Forums are an excellent way to easily build backlinks to your website. Not only can you get backlinks by simply contributing to a community, you can also drive traffic from these forums by listing your website in your forum signature!
Forum marketing was in many ways the precursor to Web 2.0 (i.e. collaborative sharing of information and user generated content). While it may lack the glamour of search engine optimization, Facebook marketing, Twitter, etc., you can still develop effective relationships and have meaningful exchanges on forums. How to optimize your forum marketing strategies and get results are the subjects of this article.
How to Find the Right Forums for Your Market
Go to Google and type in your particular niche (e.g. Dog Training), then add a plus sign (“+”) with the word “forum”, such as “dog training+forum”. The page one listing plus the related search phrases listed at the bottom are a great starting point for your selection process.
An alternate method is to seek out specialized search engines (e.g.) that are built to help you find forums. Often times, they may lead you to obscure yet very relevant forums that Google and others may ignore.
Forums are a great place to meet and help potential prospects and customers as well as find and develop relationships with other experts and influencers in your market.
Choose two or three forums to begin with, because spreading yourself too thin at the start is the surest way to get poor results.
Forum Etiquette: How to Participate in a Forum Community
Once you find a few forums that meet most if not all of your search criteria, it’s time to get acquainted with how things actually work. As with any game, sport, or business endeavor there are usually a set of rules posted for all to read in the “Sticky” section by the forum administrator. So, to maximize the benefits from your time investment:
- Read the rules! (e.g. No spamming; respecting the maximum word length allowed per post).
- Grow your traffic by building relationships with other participants and adding value to their experiences.
- If signatures are allowed, make them short, highlight benefits, and stoke curiosity.
- Post replies to ‘hot’ topics of interest. The more your responses address the wants and desires of your audience, the more likely they are going to follow you to your link.
Using Forums to Build Authority, Expertise, and Drive Traffic
It’s an oft-repeated axiom of successful Internet Marketing that you need to build up your “know, like and trust” factor. In practical terms, this means establishing your authority as an expert in your niche. Niche forums are particularly well-suited for this endeavor, because specialized knowledge is what people are looking for. If you can deliver insights and respond to pointed questions, other will gravitate to your posts and hang on your every word.
Once established in a select group of forums, you may have the luxury of using similar, but not identical responses to common threads of interest.
Here is a great List of Forums for your Small Business and for high quality SEO backlinks that you should be actively participating in (or at least create a profile for).
Above all are great forum for generating DoFollow link and increase chances of ranking in Google search result, but always be honest, Choose 4 -5 forum according to your blog content and start submitting article and article link.
But always be honest because some people start spamming and google removed or blocked.
Why is forum marketing effective?
- Forums are targeted. Forums are highly targeted to specific topics or niches. A dog training forum is going to be full of people interested in training their dogs, for example. As you may already know, search engines look favourably on links that come from related and targeted websites
- Forums are specific. No matter what your niche is, there is most likely a forum based around it. This means you can really ‘drill down’ and find highly relevant forums. Imagine that you have a website that sells parts for classic American muscle cars; you don’t just have to settle for forums about cars in general. Instead, you can go one step further and comment on forums that are all about American muscle cars.
- Forums are active. Rather than just getting links from static web directories and websites that are updated rarely, forums are living and breathing communities. Even the smallest of forums receive updates a few times a day by new posts or comments. Search engines love fresh content, and forums fit this criterion very well.
- Forums are fun. Let’s face it, link building is not a lot of fun. Submitting articles, exchanging links with other webmasters, submitting to directories – this all gets very boring! Forums are lively and enjoyable places, full of interesting people. Because forum marketing is fun, you are much more likely to be consistent with your marketing efforts.
- Forums are well established. There are many forums online (especially in bigger niches) that have been around for years. Search engines reward links from established, authority websites.
Forums and forum marketing continue to survive, because they can be great sources of fresh, targeted traffic for new and experienced entrepreneurs. While it may require an “upfront” time investment to establish yourself in a relevant forum, the rewards may include greater awareness of your company, more eyeballs reading your contributions, and more traffic to your sites or clicks to your latest promotional campaigns.