profile as informative as you are allowed. You should fill out all the “about me” area in an interesting and engaging way. Also, use the “Avatar” (picture) if the forum lets you do so. To register your photo, as an Avatar, go to Gravatar.com.

Next you need to get in there and actively participate! You want to add value to the forum and get yourself known. Start making posts, replying to posts and ADDING your expertise and knowledge to conversations without blatantly promoting your product or service. Let people get to know YOU. Speak from your experience and in that context, mentioning your business will be relevant. But if it isn’t, don’t worry too much about promoting yourself. Your signature will be included in every post so those interested can contact you. Many sites offer ways to directly message members.

How often should you be posting on forums?

The best practice is to post often, a few times a week if possible. It only takes a minute to post or reply to someone else’s. Discussions work in a chronological, descending order. When you post, yours goes to the top of the list. When a new post comes on, yours will get “bumped” or move down in the discussion. To keep yourself “up” there, you’ll want to post often to get back to the top, especially with topics that you start and want to keep in clear view. Once your topic sinks to the second page you will have way fewer views.

What should you post?

Posting in forums can bring you powerful traffic only when you make posts that interest and HELP the community. Remember, that’s the reason people join such groups. It is in sharing and asking questions you’ll develop a rapport with the members. It can be also be a real win/win for you because you, as a participant, will benefit from others’ expertise as well. So don’t be afraid to ask for help and assistance either.

Steer away from writing about topics that are not relevant to the forum you are on. If you are going into the forum just to promote your business, people will not only get turned off by a hard sale; at worst, your account may get suspended for spamming and your posts will be deleted. Your goal is to be a good resource, someone who is knowledgeable about the topics posted and who the participants may want to start a relationship with. When you do that, your reputation will bring the interested to your site.

My best advice is to be patient when posting on forums. Join a group and just watch what people are talking about and what the “vibe” is. You wouldn’t walk into a room full of strangers and start trying to sell them something, so don’t do that online either. Start participating and let them get to know and accept you as a resourceful person.  Add your website to your signature line and let them decide if they want to visit your site. The more often they see you posting, the more curious they will be to learn more. Then, you’ve built a relationship and are already halfway there!

One of the best forums I’ve found in producing and selling my video products is BillMyersOnline.com. It is a paid site but is VERY reasonably priced ($24.95/3 months) for the benefit you get. I use it daily and probably some of you reading this right now are doing so as a direct result from of that forum. I believe in it so much that I’m an affiliate and I recommend it without reservation.

Comments

3 Responses to “Forum Marketing Secrets: How To Post On Forums To Drive Traffic To Your Website”
  1. I have been reading and commenting on the BMyers Online forum for over 3 years, but I feel that it has becomme almost a cult for Bill. I commented on an alternative to membergate and got attacked. I guess if I spent over $36000 for membergate per website, I would have to defend my purchase.

    There is also a lot of conservative political talk that I find offensive when all I want to know is how to produce information products and share what I have found that has worked and not worked for me.

    I purchased a considerable amoount of video equipment per the recommendation of Bill only to find out that the post was 2 or 3 years old and the reason the stuff was so cheap on ebay was that no one was using it any more.

    I have learned from Bill’s videos and templates. In fact the templates are the key. The only problem is that he always leaves something out or not enought detail.

    I find that most of the forum members are membergate people that are self promoting there cloned version of Bill.

    So when you make reference to Bill Myers, I have to decide if you are bringing honest value or just another one of the groupies.

    • Rick Smith says:

      I understand what you are saying Matt. There definitely is a sort of hero worship of Bill Myers within the group. I think a lot of people in the group are either just starting out, or stalled in their progress, and Bill is a role model to them.

      The cost of membership – $9.95 per month or $24.95 for three months – is very reasonable and should be affordable to anyone with an inkling to get into some kind of business that utilized video technology or internet marketing. If you only take one template or one little tip away, at that price you can’t go wrong.

      I do not have a Membergate site and do not intend to buy into that software. I find the price absurd, particularly with the advancements that allow you to create great membership sites on WordPress at very little cost. However, I am interested in membership sites as a business model and so am attracted to any discussions about successes and failures regarding developing and promoting membership sites. Some of the discussion threads are useful along these lines, and again, at $9.95 a month, it doesn’t take much to get your money’s worth out of it.

      Frankly, one of the biggest benefits I find is promoting my own products to his members via the forum. I spend 95% of the time when I’m on Bill’s site in the forum. This is a highly focused group of people and I find a lot of them are interested in my niche, which is producing and selling special interest videos. I find that my advice is appreciated, and so this is helping me build my credibility as a resource. It’s like Bill Myers has assembled an audience for me. Then it is up to me to convert them over to my list. When I look at my website stats, BillMyers.com is the second largest feeder of traffic to my main site and several of my other sites which I mention on the forum.

      In fact, it was after seeing the results I get from posting on BillMyers.com’s forum that I became very interested in forum marketing. When it is a highly targeted forum, like his, the conversion of traffic to my own list is surprisingly easy.

      So my recommendation is to harvest the good bits from any forum and don’t get drawn into any discussions that you find offensive or irrelevant. It’s like going to a party and choosing whom you want to have conversations with.

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