Forums (new school) and Message Boards (old school) are among the most interactive of all membership websites. Forums are traffic magnets and they exist in literally thousands of niches, test me on this and you will find one in every niche that comes to mind.
Forums are membership sites that are designed to serve large groups of people who share a common interest and contribute to topics and comment on the comments of others known as threads. Threads are simply topics that members offer commentary, provide feedback and recommend resources through an evolving conversation.
There are many reasons why you should participate in a few quality forums including; mastermind with successful online marketers, benefit from the experiences of fellow marketers, identify joint venture partners, share your ideas and much more.
So where does the marketing come in? As a registered member of a forum (typically a free membership), you are allowed to create a signature box where you can briefly introduce yourself and … here is the key …. add a link to your website or name squeeze page.
Follow these 10 steps to effectively market in forums:
1. Select forums that are in your targeted niche and only join sites where you feel you will enjoy being a contributor.
2. Think carefully about your signature box and be sure to link to a page that includes a subscriber opt-in form. This can be your blog or a squeeze page which includes an ethical bribe. An ethical bribe is a free offer of an item of value in exchange for the subscribers name and email address.
3. Introduce yourself to your fellow form members. Typically there will be a thread that prompts you to take this first step, if not simply start a thread and let the members know who you are and why you joined the forum.
4. Search the current and active topics, read carefully those that interest you and begin adding intelligent and relevant comments to a few threads. If you have an interesting idea for a thread … start it!
5. Be professional and demonstrate your expertise in your niche. The more narrow your area of focus the easier it will be for the members to identify your unique knowledge and expertise.
6. Be professional and friendly … avoid being controversial for controversy sake. But at the same time do not be afraid to be opinionated. Respond constructively to all comments addressed to you personally and avoid verbal duals.
7. Before pressing the “send” button, read your comments and make sure they add to the advancement of the topic and truly add value.
8. Do not “pitch” your products, services or business opportunities. If you have a solution to a problem that arises in the thread you can offer your solution.
9. If you have access to giveaway rights or better yet if you have your own products offer gifts of value such as e-books, Mp3s, videos, etc. The other members will appreciate your generosity and when they register to claim your gift they will be joining your list.
10. It is acceptable to market in forums, I promise that a large percentage of the other forum members are there for the same purpose, just be careful or you will quickly be labeled a spammer. Treat your marketing efforts much as you would in a social network – it is like being at a party… use your manners and good judgment!
Ready to get started?
Here are two forums that I recommend you start with assuming that you want focus on the Internet Marketing niche.
The Warrior Forum is recognized as the most authoritative forum on Internet Marketing. Follow the link below, sign up for your free account and introduce yourself to the community. To get the most out of The Warriors Forum get involved by reviewing the active topics and engaging in the conversation.
Here is the link: Warrior Forum
Net Marketing Forum (NMF) is the best forum serving those focusing on traffic and down-line building using traffic exchanges, safelist and down-line builders. Follow the link below, sign up for your free account and introduce yourself to the community. To get the most out of Net Marketing Forum get involved by reviewing the active topics and engaging in the conversation.
Here is the link: Net Marketing Forum
Please be sure to post a comment and let me know if this article was helpful for you.
I am here to help you succeed and live your ideal Internet lifestyle by created multiple income streams!
(c) Copyright 2008-2010 James A. Holmes. All Rights Reserved.
James Holmes, Global Team Builder, Coach and Trainer, combining online and offline techniques to help you grow your business. To request a free 30 minute consultation contact James by phone at 303-523-9503 or email at james@AskJamesHolmes.com
Note: If you’d like to reprint this article on your blog or in your newsletter you have permission to do so as long as the copyright information and the resource box above remains with the article.