Forum Marketing is an effective way of getting quality traffic and backlinks to your site.
In my opinion, very few marketers use forum marketing effectively. Everyone seems so busy with content marketing, commenting on blogs and other marketing methods. Trust me, this is one of the easiest ways to get floods of traffic and quality links.
If you do it properly you will be able to leverage, in your advantage, a method that has been neglected by marketers nowadays that will bring you both visitors and backlinks.
What is Forum Marketing?
Forum marketing is simple; you just need to involve yourself in ‘forums’ (message boards) and talk about various topics with other like-minded people. You can get targeted traffic by leaving a link to your website in your signature file (displayed every time you post) or in the main body of your comments. Forums are based on a specific topic or niche.
For example an internet marketing forum is going to be filled with people talking about different marketing strategies. Whatever niche you’re in, there is most likely a forum based around it. This means you can find the most appropriate forums for yourself. Forums are livel communities. Even a small forum with few hundred members receives updates every day in the form of new posts or comments.
As we know, search engines love fresh content, and forums fits that pretty well.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Find at least 3 established forums that are active. There’s no point in posting if only few people frequently visit the site. Look for forums that have at least (a) 1000 members (b) 100 new posts everyday (c) 10,000 total posts. You can use Google to find forums by search: your niche keyword/name + forum. For instance you can use internet marketing forum, money making forum, weight loss forum etc.
2.Choose a forum that allows signatures. This is where the majority of your traffic will come from, so if they don’t allow signatures, look for another forum.
3. Always read the forum’s guidelines before you start. They’ll tell you the acceptable ways to post your links and the format. Failure to comply with their guidelines can get you banned.
4. As you are promoting your website, I recommend you to use a shortened version of your name, brand or website. Pick a subtle member name and avatar.
5. Add your own photo to show as an avatar. Do not hide out behind the company logo, a picture of your cat or any other nonsense. People would like to know who you are. They’ll be more likely to connect with you when they can see your face.
6. Spend some time to create an interesting signature.
7. Don’t just post to get your signature noticed, you could get banned. Instead, join discussions and answer other people’s questions. People will then check your signature/profile and visit your website.
8. After you’ve made 25-30 posts, place a banner ad in your signature, this is a great way to gain attention. Very few marketers make a great use of this powerful technique. Before adding a banner in your signature make sure the forum allows that. If you see other users have a banner in their signatures then it is available, if you don’t then read the forum rules or ask the admin.
9. Always check the stats: Track the links in your signature to see if they are creating traffic to your site or not. If they aren’t, you may then improve the quality of your posts, post more frequently and/or change your signature. If none of these work, search for a superior forum to join.
10. Helping other people, being appreciative, being polite etc., it’s all about building credibility. Once you gain authority, you can then directly market your website/product/services on the forums you’re in.
The only negative aspect is that if forum is closed like MMG and TG went out of business this summer, you loose all the backlinks at once.
Forum Marketing is more of a fun process and because of that, you’ll be more likely to focus on it. Think of Forum Marketing as a long-term strategy, not a “get in and get out” technique.
Also if you’re convinced on how powerful forums can be why don’t you start a forum for your website and monetize it properly?